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Bay Area folks: Headed to Britex in mid-May!!
what should I keep my eye out for?
stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 4/5/13 8:05 PM

SO EXCITED!! My wonderful DB and SIL sent me a gift certificate (a hefty one!) to Britex in San Francisco, and I'll be there in the middle of May. I have been to Britex before, once about 15 years ago (before I was much of a seamstress), so I know what a treasure I have! But I have never been there with $$$ burning holes in my pocket, and of course I want to make the most of my time and money. They don't show anywhere near everything on their website, and I'm wondering what sort of really special things you Bay Area fabric collectors have spotted there recently!

I have a really good stash of solid color linens and wools (which they show a lot of on their website), but am always on the lookout for novelty sorts of pieces (embroidery or other embellishment, interesting textures, unusual stuff like the linen damask in my avatar corset, etc). I should stay away from knits, because I have yet to make really good friends with my serger. ;)

(Of course, I know you people are going to CLEAR THE PLACE OUT on PR weekend in a few weeks, but wouldja leave me a couple of pieces, pretty please? :winkgrin:)



Thanks!!
-- Edited on 4/5/13 8:10 PM --

------
~Gem in the prairie

Hauteaway
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Hauteaway  Friend of PR
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 4/6/13 0:53 AM

Quote: stirwatersblue
(Of course, I know you people are going to CLEAR THE PLACE OUT on PR weekend in a few weeks, but wouldja leave me a couple of pieces, pretty please? :winkgrin:)

Ah, but two weeks is enough for them to restock. In the meantime, you can think of the PR Weekend folks as your advance guard, scoping out the place for what you need.

------
YAN: Yet Another Nancy

wendyrb
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<
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Date: 4/6/13 1:26 AM

What wonderful relatives to give you a real splurge. Britex is the place for unusual base cloths, colors and textures, rather than commodity fabrics. Be sure to make good use of the Britex staff- they know their stock. Some find them a little standoffish; I stick to my passion for fabric and have had great experiences. You have to budget time for their trim floor, or even schedule a visit just for that and devote yourself to fabric on another day.

Before you arrive in SF, I suggest you start some friendly overtures with your serger. If time permits on your trip, go to Fabrix, also in SF, for some nice, but inexpensive knits- plus other things. Also, go across the Bay to Berkeley's Stonemountain and Daughter. Lots of good quality and well-priced fabric. Again, plenty of knits- don't be skeered!

Hey, if PR folk buy all the knits, there will be plenty of embellished wovens waiting just for you!

------
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

Kemish
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Kemish  Friend of PR
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 4/6/13 11:53 PM

We go to SF (DH & me) at least once a year and Britex is a stop - no matter what! We live in southern CA.

What to buy? I wish I could tell you. Geez! I wish someone would tell me what to buy there each time I visit.

Last fall when we were in the city by the bay, I took several patterns with me. The sale associate who assisted me, showed me SO many fabric choices for the patterns I had. How could I choose!? But choose I must.

Whatever you buy will be luscious! Britex Fabrics is heaven for sewist.

------
Kemish

sewme47
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sewme47
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Date: 4/7/13 7:19 AM

Oh, boy! I'm going to be in the Bay area in June, and this is all good news to me. I had no idea I'll be heading into a treasure trove of fabric stores! Hmmm, I think DH will be eating soup for the next two months...I've got to save up for some serious stash enhancement!!!!!!!!!

------
A balanced diet is a cupcake in each hand.

m/m

m/m  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/7/13 8:45 AM

Britex is wonderful for finding the perfect solid fabric to go with anything with mixed colors but that's not your main need. Perhaps you should splurge on some really wonderful (and pricey) wool or similar for a coat or jacket? A few years ago my husband and I got there shortly after the doors opened and everyone was wonderful to both of us. Don't hesitate to ask for help - "I've heard so much about Britex! Where should I start?" works wonders. Enjoy your shopping spree!

RMJ
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Date: 4/7/13 10:07 AM

I've gotten wonderful wools and Cotton shirtings at Britex. I have not had good luck with knits or denims. I find it best to go there looking for something specific, otherwise I'm just overwhelmed. Most, but not all, of the salespeople have been very nice and helpful.

wendyrb
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In reply to RMJ <<


Date: 4/7/13 11:56 AM

RMJ- I wouldn't think of Britex first for knits either. However, I'm on their mailing list/blog. A recent post about their online store said- You asked for knits and we're listening. Apparently they are/will be carrying more knits. I have found ones in unusual fibers with luscious drape, texture and color. On the 1st floor they have some heavier weight ones that are really interesting to my eye.

Britex remnants are usually well over 1 yard, often 2 or 3 +. At times I've had buyers remorse because I way over bought a remnant. I would have been better off buying the smaller amount I needed at full price. In that situation, I've learned to ask if they still have it on the bolt. They do have a small amount of smaller remnants, not much.

As I mentioned before, the trim selection is heavenly. If you use Petersham- get a look at their gazillion colors. Sandra Betzina is a big proponent of the Petersham finished waistline; if you don't yet know what that is, look in 1 of her books.

Overall, I wouldn't use Britex to get the best price on basics readily available elsewhere. They're a specialty shop- shop for something special. It's a cushy place, like walking in to Saks or Bergdorfs in NYC. the way they display and have a large sales staff looking to serve you is entirely different than say Fabrix. There you just dive into the tubes of cloth and rummage. Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley has a funky vibe. Lots os great choices in the Bay Area. I love fabric in any venue, so it's all good to me. And I have a hefty stash to prove it.

------
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

carry
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Date: 4/8/13 9:38 PM

The kind of beautiful costume sewing you do should have you jumping up and down in the trim dept/They also carry all those wonderful millinery flowers that are so unavailable now. They have a huge assort.of imported lace on the 1st floor I think. The difficulty with Britex is that it is small even though 3 stories and the fabric is shelved high up and you have to have someone get it down for you. You can't see all the merchandise. I think nabbing a salesperson is your best bet.Just assume they have everything and ask where. Avoid sale days if you want to take your time,its a stampede and help is hard to get.

AliceM
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AliceM
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Date: 4/8/13 11:00 PM

Went there once in 2005. The first fabric I picked up was $275 per yard! WOW. The only things I could afford were remnants and some buttons. Very cool place to look around but not good for anyone on a budget.

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