So my question is this, do you have a favourite crafting/fabric shop near you and if so, why do you love it?
After about a month of non craft related activities (ie - travelling and work responsibilities), I was in the mood to peruse fabrics and notions, yep, I was itching to do some stitching (hey - great name for a shop!). I live close to the centre of Brisbane (Australia), and don't really have an all-time favourite place to go - the internet offers so much but I thought I'd give a personal view on the craft/fabric options close to me, because sometimes you just want to have a good old fashioned browse rather than clicking away with a computer.
The closest place to me to pick up bits and bobs is good old Lincraft in the Myer Centre. Now, I've been around for a while, and Lincraft used to be great, no really it did - it used to have heaps of great fabrics and the staff were a bit like the ladies in the David Jones underwear department - a little stern, but by george they knew their stuff. It also used to bustle. These days Lincraft seems to have lost the joy for me. I don't really look at their fabrics or knitting wools and it always appears very empty and a little sad - perhaps it's the lighting? Having said that, I'm glad it's still there in the city as where else am I going to get last minute tartan polar-fleece fabric for a dog coat project? Also, the staff I have come across are really pleasant and helpful. Good for craft emergencies and basics (sewing thread, buttons, elastic etc).
Hmmm - well - maybe I need to say nothing at all...but I will! This place reminded me of...dunno, something chaotic though. There were piles of fabrics everywhere - and that was just beside the cutting tables. Maybe there had been a saturday morning rush of mother's making outfits for daughters? After wandering around in some sort of lint daze I found what I wanted - wedged in tightly underneath a whole lot of flannel, sparkly nylon and brightly coloured polyester. The sight of me and one other customer trying to yank this prized roll of fabric was akin to Arthur extracting the sword from the stone! I was triumphant - sweaty - and amused the sales staff - that place is cheap...need I say any more? G0od for stocking up on basic notions, wadding, calico etc. I did find some cute summery cotton for a steal too!
Department Stores (Target, Kmart, Woolworths, Big W):
My first ever job was working in the Manchester department of Kmart - I loved it (well, better than being on checkouts). We stocked dress fabrics and curtaining by the metre, knitting wool and all sorts of notions. We had to know how many lengths of disgusting net curtaining was needed for a window, what sort of hooks were needed and how to cut festoon fabric (don't ask). When did all this disappear? Doesn't anyone want cafe curtains in their kitchen anymore? These days there's a very small section of notions shoved between the sheet sets and boomerang pillows...disappointing, but understandable I guess. I suspect they'll do away with it all so keep an eye out for the clearance sale.