Road-Trip Fabric Shopping

I didn’t buy a lot of fabric on my recent road trip, but I did come home with a few gems! The beauty of buying fabric in Portland (the whole state of Oregon, actually) is that there’s no sales tax. Remember this blog post where we talked about how much tax everyone pays on fabric? That’s an automatic twelve percent discount right off the top! I also forgot to mention we didn’t take the Smart Car (it had to go into the shop for repairs the day before we left so we rented a sensible car instead) which is why I had room to bring home the fabric goodness!

Here’s my reasonably-sized fabric pile:

Let’s start with the top!

Oooh look, Liberty cotton! This is from Bolt Fabrics in Portland, Oregon (a Sewaholic Patterns retailer!) There’s a lovely selection of Liberty prints, pricey of course, but gorgeous to touch and admire.

I have a specific plan for this one! (It’s so simple, I added the postcard from Bolt to spice up the photo.)  It’s a hemp-linen blend with a subtle stripe. Also from Bolt Fabrics. I went back to get more of it, because the secret planned project requires a lot of fabric, and when I did I accidentally picked up some of this one, too…

Printed voile and lawn seems to be my thing these days, I brought home this lovely souvenir from Salt Lake City as well:

From Yellow Bird Fabrics in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s a cotton voile print, with a very subtle design. From far away it almost looks like a solid. I also have plans for this one! I’m limiting my fabric purchasing only to fabrics that fit into my next year’s plans. If I can’t see myself using it in the next year, I probably won’t buy it.

It’s not fabric, but I came home with a couple of goodies courtesy of the Fashionable Stitch shop:

The rayon petersham ribbon is such a lovely golden mustard colour. I’m saving this for a very special project! A Fall project, probably. Mustard always makes me think of fall.

I also visited a couple of retailers along the way:

Cool Cottons. Exactly what it sounds like, cotton fabrics in a welcoming house! Rooms full of fabric. (That’s my hand grabbing at the Cambie Dress pattern.)

Bolt Fabric Boutique. You already saw what I bought at Bolt! Can you spot the Lonsdale Dress pattern in the window?

Modern Domestic was closed, but a Renfrew Top sample is in the window! I had to take a photo of it. So cool. (You can see a little bit of me in the reflection of the photo – proof that I was really there!)

And a couple of yarn stores, including Happy Knits in Portland, Oregon:

This yarn store thought of everything. In the back, there’s a quiet and spacious area for guys and kids to keep busy while we yarn-shop. Brilliant, right? I have no idea how long I browsed the store, but Mr Sewaholic was quite comfortable in a cosy chair with his book in hand. (I bought yarn. It totally made sense to, it was on sale! And no tax = 12% off on top of that! but I’ll wait to show you the yarn when it’s made up into something interesting…)

Reading over this post, it sure looks like I did a lot of fabric shopping for someone who said they weren’t going to do any. Ah well. What can I say? I love fabric, even when I know I may not get time to sew it up right away.

Do you shop for fabric (or yarn) on holidays? Does it make the things you buy feel extra-special?

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23 Responses to Road-Trip Fabric Shopping

  1. Mary August 20, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    This post is so fun for me because I travel 6 hours to Portland occasionally just to fabric shop! You picked some beautiful pieces. I like to get a small amount of fabric in each state, province or country I visit.

  2. anto August 20, 2012 at 7:19 am #

    You got some great fabrics. I love the print on the cotton voile you got at Salt Lake City.
    Now I really want to do some fabric shopping in Portland someday after reading this post.

  3. Eleanor August 20, 2012 at 7:57 am #

    I’m pretty new to sewing, but I have been yarn-shopping on vacation for a while, usually I look for something I can’t get at home but I don’t always succeed. :P The best “souvenir” yarn purchase I ever made was locally spun & dyed from local wool in Colorado, and i finished knitting a shawlette with it before I got home.

    • Mrs M August 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who does this. I got a bit carried away in Asia and have literally no idea what I’ll do with the different fabrics I squeezed into my suitcase! I’m sure I’ll find something one day!

  4. Mary August 20, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    So glad you had a great shipping experience in Oregon. We do have some great fabric stores here. I am fortunate to live close enough to Portland to enjoy the options. Fabric Depot and the Mill End stores are great too, but don’t bring the smart car…a truck is more like it!

  5. Sewing Sveta August 20, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    I usually buy staff for my hobbies during my trips, so now I plan to buy fabrics too. I think it is nice to have some fabric with trip´s memory%)

  6. Zena August 20, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    One great thing about buying fabric or yarn as a souvenir on a trip is that you don’t have to worry about breaking it in transit!

  7. Teresa Dickson August 20, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    What lovely fabric! I always try to shop for fabric when I go on holiday or visit other places as I find fabric stores very few and far between around where I live, and quite often they seem to sell the same things! Purchasing fabric new or vintage (for textile projects) always reminds me of my visit.

  8. Erin B August 20, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Love your spoils! I, too just indulged in some vacation fabric shopping on my long weekend road tip from northern Virginia to North Carolina. Its nice to have a differnt selection to choose. I get so bored of the same old stuff in my local stores. The best vacation purchase was a lot of 408 vintage patterns for only $60. Score for me and my etsy shop!

  9. Natalie August 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    My dad loves to go on road trips and camping. So, before every trip I Google fabric stores in the area. It doesn’t matter how small the town, there is always a fabric store. My dad sits on a bench and fusses a bit while my Mom, sister and I ignore him and shop! Then we’re all content to muck about in the dirt and battle the bugs because we have fabric. Then when the fabric is all sewn up, we’re reminded of the fun travels we’ve had.

  10. Leith August 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    Lovely fabric! I buy fabric on my travels, and notions too. It reminds me of the holiday and makes me smile. Japan was the best for fabric and notions!!

  11. Sewbusylizzy August 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    I love to buy fabric & yarn when I’m travelling. I’m not into ‘dust collectors’ but stash enrichment – yes most definitely! Plus it’s nice to find things you can’t get at home.
    I am a believer in ‘fabric tourism’. :-)

  12. Stephanie August 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    I always fabric shop while on vacation: shopping in different fabric stores is part of the fun of being somewhere else!

  13. Nancy August 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    How could you miss Fabric Depot??? Over one-half acre of fabrics billed as the largest fabric store west of te Mississippi.

    Nancy in cloudy and cooler Portland.

  14. Gail August 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    The printed is very appealing to me.

  15. Rachel August 20, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    Lovely fabrics! Can’t wait to see what you’ve got planned.
    Holiday shopping is fun, because whenever you see the fabric/garment it makes you think of your holiday

  16. Dana August 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    Holiday shopping always included the local fabric stores, and any vintage shops we pass on the way (for patterns, sewing journals/books and sewing surprises)!

    I sounds like you did more than just admire the view on your holidays!

  17. Alli August 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    So cute! I actually buy from walmart a lot. I live in Arkansas of the US and not that many young people in my area sew, so they don’t know where I got my fabric! And their clearance fabrics can go down to a dollar a yard and it takes forever at Hancock and Joann’s to go down that low. The only thing about walmart fabric is you have to use a lot of fabric softener on the cotton to make it comfortable.

  18. Alli August 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    I used to work at Hancock Fabrics so I’ve got quite a few things from there too.

  19. Becky August 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    I haven’t had much opportunity to buy fabric on vacations. But I did buy some yarn at this cute little shop near the beach yesterday, when I was there with my mom and some aunts and cousins.

    The no sales tax is quite nice! (Delaware doesn’t have it either. It’s rather unfortunate that we also have basically no fabric shops.)

  20. Marloes August 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Those look great! I’ve never bought fabric on my holidays… Yarn however, is something that comes home more often;)

  21. julie August 21, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    i just went on a trip to portland and also visited bolt! i left with a really nice blue striped french shirting fabric. but in looking at your photos, i realized that a chaco pen was on my list of things to look for and i completely forgot! arghhhhh…. anyway, great fabric buys!

  22. Michelle August 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    I love buying fabric while I’m on holiday – different areas carry different fabrics according to their clientele. I actually just came back from Vancouver – managed a trip to Fabricana and to Dress Sew Supply. First time to Dress Sew – so impressed with their selection of zippers.

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