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your favourite online sewing supplies?

 
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What are your favourite online (or mail order) sources of sewing supplies?  

fabric, thread, notions, tools, patterns... whatever sewing related.

why do you love this one?
 
pollinator
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We don't have a fabric or craft store nearby, so I used to get most things (fabric, zippers, elastic, yarn, floss, books, tools, etc.) at a good thrift store an hour away, before it changed management and then the pandemic arrived.

I've bought fabric from Spoonflower, mostly to support my sister who has designs posted there, but also when I wanted fabric custom-printed with one of my dad's photos for a gift for him. They have organic cotton and such. It's expensive and takes a while to custom-print, so I reserve it for special occasions. I've bought organic cotton and hemp fabrics from places like Organic Cotton Plus, and they sell hemp thread that's on my wish list as well: https://organiccottonplus.com/products/hemp-thread-4. I bought some things from Aurora Silk years ago: https://aurorasilk.com/wp/. I think the other places I've occasionally shopped from are mostly out of business now.

But as Skandi pointed out, ebay can be a really good resource, too. I've bought yarn as well as tools like darners that way. I've done plenty of window shopping on Etsy, but sadly I don't think I've ever actually pressed "buy" on any sewing supplies that way. My sister did get me a really cool leather wrist ruler like this one for a birthday. I almost bought a wooden manual iron/presser on Etsy before my partner made me one instead.
 
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here are some online stores that I use:

Wawak for general sewing notions

Fashion sewing supply for interfacing and elastics

Sew sassy for lingerie supplies

Fabricmartfabrics
 
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Y'know - it's true, I rarely purchase sewing stuff, online. BUT! It somehow escaped my brain, when I posted that, that the sewing machine that John had me shop for, then bought for me? I hunted for weeks, to find the right machine, at the right price. Then, there was a slight issue (apparently 2 people bought the last one, because it was so quick, the first sale hadn't registered in the system, and my purchase went through anyway), so they immediately sent an email, to let me know it was out of stock, and profusely apologized, offered to upgrade it, at no charge, and were totally blown away, when I politely rejected their offer, and told them I'd wait. They didn't know how long the wait would be - it could be as much as two weeks! (Oh, NO! Whatever shall I DO?!?!? Lol). Less than a week later, I got notice that it was about to ship, and could they at least upgrade the extra needles I'd ordered for it? ("Yes! Thank you! That would be LOVELY!!")

So, very fair pricing, a HUGE selection of machines and accessories, and sewing supplies, and amazing customer service. I just don't remember whether they carry fabric, threads, elastic, etc.
Sewingmachinesplus.com
 
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I have ordered fabric from JoAnn Fabrics online ( https://www.joann.com/ ) but was totally unimpressed with the fact that I got the ordered 4 yards of a single fabric in 3 cuts! It forced placing a seam in the middle of the project (a gift blanket) and I hated it. So I learned my lesson about getting fabric this way.

I've never ordered any other sewing specific supplies online, but I have gotten various tools for working with fabric. The one that stands out is the braiding tools that you slip a strip of fabric into one end and it comes out the other end folded appropriately and you braid that. There are 3 tools per set. Some of you may have a clue what I'm referring to. Others may need this link to visualize https://halcyonyarn.com/rug-making/68460000/braid-master-set-of-three-by-braidaid-from-halcyon-yarn?gclid=CjwKCAjwnef6BRAgEiwAgv8mQSINXC0lOcLBTALRuqjbly9pDuqFMCN_mzaddUfQK3UvM-rvE9f4FhoCMJkQAvD_BwE . I couldn't seem to get the darn rug to lay flat when I machine sewed the braid to itself in a circle or oblong shape, and I'm currently hand sewing a circle shape to a backing material to keep it laying flat. I hope I will be able to follow up with a machine stitching before using this rug.

In the pictures of the current braid project you can see the almost gold fabric under the beginning of the spiraling of the lay-out. I pinned it in place and am very slowly getting the hand stitching done. But I am getting sidetracked. This is supposed to be about my online supplier. I can't really say that I do alot of online shopping for my sewing supplies. I have a Joann, a Hobby Lobby and 2 Super WalMarts in 15 minutes drive. I can go a bit further afield and find also a Michaels, and a much larger Joann. My real source for most of my fabrics though is the discount liquidation center for Angel View, a 2nd hand/thrift store "chain" donating their "profits" to a charity of record. Clothing and all soft  items like stuffed animals, sheets, curtains, etc used to be $1 USD each, many carrying their previous price tags, sometimes $10-$12 like for a set of floor-to-ceiling drapes, fully lined... Now only $1 per piece.

Those prices at my last 2 visits since they reopened from the CoVid19 shut down have now gone to per pound, and it's 1.99/lb. Only because it's for a good cause did I agree to the new pricing. I've not been back for a couple of months now.

So, I can get buttons, zippers, sometimes patterns, always plenty of fabrics to choose from that are much cheaper than buying new, if I am willing to put in the bit of time to harvest these things from it's original home. I can buy something perhaps vintage, or would otherwise be cost-prohibitive (have you seen the prices asked for some of the home decorating weights and patterns? Outrageous!)  Just today I began the harvesting of buttons and the materials for a new quilt I'm working towards, from some button shirts, both long and short sleeves, preparing the fabric for cutting the pieces.

Ok, now I feel like I should start my own little thread with these run-on replies.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it. My 2 cents worth.
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I am (or was prior to COVID) a thrift store junkie.  Since the majority of our business income is from reselling items, we visited once a week when our daughter had therapy.  I started quilting a few years ago and have acquired quite the fabric stash thanks to thrift stores, yard sales and auctions.  I also disassemble cotton shirts and old jeans for projects as well and have enough buttons and zippers to last many years.  I also bought a bag of hand-sewing needles at Goodwill for $2.99 last year which contained over 150 needles in all shapes and sizes.  The nearest quilt/fabric shops are fifty miles away in towns we rarely visit, so if there's a supply I really need and can't find locally, I will order from eBay, Amazon or JoAnn fabric.
 
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Most of the time I go to a shop in town (with all sewing utensils), or in the larger town (15 minutes by train and then 10 minutes walk to the store that has two floors of fabrics). There used to be a market booth here in town too with haberdashery (that's what I can find as the English word, I mean utensils for hand crafts), but it's not there anymore.

I ordered wool yarns for knitting and crochet online. That's because then I can order 100% real wool, without any synthetics, even dyed with herbs. Those webshops are Dutch. They are like Fibershed projects. It's about using local materials (all of the Netherlands being considered 'local'). If you live here too, I can tell you more (please send me a PM)

Now I am thinking of ordering 100% natural fabrics online too. I still have to find the right webshop.

 
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Beth Wilder wrote:I've bought fabric from Spoonflower



Spoonflower!  I walk by their headquarters often, and many of my colleagues have worked for them off and on.  They're both a manufacturing shop and an information technology shop if you think about it.

For fabrics, I do know one thing, besides avoiding JoAnn's Fabric and Crap: Avoid fashionfabricsclub.com (aka Fashion Fabrics).  Also Denver Fabrics (which is also Fashion Fabrics) and lots of other sites which are even still, you guessed it, are Fashion Fabrics.  They have a ruthless, deceptive online presence which is backed up by terrible customer service, bait-and-switch, incorrect yardage, etc.

https://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingDiscussions is a great source for the straight dope on patterns and fabric sources.

Like everyone else it seems, I shop thrift stores so I can see the sewing materials up close.  Otherwise its amazon filtered through fakespot.
 
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I really like to know the feel of a fabric before I buy enough to make a project. I only have Joann's within my driving range. The last few times I went in there I was very unimpressed. You know, the cotton quilting fabric is fine. Quality is good. But when it came to suitings and formal wear... It is very limited. Acetate formalwear just isn't my thing. Though polyester can sew up nicely.

I had several unrelated customers buy online from Vogue Fabrics. I can assure you that the wool suitings and coatings are very nice. I had the pleasure of working with silk satin and silk laces from them as well. On most of their stuff, they will sell you a swatch for $1. That's reasonable.
 
Carla Burke
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I also just remembered that last year, when I was trying to find diaper flannel, all the local stores were out, so I went online and found a site that had it. I was pretty happy with it, though it *seemed* a tad thinner than what I'd found at Joann Fabrics, previously.  But, it definitely served my purpose well.

https://www.fabric.com/buy/ar-782/diaper-flannel-white
 
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Places I buy my supplies:

I get all my wool roving at Weir Crafs. I like all their selection of wool roving in lots of different colors and textures. I also buy my wool felt there, if I need it. They also have felting needles and other supplies for natural crafting (lots of materials for making Waldorf crafts, too).

I get my felting needles through this seller on amazon. They're good quality needles at a great price. I bought mine 2 years ago, and even though I broke a few while learning, I still have a lot to spare.

I bought leather working supplies through Springfield Leather Company. They have a large selection of leather working tool at good prices.

I also search etsy for a lot of things, to see if there's a local seller there that sells what I want.

Not exactly sewing related, but when I was making teething necklaces, I found USA Silicone Bead Company had a very nice selection of wooden and silicone beads in lots of colors and shapes.

 
Beth Wilder
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I dug out some of my fabric and sample stash while looking for materials (mostly yarn) to start planning Christmas gifts and remembered some other sources:

  • Hemp Traders for a really nice selection of hemp fabric, twine, rope, and many other things hemp, including seeds (for eating and planting!) and raw fiber. A full set of 6"x6" (much larger than usual, in my experience) fabric samples/swatches is $25, and I've patched many things with these over the last few years.
  • Kasper Organics has a variable selection, and I've mostly bought clothing and towels and things from her (Aleta), but sometimes she has fabric and notions -- e.g. right now she has latex-free elastic -- and she's always been wonderful.
  • Burnley & Trowbridge is the company many recommend for linen and silk thread.
  • I often use sashiko thread, needles, and thimbles for hand sewing. In the past I've gotten these through Amazon, but I'm definitely boycotting them now, so A Threaded Needle in British Columbia is a good source.

  • I'm also pretty sure I've confirmed that Organic Cotton Plus (which I mentioned in my previous post) used to be called Cotton Plus, so I've been buying from them for longer than I initially thought. They've been good.
     
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    I am a "feel it in person" person, but struggle with the blank looks people give me when I ask at the local fabricland about, say "a heavy weight cotton or linen, suitable for pants", or "a lightweight cotton, suitable for shirts". I ended up finding both those things, with persistence, not through the help of the staff (who brought me to brushed flannel, polyester knits, and the jeans fabric, but didn't seem to know about their cotton double gauze, cotton poplin,cotton-poly twill, cotton canvas, linen, etc tucked in the back corners) .  

    I am very tempted to order from these people, haven't yet - Canadian (Ontario) based supplier of eco/organic fabrics. Pricey (priced by the 1/2 m, not by the m), but I'd love to be able to get cotton and linen in nice colours - let alone cotton and linen that are organic AND nice colours - and wool! They have US prices, too.

    https://www.simplififabric.ca/
     
    pollinator
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    While I buy most of my fabric from thrift stores near me or the amazing discount/salvage store Marden's in Maine I do order quite a bit of sewing stuff online.  

    Joann's Fabric.  I use the online store when they run sales for various types of Pelon interfacing.  It tends to be the best deal I can find and it rolls around every major holiday. They are a 1/2 drive for me so I will stop in the store for Gutermann thread and sewing patterns when they have great sales on them.

    Amazon has been my go to lately for rotary cutting blades,  sewing machine needles, cutting mats, quilting rulers, and Aurifil thread box sets.  I have gotten some great deals but you have to know your prices and wait till the price drops.
    I will also look for used sewing books here sold from various thrift stores that are using Amazon.  
    Much of Amazon as the seller's fabric is returnable and decently priced if you want the option to return it.  You do need to make sure the sell is Amazon because most other sellers on Amazon will not let you return fabric cut from the bolt.

    Hancock's of Paducah is a family owned fabric shop that mostly carries quilting fabric. They have great mark downs on quilting fabric and some home decor fabrics.  They also have a good price on queen size 100% cotton batting by Quilter's dream.
    https://www.hancocks-paducah.com/SALES

    Fabric.com is owned  by Amazon.  They have a huge selection of fabrics for all kinds of sewing.  I have a weakness for their Fast Friday sales that are best checked out Thursday evenings because they tend to be bolts they are running low on and everything sells out fast. This is best if you are very familiar with the type of fabric and the manufacturer of the fabric because you can't return the fabric from sales or clearance.    Regular priced fabric is returnable within 30 days.

    For notions like zippers, snaps, hooks and eyes, buckles, D rings, and buttons I picked up bulk lots cheap on Ebay 5 to 10 years ago and have enough to last me at least another decade.  These tend to be really expensive by the piece in fabric or craft store and cheap in bundle online.  I have also seen bundles for decent prices on Amazon.  

    For hardware and patterns to make various bags, totes, and purses I really like Sew Sweetness.  She has high quality hardware, easy to follow patterns and  really well done how to videos.  
    https://sewsweetness.com/?v=7516fd43adaa

    Etsy has been my go to for PDF patterns from various designers.   I will use Etsy to find specific fabrics I am looking for and have been happy with all the small shops that I have used through Etsy.

    Mulqueen, I like them for notions, fabric cutting dies, and some sale fabrics.  
    https://www.mulqueen.com/

    Quilt in a Day is mostly for quilting and craft sewing.  They have good customer service and you can get some great deals when they run sales.  
    https://www.quiltinaday.com/

    For outdoor fabrics, various heavy duty specialty fabrics, and the bumper cover fabric that my FIRST FRC Robotics team uses I order from Seattle Fabrics.
    https://www.seattlefabrics.com/




















     
    r ranson
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    I like maiwa for their ethics and the quality of their supplies (hint, select "supply store" from the drop-down menu).  They are my go-to place for natural dye supplies and lately, they have started carrying sewing tools.  I bought a sample of some of their fabric, but between you and me, the quality is too high for my skill level at this time.  But the Merchant & Mills books and supplies kicked off my latest drive to learn to sew.  
     
    Beth Wilder
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    Do folks here have a favorite type of pins and an online source for them that is not Amazon? I'd prefer glass-head pins (assuming these are really glass? are they?) or something like that in different colors without plastic if possible. I've never had really high-quality pins and I'm getting really sick of the crappy ones, but I'm also indescribably OCD about odd things like placing pins in rainbow color order... What can I say? Anyway, I could of course try to wean myself from this odd habit if some kind of non-colored pins are the best, highest quality option. Thanks in advance!
     
    Kate Muller
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    Beth Wilder wrote:Do folks here have a favorite type of pins and an online source for them that is not Amazon? I'd prefer glass-head pins (assuming these are really glass? are they?) or something like that in different colors without plastic if possible. I've never had really high-quality pins and I'm getting really sick of the crappy ones, but I'm also indescribably OCD about odd things like placing pins in rainbow color order... What can I say? Anyway, I could of course try to wean myself from this odd habit if some kind of non-colored pins are the best, highest quality option. Thanks in advance!



    What kind of sewing do you do?  There are different pins for different fabrics or techniques.  

    Clover makes nice glass head pins in a couple of different lengths and diameter.  I have their quilting pins in the fine diameter for my light weight quilting cottons.  I like the extra length and thin pin.  
    https://www.clover-usa.com/en/83-pins

    For general sewing of clothing I LOVE Iris Super Fin 1 1/4" pins by Euro Notions.  They never snag on the fabric and are easy to iron over.
    https://www.schmetzneedles.com/item/IRISreg-Swiss-Super-Fine-Pins-100037
    I also love Schmetz sewing Machine needles.  


    I also have heavy duty thick 2" long Precision Point Pins by Pyrm Dritz that I used to make Warm Window insulated roman shades for some friends of mine.  These are great for heavy duty fabrics like 1000 denier nylon, Warm Window insulated shade lining fabric, heavy canvas and other heavy duty fabrics.  
    https://www.banaschs.com/product/heavy-duty-bank-pins-1lb-box/  This company carries the Iris Super Fine Pins too.

    The Clover pins and Iris pins can be found at most online fabric and or quilting shops. I don't which ones you prefer but they shouldn't be to hard to find.  I do Like Mulqueens because they have customer service and decent prices.  They carry the Clover pins.  They also have discount code for most notions that take 20% off and they do free shipping for orders over $49.  

    https://www.mulqueen.com/iishop?dynamicFilters=%7B%22mfg_name%22:%7B%22Clover+Needlecraft%22:true%7D%7D&search_keyword=iris+pins







     
    Beth Wilder
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    Thanks for all your wonderfully helpful recommendations, Kate! I do a lot of mending and some other hand sewing, mostly of small things like bags or gifts like girls' dresses or the fabric linings for knitted bags, and some simple embroidery like sashiko. I have a machine but I never use it. I've pieced my first full-size quilt and have yet to quilt it, so I also have curved safety pins on my list for that. (Right?) I'm no expert at any of this, except possibly some forms of mending, just because I've been doing that regularly all my life. Basically I need some high-quality multi-use pins.

    Your suggestions are great. I'd forgotten that I had a set of the Clover fine quilting pins on my wish list already, actually!

    I saw your recommendation of Mulqueen before but didn't see that they're located in Arizona. That's great. I'll be placing an order with them. I just have to decide how much of my now-loaded shopping cart I actually need... ;) In case anyone else is looking for it like I was, the discount code for notions is "Sewing".

    Do you or others know if other brands of glass-head pins that they carry, like Bohin, are any good? (I have to admit, I'm asking because they sell rainbow color sets of Bohin quilting pins, so I could satisfy my neurosis.)
     
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    Kate Muller
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    Beth Wilder wrote:

    Do you or others know if other brands of glass-head pins that they carry, like Bohin, are any good? (I have to admit, I'm asking because they sell rainbow color sets of Bohin quilting pins, so I could satisfy my neurosis.)




    I haven't used Bohin pins yet.  I have given my Mother in Law Bohin's  Super Automatic Needle Threader and she loves it.

    Clover does make these swirled glass head pins that I will be getting the next time I order quilting supplies from this place or another quilting that carries them.
    https://www.missouriquiltco.com/shop/detail/115316/clover-needlecraft-inc/-/clover-marbled-glass-head-pins-






     
    Kate Muller
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    Nicole Alderman wrote:Anyone know where to find PURPLE glass head pins? I found a lot of every other color of the rainbow, but no purple ones



    Bohin makes purple glass head pins.  
    https://www.fatquartershop.com/bohin-80-ct-purple-glass-head-pins
     
    Kate Muller
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    Beth Wilder wrote: I've pieced my first full-size quilt and have yet to quilt it, so I also have curved safety pins on my list for that.



    I haven't bought curved safety pins but I have no trouble using straight ones to baste a quilt sandwich.  I bought a box of rust proof marathon bid safety pins I needed for another project since they were a good deal for 1000 pins.  
     
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    My go-to mail order sewing supply house has always been Home Sew. They were bought out a few years ago by some other company and aren't quite as good anymore but I recently got an order from them and it was as good as ever. The options are fewer and I don't know if you can still get a paper catalog but the quality (and price) are good and they've always been quick to ship. I recommend them.  

    I recently found Big Duck Canvas online and am loving my order from them. Got great quality muslin and heavy canvas for making a mattress. Not cheap but not cheaply made either and the prices were reasonable.

    A place called Period Fabric also looks interesting, all natural fibers. It's not a fancy website but I think I'll be trying them out sometime soon as well.
     
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