Look Sharp

I only own one pair of shears. I mean, I have a pair of pinking shears but they’re so stiff I can’t remember the last time I used them. (If you want to read about a serious scissor collection, see Gertie’s fascinating recent post.)

Earlier in the year, I managed to drop my shears on the floor and they’ve never worked properly since. Whenever I slice through fabric (or try to) they stick halfway down the blade. I’ve put up with this situation for over six months until I pulled my finger out and took the scissors to MacCulloch & Wallis in central London for their scissor sharpening service.

I love MacCulloch & Wallis – it’s a last bastion of English Eccentricity. Like bees round a honey pot, the eccentrics had come out to play the day I visited. The woman in front of me in the queue asked for 87 buttons to be counted out – and then changed her mind about buying them.

It’s really cute when you drop your scissors off. They tie a little label around the handle, with your name and phone number attached. They call a customer when their scissors are sharpened and ready. I felt like asking if I should send the butler round to pick them up.

It got better. The tills were down, so every receipt was painstakingly scribed on some type of steam punk receipt machine:

I have to say, despite the trials and tribulations the staff faced, their customer service was excellent. One young woman delved through boxes and boxes to find what I was looking for and she really saved my skin.

If you’re looking for a heady cocktail of Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs and The Importance of Being Earnest, go visit MacCulloch & Wallis. It’s one of a kind. You’ll really be stepping back in time…

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26 Responses to Look Sharp

  1. Thank you for sharing your impression onthis shop. I knew their online shop but i’ve never been in the the real shop. I want to go next time I come to London.

  2. Felicity from Down Under says:

    that certainly looks amazing

  3. Alison says:

    I was recommended MacCulloch & Wallis by my tutor, & I loved it when I went! As a beginner I’m still learning about different types of fabric, so it was great to be able to take swatches home. It was also great that the girl helping me had so much patience!

  4. Tilly says:

    Can’t believe I still haven’t been there. It’s five minutes from my office! I think I might have been putting it off because it almost seems to good, like I don’t want to risk disappointment…xx

  5. Suzy says:

    It is a awesome shop and I usually find there habby supplies I cannot find elsewhere. I recently needed giant snaps and they were the only ones that had it.

  6. ooobop! says:

    I’m feeling all sorts of psychic vibes! This isn’t the first time I’ve come close to posting a similiar post to you at the same time! I was just about to ask if anyone knows where to go to sharpen ones shears! Fabulous! Thanks Karen!! x

  7. brill! must go! Funny you mention ‘steam punk’. I had NO idea what this was until last week when my mate took me to Camden for fancy dress outfit buying. A sales assistant was telling me all about her steam punk Halloween look, I was nodding and smiling inanely thinking ‘I have no idea what that is’. My friend enlightened me

  8. Pingback: How do you sharpen your scissors? | ooobop!

  9. Vicki Kate says:

    This looks like the sort of shop I could loose half a day quite happily in!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, jealousy here, rearing its head. Sounds like a divine visit. Hope your scissors come back perfect!

  11. Fabricland in Canada use a similar receipt type thing to write out the details of the fabric at the cutting table. I find it amusing how some of the stores write on the paper while it’s still in the metal box and others pull out the receipts and write on the table.
    You remind me of a store in Kitchener, ON that I haven’t been to in 10 years or so. It’s a fairly small independent department (mostly clothing) store. I’ve only been in once to buy an umbrella on a rainy day. I paid in cash and they put the receipt and my $20 bill in a tube, waited a little bit and then the change and full receipt came back through the tube. It was rather quaint.

  12. Alice says:

    I can’t believe I haven’t been to this shop! It looks and sounds rather wonderful. Next time I am in central London I will divert there on my way to Loop. Thanks for the tip about scissor sharpening as well, very useful!

  13. Debi says:

    I am already in love with MacCulloch & Wallis and i’ve never been there…but I do drool over their website 🙂

  14. Maricruz says:

    I take note, it will be useful for me if i visit London in future.

  15. romney says:

    I love that shop. I wonder if they do pinking shears? Thats something I really can’t do at home.

  16. Erika says:

    I’ve spent hours surfing their homepage… All that lovely fabric and those impossible-to-find tools and tailor’s supplies! It’s getting to a point where I’m seriously considering a shopping trip to London =) Maybe next fall…

  17. I didn’t know they sharpened shears! I look forward to finding out how good they come back – as I might drop some of mine off to them too!

  18. Alessa says:

    *lol* on the steampunk machines. <3 on the button jars!

  19. Suzanne says:

    What a wonderful place!

  20. kuby2u says:

    I’ve always been so obsessed by my scissors and tended to collect them. For the past year, I’ve been mostly cutting out patterns with my rotary cutter and I find it faster, plus really smooth curves. I have a few Gingher but now I also love Kai scissors.

  21. Tracy Davis says:

    I’m lucky enough to work very close to the shop and pop in quite often. The last time I was in there a man came in with a parrot on each shoulder. Yes, that’s two great big, blue live parrots. I took his photo I was so amazed by them – but he was quite grumpy (the man, not one of the parrots)!

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