They are my go-to-shops for notions and fabrics since this town has seen more than its fair share of fabric shops close its doors. As the remaining shops tend to cater to the quilting crowd, it seems to be a challenge to find quality fashion fabrics that are appealing.
What struck me about shopping at MF and FL is how distinctly different they are from each other. Now, my intend is not to tear one shop down and build up the other. I'm just making observations about fabric shopping in the city.
Last week, I didn't find FL to be a magically shopping experience. I was quickly turned off by the large home decor display that greeted me at the front door. If I want to shop for home decor I would travel down to Ikea, they make home decor fun. But I digress...
"Seriously?" I thought to myself as I walked past the display of household knick knacks.
What the fabric store is going on? It didn't even feel like a fabric store. Fabric seemed to be an after thought the way that the store layout suggests. The most salient floor space position in the store is devoted to housewares, quilting fabric, bedding and drapery. They need to change their name to Home Decor Land and Stuff.
I was also turned off by the fact that the three FL locations in the city do not have the same discounts for the exact same fabrics. I found the fabric I used for the Vogue 8667 dress discounted at 70% off at one location where at another location the same fabric was only reduced 50% off. What is up with that? I shouldn't be surprised really. Last year a local television station did a story on a large discount North American retailer that charged different prices at different parts of the city.
|Labelled bolt of fabric.|
What the fabric store is going on when you become thrilled with content details attached to a bolt of fabric that does not read "100% unknown content." This is becoming more and more frequent at FL. Thankfully, not so at MF.
Now don't get me wrong, MF is not a magical shopping experience for me either. They have a resident cat. I'm allergic to cats. Maybe it is a good thing that they have a cat otherwise I might spend more time and money there.
And I did have that experience with the African print cotton fabric that I picked up last year. If anything I learned from that sewing experience is never trust a sales clerk's instruction on fabric care if it is not clearly marked on the label. Their guess is a good as yours. Instead, I would recommend doing a fibre test or just walk away.
|Fabrics from MF|
MF may seem like a museum of historically vintage fabrics in some corners of the store but by golly I'm glad we have this gem in the city.
Do you find shopping for fashion fabric to be a challenge in your area? Or do you bite the shipping cost bullet and order fabric online?
Oh, hold the presses! It is all making sense now, FL must be competing with Ikea since they have a fabulous fabric section?
I did pick up this lovely 100% cotton that would make a lovely french cuffed blouse. Oh my goodness, fabric stores selling home decor and home decor stores selling fabric! Where to shop if I were not trying to stash bust?