My one of my first jobs was working at one of our local fabric stores, Fantasy Fabrics at the Whittier Quad. When I say one of our local fabric stores, it is because I eventually starting working at the other local fabric store, Maxime's Fabrics in Uptown Whittier. I love fabric stores! One of my favorites was Fabric King that I would always visit with my Grandma. This was a different kind of fabric store, where all the fabric was flat folded on tables, no bolts to knock over and try to get back where it belongs. And the fabric was cheap! You could make a cute dress for $2.00!
I learned to sew on a sewing machine at a very young age, as soon as I could run the machine I was off! My Mom taught me how to work the machine and read a pattern, but like most things, I taught myself the rest! I picked patterns that challenged me to learn more, but mostly I picked the things I wanted to make, and that was my inspiration to learn how! When I got to Junior High I was way beyond the wrap around skirt everyone made in Home Ec class. I was given permission to make a jacket with a hood matching plaid. By the time I was in High School I made most of clothes. My junior year I had to fill in a time with a class and the only one that looked fun to me was Advanced Sewing, but I had not taken Beginning Sewing. I had to ask the teacher if it was okay to join her class, she had to test me to see my skills, I told her I had made the pants I was wearing, which were baggie jeans. I was let in the class.
I have continued to sew, though I admit not as much as I'd like to in recent years... I sew mostly crafts nowadays. But back in the day I visited at least 2 fabric stores a weekend, sometimes 4, if I was on a mission! I made most of my clothes, even while working at Nordstrom. My niece Sydney was the best dressed child around! I made most of her clothes and the rest I bought at Nordstrom. I made all of my Mom's dresses, I made clothes for my friends, I made our Bridesmaid dresses for Jennifer's wedding and I was the Maid of Honor!
Sadly there are not many Independent fabric stores around anymore, but yesterday I visited one of my favorites that is still going strong, M&L Fabrics. I had not been there for a couple of years, but it was pretty much still the same... lots and lots of fabric everywhere! At first I was overwhelmed and had noticed all the prices had gone up, this was a place I could find great deals at $1.98 a yard! It is still a deal at $2.49 a yard and I did walk out of there yesterday spending $25.00 for 3 dresses and a new cover for my ironing board, but more important is how spending that hour in the fabric store jump started my creative juices and inspired me. I am completely at home at a fabric store, a real fabric store, not a Joann's Super Store, it is my "candy store" it is my past, and I am happy when I visit.