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Topic: Local Fabric Stores?  (Read 1461 times)
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« on: October 19, 2011 07:36:30 PM »

I live in the Bay Area (CA) and am just getting my feet wet with sewing. I'm not that impressed with the fabrics at Joann's, and was wondering if there were any alternatives. I'd prefer physical stores, not websites. I'm looking for either cheap fabrics that I could experiment with (can be used, thrifted, etc--just something wearable and not shabby), or more interesting/unique fabrics that aren't so much 'cute animals on fleece'. Thanks in advance!

As a more general question.. Do thrift stores sell fabrics? Would chain thrift stores like Goodwill sell any?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2011 10:44:35 AM »

Some thrift stores (including Goodwill) have fabrics, but it depends on what is donated to them.  In my experience, usually what they have is less than a yard.. so good for small projects but no good for clothing.  You should try looking up stores in your area or learning to keep an eye out when you're driving around. For example, I live in Atlanta and I know for sure that there is a boutique type fabric store in the Midtown area that is pretty pricey. But, through having "fabric store radar" I have also found an inexpensive asian-owned fabric store that i really like in the part of town that has more foreigners. 
Good luck!

« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2011 08:56:39 PM »

There's often fabric specialty/importer stores near art schools with fashion design programs. So if you know where any unis or colleges with a fashion program are in your area, you could start from there and look around the neighbourhood. For example, my college is only 4 main intersections away from Toronto's fashion district where all the fabric wholesalers, importers, and designer fabric stores are (plus everything crafty from paper, to jewelry supplies). The university with a bachelors fashion program is even closer.

There's always ends and bargain bins at these stores that you could pick up for pretty cheap at any time for beginner projects.
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012 12:40:24 AM »

Thanks so much for the suggestions! I've tried a few different places, and so far my favorite has to be Fabric Outlet in SF--just went there this past weekend, and I have to make a return trip lol. Discount Fabrics in Berkeley is pretty great too, but neither are exactly in glamorous parts of town.

I've tried a few local thrift shops, but if they do carry sewing equipment, it's usually old patterns or things of bias tape. I did find some nice scraps of fabric, but like JHall said, they were usually under a yard (found the prettiest navy blue anchor-motif silk, but there was only like 1/4 a yard of it, so sad lol).
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2012 06:33:09 PM »

Thrift stores are hit and miss. Some are fantastic! Some don't really have much. I love going to thrift stores and buying bed sheets especially for lining. Since no one will ever see the lining I'd rather get some cheap fabric from a thirft than pay fabric store prices for it.

I'm not sure about the bay area, i'm more in the suburbs of southern california. My only fabric stores are joanns basically.

Message me if you're interested in buying custom costumes.

Sometimes I blog here: http://jillrbassett.wordpress.com/
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