Monday, April 18, 2011

My Pilgrimmage to FabricMart

Any of you who has followed my blog much will know that I love to order from FabricMart. Their great prices, quality fabrics, generous cuts, and $8 flat rate shipping makes them very appealing to the discerning shopper. As a jobber, they don't carry every single fabric you might be looking for, but if you go in with an open mind to see what they have available, you will find treasures galore.

In fact, Carolyn and I often joke about who loves FabricMart more.

We joke, but seriously... it's me. :)

When Peggy invited me back east for a fabric-related road trip, I was ecstatic to realize that she was only an hour or so from FM, so that became a focus for the trip. And of course I invited Carolyn along. And Noile. (Peggy is such a good sport and had encouraged me to invite a couple friends.)

The night before, all three sewists warned me not to get overexcited because, well, maybe I was expecting too much, but it was even better than I had hoped. If you doubt it, just look at how ridiculous I look in this picture with Robert, the owner.

Seriously, this is embarrassing. Had someone just made a salty comment to crack me up? I can not think of a single celebrity who would give me an expression as goofy as this one.

(By the way, thanks to Carolyn for these in-store photos as I wasn't thinking much about capturing the experience. And thanks to the camera-shy Noile for taking some photos outside with my camera.)

We met just about everyone there, including:

  • Robert, the incredibly gracious and generous owner who let us run through every corner of the store &ndash even to the back where the fabric was coming off the trucks and to the Basement of Delight.
  • Julie, of Julie's pics.
  • Chris, who handles billing – her name on the "from" line when you get your boxes. Chris told me how I can use my Discovercard for online orders (the form only allows Visa and MasterCard). And she told Carolyn what magic she needs to get her boxes faster, just like she used to.
  • Sharon, who makes the mystery bundles (and who cut most of our fabric).
  • Jenna, whom I have spoken to on the phone and also helped out with the cutting.
  • The strong guys who carry the ginormous bolts around, 'cause, you know, someone has to do that.
  • The "Roller Master" who puts the fabric onto smaller bolts for the store and to send to retail establishments.
  • Jennifer, who was preparing wholesale orders in the dim basement and remained steadfastly gracious even when I pestered her endlessly to let me take some fabric from the only bolt of to-die-for fabric heading to Stone Mountain. (And no, I didn't get any.)
  • The girls who fill the orders and one, in particular, who cut off the 1-1/2 yards for a customer's order so I could buy the rest of the bolt.

The only person not there that day was Sue, of Sue's pick, which was a shame, but it's not like we warned them or anything. ;) I must apologize for the names I've forgotten. But, like other unnamed intense encounters, my blood seems to rush from my brain to other parts of my body &ndash in this case, my credit card.

So, what did I buy? Here's a sneak peek.

My bounty. The blue and green fabrics on the lower left are linen jersey, but I also got black.

When I returned to San Francisco last night, there was a sizable box waiting on my porch. I haven't opened it up yet, but when I do, I will post some better pictures. Including pics of the linen jersey that Carolyn has already posted about.

And here's a little more background to that story...

The night before our visit to FM, the four of us were chatting, late in the night, over some serious candy carnage. I mentioned that I would really like to find some linen jersey on this trip and that the only linen jersey I had seen for sale was in very limited colors and cost megabucks (around $25) per yard. Imagine my delight the next day at FM when that truck rolled in and started off-loading linen jersey. Robert innocently showed us a couple bolts of the newly arrived jersey, and the staff looked on, amused, as the four of us ran pell-mell through the store to the loading dock in back. Robert allowed us to grab the bolts in the colors we liked.

So, let me just say, if you are anywhere near Sinking Springs, Pennsylvania, that FabricMart is well worth a visit. They have fabrics that are not on their site, including the table of sale bolts. There's not much else in the town, but take some friends and have fun. They even fed us homemade treats – that chocolate covered peanut butter egg made by the local Mennonite church ladies sustained me through the experience. :)

Oh, and Robert mentioned the possibility of having a FM open house in the near future. Get on his mailing list (or become a fan on Facebook) so you will be notified of any events. I can't make it back for this, but it's worth going if you live within a few hours drive.

I don't know if I need to say this, because I say it all the time, but this post is entirely my opinion and is not in any way a paid advertisement. I have never shilled for any business. (And if I did, I'd tell you. :) )


  1. Oh, I am so glad that you got there. I love everyone at FM, almost as much as I love their fabric. And I even stop and buy some of that peanut butter and chocolate at a local place on the way back south to Baltimore. Unpacking that box will be such a joy.

  2. This trip was just as exciting for the rest of us as it was for Shams----but she did such a great job of describing it! She was just as vibrant and fun in person as she is on her blog and I loved running around fabric stores with her and the others all week. Can't wait to see what she, Noile and Carolyn make with their finds! Their blogs enabled this fabulous "meet-up"----yeah for the technical world! Peggy

  3. Sister Wife...I know you keep saying that you love Fabric Mart more...but I don't know about that!!! And someone had to take pictures of you...because you were like a little kid who had met Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and been allowed to have every treat under-the-sun...with the goofiest grin EVAH! BTW, Sue did come near the end of our gorgefest...and wasn't Robert the kewlest! I can post pictures of my goodies!!! Thanks!

  4. I love the photos of you scampering around FM with that huge grin on your face! Your expressions remind me of Christmas morning dawning on my DD when she was 18 months old.

  5. What Carolyn said! And what Peg said, too!

    I'd like to add that I've gone to Fabric Mart completely incognito all by my little lonesome and I've always been treated incredibly nicely -- so you don't have to be a star blogger to have a great experience!

    Even the truck-loading, bolt-toting, huge-roll-wrapping guys who almost certainly don't sew are just as friendly as they can be and very, very helpful -- just like everyone else in the place. The FM crowd is just good people, and the store is a treasure-trove.

    One neat feature for Internet shoppers is that all the fabric that's online is along one wall, so that you can instantly fondle those fabrics you've been oogling on your monitor at home.

    And, of course, when you're through doing that, there are more rooms and a whole basement more to explore!

  6. I absolutely LOVE the facial expression when you are hugging the mound of cut fabrics--only another stashaholic would appreciate the sheer joy on your face. I'm dying to see all of the lovely creations that come from your sewing studio with this bounty of materials to spark your creative juices!!!

    Enjoy your treasures.

    Lynda in LV

  7. I adore the pic of you with the mound of fabric! I have a fabric mart package on the way. It is my favorite online store! You can find real gems.

  8. Is it OK that I'm so jealous I'm refusing to look in the mirror because I KNOW I've turned green? The trip, the fabric, the sewing/shopping/fabricaholic friends.....thanks for sharing everything in such wonderful detail! I felt (almost) like I was right there with you!

    Maybe next time..... ;-D

  9. What fun! Thanks for sharing all the details!

  10. Oh, Shams! this post make me laugh and giggle with glee! what a fabric orgy! Thank you for sharing!

    Rose in SV

  11. Oh, I'm so jealous that you got to go to Fabric Mart! I am a Fabric Mart Fabrics junky because of you and Caroline. I already have an impressive stash of fabric but I keep ordering more and I always throw in a mystery bundle (or two). Opening those boxes is so much fun!

    I can't wait to see your creations. I can't wait to see more detail on your acquisitions.

  12. I made a sojourn to Fabric Mart last fall! I found plenty! Not as much as you, but plenty! :-) Did you make it to the Reading Outlets, too?

  13. I learned about Fabric Mart's website from Carolyn, and I'd love to make a pilgrimage there. If I tell myself that Reading isn't that far from Scranton, I might just get there....Glad you all had such a wonderful time!

  14. This trip sounds like just the most fun ever! And the expressions of happiness are TDF. I'm so glad you girls had such a wonderful fabric excursion!

    Karen aka Karendee

  15. Oh my! This trip sounds heavenly! I mean, really, how doesn't love Fabric Mart? They are seriously my fave online fabric store. Thanks for sharing!

  16. fab post - I am really jealous.