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Advise re: online fabric shopping

Katterlink | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Hello Forum

I’m a wannabe sewer.  My problem is that I only have Walmart or HobbieLobby to purchase any craft supplies from and my options are very limited.  I don’t want to put my time and effort into low quality supplies. 

I’d like to be able to purchase nice qualities of fabrics, yarns, etc.  I know nothing about online buying, online merchants and their reputations, how to get what I want without regret, etc.

Please advise me.  How to I shop in this manner since I’m 3 hours from nearest big city that might have a good fabric store.




  1. User avater
    VKStitcher | | #1

    Hi KK,

    I don't do a lot of online shopping, but I do like Nancy's Notions (http://www.NancysNotions.com), which offers supplies for quilting, garment sewing, machine embroidery, and embellishing.  I've been a happy customer for several years, and have ordered notions, patterns, fabrics, and books.  The quality and the customer service is excellent.  I also get the print catalog every month or so, and you can sign up for it on their website.  I don't know experienced you are or what you like to sew, but Nancy's Notions also offers books and DVD's on lots of topics that might interest you.

    Check out discussion 6909 "Where do you shop for fabric?" for some other online sites.  Happy sewing!

    1. SewistKitty | | #2

      I buy quite a bit of fabric on-line because we have Joann's, Hancock's, Walmart's and lots of quilt shops. I have shopped on-line at Emma One Sock, Manhattan Fabrics, Candlelight Valley, equilter, Hancock of Paducah and some others which I can't think of right now. Pattern Review members evaluate quite a few fabric websites and I have read what they have said about safe websites. If the exact shade and weight of fabric is very important pay a small fee to get samples from the website that you like especially if you are buying some fabric that is fairly expensive. I read about the companies on their home pages. I also check their security systems to see if they are encrypting my credit card numbers. I never have the website save my credit card number for future purchases. Recently I learned that you should use a credit card to pay for your purchases rather than a debit card or check because you have more financial leverage if you don't get your fabric. I also see if the website specifies how long they have been in business and if they send confirmation of your orders in a prompt manner. In my 5 or 6 years buying fabric online I have never not received what I ordered. Hope this helps.

      1. Pattiann42 | | #5

        Good suggestions!  I keep a credit card next to my laptop that is just for on-line purchases only.  That way my purchases are not co-mingled with the other card we use for our monthly purchases.

        Bad news .........the annual total shows what I have been spending on my addictions!

        1. SewistKitty | | #6

          Spicegirl 1,
          If we had more fabric shows to attend here, I would be spending more. lol. The online selection is incredible. I just purchased some gorgeous cottons from http://www.Gloriouscolors.com. There is an unbelievable selection of designers' Kaffe Fassett, Amy Butler, Martha Negley, and others. The fabric is about $9.10 per yard (ouch) but fantastic hand and colors. Another enabler here.

          1. JanF | | #12

            If poss - could u be a bit more specific - when i go via link - it just brings up a vast list of sites!!
            Thanks jan

          2. SewistKitty | | #13

            If you want to reach "Glorious Color" you can type in http://www.gloriouscolor.com and you will reach the site. Are you also talking about other sites such as http://www.candlelightvalley.com, http.//http://www.emmaonesock.com? Generally speaking you can add http://www. to the name of the site using no spaces. After that you put a period in and add "com"
            which means "commercial." If this is not clear let me know.

            Edited 8/29/2007 2:46 pm ET by LasVegasKitty25

          3. JanF | | #14

            Thanks - I clicked on your previous post and now i see it is G at beginning - perhaps thats why I didnt get anywhere 1st time - now ive got it - thanks

          4. SewistKitty | | #18

            You are welcome. This is a warning that online shopping can be habit-forming.

  2. kbalinski | | #3

    Depending on your budget...  I love a bargain, and check out http://www.trendyfabrics.com weekly for updates.  They sell by the yard or by the piece.  I've ordered from them with success, and will do so again.  Another bargain site would be http://www.buythepiece.com which also has low prices and already cut pieces of fabric in varying lengths.

    Of course, I also love to drool over the selections at Manhattan and Emmaonesock, but haven't built up the nerve to order from them yet.  Another not mentioned is http://www.textilestudiofabrics.com  and their prices are middle of the road.

    On the Threads home page, scroll down the left side and click on "Fabrics", Then the article "Online Fabric Shopping" for a huge list of stores.  A fun thing to research if you're ever killing time on the computer.  Here's the link:


    Good Luck,Kristine

    **Last taunton link isn't working, so you'll have to start on the Threads home page, and follow the above instructions.  Sorry, but it's worth the time and effort!!!

    Edited 7/19/2007 10:15 pm ET by kbalinski

    1. proegge | | #7

      WHY did you have to show me those sites!?!?  I've just added several pieces to my stash-my husband will kill me!

      But really, thank you!  I especially like Trendy Fabrics-great prices!



      1. kbalinski | | #8


        Hey, what are friends for???  I'll keep your purchase a secret, as long as you do the same for me.  I really like the "Trendy" site too, although it's not updated as frequently, you can't beat their prices.  Good customer service, too.  If you have any questions about the fabric, they'll usually reply pretty quickly.



  3. Pattiann42 | | #4

    Try the site that kbalinski has suggested.

    Until you are comfortable identifying fabric by the seller's description, I recommend looking for sources that offer swatches so you can actually see and touch the fabric.

    I have the same dilemma as you have, but there are some stores an hour away that I can drive to, thankfully my husband likes road trips! 

    Our local Walmart and Hobby Lobby fabric departments are going downhill................... how do sewing machine mfg expect to sell SM if we can't shop for fabric? 

    Shopping online is not the same as in person, but that is what we may be reduced to.

    PS:  I could not get the site for Threads to work, so I contacted K and you can access this by going to Home (top of this screen).  On the left of the screen, click on Fabrics and you will be able to bring up the on-line sites.

    Edited 7/19/2007 11:18 am ET by spicegirl1

    Edited 7/19/2007 11:25 pm ET by spicegirl1

  4. tmorris1 | | #9

    KK;Just remember that just because you pay more for fabric from a fabric store, does not make it a higher quality product. I shop for fabrics at Wal-Mart quite regularly, and have never had a problem with their selection or quality, and you really cannot beat some of their prices. My major issue with ordering on line is that I am not always familiar with the weights or blends of the fabrics that I choose, so am often disappointed with the product that I receive. Also, I find that many on-line stores are just as expensive as regular fabric stores, and you still have to pay shipping on whatever you buy. Ebay is a decent source for fabrics as well, many people are selling off extra yardages for a pretty decent price, but once again for me, there is just no replacement for touching the fabrics that I want to buy.T.

    Edited 8/18/2007 7:33 pm ET by tmorris1

    1. dressed2atee | | #10

      I agree with you 100%....I just bought some very nice knits to make some summer shells.

  5. grammysgirl | | #11

    Hi, I have the same problem. We live in a rural area, so I go on ebay to buy almost everything. There are lots of choices and I have been very happy! They even have precut quilt kits.        Terri

  6. sewelegant | | #15

    I love it that you "wannabe" a sewer!  Welcome to a wonderful club.  I have been sewing all my life, it seems, because I just enjoy the process.  As with everything else, practice makes perfect.  I regret not having all the fabric stores we used to have.  I do have a stash, but nothing ever seems to fit a current project.  It pains me to spend over 10 dollars a yard, but that's what it's coming to.  If you haven't discovered Timmel Fabrics in Nova Scotia yet, please go to their site:  timmelfabrics.com.  The owner, Julie Culshaw, has a lot of pictures of loyal customers who purchase from her and she post's pictures of the clothes they make.  She has several good artcles on clothing construction and she seems to be willing to help with any questions you might have.  It's one of my favorite sewing sites to visit.


  7. mimi | | #16

    These are some of my tried and true fabric websites.  I have ordered from them and been happy with my purchases:

    http://www.candlelightvalley.com for fabrics, http://www.mjtrims.com for all kinds of unique laces and embroidered trims, http://www.waechters.com for gorgeous fabrics and notions, and http://www.sawyerbrook.com well worth the cost of a membership. 

    Welcome to sewing, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have for the past 40 years!


  8. fabricholic | | #17

    Hi KK,I have shopped through fashionfabricsclub.com and they seem reasonable for on-line shopping. I, also, like manhattanfabrics.com. They are more espensive, but I like they way one can check on fabric type, color, weave, etc. I have bought from emmaonesock.com. They have some different fabrics. Have fun with your shopping and sewing.Marcy

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