Whenever I am of to any area for more than 1 or 2 days I usually try to check out what fabric stores are in the area! I have found some great little stores and have gotten to visit some excellent big name fabric stores this way.
There are several in San Francisco that were recommended to me. The biggest being Britex fabrics followed by Satin Moon and Fabrix. As well as Stone Mountain Daughter across the bay. Unfortunately my work schedule was packed tight! I only had 2 1/2 to 3 hours of time free during fabric shopping hours! Ugh, in 9 days that was it!! I decided to make the most of it and I choose to visit Britex.
My reasons for hitting Britex... Well it's Britex! And how could I not plus it was only a block and a half from my hotel. Took me an entire 4 minutes to walk there. Mind you those 4 minutes were full of glee and happy anticipation. Of course I was there early and had to wait for them to open. That was ok, I walked around the block and did a bit of window shopping in the surrounding high end shops.
Once in, I took the advice of some friendly Facebook RTW faster friends and took the elevator to the 4 th floor and slowly made my way down. I only made it through 3 floors! Before I was out of time and mentally on fabric overload ;) I really could have used more time just to browse and look at all the delicious fabrics. It certainly was a feast for the eyes and the feel of all those textiles under my finger tips, just lovely!
A couple highlights of the shop. (Besides the entire experience!)
- the wonderful selection of liberty fabrics. I have never had the pleasure of touching Liberty fabrics before. Ohhhhhhhhhh.... Now I get why they are so coveted and so expensive!
- I had a nice conversation with the owner of the shop. She took the shop over from her father and she was a nice lady and greeted every employee as she walked through. That was nice to see.
- I got to meet Emily, a contestant on Project Runway. She works at the shop and is a lovely person!
- The selection of such high quality fabrics was just amazing! The wools, silks, cottons, oh my!
I asked her how the experience was and she said it was very stressful. Not allowed to call home unless it was a suoervised call and very short. Personally she missed her daughter very much! On the design front she said it was difficult because you were placed in an unfamiliar situation with none of your regular comforts. For example, no music was allowed and no ear buds so basically nothing to help with stress levels! I figure that when I saw here it was just past NYC fasion week and I so wanted to ask her how she did but I refrained! I'll just have to wait and watch the show :)
Now on to the fun fabrics! I planned ahead and packed an extra small duffel bag to put all my dirty clothes in just so that I would have room for my fabric purchases. Although, it turns out that they will ship everything home for you if you prefer. Seeing that I still had 5 days left of my trip I choose not to just so that I could have my delicious fabrics at the hotel to ponder and inspire me.
These are my fabric purchases.
Pink wool, oh I just love this! I got 3 yards plenty to make a skirt or jacket and have some left over!
I also picked up a couple of knit remnants. The solid brown is a rayon/Lycra mat jersey knit and is scrumptious.
I also picked up some hair canvas. I have a hard time finding it locally. I got 2 yards of fusible and 2 yards of sew-in. I plan on making a coat sometime this winter and knew I would need it.
Form the notions floor I got feathers!!! Yes those are feathers you see :) they are for a collar of a cape I am making for Halloween. They are quite extravagant :) the rest is just a couple zips, 2 different doggie ribbons, some chain and in the plastic bag is 2 different lengths of horsehair braid in different widths.
All on all my shopping experience in Britex was super positive and my fabric budget is now severely depleted! So worth it :)
The rest of my time in San Fransico was wholly and completly taken up by work except for one evening when 3 of us scooted away and enjoyed Fishermans wharf.