Fabric Shopping in the USA

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rolls of fabric in mood fabrics

I’ve recently returned from an epic 18 day trip to the USA.  

This was my first ever trip to the States and I was super excited!! 

The visit would consist of a road trip with 6 other friends, followed by a visit to my partner’s ‘American family.’

We spent the first 2 nights in New York and then travelled for 2 days with our friends, firstly stopping in Philadelphia and then on to Washington.  We left our friends in Washington and continued our journey to visit three sisters that my partner has known for over 30 years.  

Our first stop was in New Hope, PA for 1 night and then back to Philadelphia for 2 nights before travelling on to upstate New York for a few days, and then back to New York City.

In Philadelphia I found an amazing sewing shop called Handcraft Workshop.  They’ve got a small range of beautiful fabrics and haberdashery and also run sewing classes.  I got chatting to the lady who ran the shop and she’s going to start stocking my book!  I joined their mailing list and now receive regular updates on what classes they are running… it’s such a shame I’m too far away to go to any!

I bought some really cute cat fabric, a child’s dress pattern – the Geranium Dress by Made by Rae and a hand embroidery project – a sampler by Dropcloth.

I’ll update you on the progress of these projects at a later date!

Image of Cat fabric, made by rae geranium dress and the drop cloth sampler

I was also really excited by their advert for a trip to New York City’s Garment District but joining them on it wouldn’t be possible, so I decided to just take a picture of the advert and plan my own visit!

After a brilliant couple of days in New Hope and a guided tour around Philadelphia, it was time to get  back on the road again.

The next stopping point on our trip was Elmira in New York.  Here I was taken to three giant craft shops – Jo Ann’s, Hobby Lobby and Michaels.  I was in fabric heaven!

store front of Jo Annes
Me outside Jo-Ann's
rows of patchwork fabrics in Joannes
Rows of cotton quilting fabrics
fabrics and haberdashery on shelves
Haberdashery and fabrics
shelves of commercial patterns
Sewing patterns
haberdashery shelves
Look at all those threads!!

I’d heard of Jo Ann’s from other people’s blogs and sewing forums so was very excited to see what they had to offer.  I wasn’t disappointed!  I bought lots of fabrics to make Mr B some more shirts and bought a length of knitted fabric for a dress for myself.  

4 different fabrics purchased at Joannes
Mr B’s shirt fabrics
knit black and grey textured fabric purchased in Joannes
Textured knitted fabric

After spending loads of money in Jo-Ann’s, the next stop was Michael’s.

Michael’s don’t sell fabric but they do have lots of yarn and every other type of craft item you could imagine. 

Image of shop front of Michaels Store
Mr B outside Michael's

 I bought myself some yarn, sprays of beads and some fabric leaves – I’ve got a plan to knit and crochet some flowers and thought these would work well for the bouquets.

fake leaves and beading to use for wedding flowers
Fake leaves and bead sprays

Our final stopping point on the trip was a return visit to New York City to do more sightseeing and to catch up with friends who live in the city.  

We arrived back in the city at 5pm so headed for the Empire State Building for the incredible views. We then went on a mission to find Mood Fabrics.  It wasn’t as obvious to find as I thought.  We found Mood Home – a huge shop selling upholstery fabrics and was a bit confused about where the dress fabrics were.  You have to go into another building, which looks like the entrance to a block of flats, and then head to the 3rd floor.

the garment district in New York
Garment District in NYC

Wow!  I thought I’d found some brilliant fabric shops already but this blew my mind!  

There really is every type of fabric and haberdashery item you could think of.  

There’s 2 floors of fabrics in here!  I managed to lose Mr B (he wasn’t impressed!) as there is row, after row, after row of rolls of fabrics, all arranged in sections according to the fabric type.  

It was probably a good thing that we arrived with only 15 minutes to shop as I could easily have spent hours in here and spent an absolute fortune.  

As it was, I bought nothing!!

To be honest, there’s so much in this shop I really didn’t know where to start.  This place is a definite to visit if you can, but take lots of money and a spare suitcase!

fabric rolls
fabric rolls
more fabric rolls in mood fabrics
rolls of fabric in mood fabrics

You really need to have a project or few in mind, so there’s a purpose for the fabrics and haberdashery that you’re buying!

I’ll definitely be back.

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