Friday, April 13, 2012

Stitches - Seattle, WA

After spending two days inside at the Seattle International Textile Expo, it was nice to get out and around Seattle. I was really excited to not only meet some of our customers, but also to see all the fabrics! Even though I work at a fabric store and assist in buying fabrics (basically meaning I can buy whatever fabric I want...within reason) it is hard for me to resist not buying more! If I like the fabric and it inspires me, I want it. But because I had 3 suitcases almost all filled to capacity, I was more restricted. So throughout my entire trip, I did not bu ANY fabric!! Believe me, it took a lot of will power, but I'm kinda proud of myself!

The first fabric store I visited was Stitches, located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. It was located near one of the colleges in Seattle, although not entirely geared toward the students. When you drive up you cannot help but miss Stitches. The front windows are framed with lime green and bubblegum pink paint. And when peering in the window, you see packed shelves of fabric, a notions wall, and bins of colorful yarns. 

Stitches carries a nice range of fashion fabrics including, denim, silks, linen, cotton, woolens, knits, costume fabrics, furs and more. The selection of fashion fabrics is great because there is a little bit of everything. There are also quilting cotton prints appropriate for fashion and oilcloth perfect for aprons, raincoats and tableclothes. 

Need a notion in a bind? This is the place to go! There is an entire wall of notions. If you can't find it here, then there is no such thing! I need some cording to make a seat cushion and just have not gotten to our loca Joann Fabrics to buy it. I was almost tempted to buy it from Stitches because they had exactly what I was looking for! Although I declined from the purchase, can you believe I would travel all the way across the country just to get basic cording!?!  I thought it was crazy too....

Check out the pic with samples from some of their classes. I wish they were closer so I could take a class! The pants in the picture are from an Echino linen blend border print. I've always loved these fabrics, but really had no idea what to do with them. I'm definitely going to make myself a pair of pants like this. Stitches offers classes for both beginners and experienced sewers almost every day of the week. Check out their website for class descriptions and times. They also carry a range of ribbons and trims for costumes, garments, accessories and more. So if you're in the Seattle area and you're feeling creative, check out Stitches to get everything you need from a fun and funky fabric store!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My first trip to the Pacific Northwest - Part One

I had the amazing opportunity to travel to the Pacific Northwest to sell our fabric line at the Seattle International Textile Expo AND visit many of our current customers. I went into some of the top fabric stores in the northwest and met some awesome indie designers. I will record my adventures in a few different parts, so stay tuned for more posts!

My adventure started on Saturday, March 10. I left Philadelphia for my 13-day fabric bonanza! This was my first trip alone, so I was nervous and excited all at the same time! Had a layover in Chicago - Midway, then made it to rainy Seattle at 3:40pm. Lugging 3 LARGE suitcases, a laptop bag and a purse, I made my way to my rental car. (I was literally pulling almost 150 lbs of luggage....) It turned out to be a 2012 Toyota Camry with only 60 miles on it and bluetooth, so I could connect my phone! Of course my GPS wasn't finding my location (because I was in a parking garage) so I had to blindly decide which way to go when I got outside. Thankfully I chose the correct way and ended up in downtown Seattle without the GPS! (The GPS wouldn't locate me, so all I had were the signs on the road, in a place I had never been before.) After driving in circles on the one-way streets I finally found the Red Lion Hotel I was staying at.

The next few days consisted of showing our fabric line at the Seattle International Textile Expo -- meeting designers and small manufacturers who were current customers and also met a lot of new customers. There were some really new and interesting creations as well as more traditional garments with a mix of whimsy! One designer was producing "girlie boxer shorts". Another was making more traditional jackets and coats, but with interesting buttons and tucks and pleats in unconventional places.

One designer in particular was Lisa Vian Hunter. She was recently on NBC's Fashion Star. She created a little black dress style dress in a variety of different colors and fabrics. She was picked by Macy's to have her garments featured in their stores. Her line contains a lot of classic and trendy styles in fun prints, basic solids and flowy silks.


Finding my way through Seattle was definitely an adventure with the one-way streets, the yield to pedestrians (that are everywhere!), and the traffic lights in the middle of the block. Although it rained the whole time I was there, I had the chance to see the Pike Place Market. This market is known for the fish throwing, which I had the chance to see. It was also fun to see the artisans selling their wares in the cold and damp weather. 


 Still to come...Fabric store reviews and my trip to Portland, OR!