Oh and be forewarned this is a picture heavy post!
The tour started with the Hancock's in Kirkland. This was my request. I'd had such an amazing experience with Hancock's in Houston, I mistakenly thought that all Hancock's were that wonderful. Nope not wonderful and I'm not sure if it's the store or Hancock's financial situation. Whatever, we looked for some patterns, looked at some of the fabric sale tables and bounced. However, since I really want some bias binding in blue and yellow gingham, I did get a yard of each to make some. I also bought a yard of ribbed knit.
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Pacific Fabrics Sodo ~
Next on the tour was Pacific Fabrics Sodo. It's a warehouse with an entire floor of fabric, notions, and yarn. It has an interesting selection of fabrics - some on bolts and some on tables. A full and extensive selection of notions, books (both sewing and knitting/crocheting), indie and Big 4 patterns.
I bought some cotton knits here because they had some basics (white & gray) and they were running a 20% off sale.
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Dry Goods Design ~
We headed to downtown Seattle for the next stop on the tour - Dry Goods Design. This store has a large area for teaching right in the front of the store. You can clearly see the Bernina machines and the cutting tables, so they practically invite you to come in and ask about sewing classes.
I thought of this store as a sewing boutique because it had a little bit of everything and no depth in any product. Yes you could find thread there but not the selection of say a Joanns/Hancocks or even Pacific Fabrics. Yes, they had a great sewing phone cover but do you go to the fabric store to purchase one of those?
I named it a sewing boutique because I really hope the sewing classes are paying the rent because they use valuable real estate that could be used for more of everything. And if the classes are that important than I appreciate the service this store does to encouraging others to sew.
We stopped for lunch at Collins Pub - down the street from the sewing boutique and I can highly recommend them. The burgers were awesome, the service good and the atmosphere cool.
* * * * *Stitches ~
This was like the neighborhood fabric store...you know the place you run to when you need a zipper or a spool of thread and while there you see a cute piece of fabric so you buy it. Places that don't exist any more because of the big bad chain stores...
I liked the atmosphere here. You could tell the owner of the store cared about sewing and making sure sewists had the opportunity to go to the local fabric store...and while I didn't buy anything here...I could see myself doing so.
I loved this sign!
Gaylen checking out a piece of fabric - great buttons in the back right?
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Nancy's Sewing Basket ~
I walked through the door and felt like I was home. This is what fabric stores were when I was growing up, when I became a mother and into my 40s this is the type of fabric store I always felt comfortable in.
There was a bridal section ~
Rows of beautiful fabric...and a store window featuring fabric and a book the store was promoting ~
The Ribbon Room ~
...and awesome sales people...
This was Jeannie who reads both my and Gaylen's blog!
The sad thing is that this treasure may go away because the owner is quite elderly. If I lived in Seattle I would visit this treasure as much as possible. Believe me when I say that fabric stores like this don't exist anymore! What use to be the norm is no longer...and even if the prices are a little higher for fabric...you are sewing with the best! Okay off my soapbox! I will end with a picture of the sign...
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District Fabrics ~
Gaylen saved the best for last! This is a small store slightly larger than the sewing cave but the fabric is artfully displayed and there is a depth to the collection. I have very few pictures of the store because I bought fabric here. But I loved this shop! The fabric is well displayed and the collection well curated. There is more fabric than notions or patterns but there was a display of indie patterns (Cashmerette, Grainline Studio, Named, etc.) A small display of notions, in case you need something to finish a garment and a great section of clearance fabrics.
I didn't buy a lot because hey I was going to Expo the next day but this is what I did buy...
This is a rayon panel print knit!
If I lived in Seattle honestly this would be my spot. I would shop here and at Nancy's since they both carry different types of fabric but both appealed to me.
Seattle is not a fabric desert - there are options - I'm sure a lot more options than for some other sewists. I don't think it's fair to compare the NYC Garment District to the Seattle Fabric Stores honestly I could sew happily here. I'd need a car (LOL!) but I could sew many beautiful garments from the resources in Seattle!
So when I stop petting my fabric (it arrived today from the West Coast - thanks Gaylen!) I will write up my Sewing Expo experience. A newsbreak - I bought A LOT of fabric!
...as always more later!