March 24, 2013


If you live in the Twin Cities area, like to sew and love a good deal, I hope you know about the SR Harris Fabric Warehouse. Initially I found out about it while I was pregnant. So while finishing up the nursery at 7 months along, I hauled my big belly around the warehouse. Had to ask for assistance from other customers to dig out upholstery bolts, hoist them up to the self-serve cutting table and later return them to the sales floor. It was all worthwhile to get such great deals on adorable nursery fabric. People who shop the wholesaler are also more than happy to lend a hand.

Since I wouldn't dream of taking my little guy to such a hands on shopping experience complete with fabric shears, it's been over a year since my first trip to SR Harris. Now that I have a lovely new sewing room and the inspiration is overflowing, it was time to pay another visit! Hubs let me take a baby free afternoon yesterday, so I got a list together and headed out.

Only giving myself two hours to work with (one could easily spend two days)  I was immediately sucked into the Missoni wool stacked high at the entrance. The huge selection of iconic, colorful zig-zag knit is going for 50% off at $20-$25/yd. Even at a steep discount I was unprepared to put down that much cash on fabric I've no dedicated use for. Peeled myself away to hunt through the 10+ aisles of cotton including designer prints and organics.

With the amazing discounts comes a price though. Shopping at the fabric warehouse is not for the faint of heart. You'll contend with:
1- No sorting of designs, color or manufacturer. The only grouping is done by general fabric type. So cotton quilting, fleece, jersey/stretch, flannel, upholstery, etc is the only sorting you may count on. This creates aisles stacked as high as you can reach full of every option available within a fabric type. It's both beautiful and maddening.
2- Other shoppers and carts. Try shopping at a slow time for the easiest experience since the aisles are wide enough for carts to pass, but barely. You also really have to get up really close to examine prints.  Having to deal with other shoppers makes this virtually impossible. It's a situation where you can see the end of a bolt and just the general color, but you'll need to work it out of the stack a bit to see what it really is.
3- Don't think you can skip using a cart to make shopping easier. Much like thrifting, you'll want to pull down every bolt you think you'll want right as you discover it. Realize that if you pass up a bolt thinking you can go back for it, chances are you just won't ever find it again. So stack that cart high and asses your selections at the very end.

Well here is what I made out with! Found lots of prints to fill the holes in my stash (small scale designs for trimming/binding and lining and more boy colors/designs. What was extra amazing is that I came across something I'd pinned ages ago! At $4.50-$5.50/yd, I'll call it destiny.

If you make the trip to SR Harris, I hope you have some great finds!