Posted by: sewsirius | October 19, 2013

Visit to Craftland, Dubai

On Thursday we (me and my two teenagers) headed off to Craftland, Dubai.

We live in Al Ain the third largest city in the UAE. The other two largest cities, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, form an equilateral triangle with Al Ain approximately 150km away from each other. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are both on the coast of UAE, Al Ain is well inland at the base of Jebel Hafet a small mountain in UAE. The advantage of living in Al Ain is the reduced humidity and the more family orientated environment. Also there are no high rise tower blocks here (blocked by building regulations)

There are very few sources for my sewing habit here in Al Ain. I’m limited to a few fabric shops (I have got several lengths of gorgeous silk along with some types of stretch jersey!) I’ve found some great finds in the local tailor supplies store such as bond-a-web on a roll! (6aed or $2 a yard!) but supplies are limited and there’s no guarantee of quality. So I was extremely excited when I discovered CraftLand in Dubai soon after arriving here from the UK.

My local stores supply my basic needs such as serger thread, zippers, interfacing and some luxury fabrics, but Craftland supplies the things I need that are quality such as sewing thread for my sewing machine, embroidery thread. They also supply quality sewing machines such as Brother, Pfaff, Husqvarna and Bernina. I got my latest three Brother machines from this store and not been disappointed with any of the machines or the service from Craftland.

I tried the local threads for sewing and embroidery, and it was a disaster! The threads broke so many times I had to eventually abandon an embroidery design part way through, it was a mess, and the cheap sewing thread only created so much lint in the machine it had to be thoroughly de-fluffed before I could use it again…and that was only the fluff I could see! I will stand by anyone who says you get what you pay for!

I try to get to Craftland every 3-6 months, but sometimes it’s longer between trips. The journey is about 90 mins through the UAE desert. While the road is excellent, the heat is very, very hot. It’s over 35 degs Celsius even now in October! I’ve broken down on the road once, my tyre blew, but thankfully some kind guys stopped and helped us change the tyre. That was only recently this year so I was a little nervous about driving there again!

I had my shopping list ready, along with my GPS and we were off! Craftland is in a small Shopping Mall called the Town Centre close to Jameira Beach. I love the bright and welcoming entrance to Craftland. The decor gives customers a feeling they’re entering a home rather than a store, with dining tables covered with quilts inviting customers to sit and browse patterns or books. They have a good selection of Madeira threads, sewing along with other speciality threads in the Madeira range. They also have Gütermann threads and some of this brands speciality threads such as the UV colour change and glow in the dark thread. My favourite thread is the Reingold embroidery threads. These are on a bigger spool for those who enjoy embroidery (like me!). They are more cost effective than the Madeira threads and are a very good quality too! They give me peace of mind that I won’t run out of thread part way through a large design! I am only just running out of my first spool of white thread and I’ve been using it for over a year including making Free Standing Lace projects that require a good quality thread and lots of it!

Craftland had just announced on their Facebook page that some jersey fabric had arrived from Germany along with some pure linen. When I arrived the Jersey’s were pride of place in the doorway. One was a gorgeous sweater knit (something I’ve been looking for for ages!) and it was in a neutral beige that would blend with the rest of my fabrics I’ve got for my wardrobe. So I’ve got 3 metres to make a loose sweater that is comfortable to wear on cooler evenings or when AC is causing my neck to ache while sewing (often happens in my sewing room)

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I also bought 5 metres of plain teal jersey, which would go great with the teal silk fabric I want to make into some trousers, the jersey can make two tops, one very casual the other more feminine and draped. I can also use that fabric to make some PJ bottoms to replace some RTW ones that are falling to bits! I then added 7 metres of a lovely baby blue jersey that can make some PJ bottoms as well as a lingerie set consisting of a vest top, bra, knickers to go with the PJ bottoms. I am thinking of embroidering a white daisy chain on the bra and knickers, but will need to practice on a scrap piece first.

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I found some thread for the fabric I bought on my last visit. I have got 10 metres of a ceil blue linen type fabric. It’s wonderful! I’ve mentioned it in an earlier post…this fabric looks and feels like linen, but after making up it can be washed and then just hung to dry then it’s ready to wear…no ironing! I have four colours of this fabric and I think this fabric will be the foundation of my new wardrobe. The ceil blue is going to be made into a princess seamed dress (once I’m close to my goal weight) and it will be a longer length (probably maxi) with blue embroidery at the bottom in the same colour as the fabric. I really like tone on tone embellishments I think they add a surprise element that can be only fully appreciated on closer look of the garment.

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I also managed to find some new items they had in stock such as wondertape. They may have had this before, but I only noticed it this visit. Several of my Craftsy classes were advising to use this product especially when inserting zippers. I also bought some wool and double ended needles to attempt to make some socks…I tried to start them last night, but I think late at night is not the best time to learn a new skill! I also invested in some appliqué scissors…I’ve been buying several appliqué embroidery designs and found it difficult to remove the excess fabric in the hoop with my usual scissors.

After a very fruitful visit to Craftland we headed to Mirdif City Centre Mall for our Lakeland fix, but that’s another blog…!

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