Above: me, my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law about to experience discount fabric shopping enjoyment
It's not REALLY a crime against fabric destashing if you do it on vacation, right?
Sometimes I forget how spoiled I am, fabric-wise, living in NYC, so close to dozens upon dozens of amazing--if sometimes chaotic and confusing--fabric and notions stores. Masheka (Cartoonist Husband) and I are home in Massachusetts this week, dividing our time between my family in Lowell and his in Dorchester. Both my mother and mother-in-law have sewing setups they are happy to let me use, and both have been happy to take me fabric shopping.
My mother's favorite Lowell fabric store, George's Textile Co., has mainly converted to home dec of late, leaving her few on-the-ground options besides Jo-Ann's. My mother-in-law is luckier--if I lived in Dorchester, Sew-Fisticated Discount Fabrics would definitely be a regular stop!
Sew-Fisticated is a good-sized store, neatly organized by fabric type with helpful signs indicating fabric type/price. And unlike most NYC stores, the bolts are labeled by fabric content.
Many of the fabrics are polyester--poly silkies, charmeuses, taffetas, organzas, satins, chiffons, laces, and the like, ranging from about $1.99-$5.99 per yard. I was sorely tempted by some of the fabulous patterns on the poly charmeuses, but didn't want to deal with any fabric even more slippery and stubborn than the silk dress I've been wrangling with this week.
In the more-tempting polyester department, they carried some fabulous poly lycra blend knits, for $1.99 or $2.99 per yard--this I could NOT resist. I got 2.5 yards of this amazing soft spiral knit (for a skirt--wouldn't want those spirals over the bust area, methinks) and 3 yards of the ombre polka dot matte jersey. I'd like to make a dress with the polka-dot, but pattern placement will be tricky--the dots start out big at both selvedges, and get tinier towards the middle.
Even more fabulousness was to be found in the selection of silks and printed apparel cottons. All their silks seemed to be $9.99/yard, and they had smooth satiny printed charmeuses, sheer printed chiffons, and solid nubby dupionis.
I even spied the same gorgeous Maggy London bold orange floral silk twill that I'm sewing my vintage maternity dress out of (though I got it for just $3.99/yard online at Fabric Mart, $9.99 is still at least 50% off the original retail value). Which confirms that many of these designer fabrics are designer, even if none of them are labeled as such and the salespeople don't know their origins:
Bold prints were also to be had in the cottons. This soft 100% cotton 60-inch wide lawn was $2.99/yard. So I bought four, envisioning a very gathered skirt or dress:
Finally, I was drawn to the African cotton wax prints, $1.99/yard. Some were quite stiff, like the below red and blue fishes (I bought a yard for a baby dress), and others were soft and drapier, like the yellow and blue leaf pattern (bought 2 yards, not sure what for):
There were also selections of fake fur, sequined fabrics, fleeces, quilted fabrics, linen fabrics, swimsuit and dancewear fabrics, not to mention an entire wall of printed and solid quilting cottons and a decent-sized section of home dec fabrics. And according to their website they also have woolen suitings and coatings and bridal fabrics, but I wasn't looking for those.
They had a basic notions and trims section--I bought some universal sewing needles and I saw ribbon, elastic, and the like. Not sure about patterns, as I didn't notice, or look for them.
The salespeople were helpful and friendly, though the woman I spoke to didn't know the designer origins of the fabrics--a small quibble.
Overall everything seemed to be of excellent quality, and the prices were great. I highly recommend Sew-Fisticated for hunting for amazing discount fabric finds!
Sew-Fisticated Discount Fabrics Dorchester Lambert's Plaza 735 Morrissey Boulevard Dorchester, MA 02122-3406 +1 617.825.2949 http://www.sewfisticated.com