Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Search For Good Fabric


I am always looking for fabric that today's patterns call for but, I have found very generic fabric in the retail stores.  I am like a lot of thrifty shopper, I want to get the most bang for my buck.  So, I went on another fabric shop hunt.  I tried google search for local fabric shops and that wasn't any help at all. However, I did decided to visit one of the shops that I had seen while I was out and about.

House of Fabrics on 1312 Main St. was my shop of choice. I had visited this little shop a while back and instantly I fell in love with the ambiance of this quaint mom & pop fabric store.  I enjoyed every moment spent looking at the different fabrics and I even got a chance to touch a few.  The highlight of it all was when the owner, Lori Brown catered to just me and made my visit a more pleasant experience.

While I was browsing Lori gave me a little background tour of how the House of Fabrics came to fruition.  She explained that the business was started by her grandparents in 1957.  At the time of her grandparents ownership the store specialized mostly in wedding and formal clothing and that they had lived in the apartment above the store.  Up until the late 70's it was a common practice for business owners to live where they worked and it was a lot more economical.

Now that Lori is the owner, she stated, "I do not tend to specialize in any one thing because my customers are mainly people involved in the arts who want a diverse selection". Her shop is right in the thick of things on Main St. and just a few blocks from the University of South Carolina.  Lori said that she wanted to accommodate the changing trends of today's sewists while continuing to maintain the good customer service that has been a part of  her family's business since its opening in 1957.

It was interesting to hear that Lori's mother did not pick up on the "crafty bug", but Lori and a couple of her siblings (2 brothers and 1 sister) did venture off into some areas of crafting.  She said that she had a sister in Charleston  South Carolina who was involved with the theatre there.  I did notice that there were a lot of customers that came in wanting crystals.  One lady explained that she needed the crystals to add to a costume.  I was so wanting to help put those stones on her costume but, that might have been a can of worms to be opened at another time.  As I waited for Lori to attend to her other customers I continued to look at some of the other fabric.  Once she came back to me, Lori began a show and tell of some of the most beautiful fabrics. Here's a look see.
Sequin Mesh in gold and silver with white mesh, $12.99 py 
This is the white mesh laying flat.  I also found out that the lining for this piece was $2.99 py
Green Silk with green lining.  Heavy weight satin to line was around $5.98py
White mesh ready for the perfect wedding dress
My personal favorite, black leather ( fabric on top) back with black vinyl.
House of Fabrics prices and quality were absolutely amazing.  There was so much for me to see and I have to mention the wools.   I was mesmerized by this one piece of red.

I was also given a tip about the new Gingher Featherweight Scissors.  I had seen them before but, I have been very skeptical of how well they would work compared to the weight of  my  8" all steel Gingher Serrated Edge Scissors.  Before I got my Ginghers cutting any type of fabric was a chore especially if I used a set of scissors that were lightweight.  However, Lori gave me a demonstration by pulling out a strip of fabric and began cutting.  After seeing this demonstration I believe I have to have a pair of those scissors.  They live up to the Gingher name.
New Gingher 8" Featherweight
8" Gingher Steel.  I call them Gingers because they cut so sweet.
Lori demonstrates how well the Gingher Featherweights work.  These scissors cut like a hot knife cutting butter, awesome cut.
 With every customer that entered I could hear the excitement in Lori's voice.   I felt a sense of warmth and genuine care that flowed from her to her customers.  It was as if she was with them the whole way through whatever project they would be making.  That wholesome feeling and personal touch that I got while I was there is difficult to find in a generic store.  And besides, I like being pampered through my projects.  Her cool and quick knowledge bank was a burst of fresh energy.

I look forward to making more trips to The House of Fabrics.  If you find yourself in the Columbia area with a little time on your hands take a walk downtown and check out Lori's special shop.  You will be glad you did.

Thank you for reading my post.  Until next time,,,LOLPOH

Thank you Lori for such a beautiful day at The House of Fabrics.  I love you and your store.  See you soon!