This past Friday, I was out fabric shopping. Now, I know that you know that I need fabric like a hole in my head, but this was for very specific projects which are coming up here and here. With these events in mind, I needed fabric for a dress and buttons and odd notions here and there. It doesn’t help that I had to go to four different places either. That’s just the way of things though in Salt Lake City, Utah. Aaaarghhh!
First stop – Nuttall’s Bernina. This is not a favorite place of mine. I’ve never had a good experience from this store, not even buying simple things like zippers and thread. I bought my sewing machine from them and stupidly, have had it serviced there twice. The last time it sat in the shop for a week. I was never contacted to come and pick it up and finally I called to see if it was finished and the lady on the phone said “Oh yes, it’s been finished for awhile now, we were wondering why you haven’t come and picked it up.” Humph!!!! I wanted to try out a wing needle and this particular Bernina store is the only one that I’ve found that carries them. I waited in line for 30 MINUTES!!!! while a lady in front of me was having about 15 bolts of minky cut. Did I mention that they don’t have a cutting counter either? It’s the same station as the register. Yeah. It’s really fun. Finally another employee asked if I was buying fabric, I replied, “No, I just need this one needle.” It was very embarassing for everyone. And I was a bit on the mad side. One employee at the cutting counter which also happens to be the register and I am not pleased. Nutall’s Bernina of SLC – you get two thumbs down!
Next stop, Hancock Fabrics. Now, I actually like Hancock’s alot. It’s a sewing store chain, but usually a) there is no one there shopping, so the lines are completely bearable b) the staff are not overworked and there are plenty of people around to man each station and they are pleasant, cheerful and quite helpful and c) they have some fairly good apparel fabrics. The girl who cut the silk I needed for lining was very sweet and really nice. The lady who checked me out, she knew her stuff and we had a short conversation because she used to work as a seamstress for a local theater. Hancock Fabrics of SLC – you get two thumbs up!
Next up, Joann. Hmmmm…..I’m sorry but I hate going to Joann. I’ve been to all of the locations here in the Salt Lake Valley and have always found the same thing. The employees are overworked and usually rude, there’s not enough of them working and manning the stations and the customers there are always butting in front of you acting like they’re out to get whatever you are after which in turn makes you do the same thing to them. Oh my GOODNESS! I had a gift card there otherwise I would never have made a stop. Not to mention Friday, I needed 2 yards of a single fabric cut and I waited for 30 MINUTES!!! to get the darn thing cut. When it was finally my turn I was a little exasperated. The girl cutting the cloth could tell and apologized. When I got to the check out line, I waited another 15 minutes and the girl at the checkout was rude. At least they have a separate cutting station. Joann of SLC – you get one thumb down.
Last and very best of all, Yellow Bird Fabrics. This is a very quaint and lovely shop. The small space is filled to the brim with GORGEOUS fabrics of all types. And when I say gorgeous, I mean gorgeous. There is not a single synthetic fiber in the whole joint. I walked in and was greeted with the pungent odor of lovely fabric and the welcome of the very sweet owner. Oh my goodness she was so wonderful! I was wearing my Bella jeans and she immediately complimented me on them and said she had been wanting a pair like that herself. Then she pointed out that they carried Decades of Style patterns, which I did not know and drew my attention to those wonderful high waisted trousers they have out. She asked if I was looking for something in particular and left me to look around. I took a look around and found this positively perfect polka dotted linen. Aren’t you just jealous? Not only that, but they actually carry hair canvas, buckram, real grosgrain ribbon (you know, the kind made of rayon with the scalloped edge) netting for millinery work and various other little things. On top of all of that everything in the shop was 20% off during the month of March. Now, I’m here to say that Yellow Bird doesn’t sell cheap sewing supplies. Their fabrics and notions are very high quality and you pay for that. But I’m also going to say that with the outstanding customer service I received and the luscious linen I got, I’m more than happy to pay it. Truly. Yellow Bird Fabrics of SLC – you get 5 GOLD STARS!
I thought you might find this sort of an interesting little study. I know I did. I usually can’t find everything I need in one place and I’ll grant you that I scour the streets for great deals too. I used to do this on my lunch hour at my day job and was never able to actually go to all the stores I needed in one day. Having done it all in one day, I’m a little bit frayed (I was frayed at my day job too and now I know why) and wondering if some of the deals that I get and find are actually worth it when it takes such pains to get them. I was very unhappy with my experiences in Joann and the Bernina store. And what’s even sadder is that I went to Yellow Bird Fabrics last when I should have gone first because they had the exact fabric I wanted along with everything else (except the winged needle and the hook and eye closures) which I ended up going to 2 different stores for. Tell me, do these experiences ring bells for you? Feel a little frayed after fabric and notion shopping? What’s your solution?
Happy Sewing Trails, especially at the shops you frequent!