This weekend I cleaned my fabric closet to start making room for fall 2014 sewing. As I was cleaning I reminisced on some of my fabric treasures and where I found them! I am a true fabric fiend! I plan vacations around fabric and fabric stores and use my spare time on work trips to go fabric shopping. When I told my husband about what I was going to write about this week…he sort of laughed because he said that he did not know of anyone that was as passionate about fabric shopping as I am. I get a serious high from shopping for some good fabric…lol! If you do not love fabric…like my husband…I am sure that this will be a SERIOUS snoozer for you. But if you love fabric the way that I do…AND if you ever decide to travel these places…you should check them out!!!
STONE MOUNTAIN AND DAUGHTER (Berkeley, CA)
First of all starting here in the USA…my ALL time favorite fabric store is Stone Mountain & Daughter located in Berkeley, CA. I can recall so many times taking the BART from Walnut Creek to get to this fabric store. The assortment is not huge…but they have a very well-appointed selection in each fabric category (silks, wools, cottons..for the quilters, a great selection of quilter’s cotton). In addition, they have a great selection of discounted fabric upstairs. The reason that this is one of my favorites (and I seriously miss it)…is because it is like a small family store. It is a very non-intimidating space (great for beginners). They offer some of the best classes from beginner to advanced (not just your run of the mill beginners sewing classes). My Saturdays and some Sundays consisted of my runs to Stone Mountain & Daughter …then I would go to another Indian fabric store very close by…followed by my final stop to Discount Fabric store down the road for my essentials. The staff is super “Berkeley”…and extremely helpful. I reached out to them in recent years for very specific things and they have taken pictures and provided descriptions. They also have a great collection of vintage patterns to choose from.
2518 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
BRITEX FABRICS (San Francisco, CA)
During the week when I worked in San Francisco , my fabric journey consisted of going to Britex Fabric (which for about 3 years was 2 blocks from my office). This was my favorite lunchtime pastime. I knew this store like the back of my hand. I would first hit up the 1st floor to dream and plan for future purchases (this was where all of the most FABULOUS wools lined the shelves from top to bottom. The tip to Britex is that you cannot be intimated by the staff as they are not overally friendly…but once you visit enough they are super cool! I visited there about 3 years ago…and it was so funny that one of the workers actually remembered me. The journey continued in this store to the cotton floor. This store had some of the finest cottons you could wish for. Prices range from low to high (but VERY beautiful quality)! For birthdays and Christmas I would ask my husband to get me gift certificates to this store…so that I could buy some of those less attainable fabrics that I would dream about throughout the year. Continuing the journey up the stairs to the remnants section is where I would get emotional…because you could seriously find “remnants” of some of the best fabric at a super discounted price. And some of the remnants were more than 2 yards…more than enough to make something substantial. Finally, the trip to the top floor with the buttons…OMG. They had the BEST vintage button collection (which years later my husband threw away while taking the trash out from my sewing room…it is taking me a while to recover from that one :(…)
146 Geary St. San Francisco CA 94108
Enough about these stores as I get sad…and start to miss them…onto my hometown…
HIGH FASHION FABRICS (Houston, TX)
Since I was in middle school and possibly even before that (before I even learned how to sew)…when I would get special occasion dresses made…I wanted my fabric to come from High Fashion Fabrics! They are located in middle of downtown Houston and is really one of two fabric stores where you can find unique fabric. There is a full assortment range in each section of the store…starting with the wools, silks, lace, and a HUGE selection of special occasion fabrics. In the adjacent room, there are all of your cottons (apparel and quilting), knits, and some costume fabrics. In addition, they have a full color assortment of invisible zippers and other essentials that you need (that you can’t find at Joann’s or Hancocks). Prices are reasonable for a local fabric store and the atmosphere is definitely inspirational. And the staff…OMG…words cannot express how helpful they were on my swimsuit project! I cannot recall one trip where I have left empty-handed.
(As you can see my lovely boys are now taking a part in my sewing journey…)
In addition to the fabric store, across the street is the most fabulous home furniture and fabric store. When I moved back home in 2008…this quickly became a destination for me (I love to peruse the floors for inspiration and of course purchasing 🙂 ). I also check out the upholstery fabric for apparel sewing, too! I purchased fabric for my most recent settee project for my bedroom. Both the mustard and striped fabrics were purchased from the High Fashion Home store. Here is a picture of the settee after re-upholstery (the settee was purchased on EBAY for a little of nothing about 7 years prior)…
High Fashion Fabrics – 3101 Louisiana St, Houston, TX 77006
High Fashion Home – 3100 Travis St, Houston, TX 77006 (across the street…don’t move your car!)
B and J FABRICS (New York, NY)
I stumbled on to this gem after a supplier meeting that happened to be across the street. Initially, I was very overwhelmed by the fabric arrangement in the store. In addition, the prices are probably slightly higher than some of the stores. But this is the store where you buy you SUPER fine fabrics…so plan your budget accordingly. Beautiful fabrics (some of which are not out on the bolt…so the workers have to pull them from the back (which can be intimidating as well…since you are only looking at a swatch). But SO worth it!
525 7th Ave #2, New York, NY 10018
MOOD FABRICS (New York, NY)
Enough said... Best known for aspiring designers’ shopping from Project Runway. A definite must for the sewing enthusiast visiting NY. I actually discovered this store prior to Project Runway on business trips to NY. As seen on TV, there are rows and rows of fabric on rolls. I would go empty-handed (no bags to weigh me down) and a minimum of 2-3 hours. You need plenty of time to go through the endless supply for fabulous fabric. The best store for designer fabrics of all kind. ( I have actually seen fabric from some of my own ready-to-wear clothes on bolts).
225 W 37th St 3rd Floor New York, NY 10018
Ok, so I just discovered this online site about two or three years ago. I was never really big on buying fabric online until I found this site. I have purchased some of the most phenomenal fabric from this site recently. And the prices are MIND BLOWING! I actually check this site EVERYDAY to see what the manager’s specials are and to see what group of fabrics are listed online. I have found some Marc Jacobs and JCrew closeout fabrics here that would have easily cost 2-4x times what I have paid. I think that this is a great site for any sewer because you can find some beautiful, extremely high quality fabrics that won’t break your bank.
COMING SOON…my favorite international fabric shopping…