Sewing, Uncategorized

Shopping for Sewing & Craft in Trinidad

Source: Amazon Promo 2016

Shopping around for your sewing tools, notions or what have you, can be daunting.  While there is a large number of e-stores on the Internet, some us still prefer the human connection to go out, pick up a basket at the store and review it in person.  I’m that person.  Just to be clear, I will be posting a few of the physical stores in Trinidad, South Caribbean.  I’m also trying to give as much detail for each notion or grouped terms.

Where to buy in Trinidad, South Caribbean?

 I’ve had the pleasure of visiting a few stores in the Central area of Trinidad.  I started at Couva Shopping Complex for notions and the thimble I am yet to purchase!  Don’t buy any notions at the first craft-gift store!  


They are ridiculously priced!!!  Compared to town or mall stores which pay a sky-high rocket rent, it’s too annoying.  Needles were the cost of a yard of fabric.

Recommendations for buying:

Bachu’s Company Ltd (6 Main rd, Chaguanas)

  • Embroidery needles $6.00/pk 
  • Straight needles $4.00/pk
  • Craft needles (these include darning and carpet needles) $10/pk 
  • Thimble – $2.00/each
  • French curves – $20 – $35/each
  • Yard stick (how to read it)– $40.00
  • Elastic – different sizes (prices vary)
  • Lace edging 
  • Satin and cotton binding
  • Tomato pincushions
  • Wide range of fabric including sheeting ($18-$25/yd), drapery (starting from $18/yd), Calico (brown cotton 45″ – $12.99/yd), Stretchy lace ($25/yd) and much more.

I would usually shop at Bachu’s to get bargains on really expensive fabric such as the Bridal satin and sheeting.  They have lovely sheeting for your bedrooms and ready-made panels.  You can also find bridal and other events accessories here, bias binding, ribbons and more. 

Daisy’s Exclusive

  • Embroidery needles – $3.99/pk
  • Machine needles (Singer) – $12.99/pk
  • Hook & Eye (24 pairs) -$3.99/pk
  • small pins (safety/gold) -$1.00
  • Yardstick – $29.99 
  • 8″ Zippers (assorted colours) – $1.50
  • 8″ and 9″ Conceal zipper (assorted colours) – $2.00 
  • Calico (brown cotton) – $14.99/yd 63″
  • Colour wheel pins – $2.99
  • Zippers of all sizes and design (prices vary)
  • Wide range of fabric for home, dress making, craft and more.

Daisy’s Exclusive has two departments, downstairs you’ll find a wide range of fabric for clothes and crafts, also home decor.  Upstairs they have draperies and linen fabrics.  They can be considered a one-stop shop because you are able to get the above list of items and more including bridal accessories, ready-made panels (drapery), cushion covers and even a variety of buttons and appliques.   

Gulf Craft & Sewing Accessories (aka Gulf Buttons)

Specially known for buttons of all shape, colour and size; zippers, rickrack trim, bias binding (cotton and satin) but you can get bargain on the bias binding at Accessories Bargain Centre in Port of Spain.  I haven’t been to ABC before but I will be visiting there later this week InshaAllah. 

I haven’t been able to keep track of the prices from this store mainly because their bills are not computerised.  The prices can vary from the other stores because Gulf Buttons is not a front-line store, however you can get a better price on the Needlemate thread at their store.  They also sell French curves in wood and metal, wood embroidery hoops and different types of cutting tools including pinking shears and rotary cutter.  You can learn more about the cutting and other tools used for sewing at

Fair & Square Chaguanas

This store is one of the largest variety stores in Central Trinidad.  You can be sure to get very good bargain prices on craft items, stationery, household and much more.  I would usually go to this store for craft and stationery because they have a huge stock on foam stickers which are my new favourite stationery!  Their storage containers are marked up high compared to other variety stores but sometimes you can get them on sale during special holidays of the year.  Not everyone prefers driving all over the place to shop but sometimes it’s really worth the drive.  

Solomon Yufe’s (Yufe’s)

Dress fabric @ Chaguanas branch, Market Street

Yufe’s has been around since the early 1900 hundreds.  They have 13 fully operational branches and carry a wide range of fabrics.  I have been taking advantage of their Overstock Bargain centres which offer fabrics such as Qiana, Tetrex, Polyester Cotton, Nylon Sheer, Ralph Taylor suiting and more from $5.00 to $10.00/yard for 2 yards plus.  Because I am learning to sew, these fabrics never go to waste!  They do not have a wide range of accessories but you can get the coil zippers in different colours and sizes for less than $2.00.  You can also purchase Pellon Fusible 60″ @9.99/yard and Quilt (Polyester) batting @ $35.00/yard.

As the weeks go by, I’ll either update or add more posts regarding where to shop around in Trinidad for your sewing needs.  Remember I’m not bias but only posting about the places I’ve actually been to.  I can’t speak for anything I don’t know about so if you have any information and would like to share, leave a comment and we can write about it.  

For now, stay safe and smile!  Help your neighbour without looking for anything in return!!



Ascot Valance with Sheer Fabric

I have been searching all week on the internet for a tutorial on how to sew an Ascot Valance with Sheer fabric.  I couldn’t even find a picture to match any of the keywords I used.  

It took me about 2 hours to complete the Valance because I had two prayer times in between.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed sewing the Valance and kept in mind that I need to create a post on how it should be done… well at least how I learned it.

First of all I had gone shopping for Sheer Nylon because it’s reasonable and a bit easier to work with than Chiffon.  These are the materials I bought:

  • 3 yards Sheer Nylon
  • 2 yards bias binding
  • 1 tassel

I bought a very light blue Sheer Nylon fabric but I didn’t have that colour in the thread to match so I used the Turquoise colour in from my stock.  I’m still in the growing stage of my Sewing Workshop… early stages ^_^  I am currently working on my journals but another day for that. IMG_20170421_180532

How to make the Ascot Valance:

  1. Wash fabric in cold water and set machine to gentle wash cycle.  I have a twin tub washer so it’s cold tap water and gentle wash cycle.  Use powder/liquid detergent.  It’s better to use a mild detergent, probably like the liquid or even the fabric-softener type detergent. I was reading how to clean nylon for some tips.
  2. Line dry.  Living in the tropics is a blessing ^ ^ I was able to take advantage of the sun yesterday to line dry all my fabric I had washed.
  3. Iron on low-to-medium heat with the selvage facing upright on your iron board.  It was easier for me this way because I avoided the warping in the fabric while ironing.

    WhatsApp Image 2017-04-21 at 4.30.17 PM
    Prepare to iron the Sheer Nylon fabric
  4. The fabric I bought had the selvage which made it easier to determine where to cut from my pattern.  WhatsApp Image 2017-04-21 at 4.30.15 PM
  5. Pace pattern on fabric (I had a half pattern so I doubled the fabric, which of course wasn’t the best idea) and pin down.
  1.  I lay-out my pattern and fabric on the ground because it was easier to cut.  I have a small space but it works fine for now.
  2. I stitched the header and rod pocket first.  It’s better to baste the seam of the Valance and the fold the top of the fabric for the header and rod pocket.  The top for the header and rod pocket is 8″ but you are supposed to fold twice in order to get a nice form on the top.  I used a 1/2″ seam stitch.  
  3. I added the bias from the end fold of the rod pocket but you’re really supposed to attach it from the top of the header.  
  4. The tassel it attached using fabric glue or Elmer’s glue.  Honestly, I pinned it on because I wasn’t sure how to attach it to the Valance.
  5. After stitching each part of the Valance, I pressed it out, melted in the stitches and even out the fabric. 

    This is basic and looks very elegant in just about any part of your house (not the kitchen!) but you can play with the different types of sheer, also crushed sheer is very nice to work with.  It costs more than the nylon sheer but looks very elegant in your living or dining room area.

Until another time, thank you for tuning in to Wendy Lee Sews.  I hope this post will help you, to sew your very own Ascot Valance.  If you like more information on pattern drafting the Valance, leave a comment below.