Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fabric resources.

Something I have been frequently asked is "where do you go for fabric?" So, in list format (which is my new favorite way of blogging, btw), here is a rundown of local and internet resources.

First, the local (Omaha):
1. Hancock Fabrics - I buy virtually no fabric here! Maybe solid cotton or twill, notions or interfacing if it's on sale, but that's about it! I find the store a bit depressing as well, from the lighting to the layout to the staff grumpiness, it just puts me in a down mood.
2. Joann's Fabric - Great for corduroy in season and they are a little better (but not much) for designer selection. There are a few Alexander Henry prints that I can usually buy here - Apples and Pears, Mocca, and Koto to name a few. The 40% coupons can be great if it is something I need.
3. Mangelsens - They have Amy Butler's Midwest Modern, and a few random Free Spirit prints. They used to have a great Chocolate Lollipop selection but that is all gone now!
4. Country Sampler - They just started carrying Amy Butler's newer lines (Midwest Modern, Daisy Chain) and they have a pretty good range of other designer lines. Anna Maria Horner (quilting cotton only) and a lot of the other Free Spirit designers. No Alexander Henry though. Prices are high, about $9.95 a yard, plus tax. That's why I just about always shop online!
5. Hobby Lobby - this is where I buy Minky. Normally $12.95 a yard, HL considers it a "fleece" and it is therefore just about always 30% off. I did find this sherpa fleece there too. And they can have decent corduroy and twill!

So, now for online resources. I always try to support Etsy shops before looking at bigger sites.
1. Fabricsupplies - I usually try this shop first because they have an amazing selection, reasonable pricing, great customer service, and have always been able to accommodate custom orders for me.
2. Fabricworm - another great shop! Good selection and prices once again, and here I love her Japanese imports. So fun and bright! She has also helped me with custom orders, especially when I was working on this project.
3. Other Etsy - looking for a specific fabric? Under the "supplies" subheading in the search field, type in key words. Designer name, manufacturer, description, etc. You'll probably find 5 or more pages of shops who are currently selling that fabric!
4. Sew Mama Sew - the best part about this site is the "search by color" feature. I love it!
5. J Caroline Creative - great selection, although I often have problems with the site being slow. Still, the customer service is great and once when I had ordered something (it was on backorder and I needed it asap) she made some calls and had it overnighted to me from NYC. That is service.
6. Fabric Depot,, Hancock's of Paducah - Fabric Depot and Hancock's of Paducah are online extensions of B&M stores. Because these are larger operations I have found shipping and customer service to be a bit slower. For designer cotton, make sure to look under the "quilting cotton" section.
7. Let Google do the work for you - can't find what you want? Then Google it! I have found lots of great small online shops that have also given me excellent service, and sometimes when I'm looking for obscure or about-to-be-discountinued fabrics. I would recommend sending them a quick email if it is something you really want and need asap, just so you don't find out after the fact that the item is no longer available or on backorder!

OK, I hope that helps some of you. Happy shopping!


Nicole said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I just returned from yet another depressing trip to Hancock (I completely agree with your thoughts on that one!), and was so excited to see your suggestions. I haven't been to Mangelsen's in years, and didn't think about going there for fabric! I've always been a bit leary about trying an online source without having a recommendation first (not sure what exactly you'll get!). I can't wait to try some of them!

Jenny said...

Glad I could help! Online shopping is really the way to go, especially once you're used to different fabrics and the weight/feel of them. Personally I have a had time buying yarn online because I can't touch them first!