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South Florida Designer Fabric Sources

KathyFoos | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I am new to this forum and see there have been a few messages over the years regarding South Florida fabric stores.

My daughter and I live in Palm Beach County (north end) and have very limited local resources for designer/couture fabrics for clothing.  Lots of great shops for quilters and crafters!  We have lived her for 14 years and have seen the shops close one by one.  We’re pretty much left with Joanne’s (which is more crafts than fabrics) and the Rag Shop.  We’re willing to drive to a good shop in the Fort Lauderdale or Miami metro areas if the selection is really good. 

For those of you who have been to Haberman’s in Royal Oak, MI or Fabric Collections in Winter Park, FL, these are the types of store we are looking for in South Florida.  No need for the upholstery end of Haberman’s, however, as that is one thing we do have locally in addition to craft and quilt fabric.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.  If any of you know anything towards the west coast of Florida in the Naples/Fort Myers area, we’ll keep that in mind when we’re heading over that way.

Thanks so much. 


  1. GinnaS | | #1

    Just for your info Fabric Collection in Winter Park has just closed.  The hurricanes hit Louise hard.  She is now concentrating on her patterns and traveling.  There is a discussion on Sewing World in which she participates.  She has mixed feelings about this new direction but is looking forward to it.


  2. DaisyDoo | | #2

    I have lived in the Martin/St. Lucie Co. area for close to 40 years now.   ClothWorld was here years ago and had a great selection of the finer designer fabrics, unfortunately JoAnn's purchase the store and turned it in to one big, junked up mess.

    There use to be a designer/coutour fabric store in the Crystal Tree Plaza on US 1 in Jupiter.   I am not sure if it is still there or not and do not remember the name, but they carried bridal/evening wear plus notions.  I use to shop there when I made prom dresses.

    Off hand I don't know of any shops in this area or Vero Beach.  There is a Hancock's Fabric in the Melbourne area.  They carry a nice selection of bridal/evening wear fabric.  It's a nice roadtrip.

    Try purchasing your fabric on-line.


    1. KathyFoos | | #3

      Hi Nan,

      Thank you for your message.  I too used to shop at Designer Fabrics (formerly in the Crystal Tree plaza in North Palm Beach).  Some years ago they moved down the road to a plaza in Juno Beach, then closed. 

      Thanks for the tip on Hancock's in the Melbourne.  You're right, it is a nice road trip especially now that our weather is improving.


      1. SewNancy | | #4

        It seems that everyone outside of a major metropolitan area and even some of them no longer have stores that the fashion sewer needs.  All of the sewing machine shops seem to carry only quilting fabric and lots of threads for the embroidery machines.  I can't even figure out what all these people doing embroidery are doing with it.  They can't be putting it on nice fabric because you can't find any!  How many embroidered chotchkes can anyone want or need.  It seems like such an effort these days to find everything I need for a sewing project, starting with great fabric.  Like the manufacturers I need to start the season before or more just to get everything together!  Are there really that few fashion sewers out there?


        1. KathyFoos | | #5

          Yes, it is sad but true.  It is really getting tough for fashion sewers.  While Nan suggested I shop on-line (and I DO shop on-line for many things), part of my enjoyment in sewing is the spontaneity of it. . . just heading out to the store and selecting some nice fabric, etc. for a new idea.

          I think I hit the hammer on the head when I told my daughter that we usually, maybe without even realizing it, go out with a preconceived idea of what we want.  These days we are just not finding what we are looking for.  I have been sewing since I was a little girl and have been to many of the best fabric stores in the country.  I certainly can call up Haberman's or Britex or some of the others throughout the country, but it takes a lot more time and planning to do it that way.

          Honestly, the last time I was in Joanne Fabrics, I said I would never go there again.  You cannot even depend on them for zippers in the color you need and the lines are so long you need to bring a chair (and I am not a senior citizen).  But, should you need scrapbooking materials or dried flowers, etc., they'v got it all.  Thoughtful, polite requests for better fabric have been met with deaf ears by the staff of the big corporation. 

          I am still hoping that there are a few good shops here and there and will definitely add any recommendations to my last.  Thanks to all who have shops to recommend.

          1. DaisyDoo | | #6

            You said a mouthful Kathy.  I have also been sewing since I was little.  I taught my daughter to sew when she was young (now she only quilts) and as soon as my granddaughter gets a little older I am going to start teaching her.  Fashion sewing is a dying art.

            My husband and I traveled for several years and I would search out all the fabric stores in each city we visited.  If they carried upscale material I always purchased enought to make a dress, etc...  We have had to purchase extra suitcases just to carry the fabric back. 

            I use to go out with the preconcieved notion of what I wanted, now it just what ever catches my eye.

            JoAnne's is a pet peeve of mine.  I always try Rag Shop or WalMart for notions and even fabric before going to JoAnne's.  The local JoAnne's in Stuart is dirty, junked up and the aisle's are so crowded, some you can't even walk down.   I'm waiting for an elderly customer to fall and get hurt.  The cutting tables are so stacked up with bolts of fabric and junk the gals can't even cut fabric properly.  Sorry, just venting. 

            My daughter also makes dog jackets and has found beautiful designer fabrics on      E-Bay, silks and brocades. 

          2. SewNancy | | #7

            I couldn't agree more about Jo Ann's.  The fabrics get worse and worse.  I fortunately have an independent fabric store  where I buy zippers and threads.  Their fabric is a little better, but still not up to the quality I want. I am lucky that I can get into NYC, but that takes about 1 1/2 hrs on the train.  Good luck on finding a store down there.


          3. edgy | | #8

            And we have all been complaining about JoAnnes for YEARS -- how do they stay in business? Are we "carrying" them during the 50% off notion wall and pattern sales? I can't quite see that.

            maybe it's the crafts that do it, but in the Washington, DC area, there is usually a Michaels practically next door so why bother going to JoAnns? Fortunately for me, we've got several great fabric stores here.


          4. Elisabeth | | #9

            And the Michaels in my area has a better sewing notion aisle than JoAnns!

          5. DaisyDoo | | #10

            The Michaels in my area doesn't have a sewing notions aisle. It's all crafts. I send Hancock Fabrics letters from time to time trying to get them to consider opening a store in the area of South Florida I live in. They always respond "the population in the area would not support a store". The town I live in is one of the fastest growing cities in Florida. I would get excited if Fabric King reopened a store.

          6. SewNancy | | #11

            I can't figure it out either.  They are always busy and I don't know why! 


  3. Winnie | | #12


    My mom says there are two stores in Broward that carry fine fabrics.  Elias (she's not sure of the spelling) on University Road and Pembroke Pines Boulevard and S&S on State Road 441 just north of Sunrise Blvd.  (S&S just opened a very large second store on Flager Street in Miami).  They  might be worth a day's outing.

    Even JoAnn's and Oceans of Notions closed in my area in mid-Miami, so I no longer have the 'luxury' of matching buttons and thread in person, much less select and coordinate fabrics.  Somebody tell me whose buying all the sewing machines that cost more than my first car?  Don't any of these women buy fabric?

    Good luck,  WINNIE

    1. KathyFoos | | #13

      Winnie, thanks for the information.  You made me laugh with your mention  of sewing machines costing more than your first car.  Isn't that the truth.  I can still remember "sewing machine envy" when my neighbor got a brand new top of the line Bernina.  This was way back when my kids were toddlers and the budget was extremely tight. 

      But you're right, the machines are very expensive and the somebodies buying them hopefully are using them????


      1. Winnie | | #16

        Hi, Kathy (and ALL). 

        I just got off the phone with my mom.  She just remembered the name of a fabric store that offers 'nice' fabrics with prices that are not too expensive. It's Cynthia on the East side of University Drive, around 82nd Ave, in Coral Springs. 

        One of the e-mails mentioned Sawyer Brooks mail order fabrics.  I used to buy from them.  They do have gorgeous fabrics, all with a magnificent hand and prices to match, but they do have sales and specials.  Their collections range from supple jacquard silks with matching designer linens to cashmere coatings and everything in between.  Items of note:  their swatches are about 3" square, so you can get some idea of pattern size, drape and hand; the color and texture co-ordination within each month's mailing is excellent; their taste is sophisticated and subtle; the staff is incredibly knowedgable, friendly and helpful.  They have a assortment of linings in ranges of colors.  I like to make half-slips from their Hang-Loose, anti-static, anti-cling poly lining (over 60 colors), to match all my bra/panty sets, embroidered and edged with matching wide lace (Lace Heaven).  (Since they're woven, I make them roomy to prevent pressure and shredding at the seams).  

        Also, the American Sewing Guild takes bus loads of women on day trips to Hialeah and to Flagler Street, to the various dicounters.  A lot of these stores are good sources for evening fabrics.  Perhaps one of you ladies can recomend the best stores in these two areas.

        This is my second time on a chat line.  It's really fun.  I'll be back to visit. 



    2. SewNancy | | #15

      My first car too!  The new brother is $8,000!  What are they sewing with these machines? 


  4. opalmom | | #14

    Hi Kathy,

    I feel your pain (Boca Raton)....and MAC Fabrics in Palm Beach is mostly upholstery, although at the time I didn't know it and though, hey keen, we've a fabric place.


    Its amazing to me that I can find upholstery fabric out the wazoo down here but not much in terms of fashion fabric.  But I figured it was a Boca thing, with the people living on THE OTHER SIDE (ie. the ones with the BMW's) buying their clothes and no one really sewing.

    There is a very TINY place on Federal Highway in East Boca, The Fabric Shoppe:

    Fabric Shoppe Inc    (561) 368-8082    1941 N Federal Hwy, Boca Raton, FL

    I get most of my fabric online, as I prefer to use a lot of silk, silk/linen and linen.  Which irks me as I like to touch and feel my fabric (yes, I pet it, what can I say) to get a vibe.   At least with the silks/linens I get I know what to expect, although I've been nailed on some of the linen (too rough)...

    Good luck either way (waving from the southland!)

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