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Fabric Shopping

GailAnn | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi Ladies (?) I’m new.

I live near Kansas City, Mo.  We have lost our very fine independent fabric store, Cy Rudnicks, due to retirment.  Autumn sewing approacheth.  What is a girl to do?  Chain fabric stores that cater to Crafts and boring synthetics don’t satisfy my needs or really even interest me!  I know this sounds ‘elitist’, but when I spend my time sewing, I want the result to be better clothes that I can afford to buy off the rack. 

I have bought some yardages on line.  Some I have loved,   Others, well, when you can’t see the colors, feel the fabric, and smell the goods to see if they have been finished with intolerable chemicals, well let’s just say MISTAKES have been made.  Sad, sorry, expensive, mistakes.

My sister, niece, daughter and I go for a “Girl’s week-end” of teas, spa visits, ladies lunches and room-service every August.  This year Denver!  I had the bright idea that maybe we could do some Autumn fabric shopping at the same time.  I went on line and was dissapointed to find few fabric shops within walking distance of our Denver Hotel.  Even “Denver Fabrics”, seems to be in another town.

My question to my new Threads e-friends is:  Where would you suggest would be a good place for a “Girl’s Week-end” that might also include fabric shopping?   Surely, you know of some wonderful city with an airport,  a nice hotel with in-house spa and room service, with-in walking distance or a short taxi ride from some fabulous independent fabric store!

We usually go in August, we could adjust to March.  Thanks, Gail Ann


  1. emme | | #1

    The best place to go is New York city.  It may be a little pricey, but if you want fabric and trims, buttons, beads, well, anything related to textiles, then New York is for you. There is so much to see and do, maybe even a broadway show. My friends and I are relatively new to quilting and took a trip to Paducah Kentucky for the quilt show and convention.  Four days of fabric, classes and everything related to the craft.  What a great time. Wherever you go, the most fun is the good friends. 

    1. Stillsewing | | #2

      I am heading to the States for my holidays in the Autumn - end Sept to be precise. While I do not want to weigh myself down with a lot of fabric I would love to visit some top end fabric shops so that I can drool over the selection that I am sure is there. Here in Ireland all our fabric shops are closing down one after another and although I have a stash of fabric, it never seems to match the ideas I have at a given time.Is it really NY for fabric? While I have been there quite a few times I have not managed to visit fabric shops there. This trip we dock in NY but train up north same day to Albany then Niagara. After that we hire a car to go see the "Fall Colours". After that as we have runaround tickets with Amtrak we may even go as far south as Washington.Any suggestions for a dressmaker who loves looking at and feeling good fabric?

    2. GailAnn | | #3

      Do you have any suggestions as to exactly where or what stores in New York?  I have friends on Long Island where I could stay to lower the cost, but that would kind of defeat the "Girl's Week-end" aspect of it all.

      Another kind e-friend from UK said fabric stores in her area were closing one after the other.  Is this a common experience?

      If so, what are you all doing about it?

      How do you satisfy the craving for fine fabric?

      Sincerely, Gail

      1. DesignandSew | | #9

        You must go to B and J Fabrics and Mood Fabrics in NYC! You will be in fabric heaven!  Both are in the garment district and will have aisle after aisle of fantastic fabrics and great salespeople.  I purchased some wonderful synthetic (yes, a wonderful synthetic) for a fabulous white bias cut evening dress for a niece and was incredibly happy with it.  I normally work in silk for evening wear but it was so nice and such a great fabric I had to have it at $15.00 a yard. Seems high for a synthetic but it was 54" wide so I needed very little for her size 2 dress!  I also purchased some delightful wool for a project in tailoring class.  I ordered chine silk lining of my niece's (same niece) bridesmaids dresses from Mood at a very reasonable price of $6.00 per yard. Below are links for the different stores and the street address for M and J Trim, (a wonder place for great buttons and trims)  In between your treks to Mood and B and J you'll come across some great little shops so don't hesitate to venture off the beaten path. (if you have any money left)  I love NY!



        M&J Trimming1008 6th Avenue (between 37th and 38th Streets)New York, NY 10018Phone:Toll-Free 1-800-9-MJTRIM (658746)212-204-9595Email Customer Service:[email protected]


  2. solosmocker | | #4

    I have a great suggestion for you: New Hampshire! In the fall it is exquisite with much much to see and do. Actually, it is beautiful any time of year. The border is 45 minutes from Boston where you could hit Chinatown and the designer stores on Newbury St for some great inspiration. In Manchester NH is Fabric Fix, a small amazing store with customers from all over the Northeast. It has biweekly trucks coming in with the owner driving and picking out the goods in the garment district in NY. You never know quite what you will find but it is always something good. One trip was a load of cashmeres priced at 10.00 a yd. Another time was high end faux furs being unloaded as I walked in. I got some gorgeous fur for 12.00 a yd. They always have lots of silks, wools, and more. This is a garment sewing store and nothing more. They have some gorgeous designer buttons and trims also are a surprise. I make it my business to go there every time I am in NH about every 2 months. Oh, don't let its outward appearance fool you. Great staff too. You also could motor up to Meredith, on Lake Winnepesaukee, and go to the Keepsake Quilting store. There is more than quilt fabric there although it is worth the trip to just see all the quilts hanging from the ceiling. Its pretty incredible. It is in an area with a great inn, Mill Falls, and the Mill Falls Marketplace with fabulous art and craft, like fine furniture, etc. not the cheap chotchky type stuff, all within walking distance. Great food too. Hope this is of help to you. Oh, Fabric Fix is having their annual tent sale I think starting Aug 20 where the fabric goes 1, 2, and 3 dollars a yard and that includes silks and wools. It gets pretty wild and is crazier than Filene's Basement on wedding dress day but it is great fun with great bargains. Whatever you decide, have a great time. It sounds guaranteed. solo

    1. GailAnn | | #5

      THANK YOU, THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!  Will be talking and making plans with sister, daughter, niece tonight!  Gail

    2. GailAnn | | #6

      In my excitement, I forgot to ask.  Best way to travel to Manchester?  Would that be -- fly to Boston, rent car and drive to Manchester?  Can you recommend a hotel? Thanks again, Gail

      1. solosmocker | | #8

        You're welcome! Yes, you can fly into Boston, but Manchester has many direct flights so you may be able to jump something to there. If you get to stay in Boston, DH and my favorite place is the Copley SQUARE Hotel. This is not "The Copley". The Copley Square is across the street from the "The Copley" (which is huge) and is an intimate, elegant, city hotel with one of the best restaurants in the city. If you are going to stay in NH there are loads of accommodations, including many B&B's. The Center of New Hampshire Hotel will give you central proximity to Boston and the Lakes Region of NH and is in Manchester. There are just so many great places to stay in NH that I don't know where to start. I think maybe a google search for B&B's in NH might be good. Glad to be of help. soloETA: just wanted to add the NH and Alaska are the only two states in the country with no sales tax!` Have fun!

        Edited 8/10/2007 7:17 pm ET by solosmocker

  3. Tatsy | | #7

    For pure beauty and ease of shopping, I would suggest Monterrey, CA.  There are beautiful fabric shops in Cannery Row and lots of things to do, including the Aquarium.  San Francisco is another great place to go for fabrics and lots of entertainment.  There is great public transportation and Nordstrom's. If you fly into SF and rent a car, you can take a lovely drive down the coast and also take in Gale Grigg Hazen's shop in Saratoga.  I've seen it from the sidewalk afterhours and was very disappointed that we couldn't stick around until Monday morning.   You might also want to consider visiting one of the big sewing shows like the one in Puyallup, WA in March. 

    Wherever you go, have fun!

  4. tmorris1 | | #10

    Gail;Have you thought of vacationing in Canada?? Vancouver is a great source for silk shops due to the large Asian population. I go there every once in a while, and love to shop the little independent importers who sell silks for a mere $3.00 a meter. Plus, you have the mountains, the ocean, scads of spas and B&B's, and a really good public transportation system.T.

  5. sewsing | | #11

    For clothing fabrics, the fashion district in New York City is wonderful.  I have been lucky enough to occasionally bum along with a friend who goes there every summer.  The fabric stores are door-to-door in the fashion district.  The prices I paid for suiting wools and silks are comparable to what I have to pay for cottons back home.  They actually have competition to sell, and amazing selections.  You want to be in the vicinity of 8th Avenue, around 37th and 38th street (between Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal). 

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art always has a fashion exhibit, as well as enough other exhibits to keep you busy for several days.  If you could allow yourself a whole week, you would want to get yourself a City Pass.  This is good for 9 days from purchase and will get you into the Empire State Building Observation Deck, a 2-hour boat tour around lower Manhattan, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (and its affiliate the Cloisters--a subway trip to the northern end of Manhattan, and easily worth spending a day all by itself), the Museum of Modern Art, American Museum of Natural History, and the Guggenheim.  Paying separately for three or four of these places covers the cost of the City Pass.

    During our 8-day stay, in addition to the above: we rode the Staten Island Ferry, walked the Brooklyn Bridge, went to the Smithsonian's American Indian Museum in the old Customs building, did movie night in Bryant Park, saw Shakespeare in the Park (Central Park)--all for free.  Did the ticket lottery for A Chorus Line and two of our group got front row tickets for $22.50 each.  Paid to also go to American Museum of Folk Art and the Frick Museum. 

    GOOD food can be found very reasonable; ask the locals, they know where.  The catch to staying in NYC is finding a reasonably-priced place to stay.  If you know someone who lives within reach by subway/train--give them very nice thank-you gifts for letting you stay.  I was able to do it--travel, lodging, food, sight-seeing, shopping($150)--for about $1000, an average of $125 per day.  How much do you usually spend on your vacation?  Good luck!

    1. Tatsy | | #12

      When we went to Europe last year we flew through Newark and had a planned two-day stopover.  The hotel was very nice and only $80 per night.  We took the hotel shuttle to the airport where we caught a connection to the train system, then the PATH across to the city.  The train ride from the airport to the station was $7, but the much longer trip on the PATH was very cheap, about $2. You may need to think ahead about how you want to transport the fabric, but the savings sure made the stay in NJ worth the while for us.

  6. cookymom | | #13


    Fabric Fix is a fantastic store and I hope it will be on your list.  Fly into Manchester, pick up a car and look up a B&B in central NH.   Southwest, US Air, Delta and other big airlines fly into the airport.  Airtran goes to Boston.

    IF you have a quilter with you, also visit Quilted Threads in Henniker.  OR Peggy Anne's Quilting and the Golden Gese in Concord.  NH also has a mill store in Keene.  And there is a Door wool mill, too.

    I travel to the Fabric Place in Woburn, MA  when I need to find home dec and fabric for dresses and pants but the Fabric Fix has wonderful fabrics if you love cloth. 

    The Inn at Mill Falls in Meredith has a spa and they are close to Keepsake Quilter too.

    There's also a huge outlet mall in tilton, nh.


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