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Conversational Threads

What are your favorite fabric sources?

VictoriaNorth | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

What are some of your favorite fabric sources? Do you buy online or would you rather shop for fabric in person?


  1. Ckbklady | | #1

    I'm in the Seattle area and can't praise highly enough the local Pacific Fabrics chain of stores and their team of terrific sales staff. I love the stores' stock -their delectable silks and wools and their lovely batiks. They also have "gourmet" yarns for needlework, which I buy for machine couching from time to time.

    When I have money to spare, I hop in the car and go 3 hours south to Fabric Depot in Portland. It's three hours down, three hours shopping and three hours back - great when gas is/was cheap.

    I have never bought fabric online, don't want to and don't expect I ever will. I want to feel fabric before buying and be sure it's what I expect. That said, I'm allergic to the sizings in most cottons and upholstery fabrics, so perhaps it would be more hypoallergenic for me to order online. But so far, so good - I take my antihistamines, drink lots of water and touch every fabric in the store!

    :) Mary

  2. dcknitter | | #2

    I'm lucky enough to live just over the Columbia River from Fabric Depot in Portland, OR.  I much prefer to shop where I can touch, especially for fabric.  But lucky for those who are not close, you can also shop their website.  A smaller more exclusive store in downtown Portland is Josephines, and it's located just around the corner from my favorite yarn store, Knit-Purl.

  3. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #3

    Shop in Person Please! Nothing like wandering amongst all the different textures and colours. Have to feel it to know if it will work, or if it will feel good on the body! Got to manipulate it and inspect it closely for quality and flaws and finish before I decide to buy. Different monitors show different colours than what you end up with when you buy online, in my opinion. And you have to unfold a good length to see what the full effect of a print is.
    North of the Border Shopping for me!
    My fav places, in no particular order, in the Ottawa area are:
    Fabricland (different outlets for different things, so I shop several)
    C & M Textiles
    Rockland Textiles

    Cotton Prints from Ron's Fabrics in Cornwall (aka Cross Country Fabrics), and Kemptville Fabrics in Kemptville.

  4. User avater
    stripes | | #4

    I enjoy shopping in person, but that is often not possible, due to busy-working-mother-syndrome. Once I am familiar with a particular brand, I don't mind buying it on the internet. Some sites I like are; Hancocks of Paducah, Quilt in a Day, Keepsake Quilting and The Fat Quarter Shop.

  5. ShannonG4d | | #5

    I would love to shop locally for fabric.  Unfortunately, there is only one fabric store of note within a two hour drive from my house.  That one store is the only independent garment-sewing-fabric store, to my knowledge, in my entire state. There are a few quilt shops, but only a few; again, the nearest is about an hour away.  Even the chain stores are few and far between.....the nearest to my house is 30 miles away.  I know that this is also true in many other areas of the US, and across the world.

    That is why online shopping is important to so many of us who sew.  Every fabric store with an online presence is available to me at my house.  I can look at offerings from around the world, make my choices, point, click, and wait for delivery. 

    Because I have a working relationship with an online vendor, I must cautiously remain within the confines of the posting guidelines:)  But I will say this; there are several very, very good online fabric sources, whose purveyors will work with you to find the perfect materials for any sewing project you might have.  Many will provide swatches for your consideration.  Look at the advertisers in Threads Magazine; you'll find a good starting point for exploration in online shopping by visiting these fine vendors.


  6. dimples2 | | #6

    I like the local quilt shops but I do order online for some fabrics that I use in quilting, I just prefer to feel it before I buy it

  7. woodruff | | #7

    I would prefer to shop in person, and did so a lot back in the days when our city had six fabric stores. That number shrank to one and then none for several years. Now we have one again, but it really just has swatches of some extremely pricey designer things which you can order.

    The only semi-local genuine fabric store I know of is thirty-five miles away, as is the nearest Joann's, so I do a great deal of online shopping. Fortunately, I have become familiar with the wares of several of these dealers, and have found them utterly reliable.

  8. User avater
    bushbunny | | #8

    On line fabric shopping is a little more stressful when it's time to press down on that 'pay now' button, because I haven't felt the fabric against my skin, watched it drape - or not  - and with the diffence in monitors can't be positive of the shade in the colour and all the other nuances we tune into with a fabric.  However, I live in a remote wilderness area in northern Canada and am truly thankful to have the option. Otherwise, I would have to plan a year's worth of sewing projects at a time, do the shopping all at once and take what I could find. The nearest fabric store is 150 mile trip, after I'm out of the bush.  I plan on a trip out in the late spring, one in the early fall and perhaps a few forays over the summer months for mail and supplies.  At those times all the wonderful packages that arrive in the mail keep me going.   Among my few, favourite, on-line suppliers is Peak Fabrics By Mail, in Alberta, Canada.   I can call up and describe the project in mind and next trip out, there is the package with everything - fabric, notions - especially the right thread and needle combination - just waiting for me !  With some of the outdoor fabrics, which are a staple for me, the staff at Peak Fabrics will even put in notes for use, like they did on the next generation of breathable Gore-Tex in the last order.  Judith M. takes care of the millinery needs for me.  Instead of being severely restricted by geography, with the on-line stores (satellite internet helps here) and of course our wonderful THREADS  I am able to continue learning, experiementing and improving my sewing skills.

  9. User avater
    JunkQueen | | #9

    I prefer to see, feel, and smell the fabric before I buy it. As I said in another thread, it is like ambrosia to me. There are no real fabric shops in my area any more. I must drive to Houston, about 130 miles one way, city limits to city limits, to *real* fabric stores. We have very small fabric sections in Wal-Mart and Hobby Lobby here, and they seem to specialize in quilting fabric.

    That said, I think you may get different answers from garment sewers and quilters, in that it seems easier to me to choose quilting fabric, so online is a real boon and convenience to them. Garment sewers would seem to have more need to feel the drape and hand of the fabric. As others have said, it is going to require talking to and depending upon the staff of the online stores.

    There may be a bright side. Perhaps since we can't fall in love with a fabric we spot while looking for something else, this will help reduce the stash building??

    1. sewelegant | | #10

      The only fabric store near me is a JoAnn's.  I still love to go spend an hour (or two) visiting and treasure hunting; and dream about a new "wardrobe" I can create.  The fabric section keeps getting smaller and all the notions are pre-packaged in bubble wrap and some are even locked in a glass case!  Ah well, the times they are a-changing.  Profit seems to be the only criteria for someone to own a shop these days and if you can't get rich selling the chosen merchandise, why bother?  I do understand about the overhead costs though, so most small shopowners are not getting rich.  I read all about "supporting your local dealer", but how much do I have to spend to keep them in business?  I recently decided I wanted to make a white slinky pants and shell and could not find that at JoAnn's so went on-line to one of my favorite browsing sites:  Emma One Sock and because there have been favorable feed-back comments on this forum, I decided to order from her.  The fabric seemed kind of expensive at $17 per yard, but I ordered it anyway and even purchased 3 yards of a coordinating fabric that was highlighted and described as something I have been looking for:  lightweight cotton with fabulous drape!  Well, it came yesterday and I couldn't be more pleased.  The total price is not unlike what I would pay for a ready made outfit, but I have always marvelled at being able to sew and save!  What is interesting is... this fabric (both pieces) have made in the USA tags.  Is that why the price is so high?  I guess if we want to keep jobs in America we have to pay for them.

      I guess my answer to the query about where I like to shop is like everyone else, I would much rather touch and feel it in a nice fabric store than shop on line, but I have now ordered from two different fabric sites and have not been disappointed except in the color of one purchase and I should probably have taken advantage of the swatch service offered.  I always think though, that if I like it everyone else does too and by the time I view the swatch and decide to order, the yardage will all be gone.

      edit:  This is meant for all, I just happened to press the apply button on the last entry I was reading.

      Edited 4/7/2009 2:21 pm by sewelegant

  10. Tatsy | | #11

    I'm lucky enough to have three chain stores and several good independents in town. My favorite is F&M Fabrics, which is a family-run warehouse business. The owners go down to LA at least once a season and come back with closeout fabrics. Nothing in their store is over $15, and that's for high-quality upholstery fabric. Drapery fabric is $7, and fashion fabrics are sold at $2,3, and 4/yard. They also have bins of zippers and buttons, walls of embroidery thread, and display after display of drapery findings. I actually try not to go in there too much any more because I don't have room for the fabric I've got.

    The owners are wonderful. The parents speak 7 languages and cater to three distinct groups of customers: Anglos, Hispanics, and the Indian and Pakistani doctors and their wives. It's great to see all the beautiful sari fabric displayed next to the fabrics and notions for dancers, cheerleaders, and skaters. Buy on-line? I don't think so.

    1. User avater
      JunkQueen | | #12

      Lucky you!!! Your description makes me drool.........

  11. SCsewer | | #13

    Shopping for fabric in person is not always an option.  If I have the time, I take a mini-vacation to Asheville, NC and shop or attend classes at Waechter's Fabrics.  The fabric is best quality, and the service is outstanding.  If I am in a pinch, I shop Waechter's online.

    My # 1 online resource for fabric is http://www.fabricmartfabrics.com.  I joined the fabric swatch club, and I have had more fun picking out fabrics for my favorite patterns.  The fabric selection on their website is fantastic, and the prices are excellent.  I've purchased everything from wool to knits to 100% silk tweeds, and the quality is superb.  In these tough economic times, I'm able to dress well at a fraction of the retail cost.  You have to check them out to believe the bargains!

  12. Teaf5 | | #14

    I'd much rather shop in person, but fabric stores are so scarce in our area nowadays, I may have to learn to shop online. I've been trying to "shop my stash" before buying any new fabric, but the lure of those luscious new options is very strong.

    During my last visit to Joann Fabrics, I was pleased to find some nice quality embroidered cottons, but dismayed to find that prices throughout the store had risen by at least 50% in nearly every section. Now, my stash is looking better and better to me, but when I run out, I'll have to check the archives of this forum for all the recommendations for online sources.

    Keep those online reviews and sources coming--we're going to need them soon!

  13. TeamDEMP | | #15

    I live in the New York City area, and I believe that Mood Fabrics in the fashion district is amazing. Although their website doesn't give a large selection of fabrics, buttons, zippers, etc., but their store has a great selection of all fabric types. There is also a store in LA, but I've never been there. The NYC one is in the garment district, and come here:
    for their address, fax, phone etc.
    hope this helps

    1. User avater
      Victoise | | #42

      I just visited Mood Fabrics for the first time today. It was incredible. I thought the prices were high but when I went to some other stores in the area, I found they were reasonable after all. (A lot of fabrics were $14 a yard). I ended back at Paron Fabrics (the discount shop) because I'm new at sewing and want to stick to low prices til I get better. 50% off is nice and I got two really pretty fabrics for $7 per yard.

  14. Ceeayche | | #16

    Ooooh so glad you asked!  I can spend HOURS, as in 4 or 5, in a good fabric store.  I get creative energy absorbing colors and feeling the textiles.  While we have both JoAnn and Hancock Fabric's nearby I typically use them strictly for inexpensive projects like choir robes or costumes and notions.  My true joy is found in independent stores

    When they were really on G Street, I used to go over to G Street Fabrics (http://www.gstreetfabrics.com/ 5077 Westfields Blvd., Centreville, Virginia 20120
    Phone: 703-818-8090) and happily poked in the various rooms with the button room being my favorite.  Now that they've moved to the suburbs, they don't have as much staff as they used to, but I still love spending the day at the Centreville, VA location.  Light and airy, and spread over two large and spacious buildings the stock is attractively displayed and thestaff SEWS!  Kay got me through my daring decision to make a gold wedding gown!  And for a while, there was a young man in the decorator department that had exquisite taste and wonderful ideas.  He even climbed down on the floor with me one day as I was comparing swatches and we sat there a while "figuring out" a strategy for that particular project.

    Curran Square Fabrics in McLean, VA has a lovely european flavor to it. They have very special fabrics for one of a kind ensembles. The staff also sews and has exquisite taste.  They carry the best of notions in thread, etc.  They also have lovely trims. 6823 Redmond Dr. McLean 22101. P 703-556-9292.

    Discount Fabrics in Thurmont MD is worth the drive.  http://www.discountfabricsusacorp.com/ It's located north of Frederick, MD near Camp David and not too far from the Gettysburg area.  They have primarily decorator fabrics.  It's in an inelegant warehouse, by the side of the railroad tracks.  It's a treasure trove!  I've even found lovely silk and made a dressy suit.  You won't find much in the form of notions (i.e. threads).  But you will find unique beaded tassels and trims.  It's one of those places that if you see it you need to grab it cause stuff turns over quickly there.  And the bargain table is a chore to to wade through, but it is wonderful for great finds.  I've made pillows for under $7 pieces that had probably cost hundreds per yard.

    Walmart let me down.  It was my favorite for late night emergencies and small projects.  Once at a wedding in Cancun I went to the Walmart there and was able to find fabric to fix a last minute disaster for one of the bridesmaids.  That is a fond memory because my Spanish is limited to a meal at the local Tex Mex restaurant.  It was comical trying to make this work.  Alas, they eliminated their fabric departments in the stores in my area.

    Finally, I love a fabric district!  I've spend days climbing through NY, San Francisco, LA, Hong Kong and Singapore fabric districts.  (I once brought 50 POUNDS of fabric back from Singapore's Arab district).



    1. ecovalley | | #17

      It breaks my heart to read this topic, for it seems the disappearing fabric store is a recurring phenomena not just in my area, but everywhere. I grew up following my mother through fabric stores. At the finer stores, I would marvel at the delicate cotton Liberty prints and the languid drape of silks. At an early age, I could tell the difference between a cotton velvet and a rayon velvet by the "hand." But the factory mill-end outlet was just as fascinating to wander, where bolts of 50 cent/yrd fabrics were piled high in a sea of sturdy tables. My mother may have been tempted by the fabrics at the pricier stores, but the mill-end warehouse was where she bought most of her fabric. She grew up during in the Depression. She was thrifty.My mom and I bonded, you might say, over fabric. I drew fashion designs on the backs of envelopes and any blank sheet of paper in the house, based on her collection of patterns. She made her own clothes and pillows and curtains and matching outfits for my sister and I every holiday. The night before a holiday she would be up all night in the basement at her old black Singer, surrounded by scraps of fabric and trim, pattern pieces scattered all over the ping-pong table, frantically finishing the little dresses that all the relatives would praise the next day.She taught me to sew when I was about 10, enrolled me in summer sewing classes at a fancy fabric store when I was 13. It was there that I learned that most of what my mom had taught me was....um....maybe not quite best sewing practices. Perfect sewing proved so stressful, I abandoned my fashion design dreams, and decided to become an illustrator instead.But I have never stopped sewing. Of all the creative materials I've worked with over the years, fabric is still my first and truest love. I love the tactile organic quality, the soft, the crisp, the drape, the texture, the surface finish. The way dupioni crunches in the hand, the milky scent of raw silk, the contrasting flecks of color in a herringbone tweed.....it is such a richly evocative world. I've saved tiny scraps for no better reason than they reminded me of a leaf, or a flower petal or butterfly wing. Sewing may drive me crazy, but I come back again and again, for love of fabric. It makes me smile when I see mothers and daughters poring over pattern books at the local fabric chain store. But it is sad....the most expensive fabrics there are no better quality than the cheap mill-end outlets I remember. Somehow I can't bring myself to buy fabric online.....unseen, untouched.....who can tell? Swatches and samples don't indicate a thing about drape. It saddens me. My mom is gone now and it seems that whole world of the sensory delight, inspiration and creativity of fabric went with her. I still sew, and design my own stuff, but it is not the same without the variety of fabrics and fabric stores. I'm sorry to be such a downer. But it just breaks my heart.

      1. junctioncats | | #26

        I'm totally with you on this one. I grew up in Pennsylvania and began wandering the aisles of fabric stores as soon as I was able to follow along behind my mother. She taught me how to sew on an ancient Singer and I've carried that with me for years.Up here in Vermont, we have two fabric store choices - Joann Fabric and a high-end shop called Threadneedle. That's it, basically. So I now shop online at places like Voguefabricstore.com and others. I've been lucky so far, and even fabric that wasn't quite what I thought it was has been turned into projects. I also had the wonderful opportunity to shop at Vogue Fabric in person at the SewExpo in Massachusetts last week. It is sad for me to realize that in order to find fabrics I love, I would have to travel to another state OR shop online. The days of being able to handle the fabric, to see the drape, and to revel in the colors is over, at least up here. Very sad indeed.

        1. ecovalley | | #27

          Thank you for the moral support, junctioncats!My situation seems to be a lot like yours. There's a (what I would call) high-end store nearby and a (what I would call) low-end chain store. My preferences seem to differ from the high-end store (I like drape more than crisp and tailored) and the low-end store has a lot of polyester, which I try to avoid.The only fabrics I've bought online so far have been Dharma silks.....and actually they are quite nice! When I am ambitious enough to dye them. I've bought fabric at yard and estate sale, and I've bought used clothes and stripped them for parts. Sometimes even comforters and throws can be worked with!

          1. junctioncats | | #28

            My mother used to tear my father's old suits apart and make herself a dress, or skirt, or whatever. I haven't done too much of that, but I saw something at SewExpo that you would have loved. A woman made a wonderful jacket in a pink tweed. The fabric came from a old suit that she normally would have taken to Goodwill. She then lined it with the fabric from an old sari that she picked up. In addition, the top of the collar was also done in this sari print. It was gorgeous, and inspired me to start doing the same!I get very frustrated that I have to drive 3 hours to find any other fabric stores. That's why I've taken a chance with a couple of onine fabric places. Both will send swatches, and both are very good on describing the fabric. I DO manage, every so often, to find something at the high end store, but only during a clearance sale. I just can't bring myself to spend $35.00 a yard on fabric unless the finished product is going to be a "special occasion" outfit. Susan

          2. sewingkmulkey | | #29

            During the early 30's depression my grandma would make women suits out of discarded men's suits. She'd use the men's wide pant legs to make a 4-gored skirt and completely re-style the jacket to fit a woman's figure.  I can't imagine all the time-consuming ripping she did and all for a very nominal fee.  As she said every penny counted back then!  I wonder if we'll come to this...


          3. junctioncats | | #30

            Honestly, I doubt that we will. This country went through a very, very bad time in the 70's (I was unemployed back then and looking for work - very scary to be unemployed for nearly 10 months), and we pulled through. Frankly, remembering then and seeing now, I don't think we're in half as bad shape as we were then. We'll pull through, that's the way we are!

          4. ecovalley | | #47

            Well, it is Earth Day and let's hear it for your mom who could recycle the fabric of an old suit into something new! My mom was resourceful, too. I think she enjoyed the creative challenge. She must have influenced me, because I like the challenge too! I can't bear waste. I save fabric scraps. Some can be remarkably beautiful....delicate and frayed.....sort of taking on the gentleness of a leaf or feather. I like to dye scraps and handstitch them together to make nature-themed garments. They are more "art-to-wear" though than something to wear every day.....unless maybe you happen to live someplace way more cool than where I live.Bleached out and overdyed fabrics can take on surprising complexities of tonal values and colors. I've been wanting to try shibori-like dyeing techniques with recycled fabrics....

          5. junctioncats | | #50

            When I was a child, I'd watch my mother do those things, and I'd think "what a waste of time". :-) When I became an adult and walked into a NYC dress shop only to discover that the suit I loved was well over my budget, I slowly began to understand. I, too, save scraps of fabric. I usually head to the scrap box when I want to make contrasting pockets, or perhaps a different type of collar. For me, it is a way NOT to waste things. I'm the first person who will buy 6 yards of a fabric I like when I only need 3, but I also tear old dresses of mine apart and use the fabric for skirts (or in a recent case, fabric for a blouse, although it wasn't a great choice).I'm so thankful my mother showed me how to do these things. I am learning *new* ways of doing them now, thanks to advancements in both sewing machines and methods.

          6. ecovalley | | #52

            I too will buy more fabric than I need.....if I really like it! But that gets me in trouble. I have too much fabric and too little storage space. If I sewed it all up, I'd still have a problem, because I have too many clothes and too little closet space. <sigh> There are certainly bigger problems in this world....

          7. itismesu | | #54

            I also recycle clothing but have learned to be careful:
            This fall I was in a consignment shop and found on a sale rack, for $1, a gorgeous red wool plaid blazer - not my size but couldn't pass it up. I decided to make a little jumper for my 1 1/2 yr. old granddaughter for Christmas. A LOT OF WORK - to make the pattern pieces fit and match the plaids but it was a fun challenge. I even used one of the inset, bound pockets right in the middle of the jumper calling it a pacie pocket or snack sack. (Must say at the same time I found a red flannel shirt jacket, also for $1, that was made into a little blouse.)
            It was a big hit and everyone dually impressed (I also gave the remnants of the jacket so they could see from whence it came) - such a big hit that recently my d-i-l called to say she had just returned from a rummage sale and bought a velvet jacket so that I could make another jumper. Hummm - it was a challenge and fun once but. . .

          8. KharminJ | | #55

            I gotta agree whole-heartedly on the "be careful"!! It's way too easy to discover that your stash has morphed from lovely, neat stacks of folded fabric into piles and bags of "clothes that will be great fabric (someday)" - Gahhh!For me, it adds at least two extra hurdles to the run-up to actually sewing: determining if there's really 'enough' fabric, and then cutting up a made piece. More roadblocks, I don't need! But sometimes, resale IS irresistible! Bright Blessings ~ Kharmin

          9. junctioncats | | #56

            You know, I'm reading a book by Sandra Betzina right now and her instructions on how to pick fabrics is SO correct, cause we ALL have that morphing stash sometimes.

        2. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #35

          Hi Junctioncats! I have family in Vermont, a not too far trip from where you are. Where is Threadneedle? I would be interested in taking a looksee when I am down there next. Never know what I may find.... he he he Cathy

          1. junctioncats | | #36

            Hi!Threadneedle is in the Essex Shops plaza. If you are familiar with the area around Essex Junction and Essex, it is on Carmichael Street, which is right off of Route 15. I tell people to turn at the McDonalds, then turn left at the stop sign. Threadneedle is in the small plaza of shops. And if you want to have lunch, the Irish pub up the sidewalk from them has great sandwiches!You'd love Threadneedle. Don't get me wrong, I love the place. But when I was searching for tweed fabric for a vest and skirt this past winter, the one I liked was $32.50 a yard. Way too expensive for my taste. But she has one of a kind things in there that would just have you drooling!

          2. junctioncats | | #37

            Oh, and I forgot to say! Please let me know when you are headed up this way. A cup of coffee is in order! Green Mountain Coffee, of course. :-)

          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #38

            Most Absolutely! I usually fill up my gas tank and coffee cup at the same time, tee hee! Cathy

      2. User avater
        Victoise | | #44

        That was wonderful to read. I've been having a bit of blue day and your writing, your descriptions of your mom in the basement, the way fabric feels, it's so elegant and just lovely. And inspiring to a new sewer! I'm a daily knitter and I have yarn everywhere around the house but now I want to move over into fabrics and today spent time in the garment district (NYC) touching and feeling and wishing I could afford some of the outrageous stuff I saw. Thanks anyhow...

        1. ecovalley | | #48

          Thank you, Victoise. I probably get more sentimental about my mom when I'm sewing than any other time, I think. I guess it is because it was such an intimate connection. I remember when I was first learning to sew and so frustrated when I'd have to take out a seam. And my mom would just sigh and say she never made anything without having to rip out at least one seam. I think of that to this day when, inevitably, I'm ripping out a seam.I inherited her collection of fabrics, as well as some of the things she made me....like the dance recital costumes of my childhood. I hope the women who still sew for their little girls know how much they will treasure these things someday.Well now I'm getting all sentimental again.

          Anyway....I hope you enjoy sewing, Victoise! I knit too....knit in the winter, sew in the summer. To me the advantages of knitting are.....it's so relaxing. And so many beautiful textures and colors in yarns, as well as lots of yarn stores to check them out first-hand! But the nice thing about sewing....you can finish something so much quicker when you aren't actually MAKING the fabric. And you can alter and resize it without having to rip out a week's work.

          1. User avater
            Victoise | | #49

            Ecovalley... I skip days with my computer sometimes so I didn't read your reply right away! That's so wonderful your mother taught you to sew. My mom was trying to be 'modern' or something, and didn't get into any crafts unfortunately. I'm knitting with cotton now but I certainly can see how much quicker a dress will be than to knit one! (I knit a skirt out of alpaca last year, talk about hours of work).I think I'll take a couple of sewing classes because I'm intimidated by zippers even though I put in a couple back in high school.
            I'll remember your words (and your mother's) about ripping seams, so I won't get mad!

    2. User avater
      Victoise | | #43

      Holy Moses, 50 pounds of fabric!??? I want to go shopping with you!
      I'll bet you got some beauties.

      1. Ceeayche | | #46

        Obscene isn't it? Had to buy new suitcase AND pay extra to bring it back. But I had a lovely time shopping.  Seven years later and I still haven't sewed it all up (that particular trip was in 2002).  I do love looking at it and dreaming about what I'll make!

  15. User avater
    aznlily95 | | #18

    I love to go to the stores itself. For one, I can be able to actually touch the fabric, so I know if it has the right texture. Two, you can't bargain with your computer screen. Anyways, you might find a rare find in the real store.

  16. sewslow67 | | #19

    My two favorite fabric sources in over 60-years of sewing are: Fabric Depot in Portland, OR.  I have been known to spend entire days in that store.  It is a gourmonds delight, with delicious colors everywhere; a regular sea of erotica for the eyes and touch.  It has everything for every taste and pocket book.  One leaves exhausted and happy, always wanting more.  "Yummy" sums it up.  It's like a great, big "chocolate fix".  Hmmmmmm ...

    An equal favorite, but on a totally different level, is Josephine's Dry Goods - another Portland, OR haunt of mine.  It is a nice size shop, but not so large that you get lost in it in the traditional sense but lost in total wonder in how Judy can find so many exquisite fabrics to offer for every conceivable taste.  There are definitely no losers in this shop!  The staff is extremely knowledgeable and always willing to give all the help you would ever need or want.  These are "investment" dressing types of fabrics; and clothing that you will enjoy and wear for years.  Lovely ...just plain lovely!

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #20

      *Sigh* I think you have just described heaven in my wildest dreams....tee hee hee Cathy

      1. sewslow67 | | #21

        Ohhhhhh yeah ........... Let's meet in Portland one of these years ...and shop 'till we drop!

        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #22

          Yummy! I am putting that on my wish list now! tee hee Cathy

          1. sewslow67 | | #23

            I'll be down in that area the first week in May.  Any chance that you could jump on that bike of yours and take a nice spring ride?  Oh, gee ...that would be fun if we could hit a bunch of the shops.  There are some new ones that I've read about but haven't "grazed" yet.  If not though, I'll be back there sometime this summer. 

            DH and I are going to be in Montana the end of July and have talked about trekking down to Eastern Oregon to see some H.S. friends, but haven't decided if we'll return home through PDX.

          2. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #34

            I am totally bummed right now. Just got a 50th Wedding Anniversary Invite from my Mom's best friends in Chilliwack for July. With all my Heart I wish we could just jump on our bikes and go. Or even in the car. No such luck this year... :( too much going on here, and our meager funds are tied up with our own 25th in August. It never rains but it pours..... Cathy

          3. sewslow67 | | #45

            Maybe another time would work better for both of us anyway.  I'll be in the shops all right, but probably not buying much of anything this time.  Unfortunately, the vacuum cleaner died (a good death, and well-deserved, but ...) so my "material funds' are going to something that fabric shops don't carry.  ;-(

          4. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #24

            No fair, you two! Hmmmmm, wonder how long it'd take me to drive 1800 miles....

          5. sewslow67 | | #25

            If you don't come, I'll have to shop alone.  DH is a mega shopper, and can beat me every time ...except ...for fabric!  He draws the line there.  Actually, it would be fun to plan a fall trip as it's so beautiful that time of year, and not humid like the summer months.  I also suspect that summer is really busy on your farm (not that it's not busy all the time), but maybe fall is easier?  How does that work, anyway?

            My family back in Iowa are all farmers, but it's corn and not animals - no cows that have to be milked.  Most have a few pigs, which we kids found so much fun when the babies were born.  Also, there were a few cows that had babies.  We rode the calves (not supposed to, but we did anyway) and when they got tired of us, they would head for the low part of the barn and we got knocked off (and sometime knocked out) when we hit the low rafters.  My cousins were all boys, and really "full of it".  chuckle chuckle

  17. itismesu | | #31

    I'm going to be in Chicago this summer and since nice dress fabric shops are always at the top of my "look for" list, does anyone have any to recommend in the windy city? Thanks.

    1. miatamomma | | #33

      Vogue Fabrics in Evanston (north side of Chicago) is wonderful.  I live 3 hrs from there so usually buy online and through their monthly samples but have shopped at the store.  Never have had a problem with anything from them for many, many years.  You may need more than one day to really do the store justice.


  18. byf | | #32

    Vicky, I am fortunate in being a 20-minute drive from Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, IL. I don't go down there very often because I can waste hours wandering the store touching fabrics and trying to decide what combinations are best. I vote hands down for shopping locally where you can actually see and touch the cloth. That said, I have mail-ordered fabric from businesses that carry specialty outdoor fabrics and been pleased with the purchase.

  19. Ocrafty1 | | #39

    I haven't yet gotten up the courage to shop online. I like to feel the fabric before I purchase it.  In my area we have JoAnne,(I have 2 within 25 miles) Hobby Lobby, and Walmart. 

    I read an article by 'Ruth in Omaha' last night, and when I headed for the nearest JoAnne, I stopped at Goodwill. OMG!  They were having a sale....and I was looking for buttons for some projects I'm getting ready to work on.  I spent $30...got 6 sets of buttons (on jackets), several 1 of a kind, and a cashmere jacket that fits perfectly!  I also found a 'dress' that I plan to cut up for the fabric. I've been looking for this specific fabric for several months....and I know there is over 3 yds in the dress that I paid $3 for. This will certainly be on my list for looking for buttons and strange fabrics.  They had some nice Pennington woolen suits, but I didn't have a plan for wool and didn't want to have it just sitting in my stash.  I probably could have remade a skirt, but not quite ready to try wool yet....give me my satin and velvet  ;)  I'm going back when they have their half off sale, once a month.  Sometimes they have a sale where you fill a bag (as full as you can stuff things in) for $20.  I can stuff a LOT in one of those bags....Besides,  I'm recycling!!!


    1. KharminJ | | #40

      Oh Yay! and Good Hunting! WooHoo! *I* think you're brave to go in for velvets, and can't imagine *not* sewing with wool! To each their own, eh? :~) Kharmin

    2. Ralphetta | | #41

      Unfortunately, I think the thrift stores in my area have become more knowledgeable about fabrics, etc., and I'm not finding the great bargains I used to. For example, I remember finding a gathered skirt of beautiful striped, silk taffeta for under $3. Where could I find 4yds of gorgeous fabric for that price? There are good deals, but far fewer buried treasures here. I keep looking.

  20. GoodFibrations | | #51

    Hands down, shopping in person at Britex Fabrics in San Francisco is my fav and I get there every couple of years now that I have moved north to near the sewing mecca of Portland, Oregon where I prefer Josephine's Dry Goods, with Mill Ends in second place, Fabric Depot in third place. For online shopping-quilt fabrics only...I love e-quilter.

  21. kbalinski | | #53

    I do it all... Joann's, the "gourmet" fabric store (Haberman's) 45 minutes away, and online!  When your an addict like I am, anything will do!

    But, my favorite right now is the co-op that I found, via a board poster here!  The Fabrics and Notions Yahoo Group is a very unique fabric shopping experience, and took a little getting used too.  The ladies that run it photograph new fabrics and post them online, provide a deadline to purchase by, place the orders (sometimes there are minimums to meet as a group), cut the fabrics, and ship them each month (or so).  Sometimes there are also notions buys (needles, trims, etc.).

    If you're a "buy now, want it tomorrow" fabric shopper, this is not for you.  If you are a bargain basement fabric shopper, this is not for you (except for the rare "dungeon sales").  If you like quality fabric that doesn't need to arrive right away, then check it out.  It's a lot of fun being part of a community of sewists, and it also serves as a place to ask questions (like here).  Here is the link, if you'd like to learn more or become a member: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FabricsAndNotions/

  22. MomaDeb | | #57

    I live about 15 minutes from Mary Jos Fabric Store in Gastonia, NC.  But not only do we have 1 great fabric store, we have another.  Check out Sew Much Fun in Gastonia.  What you can't find at Mary Jos you can find at Sew Much Fun.  Sewing is not just my hobby or pasion.  It is my addiction.

    1. itismesu | | #58

      I'm a snow bird from FL to northern NY and ALWAYS go by way of Mary Jo's. It's wonderful and they do mail orders as I didn't buy enough home dec fabric last time so sent them a swatch and they mailed me what I needed. They're wonderful. What is the address of Sew Much Fun and I'll hit that too - in a couple of weeks. Love my GPS for finding all these fabric stores on my trips.

      1. MomaDeb | | #59

        I will have to look up the address, but they are located next to Books A Million on Wilkinson Boulevard.  They carry the latest fabrics selections with Moda and others. But they also have wonderful selection of embroidery and quilting threads and miscellaneous supplies you can't find any where else.  The staff is so helpful.  I have been shopping there for 5 years and they all know me by name.  Maybe I will see you there.  

  23. jslota | | #60

    I just started sewing again after a 35 year break, hahaha (I have so much to learn) and my favorite store is Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, IL. The flagship store is only 17 minutes from my house and I could get lost in that place for weeks. It's so huge...nearly a block long. I love their customer service and they do their best to find what you want or order it. I usually order by the bolt and have become a fabriholic. They have a fairly good online store:


    But nothing beats wandering around that place for hours. I want to plan a trip to Fabric Depot because that's my second favorite place to order from online.

    Very pleased I found this place and discovered some more great places in the comments. Uh oh, could be dangerous! }:>

    1. junctioncats | | #61

      Oh my, I visted Vogue Fabrics when they were at the Sewing Expo in Boston last month! Judging from the amount of fabric they brought to the show, I'll bet their store in overwhelming! I got some very good deals, but more importantly, found dress fabric that I'd been searching for online (wanted something that felt and had the hang of old fashioned Rayon).

      1. jslota | | #62

        Yes, their flagship store is amazing. I was just there, again yesterday! It's addicting. I spent over a hour yesterday picking up some bolts of fabric I had ordered and wandering around seeing what I would like next. I had just been there on Sunday! LOL The place is just too darn close to my house. I love it though. Everyone's very helpful. I'll be gone all summer to MI so, of course, I had to get more fabric before I left. The closest fabric store of any size near my MI home is a hour and a half away!

        1. kbalinski | | #63

          I'm in MI, too (but all year long!).  Habermans Fabrics in Royal Oak is the best in the state for garment fabrics.  I'm 45 min. from there, but it's really worth the trip!


          1. jslota | | #64

            Nice. I'm in the Western U.P. Where I'm at there's nothing but trees (and my lake out front)! LOL I'd have to drive to Rhinelander, WI to find JoAnnes...1 1/2 hrs one way. There's a quilting place in Eagle River, WI...45 minutes away... but eh to that. I haven't looked in Iron River, MI. I'm thinking I'd probably have to drive to Iron Mtn. and that's 2 hours one way. Everything is far from me---except a casino. }:> I go up there loaded with fabric and should I forget anything I can grab it off the net or send Hubby on a mission---yeah he looooves that! lol

      2. itismesu | | #65

        I can't wait for the end of Aug. and our family vaca to the windy city. I've already started my list of things to look for at Vogue. If history is any indication of my adventures in new fabric stores I'll not find much on my list because I'll forget to look at it but come away with my arms full. Will have to be careful (or take a non-sewing buddy with me) as I'll have to use public transportation and a fair amount of walking to get there as we'll be staying in downtown Chicago without a car. But just try and keep me away.

        1. junctioncats | | #66

          I completely understand! :-) I had a girlfriend with me when we visited the Vogue fabric booth (huge!) and thank heavens I did. Between the two of us, we barely managed to carry everything to the register.

          1. itismesu | | #67

            Does anyone happen to know a phone # or e-mail address for Vogue Fabrics. I can't find neither on their web-site. I'm wondering if they have Pantone decks there to use or do I need to lug mine there. Thanks

          2. miatamomma | | #68

            Web site for Vogue Fabrics is http://www.voguefabricsstore.com   Phone is 1-800-433-4313--weekdays, 9-5 central time.

            If you have never bought from them, you will love them.


          3. itismesu | | #69

            No, I've never bought from them but have heard about them for like 30 years. NYC's garment district has always been my treat once every other year or so but the # of stores there is dwindling each time so I'm really looking forward to seeing/shopping at Vogue and crossing one more thing off my bucket list.

          4. Maureen001 | | #70

            Just new jumping in reading about all the fabric stores we wish we could visit.If any of you are ever in Western Mass, check out Osgood Textiles in West Springfield. My absolute favorite. (they have a web site http://www.osgoodtextile.com) I spend hours in there. they have everything. Good hunting for more.....

          5. itismesu | | #71

            Thanks for the recommendation. I always keep a record of fabric stores with my maps so that when I travel I can reference my cards. This wouldn't be too far off one of my "through-ways" north and south so you never know. . . .

          6. junctioncats | | #74

            That really isn't too far for me to go. West Springfield is probably around 4 hours, and I can easily make a detour the next time I head to Boston! Thanks so much!

  24. gailete | | #72

    Twice I've gotten to go to Hamilton, Ontario Canada which has/had (hope it is still there) several blocks of fabric shops for all types of fabrics. My hubby took me there about 5 years ago and let me go to town! I still have most of the fabric and he is good enough to not care that I haven't sewn it up, because he loves the looks of it and doesn't mind that I have a stash.

    I also love yard sales for fabric. This past weekend at two different sales I paid a total of $3 for bunches of quilting fabrics and other odds and ends. One lady said she would let me have a box of fabric/stuff for $1.50--it ended up crammed into 2 garbage bags. I sorted through it. Threw out the nasty stuff, set a huge pile aside for the thrift store and still had a big pile of stuff for me. One of the pieces was a cream colored satin type with metallic pink designs woven in. It had a label from a store that has been defunct for at least 30 years, the fabric is 35" wide and was 7/8 yard. It had a large water stain that I was able to wash out. What to do with it? I don't know, but it was gorgeous!!! I also found two arm chair arm rest covers that coordinated with our furniture in those bags and they fit hubby's chair very nicely and also covered the unknown stain on the arm rests! I love rooting through someone else's cast offs as I end up with fabric colors I normally wouldn't buy but need and occasionally some spectacular piece. The lady that sold me that lot apparently was given to cutting up old garments to make other things, so I got some unique stuff for my stash, plus some unique garbage! I even ended up with two scarf length pieces of fake fur (one white, one sable looking). Haven't decided to keep those or donate them.

    Other than that all we have is a quilting shop and a Joanns (and mine doesn't carry a large assortment of fabrics the way they do in bigger cities)


    1. miatamomma | | #73

      Like you, I love to find fabric at yard sales.  Two weeks ago I found 4 yards of 60-in  pink Donegal linen.  Also 4 yards of red 60-in linen.  Got them both for $2.  They are in perfect condition.  No plans for them but a bargain I could not resist.  Maybe someday one of my daughters will make something out of them. 


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