Shopping in Lyme Regis

Thank you to everyone for all the lovely comments on my last blog post which celebrated one year of Jane Makes.  The delay in responding to them was the result of being in Lyme Regis for a few days – a really lovely place but slightly lacking in phone signal and access to the internet!

My second ever blog post was all about a visit to Lyme Regis and it was great to be back exactly one year later.

On the way there we stopped off in Dorchester to stock up on essentials – wine, cheese, fruit and skis!  Yes, W spotted some skis in a sale so for the rest of the journey they were wedged in just over my right shoulder.


He is looking very pleased with himself.  All he needs now is some snow!

We were pretty lucky with the weather over the weekend, although it was VERY windy on the Saturday morning.  My friend and I were so deep in conversation as we walked out along the Cobb that we hadn’t noticed how bad it was until we stopped to look at the view.  We didn’t stay long enough to take a photograph!

I did manage some shots of this almost deserted beach in the sunshine.  There were some VERY brave swimmers in the water at one point!

On to more important things.  Lyme has some great shops and since our last visit several new independents have moved in.  This gave me the chance to continue with my pledge to do all my festive shopping in independent stores.  Here’s where I went.

The Writing Room.  Their website is coming shortly but in the meantime they are on Facebook here.  The owner is Janis Lane who is a writer but it was her husband, Rob, who was on duty on Sunday.  The tiny but beautifully presented shop stocks a range of very tempting stationery including fabric covered notebooks, fountain pens, cards and ink stamps as well as some vintage finds.

Some of us were in here for ages trying out pens and spending our money.  W peered in through the window from time to time wondering what we were up to!  One of my purchases was this little rabbit (or possibly hare) stamp. I’m a sucker for anything rabbit-related.

Next stop was Sew La Di Da Vintage in Broad Street.  The owner is certainly a character, not least because of her amazing hair!   Caroline also runs a sewing school in the nearby Town Mill development and has her own range of vintage-style sewing patterns.  Her latest project is The Doll Collective, a collection of fabric dolls in kit form for you to sew and dress in vintage clothing!  The first up is Lou Lou and she’s already had her first photoshoot which you can see here.  There’s no mention of the kits on the website at the moment as far as I can see but the packing and presentation is really smart.  Each kit comes with the pre-printed fabric for the doll, a tiny pattern for the dress and a pack of pretty decorative bits and pieces.  She even has her own fabric ‘fox’ fur!  I didn’t get a photograph of Lou Lou without her frock but she is printed with all her underwear, including stockings!

The kits weren’t on sale when we visited but I did come away with some new sewing shears.  I’d seen these before on Portia’s blog over at Makery and really liked their vintage look.  They also cut beautifully so I’m looking forward to using them on my next make.  You can see my little scissors badge from MIY Collection in the background!

Further up the hill is Ryder & Hinks with its vintage shop front.

The company are interior designers and I think this is their first foray into retail.  They sell an eclectic selection of things from dustpans to succulent plants.  I was tempted by a leather iPhone cover with a very fancy cable but decided it was a bit extravagant.  I did buy some lovely mohair socks as a birthday present for the friend we were staying with and a book with tear out sheets of beautifully printed Japanese papers.

My final shopping trip was to The Natural Fabric Store which is just outside Lyme in an old petrol station.  The redundant petrol pumps are still out the front.   The Rousdon Village Bakery is right next door – very handy as they serve coffee for people not interested in fabric.  I know, who would believe such people could exist?!

The owner, Lucy, was away but the person looking after the store was very friendly.  We had previously spotted her designs in another Lyme store owned by her sister but unfortunately I can’t remember its name.  The fabric stock isn’t extensive but is all great quality – mainly denims, linens and wools.  I was really looking for something for another casual Laurel dress but somehow came away with a metre of the purple boiled wool you can see in the bottom right of the picture below.  It was rather extravagant but it is absolutely divine.  I wish now that I’d splashed out on something like this for my boiled wool cardigan as I think it would have turned out more like I’d hoped.

The shop stocks Merchant & Mills patterns and having looked at these more closely I’m quite tempted by the Strand coat, not least because it has a side pocket AND and an in-seam pocket in the waist seam.

Whilst the store doesn’t run classes, there is the opportunity to hire the machines on the big cutting table by the hour – by yourself or bring your friends along.   There are some really heavy duty machines there.  Lucy says on the website that she is on hand to help out if you need her – either with your sewing or getting a coffee from the bakery.  There were some seriously good looking brownies in there when we visited and the croissants are the size of a small loaf!

I think that was it on the shopping front!  The rest of the time was spent walking, chatting, eating and drinking wine/local beer!