Where Do You Most Frequently Shop for Fabric?
ONLINE FABRIC SHOPPING IS GOOD, BUT NOT PERFECT
I love the fact that there are so many wonderful online sources for fabric these days. You can’t beat fabric shopping from an easy chair, especially when you’re browsing or hoping to be inspired by the fabric options available. I have to admit, however, that while Internet shopping is fantastic for ease and speed (no travel required), it really can’t compare to seeing and feeling the fabric options in real time. A fabric’s drape can only be guessed when looking at an online swatch. Even color can be misleading online. I need to see it; I need to feel it; I need to hold it.
BRICK AND MORTAR FABRIC SHOPS ARE DWINDLING
The reality, at least in our area, is that many brick and mortar fabric stores, particularly independent stores, have closed their doors. JoAnn fabrics does have numerous locations in Connecticut, and for many sewing needs, they are fine. We are also fortunate to be within commuting distance from New York City, so if the fabric purchase is an important one, it’s worth taking a day to explore the incredible fabric selections New York has to offer. In fact many of the New York stores we visit also have an Internet presence. We feel a tiny bit more confident when buying online from these shops because we are already familiar with their fabric quality and options resulting from visits to their shop.
Do you have a favorite brick and mortar fabric store near where you live? Please tell us about it.
I live in an area with almost nothing in the way of fabric stores. So I shop for almost all of my fashion fabrics online. My favorites are Emmaonesock.com, Moodfabrics.com, fabric.com, fashionfabricsclub.com, fabric-store.com, thaisilks.com. If I can make the trip my favorite brick and mortar store is The French Seam in Indianapolis, In.
Haberman's in Michigan is simply wonderful. It is one of my favorite sources for fabric -- there is such a variety from the finest designers, and the staff is so helpful.
I live in Berks County the home of Fabric Mart mail order. I love stopping by their brick and mortar store for their good deals in the retail section and feel the fabric. I can also walk through the online area as well feel and touch the online fabrics before I buy.
I'm jealous those living near big fabric stores. I live in Southwest Mississippi about 50 mile north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Nearest stores with fabric are located there...Hancock's, Hobby Lobby, and JoAnn's. Of course, there's Walmart, but nothing appealing there really. I'm in awe when contestants visit Mood on Project Runway.
My favorite stores were bought out by JoAnn's and then closed.
JoAnn's is available in many locations but they only carry limited stock. If what I'm looking for is somewhat extraordinary JoAnn's doesn't carry it.
Fortunately I live close enough to downtown Los Angeles to be able to go to the garment district and shop in all the little stores. I also shop at Michael Levine's in downtown L.A. They have a good selection although their pricing is somewhat higher than the little shops around them in the garment district.
I order from Keepsake Quilting occasionally. I'm one who really want to touch and actually see the true colors of what I'm buying. That isn't always accurate on my computer monitor.
There are upper end stores such as Mood in another section of Los Angeles. I don't shop there very often because I can't afford their prices.
I wish all the old individually owned stores were still around. I love finding unique fabrics such as they carried!
The on-line store I use frequently has a unique solution to the bricks and mortar problem. They have a series of monthly Pop-Up shops in the local area where they take a large selection of their stock. They offer tea and cakes so you can sit down for a chat with fellow quilters as well as browse all their lovely fabrics. The store is called Secret Garden Quilting - http://www.SecretGardenQuilting.co.uk
I shop for vintage name brand fabrics (Pendleton, Harris Tweed, etc.) on eBay, particularly looking for sales of estate stashes. Surprisingly, lots of sewers keep detailed records of their purchases so some of my purchases have come with original sales slips, matching lining, notes about preshrinking, etc. There have been occasions where I have been disappointed (moth holes, etc.)but eBay sellers have been willing to take returns or give me a credit. On several occasions where I've been uncertain about color, sellers have on request sent me a swatch. Other than that, I've learned by experience which online stores carry only high quality fabrics (MacCulloch & Wallis), which carry a mix (Mood, I get swatches), and which carry only cheap crap. For especially good service via email and telephone, I'd recommend Banksville Designer Fabrics and Sawyer Brook. I've sent THEM swatches looking for matches, or photos of patterns and asked for suggestions.
Thankfully Nashville still has a great independent fabric store Textile Fabrics. I love shopping there. It's also a big treat to go to Waechters if we're visiting Asheville, NC
I live 7 minutes from a Jo-Ann's which is great if you run out of cobalt blue thread or you need a zipper NOW. But there are not a lot of surprises. I miss the old fabric stores we used to have. Like MargieW. my daughters,a granddaughter and I occasionally make an excursion to the fashion center in downtown Los Angeles. We never miss The Loft which is the outlet for Michael Levine. A whole different experience.
I live 100 miles from Jo-Ann Fabrics and Hancocks so I always stock up when I'm there. I keep a good supply on hand (my basement). My favorite quilt shop 20 miles away just closed in December.
First fave is Stonemountain and Daughter fabric store in Berkeley, CA!! After that I'm lucky enough to have Piedmont Fabrics, Silk Road Fabrics, Discount Fabrics, Britex Fabrics, and many others right in the Bay Area. My only regret is we don't have Mood!
We only have a couple of fabric stores in town for fashion fabrics. Hancock fabrics, my favorite. JoAnn's is also in town. I have purchased online but its so hard to tell what your buying. I am one of those people that have to touch everything.
I'm really lucky to live in New Mexico, but I have to travel to hit them. If I go north, I can go to Santa Fe Fabrics at 1100 Don Diego, which has beautiful fabrics from all over the world. Then on up to Taos, which has Common Thread and Taos Adobe Quilting, which is much more than a quilting shop. They have fabric for clothing as well. Then down south is Martha's Fabrics in Ruidoso, which is an old house where the fabric just keeps going and going. Then in Albuquerque, where I live, we have Stitchology, Nob Hill Fabrics, Ann Silva's Fabrics, Hip Stitch Fabrics, SW Decoratives, and a number of other quilt stores in town. This is a good time to go shopping in New Mexico!!!
VOGUE ... I no longer live in Chicago so I use their mail order swatch service. My daughter knows I call it the fabric shrine.
I grew up shopping at Minnesota Fabrics back when it was wall to wall fabrics of every possible variety. Now, if I need to make a special occasion outfit,Joanne's and Hancocks stock more craft supplies and quilting fabric than fashion fabric. I have to drive to Vogue in Evanston, Il to try to recreate that "Kid in a candy store" feeling.
Hobby Lobby is my favorite. They have many beautiful fabrics that are put out by their own designers. I can even often find scrapbook paper and gift bags and gift wrap with the same prints. I can sew a project with quality fabric and sometimes wrap it in a coordinating print.
Joann's, Hancock and Allbrands are great for knits and evening wear fabrics.
I also grew up with Minnesota Fabrics, and Stretch & Sew was around then. Luckily, now I live near a classic fabric store called Haberman Fabrics (on line too)that holds classes and seminars and such. A little higher end. And JoAnnes is close. Also I will buy on-line, but I too like to see & handle the fabric.
I'll second WhiteRadish about Sawyer Brook (sawyerbrook.com). Their fabrics are carefully curated and the swatching service lets you see the color and quality first hand. (I have to admit it feeds the addiction a bit as well!).
If you haven't subscribed to the service, you're missing out!
And the Best Match service for linings, thread, buttons -- even companion fabrics has never missed for me.
i live in USA . i love sewing. thank for your useful question. please send me if you have some another tips about.
Its really good... thanks for sharing...
DesignerJeannie: I love shopping from Elegance Fabrics in New York. Sorry they do not have a website, so you have to place your order via email or phone. I live in Michigan. Very accommodating sending swatches prior to your purchase. Their quality of fabric is extremely beautiful. Simply let them know what you are looking for, they will send you samples, you go from there.