sewing + quilting confidence grows here, tip by tip

Monday, 17 March 2014

Fabric Shopping In Downtown San Francisco


Last week I had my first trip to San Francisco.  Simon, my husband, was working during the weekdays and, as we were staying over the weekend for him to show me around the usual tourist stuff, that gave me lots of time to explore the area on my own searching out fabric and wool.

My first stop was Britex Fabrics, practically on Union Square at Geary Street - a 'must visit' destination for anyone with a fabric fetish that is shopping/sightseeing in the area.


I picked up this home decor weight 'Sewsaw' fabric in village blue/neutral by Premier Designer Collections - thinking of making the Cargo Duffle by Anna over at Noodlehead, I'm putting together a Pinterest Board of all the Cargo Duffles I see out there on the internet, there's some great fabric choices, variations, and tips making it really individual each time.  


I also stocked up on several polka dot and stripe basics - 'Spot On' by StudioRK and 'Pimatex Basics' for Robert Kaufman and 'Clown Stripe' for Michael Miller, a pretty floral - Bryant Park by Khristian A Howell for Anthology Fabrics and much finer purple stripe - Lavender Love by Stof.


And I bought this selection of novelty buttons - 46 to be accurate and my bill was $116.00, boy that soon added up!!!


All in all, I think I was incredibly restrained, especially as I spent quite a while in the store exploring each floor.

I took photos of each area to share with you - phone photos again I'm afraid a few just weren't good enough quality to include but I hope you'll get a good feel for the store from these:

 zips and thread

 
ribbons

  trims

 buttons

Japanese Echino, Kokka, etc

 
 quilting weight cotton

home decor weight fabrics

and lots of other fabric types that I don't want to label just in case I get them wrong!!!
 
 
 

The store has been on Geary Street since 1952, it's huge and spread over four floors and there seemed to be everything you could ever need for every sewing project and eventuality.  

Here's a description of each floor that I've taken from Britex's own website - click each link to go their webpage and find out more:

Library ladders from floor to ceiling give access to the 120-foot wall of woolens--boucle, gabardine, Super 100's, boiled wool, crepe, double knit, jersey and more. Tables filled with endless silks--charmeuse, chiffon, duchess, brocades and more. Imported laces complete the main floor‘s couture selection, which will entice the most discriminating seekers of wedding and special occasion fabrics.
Floor 2
Stay in fashion with the best cottons--Japanese indigos, Liberty of London cotton lawn, the newest cotton prints and more--along with a huge selection of linens, polyester blends, knits of all varieties and amazing velvets. A comprehensive Home Décor department features upholstery, drapery and accent fabrics in a wide variety of textures and styles.
Floor 3
Find over 75,000 styles of buttons, including vintage glass and bakelite, plus ribbons in all colors, prints and styles--from classic grosgrain to hand-dyed silks and velvets--and a treasure trove of embellishments including sequins, rhinestones, Swarovski crystals, faux fur trims, silk flowers, appliqués, feathers and boas. The third floor also houses a wide range of home decorating fringes, cording, tassels and tie-backs, and a comprehensive collection of bridal accessories including vintage and imported lace trims, veils, decorative hair pieces and Russian netting. Basic sewing notions like thread, needles, zippers and patterns round out the selection.
Floor 4
A cornucopia of discounted remnants from the first and second floors are joined by imported and domestic faux furs, leather and suede hides, athletic performance fabrics, muslin, interfacing, pillow forms, felt, neoprene, netting, tulle, and oilcloth--all on the topmost floor. 


I loved the store, the staff were helpful, answering questions, explaining the store to me and showing me to the sections I wanted to visit and in the button section they spent time with me helping me make my selections and offering welcome advice.  They were happy for me to take photos too just not of the fabric info/price tags which is fair enough.

Working in a fabric store myself, I'm always interested to see how other fabric stores operate from
how they display the fabric - Britex have their own stickered logo on every bolt card;
cut it - with a minimum cut of 1/4 yard the staff tear the fabric (giving you a truer crosswise grain line) and extra fabric allowance is made for uneven, misshapen fabric edges;
price it - they have hanging tags with the price/yard tucked into one end of each bolt;
swatches - none in store but at $1 a time you can order a 2" x 4.2" swatch on line
record your purchases - staff on each floor write a slip detailing your purchases - you pay for 3rd-floor purchases (notions/buttons, etc) on the 3rd floor, all other purchases are paid for on the ground floor. Interestingly, they did round up the cost of my fabric purchases to the nearest $0.50/$1.00.

TIP:  Visit the fourth floor at the top of the store and check out great remnant selection.

If you want to visit Britex Fabrics you can find out more on their website and here're their location and contact details too:

San Francisco Store
146 Geary Street
San Francisco CA 94108
Tel: 415.392.2910
Mon-Sat: 10 am to 6 pm


There's so much to share about my San Fran adventures and there's a great wool store I want to tell you all about too but I'll save that for another post another time!!!






For details of other fabric, yarn, trim and notion stores that I've visited around the world along with the NYC stores I love, exhibitions and events I've attended and wonderful people I've been lucky to meet click the links below or in my sidebar :D





Follow on Bloglovin


Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, no payment or commission is received on click-throughs and opinions are my own.




38 comments:

  1. Next stop, San Francisco! That store looks amazing. I can see getting lost in there (happily, of course!). Sounds like a fabulous trip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Had a blast Lisa, can't wait to go back :D

      Delete
  2. What a great store! And I love your collection of buttons. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bought some girl and some boy buttons Lin as I didn't know if I was having a grandson or granddaughter at that stage - I'm sure I'll still find a use for the flower buttons though!

      Delete
  3. I too keep meaning to make a cargo duffel. Have downloaded the pattern and everything!! But now am thinking of doing my own thing. Typical.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't you just love that bag - don't know that I'll ever get around to it but the fabric and intention's there!!! :D

      Delete
  4. What a great store!! My husband just came back today from San Francisco . I will keep in mind on next visit:) thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go on their website and create him a list for his next visit - we have husbands coming into The City Quilter in Manhattan where I work all the time looking very confused, holding a list in their hand and under strict instruction from their wife. I think it's something all fabric shop staff are used to!!!

      Delete
  5. Oh wow what a wonderful store! It' looks like a real Aladdin's cave of all things wonderful! Thank you so much for such an informative post...now I want to visit San Fran too!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come with me Sarah, we'll have a ball!!! :D x

      Delete
  6. PS the Duffle Bag looks amazing. Oh I'd love to make one...need more hours in the day... (sigh)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. who do we need to speak to about this more hours in a day thing? I think we could put a really good case forward on behalf of all women! ;) x

      Delete
  7. All I can say is lucky duck! SF is on my bucket list, and what a great fabric store. I am seriously drooling right now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had such fun Kati and can't wait to go back x

      Delete
  8. Oh Chrissie...sounds like the perfect spot for an afternoon stroll! Great purchases.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went for several strolls - between 6 and 10 miles a day, at least that's what they were on the map but I didn't take into account all the hills which added quite a bit to my explorations. My hips weren't too happy with me by the end of the 4th day so I did have to use a trolley car on the 5th day. Had an absolutely ball Vicki :D

      Delete
  9. I was so excited to see this post! My daughter and I are visiting San Francisco next month and we will need to check this store out. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh it's a must visit Lisa - if you're into knitting and happy to travel a little further I also visited Atelier Yarns and the staff there were wonderful. On my next visit I've been told about two other fabric shops to visit - Fabrix and Peapod, you might want to check them out too :D

      Delete
  10. You really were restrained Chrissie what a great shop!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was restrained wasn't I?! I put that down to working in a fabric store so I'm constantly weighing up what's available, my 'real' need and my staff discount benefitsf!!! :D

      Delete
  11. That is some huge store and would have been very dangerous on my wallet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The beauty of already working a fabric store, I have plenty of opportunity to learn self-restraint ;)

      Delete
  12. The store looks amazing! I would say you got away cheap - I don't know how you controlled yourself! Thanks for the shop tour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My self control is purely based on my staff discount benefits working at The City Quilter in Manhattan - if I can buy it at work I'd be crazy to buy it anywhere else! :D

      Delete
  13. Thanks for taking us along!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have good memories of being there a couple of years ago. It was amazing and quite fun. It is a dangerous store.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it fabulous Elaine? I hope to go back again before too long :D

      Delete
  15. I so wished I knew about this store when I was in San Fran last year, it looks amazing!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is, now you have a very good reason to go back to San Fran! :D

      Delete
  16. It looks like you had a great time. If I ever make it to San Fran this will be on my to do list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved every minute and if you do ever get to San Fran then I'd have it high on your 'must do' list :D

      Delete
  17. Thank you for taking us on a virtual tour, ChrissieD. With four floors and all those lovelies, I am surprised you made it out of the store before "closin' time". And that you didn't end up with more, more, more stuff. I am proud of your restraint!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lorna only my staff benefits/access to all the wonders that are The City Quilter hold my resolve and restraint in buying more fabric on my travels. I love finding goodies that I can't get at home though! :D

      Delete
  18. oh my gosh- drooling over that store!!

    Thanks so much for showing this off at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's totally drool worthy isn't it! :D

      Delete
  19. Holy WOW! I'd still be there!! :) What an awesome store!!

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear from everyone, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and share your thoughts. Please leave a message to let me know you visited, it's a great way to get to know you all better too :)

Chris Dodsley