Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life

Fabric Temptation



I’ve been on holiday for the last two weeks in California. And these days no holiday is complete without a visit to a fabric store. Jess of Wardrobe Ecology kindly gave me a fantastic list of fabric stores in the Bay Area. It was such a pity I didn’t get time to visit them all and with transport limitations, Britex Fabrics, in San Francisco itself, was the easiest to see. Apparently it is a bit of a San Francisco institution, although I didn’t know anything about the store before I arrived.

The store exudes an atmosphere that reminded me of an old-fashioned department store and is spread over no less than four floors. One whole floor was devoted to notions. You cannot imagine my delight to find a whole wall of buttons.

Wall of buttons

First on my shopping list were some jeans buttons and “rivets” (as they seem to be called in the US). I have been meaning to make a pair of jeans for some time, but I don’t know anywhere that sells rivets in the UK.


Next, I went upstairs and looked at the selection of knit fabrics. I selected a Japanese tissue knit in black and aquamarine. Again, these light-weight knits are a rarity in the UK.

Finally, I made my way to the floor selling silks. Jess’s comment that this is a “high-end” fabric store was certainly spot-on. I spent a long time “fondling” a beautiful Versace silk print and trying to justify buying something at $125 a yard. Fortunately, a lady came in and decided to buy some plain green washed silk for her son’s Peter Pan costume. (Really, do people buy quality silk fabric for children’s costumes?) Anyway, I was so taken with the fabric, that I decided to get 1.5 yards of the same washed silk in blue. It will made a truly luxurious blouse.

I am very grateful to the lovely lady who engaged my son in a long chat about dinosaurs, so I could give my full attention to my purchasing decisions!

Fabric purchases at Britex

The staff were incredibly helpful and knowledgeable and the check-out experience was delightfully retro. No electronics at all, just old-fashioned cash registers and hand-written receipts. It was like stepping back in time. With my purchases packaged up in similar fashion to any designer shop, I felt I’d had a truly amazing shopping experience!



Author: steelyseamstress

Sewing a new wardrobe

3 thoughts on “Fabric Temptation

  1. Looks like a great haul! I’m a little envious — I’ve been to SF several times but never can make it to Britex. I keep vowing to go “next time”!

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