Sorry I’ve been MIA this week, just taking a bit to get my feet back under me after Thanksgiving.
I have the good fortune of having in-laws in the Pacific Northwest, so we headed up to Portland for a few days to stay with my brother-in-law and his wife before heading up to Seattle for a big Thanksgiving feast. I’d been to Portland once before and had crossed a few must-see items off my tourist list, so this time I was excited to explore what this DIY haven had to offer in terms of fabric stores. Portland’s got a few big ones like JoAnn’s and the Mill End store, but I decided to explore a few more specialized gems.
First stop was The Knittn Kitten in the Montavilla neighborhood (just around the corner from where I was staying!). I wasn’t sure what to expect from this little shop, but I made a few great finds. The Knittn Kitten specializes in thrifted and vintage fabrics.
The shop had nicely laid out tables of quilting fabrics and vintage fabrics hanging on racks with yardage clearly labeled (and if you only want a bit, they’ll make cuts for you too!) at $3/yd for most fabrics. Seems like there are always boxes of fabric coming in and the Yelp reviews say the owner will dig things out of the back if you’ve got something in particular in mind. The store also had stacks of notions and yarns!
Buttons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wish I’d had more time to sift through them but I’d already been there for an hour!
The store also had a little backroom with vintage linens and hand sewn items.
But the real attraction for a lot of sewists I think, is The Knittn Kitten’s huge selection of vintage patterns (many uncut!)! I wish I’d had more time to sort through them all!
This is definitely the kind of place you just drop in on once in a while and see what new stuff they’ve got hanging around. I made quite a few finds myself;
Uncut 1966 jumper dress pattern, buttons and quilting cotton
I haven’t tried to alter patterns before, so I’m excited to try my hand at increasing this pattern size. Perhaps I’ll finally sew a muslin!
Close-up of one of the painted wooden buttons
I might have gotten carried away with the plaids, but ’tis the season!
Thank you, Knittn Kitten!
Next stop: RCT (Rose City Textiles) in Portland’s Northwest neighborhood. This place is an absolute 100% MUST visit for any outdoorsy people with an interest in sewing. I’ve never seen somewhere with such an amazing assortment of technical fabrics at fabulous prices.
Sunbrela fabric selection.
Sporty flat folds at $5/yd
And I must say, this is the only fabric store I’ve ever been to that my husband LOVED. He went crazy for their selection of notions, from waterproof zips to shock cords (like stretchy shoe laces).
Can’t say as I’ve done much shock cord shopping in my life, but my husband has and he said these prices were lower than anything you’d ever find at an outdoors store like REI. He bought a ton of cords for $1.50-$3.00/yd and even found some really hard-to-find reflective shock cord. We also stocked up on reflective strips and piping just to keep around the house for sewing onto bags and jackets, etc.
Fabric shopping in my me-made scoop neck tee!
They had a huge selection of fabrics out front to sort through but also an amazing warehouse that you can see stretching out behind me. This place was like, twice the size of Discount Fabrics in San Francisco but entirely devoted to outdoor and technical fabrics! From swim wear to sports jerseys to lycra and microfleece, we were drooling over their selection.
And I gotta say, this was an absolute FIRST. My husband left the RCT Fabrics with a bigger haul than I did!!!! It’s even inspired him to learn to sew!!!
Thank you, RCT Fabrics!!