I had a fabulous trip to San Francisco this past week! Everything work-related went well, but the highlights of the trip were sewing-related, of course. 🙂
The shopping bag you see above is from Britex Fabrics, which pretty much blew my mind. I’ve never been fabric shopping in the NYC Garment District, but I suspect the shopping experience at Britex is similar. This place is hardcore. The store is completely devoted to apparel fabrics and notions with a small home dec section, and it was my first time shopping for fabric in a “non-crafty” store. The selection was as astounding as the prices, and needless to say, I had to go back several times throughout the week to soak it all in!
The store is four stories high and organized by floor: silks and wools on the first floor, cottons and linens on the second, notions on the third (an entire floor of notions!!), and remnants on the fourth. I saw, petted, and swooned over all sorts of glorious fabrics that I had never laid eyes on before, and it was a great way to get to know all the various fabrics that I’ve been hearing about over the years but never had a chance to explore. Suffice it to say that this store has everything, and it’s all high-end.
And the notions floor – holy crap! Miles of ribbon, cording, elastic, leather, webbing, and lace in every color and style imaginable. An entire wall of buttons. Bra-making supplies, bag hardware, feathers, pom-poms, the works! It was unbelievable. At one point one of the employees heard me say that I wish I could move to San Francisco just to shop at this store all the time. It was that good.
Although I was completely overwhelmed by the selection and jaw-dropping prices (cashmere crepe for $200/yard!), I managed to walk away with two pieces of souvenir fabric. On the left is a silk organza remnant that I plan to use as a press cloth and for garment construction as needed. I’ve never seen organza sold locally in Boston (unless I’m missing it?), so this was an exciting find. On the right is a checkered home dec fabric with a pretty substantial weight (heavier than canvas, I’d say). I bought 1 yard and plan to make another Moss mini.
I *almost* bought some absolutely gorgeous Italian cotton shirting to make another Archer, but I changed my mind at the last minute. I have plenty of button-down shirts at this point, and I wasn’t totally in love with the white/gray/black color palette of the fabrics. If they had a cheerful, bright color, it definitely would have come home with me!
Photo courtesy of Carol
The best part of my trip to Britex was meeting Carol of Make.Wear.Live and her husband, Matt. Carol and Matt were both awesome, as expected! 🙂 This was my second time meeting up with sewing bloggers, and once again I can confirm that people who sew are seriously the nicest people. It was so fun to chat and shop with Carol at Britex, and even Matt seemed to be really into sewing – how cool is that?
Carol was wearing a gorgeous handmade jersey dress, and I learned that she is a super talented and dedicated sewist who has tackled many more challenging projects than I have, including bra-making. Go Carol!! She bought at least two pieces of fabric at Britex and visited a few other fabric stores in San Francisco, so I’ll be curious to see her haul and what she winds up making on her blog.
Carol, it was so great to meet you! Hopefully our paths will cross again one day. 🙂
Despite the constant rain all week and some less-than-ideal cross-country flights, my trip was a roaring success. Now I’m off from work for a solid two weeks for the holidays – hooray!
Hope you’re all enjoying the holiday break and find some time for a little sewing. As for me, I have grand plans for some much-needed indulgence in sewing, coffee drinking, and cat snuggling. Happy holidays from John, Maggie, and me!