Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Those Were the Days...

Here in my town, there is a small selection of a stores to find fabric. This weekend I was in search of fabric for shirts. I wanted a contrast colour to go with a yellow cotton and Fabricland did not have what I was looking for so I ventured out to Mitchell Fabrics.  I found solid coloured cottons in lots of colours and price ranges to choose from, it was heaven.

Mitchell Fabric's resident cat.  
When I brought my purchases to the cutting table the store cat was standing on the floor one side of the counter. A young woman was standing there looking at the cat. I quickly made a detour to the other side of the cutting table with my items to be cut.

The sales youth instead of serving me went to service the young woman looking at the cat.  She left her position behind the counter picked up the cat and brought it over to the other side of the cutting table.

"I'm allergic to cats," I said as she carried the cat around the counter.

The sales youth appearing annoyed with my statement put the cat down.

"It's on the other side," she coldly stated as she gave me a dirty look. And then she proceeded to cut my fabric without any further exchange.

It was a very uncomfortable situation. I know that the store has a resident cat. I know that I have to wash my purchases as soon as I get them home.

Don't get me wrong, I love animals including cats. But I'm really allergic to them.  While standing at the counter being served by the sales youth who picked up the cat before handing my fabric I was in a state of discomfort. It sucked. It was made worse by the dismissive attitude of the sales youth.

I left the store not feeling like it was a piece of fabric heaven. I left longing for the fabric shopping experiences of the by-gone days of when I lived in Toronto. And where sales-folks actually cared about customer service and they shared their knowledge and passion about sewing and fabric. Those were the days.

Happy Sewing!


  1. Wow, that was just rude - I can see why you felt disenfranchised! Store animals are such a cute concept, but cat hair on your fabric isn't really that great, especially when you're allergic! I hope your shirt making goes well!

  2. I'd be writing to the manager of the store; they need to be aware that their staff attitude may well be losing them customers.

  3. I agree that you should contact the manager. I love that store and I also love that they have a cat (despite how many times I've been startled by a piece of fuzzy fabric suddenly moving!), but staff needs to understand that allergies are NOT something you make-up for attention.

  4. I love animals, really. We have 5 dogs. It seems a little odd to have animals in a fabric or clothing store, I mean the little suckers shed right? I don't like when my own pet's hair gets on my fabric or clothes, I really don't think I would like buying fabric with it already added. And I'm not allergic.

    I agree with everyone else, contact the manager. I'm sure you are not the only one with allergies to cats. The staff need to be educated.

  5. I've been in Winnipeg since Thursday and I went to Mitchell's fabrics today to check it out because I saw on their website that they had vintage fabrics in stock. I picked up some entertaining copper mesh with oval sparkly appliqué things and sparkles all over it for my halloween costume and when I went to get it and another fabric cut the girl asked me how much I wanted as I was putting it down, so I stood there looking at and feeling the fabric for just a second and was starting to say how much I wanted when the girl snapped at me "could you move!" I was shocked but not surprised because of what you had said about the service there and I said "ok" in a "seriously?" Kind of tone. And then she proceeded to lecture me about how the fabric would shed. I told her that's fine, And she kept badgering me with "yeah but it's going to shed all over you it's just going to shed and shed and shed" and so I said "it's for halloween and it's 25% off of $3.50/metre so i don't really care" and she continued with "it's just going to shed all over you it just sheds and sheds" and I said again "that's fine" and she kept going with "you'll be washing it off for a month because it just sheds and sheds". It was a good thing I was in a good mood. I was at northwest fabrics the day before and everyone was pretty friendly there. Someone up top needs to be told about the service at Mitchell's because I'm sure it's costing them business.


McCall's 7630: Pullover Top

It's an easy sewing project for a loose-fitting pullover top. It's my second go with this pattern and I still want to make another ...