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Fabric Tourism: Seattle

June 22, 2014

Mr. Husband and I recently took a vacation trip to Seattle. We’ve visited there several times now because we have friends living within walking distance of downtown (and Mr. Husband not-so-secretly wants to move there and leave all the Midwest weather behind) and every time I’ve bought fabric. In fact, my mom and I both like to find the local fabric stores any where we go (if we can) but independent fabric/quilt shops aren’t as plentiful in the Midwest as they are on the coasts. On top of that, 9 out of 10 the shops you do find are more than likely just barely staying afloat, so why not support them? If anyone is interested (or if I just feel like it at some point) I’ll go over the stores I’ve found in Minneapolis/St. Paul, but today I’ll just talk about the Seattle stores I’ve been to since it’s fresh in my mind.


I only went to two fabric stores this time around, but I’ve been to a couple more previously which I discussed here (and as of right now, I know they’re still in business):

Nancy’s Sewing Basket

2221 Queen Anne Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109

Nancy’s Sewing Basket seems like a fairly established place, it’s pretty large for an independent fabric store and has a big selection. Lots of formal wear fabrics, knits and suiting. They have an entire room devoted just to ribbons. All the notions you might need for apparel sewing. Japanese pattern books and (if I’m remembering correctly) Decades of Style patterns, along with the usual McCalls, Butterick, Vogue, and Simplicity (didn’t spend much time looking at those of course). I almost never ask for help or want help at fabric stores, but once at the cutting counter, the employees were nice enough and seemed to really know what they were doing.

From Google Street View

From Google Street View

Stretch cotton on top for a pencil skirt and poly knit on bottom for a wrap dress

Stretch cotton on top and poly knit on bottom

Drygoods Design

5308 Ballard Avenue Northwest
Seattle, WA 98107

This was my favorite of the two stores I visited this year. Drygoods is very small and hard to find but you can really tell everything was picked and arranged with care and they obviously really love what they do (I assume there’s more than one person working/running the store, but I only met one lady). First, to even get into the store, you have to walk through a tiny coffee shop at the front of the building. Drygoods has a window display and a sign outside, even a separate address from the coffee shop, but they are connected. This is a great setup for when you drag friends and husbands along like I did. The store has quilting and apparel fabric, but I would go so far as to say some of the fabric they arranged with the more standard quilting stuffs could totally be used for clothing (think linen types of fabric). When I was poking around the woman at the counter was making stuffed lemons on an old Singer machine for a new summer themed window display. Mostly this store was just fun, there were lots of little things to pick up at the counter (I got a neat new chalk dispenser thing) and even some local paper goods. To top it off, after cutting my fabric, the woman working there tied up the fabric with string and stuck a pixie stick in with it. Style points right there.


From Google Street View


Teal voile (so soft!) on top, black cotton with an awesome diamond weave in the middle, and some heavy weight cotton with metallic thread on bottom

Teal voile (so soft!) on top, black cotton with an awesome diamond weave in the middle, and some heavy weight cotton with metallic thread on bottom

It was a great trip, more than likely not our last to Seattle, and now I’m sad I have to go back to work and leave my sewing alone 😦


So, what do you think?

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