I managed to drag Josh out of town last weekend to go on a daytrip to Rye. I promise there were a couple more reasons than just visiting Merchant & Mills, err honest, but it was a hefty reason for the trip I have to admit.
I’ve had a bit of a sea change around fabric this summer: I’m trying to slowly ditch my poly/synthetic habit and get into buying more natural fibres. You really notice the difference in comfort and stickiness when cycling in the heat! So Merchant and Mills is the perfect place to stock up on beautiful cottons and linens, and there are still enough pretty prints to satisfy me thanks to the Rajasthan handblocked cotton collection.
They also have the most gorgeous solids, enough to even tempt this pattern fanatic. Slubby, creamy linens and gorgeous denims running the range from silky chambray to rough and tough selvedge, mostly in my favourite shades of drab and sludge.
Naturally I cooed over all the pretty notions too, all designed in-house.
Yummy shiny hardware to cap it all off, to make your oikskin tote bag.
What came home with me? A bit of handblocked dotted cotton, some ticking striped linen, the most beautiful silky grey and white linen (I snagged the last 90cm!) and a gorgeous khaki trouser-weight Irish linen. Can’t wait to sew ’em up.
As it happens, there actually are more reasons to visit Rye besides the wonders of Merchant & Mills. It’s so pretty: full of cobbled streets, antique shops, cream teas and fish ‘n’ chips, with the fresh tang of the sea in the air. (You can see more about Rye in general in this post from my last visit a year ago.) All that only an hour from St Pancras! I could also catch up with Michelle, who left London for a more idyllic life living in the countryside and working at M&M itself. I heartily recommend a visit to stock up for your autumn sewing.