I love fabric shopping.
Wait, let me rephrase that:
I love fabric petting.
Why petting? Well, without getting preachy about it ( there’s a time and place for that, Jul, and now is not the time. Save it for a preachy blog post) I’m not too big into mindless consumerism and shopping as a pastime is just not a thing I want to participate in often.
But petting fabric, that’s a different story.
Because there’s nothing more enjoyable than a great piece of fabric. Considering all its possibilities and nuances like drape or weight.
Hello there, luxe melton wool. You’re going to make the warmest of winter coats, you cozy devil, you. And let’s not forget that lovely yarn dyed linen pinstripe, just begging to be touched, then chopped up and sewn into a sundress. Oh baby.
Whoa. Got away from myself there for a second. Is everyone still with me?
If you’re like me, you’re into fabric, but also like me, you may be lacking for local fabric shops beyond the big chains to go and get your petting on. Also, I’m a big fan of spending my money at local and independently owned shops (even if they’re not local to me) because I think my hard earned dollar does much better at shops like that. It’s true: 48% of every purhcase you make at a local indie store is recirculated into the local economy, as opposed to 18% when you buy from heartless corportations. And I believe those business owners care if I’m happy with my purchase, when the big chains just want to make more money.
So when you need to get your mindful fabric shopping and general petting on, here are a few of my favorite online fabric shops.
This fabulous Canadian fabric shop is run by Caroline (of the Love to Sew Podcast!) and she stocks some of the most gorgeous garment sewing fabric I’ve come across in one place. No worries about quality here (as is the concern when online shopping) more so you need to be more concerned about how much money you’ll spend to get that petting fix. In addition to beautiful fabrics, they also stock hardware kits for jeansmaking (so you can finally tackle that fear) and they do free samples to the US and Canada, just contact them!
Run by a mother/daughter due out of the US, this online shop is one of my favorites due to how they go about stocking the store: similar to a fashion brand, they release a few “collections” per season with different themes based on industry trends. I love knowing I will find something I enjoy while shopping through themes like “Red, White and Blue” (popular at early Summer!) and “Bottoms Up” (in search of appropriate bottom weights for those True Bias Lander Pants you’ve been dreaming of?) and they also offer a swatching service and great flat rate US shipping at $8.95.
Out in the middle of Pennsylvania, in a place called Sinking Springs, lives a fabric store that stocks a magical amount of designer overstock fabric. You never know what you’ll find on their website with constant updating stocks and great deals each day of the week, but when you do find something you like it’s not going to break the bank! This is a family run business and they strive to make sure their customers feel taken care of.
I was lucky enough to visit Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver, CO this past fall and trust me, this place is a mecca for craft folks in the West. I’ve long admired what Jamie and Amber have built with Fancy Tiger Crafts, and the quality of their stock is a testament to their passion for making. I like to check through the stock to find garment-making standards like Kaufman linens or solid double gauzes… and I often find myself gazing longingly at their US bred selection of yarns. I don’t knit and yet have a few times placed some really delicious looking skeins in my cart.
A Toronto based online shop, I was recently informed of the great selection at Matchpoint Fabrics by a student of mine who was sewing using one of Michelle’s Tencel Twills. Let me tell you, this stuff sewed up like a dream! Since finding her shop I’ve definitely lost a few hours fantasizing how soft and lovely a tencel jersey tshirt would be….sigh.
Finch Fabrics is based in LA and has an amazing reputation for stocking a multitude of knits and wovens, all sourced from the LA Fashion District. They get high quality overstock fabrics and seem to have a substantial section of double-brushed poly knits, if you’re looking to up your “secret pajamas” me-made game. I have yet to order from them, but my cart always manages to find a fun printed jersey or the few colors of Cone Mills Denim they have in stock!
Thank goodness for instagram, because without it I would have never found Imagine Gnats. A Garment sewist-centric fabric shop run by the lovely Rachel out of her home, she manages to stock some of the best types of fabrics us garment geeks swoon over. Twice, I tell you, twice I put the mustard color Cone Mills denim till in my cart only to have it slip through my fingers and sell out immediately. She has a dedicated following and it’s no surprise why- she enlists help from amazing sewists to make samples in her fabrics and only commits to stocking excellent quality product that you want to use.