Creatively Sourcing Fabric

In some areas, sourcing good fabric can be…difficult. Outside of big box stores, I don’t have much to choose from locally (with the exception of Needle Nook, a great little fabric shop in East Wichita, and a couple quilt shops.)

I’m pretty happy living here in Middle America, but fabric shopping is one of the things that make me wish I was closer to LA or NYC, or anywhere where there’s a huge selection.

While I’m thankful that there are at least a few options, finding the right fabric can be tough. These are a just a few solutions…if you find yourself in the same boat–or covered wagon–as me, I hope these will be helpful!

Online
Yes, this is probably a pretty obvious…but it can be tricky, too, since you’ll have to order and wait for swatches if you want to feel the fabric before buying. These are some places I recommend:

  • Dharma Trading: their fabrics are meant for dyeing, so they deal in lots of white & cream colors, but this may be just what you’re looking for. They also have quite a few black fabrics, as well. I have purchased yardage from them, as well as their entire swatch bundle, and all of their fabrics seem to be good quality.
  • Spoonflower: this can be a little more money than the big box store, but they also have quality fabrics, and tons of designs by indie artists. (AND, you can buy their entire sample pack for $3, which includes shipping! I’ve really never been so excited about samples, but they’re so pretty.) You can also shop for my designs here!
  • Mood Fabrics is a site I discovered not too long ago, but I still haven’t ordered from them yet…so I can’t speak from experience, but I’ve heard many good things, and their site seems to have an incredible selection of apparel fabrics.
  • Sewing groups & forums on facebook or other social media sites can be great places to find fabric for sale or trade.
  • And, of course, Etsy! There are so many (sew many?) fabric vendors there, too.

Thrift & Secondhand Shops
You can definitely look for yardage in the craft section of these shops, but don’t forget to look through the clothing, too. Fancy fabrics can be gleaned from prom and wedding dresses, sweaters can be scrapped for yarn, and all sorts of garments can be altered into all sorts of other garments.

Garage Sales
Similar to thrifting, hitting up garage sales or yard sales can be a great way to get new-to-you fabric, either by-the-yard or from a pre-existing garment.

Cloth Swap
If you have crafty friends or know of a greater crafting community in your area, you might think about organizing a fabric swap.

I really would love to know, have you found any unique ways to source fabric? What are some of your favorites? Have you ever struck fabric gold? Have you had any bad experiences with creatively sourcing?

Posted by

Gardener, artist, maker, lover of local and earth enthusiast.

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