Chicago Fabric Stores part 1

While my daughter was in her happy place cosplaying at C2E2 last weekend I was in my happy place searching out fabric stores.  We all know how hard it is to find a decent fabric store these days. I live in St. Louis and in the last 15 years we’ve lost four really good ones.  Now we only have JoAnnes, which is basically a craft and quilt store; Jackmans, which carries a few high end bridal fabrics and a vast collection of quilt fabrics; and a handful of quilt shops carrying cotton woven fabrics which come and go.  I know it is basically the same everywhere.

So, when I had the opportunity to search out  fabric in the third largest city in the US I had to do it. I put the question out in costuming facebook groups and immediately started getting responses. There is one thing that is always true of people who create — we love to share info. The top three responses came immediately and they each were each special in their own way.

Saturday morning my husband I headed to Evanston to Vogue Fabrics. It was only a half hour north of McCormick Place where we dropped off our cosplayer. It had a great variety of fabrics at good prices, a great selection of trims and notions and and even better selection of patterns.

Where else can you find this kind of variety of historical patterns?

I found this beautiful organdy/batiste extredeax for only $4.99 a yard for new regency gown.

And this silk for $8.99 a yard that I will probably be using for a Regency pelisse.

I also bought boning to make some stays.

The variety of fabrics was wonderful and if I went here last I probably would have bought more.  I loved this one, too.

I thought the trellis design would have made a wonderful ball gown. It was a faux silk and I really wanted real silk, but the hand was so silk like I could have lived with it.

In the afternoon we went to Fishmans Fabrics. 

It was kind of in the west side of Chicago.  It was only 15 minutes from McCormick Place. And while I felt very safe driving around, some people may be uncomfortable. It was directly across the street from a homeless tent community.  But it was also the only store we went to that had its own parking, a real plus in Chicago.

Fishman’s is not the place you go for a bargain but their range of  product was amazing.  About half of the store was upholstery/drapery fabrics. The other half was designer — wools, silks, and beyond.  The beyond was what makes it worth the stop.

(Yep, that’s 54″ wide feather “fabric” for $300 a yard.)

But not everything was expensive.  I found this shelf of trims for $1 a yard.


To be continued. . .

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