There are so many fabric stores, pattern makers and notion suppliers online it’s dizzying. How do you know your getting quality products and service? You can take a chance and try for yourself or rely on word of mouth. Since The Daily Sew is basically many words coming out of my mouth I thought I would let you know about places I shop online for patterns, fabrics and notions which I have had a pleasant experience with.
Fabric, Interfacing and Trims
I prefer to touch fabric before I buy it but I live in a smaller, and removed from big cities, area so when I can’t find what I want in town I have to buy online. Here are some fabric sites I have used;
- Mood Fabrics – You know the store from Project Runway and I would love to go in there should I ever be in NYC or LA but for now it’s their site I visit for just about any type of apparel fabric (they offer home fabric and notions too). Mood also offers sewing and fashion inspiration on their site and blogs.
- Fabric-stores – Is all linen all the time but they also have linen cotton blends. Tons of colors, different weights, good quality and prices. They too have a blog with tutorials for linen apparel.
- Fashion Sewing Supply – This is THE site for interfacing hands down. Their interfacing is wide, comes in woven and knit, all different weights and nice descriptions of each so you don’t feel like you’re guessing which type will work for your project. Bonus: they offer soft, quality, elastics by the yard.
- Denver Fabrics – It’s like a huge warehouse, online. So much fabric, most of it basic, you never know what they’ll get in, deep discounts, option to buy fabric by the bolt (great for muslin) and it doesn’t feel glamours so you know you’re not paying for their web designer to keep up his craft brew habit. Bonus: generous cuts of fabric.
- Jo-Ann Fabric – There is a Jo-Anns in my town but the site offers more selection. I shop for quilting cottons, flannels, denim and sometimes notions on their site just to avoid going over to the busy part of town.
- Cotton Blossom Farm – I’m not sure how I found Cotton Blossom Farm but happy I did. They are a fabric store in Mississippi, on a farm that use to grow cotton. They stock a lot of quilting cotton but I shop for the voile prints. They also offer knits, chenille, laminated and other fabrics. If you sew for little people you want to see their collection.
- Stylish Fabric – Looking for knits? Go here. Evening wear fabrics and lace? This is your site. The perfect shop for the bride who wants to make a sporty gown. I’ve bought knits here. Good quality, good price and fast, friendly, service. Sounds cliche but it’s the truth.
- Emma One Sock – Where is her other sock? Probably hidden among all her gorgeous fabric. Emma One Sock is apparel focused and is constantly updating their stock of designer fabrics, Italian fabrics, beautiful fabrics. They aren’t too huge which means the site is not overwhelming. Bonus: They offer discounts on “end of the bolt” cuts.
- Benzie – I don’t always make clothes, and when I don’t I like to use quality felt. This site carries a great wool felt blend at a good price. You can buy it in sheets, in pom poms in variety packs, with matching floss, all sorts of ways. You won’t believe the colors; so many. And great customer service.
- Creative Trims – An Etsy store for trims. I purchased pom-pom trim which I searched a few Etsy stores for but she had the best colors and price, I thought. Again, if you sew for little people, or just love embellishing with trim check out Creative Trims.
- Fabric.com – I recommend this site halfheartedly. I have shopped here a dozen times with no problems but once I had a big problem that they didn’t handled well in my opinion. They are an Amazon subsidiary and like Amazon they have a massive selection (overwhelming), reasonable prices but not always the cheapest, fast shipping but also no personal touch.
When I first started The Daily Sew I used the big pattern companies; Simplicity, Butterick, Vogue, McCall’s, and the packaged Burda patterns (under the Simplicity Creative Group). I have since branched out and tried patterns independent pattern companies. Well, actually, now there are more pattern producers out there and you can order their patterns online. I’m always a little wary to try a new (to me) pattern because in sewing there is little worse than a badly drafted pattern (a broken sewing machine is worse). Be careful of the hype that some patterns get. Do a search of the pattern online to see if any blogger has made it and what they think. Pattern Review is a site for just that, reviews from home sewist on patterns they sewed.
Here is my list of independent pattern companies that I would buy from again:
- Colette Patterns has feminine designs (except their men’s wear patterns) and lately more modern designs. The instructions are very clear and generous. They often post variations for their patterns on their blog so that is a nice bonus. Sometimes they produce sew along videos. Their fit is for a shorter, curvier girl than myself (I have to make some alterations) so if you got curves do check them out. They also produce SeamWork patterns.
- Hot Patterns = great designs. Directions are clear but brief. I would say you need some knowledge of sewing and maybe even a reference book. Trudi, the master mind behind the brand, also offers gorgeous handbag patterns. I do not know how she keeps so on top of trends and still gets patterns drafted. Hot Patterns offer both printed patterns and pdf patterns and a load of how to videos for the individual patterns which are super helpful (see “directions are brief” above). They also have a Hot Patterns FaceBook group.
- Girlfriends Patterns is a small collection of patterns. I’ve sewn up their Fina skirt which had thorough instructions, a few new-to-me tips and sewed up easily. The sizing was good and the pattern was well drafted.
- You Sew Girl makes an A-line skirt pattern that I really like and have made three times so far, once in wool. (My full review here). Her invisible zipper application instructions are great. You Sew Girl has mostly handbag and tote patterns but I highly recommend the A-line skirt if you’re looking for one.
- Sew Liberated makes a small but nice line of simple, easy to wear, flattering patterns. I have sewn up an apron no longer in their line and their Esme top which was a great success. You can find Sew Liberated printed patterns at your local independent fabric stores (if you’re lucky and still have one) or order pdf versions through the Sew Liberated site.
- Liesl + Co is a pattern line with an easy style designed by Liesl Gibson who also designs Oliver +S, Lisette (for Butterick) and Straight Stitch Society patterns. Busy woman but still takes the time to make a well drafted pattern with great instructions. I’ve sewn her Cappuccino Tunic and this Lisette top and skirt. I want to sew her Cinema Dress and Gallery Tunic soon.
- Sew Chic Patterns are “modern patterns with vintage style”. So many attractive dresses (also petticoats, slips, skirts and other items) all with design details you usually don’t see. I’ve only sewn the cloche hat which turned out great. The instructions were clear and the steps seemed well thought out. This is the dress I would love to make of course, I’ll then need a lifestyle where I wear such elegant day wear.
I also own patterns from Maria Denmark, Folkwear and Decades of Style which I have yet to sew. When I do I’ll let you know if they are enjoyable to work with.
Sewing Notions and Tools
There’s the sewing and then there’s all the supplies you need to sew. Needles, thread, scissors, pins, zippers, buttons, and more. Most of these items can be picked up when your’re buying fabric. Depending on where you live though you may need to shop online for what you need. Here are the sites I shop for notions and tools.
- Wawak – This is an online and catalog variety store for people in the alterations business. They have reasonable prices on all types and sizes of zippers, huge thread selection, scissors, rulers, marking tools, shoulder pads, irons; really just about anything basic.
- Zipit Zippers – An Etsy store with a HUGE selection of YKK zippers. Just YKK which are good quality zippers in my experience. You can order say, 25 of all one length zipper but customize how many of which color and we’re talking up to 65 colors (colors available depend on the style of zipper). I am impressed. And great, quick service.
- Bagmaker Supply – I asked, on Facebook, if anyone could suggest a place to buy hardware for making purses and a couple of people mentioned this store, Bagmaker Supply on Etsy. Yes, found what I needed, the sizes I needed them in and didn’t have to buy 50 of anything but could buy multiples with out paying an arm and a leg. They shipped it quickly. I especially liked that everything came in individual ziploc type bags so I can take out one d-ring but the other 11 stay together, back in their bag. Each little bag has a card with the size and finish labeled in case I need to order more or just don’t remember the size.
- Jo-Ann Fabric – The site’s selection of tools and notions is about the same as in the stores. So, basics from Dritz, Singer and Clover but when I need craft interfacing I’ll order from here and sometimes add a needed pack of safety pins or needles.
- Sewing Parts Online – Sewing Parts is short for sewing Machine parts, I think. This site has accessories for my old machine (and all sorts of machines). I buy any extra machine feet and bobbins here.
- Amazon – This is my big box store. I buy sewing books (new and used), rulers, bobbin cases, tracing paper, leather for bag straps, rivets to attach the leather straps with and music to play while I sew. Tip: Do check prices on other sites; this ain’t no Wal-Mart.