US Fabric and Pattern Online Shopping: Any Tips?

Unfortunately it’s not me who’s going to travel to the States soon, it’s my husband, and he’ll only go for work. However, that gives me the chance to do a spot of online shopping in the US.
Normally the cost of shipping and customs is so high that US shopping makes no sense for me, but now that I have a chance to have stuff shipped to my husband’s hotel in Vegas and have him bring it over, it seems a much more attractive idea.
Which brings me to my questions:

  • Do you have any tips for me as to good quality/value online shops? I’m looking for good quality natural fibre fabric, but because I will have to make a choice only based on a web picture I will probably go for classics rather than anything “out there”.
  • Where would I go to buy patterns?
  • Any good sales etc that I should know of (hubby will fly out end of Feb)?
  • Any brilliant places to go for quilting fabrics?
  • How do I make my husband to save all his luggage space for my shopping?

As ever: Thanks so much for you advice! I really appreciate it!


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12 thoughts on “US Fabric and Pattern Online Shopping: Any Tips?

  1. Mrs.Smith January 30, 2014 at 10:16 pm Reply

    I have one tip related to the last question…have him pack and extra bag (or plan to buy one) that your purchases can ship back in!

    When I was planning a trip to NY I had planned to bring a duffle bag (like a gym bag) that could be folded up and placed in my luggage…but that could be filled with fabric and brought back home! 🙂 I was planning a trip to Mood but it got cancelled.

    Also, those of us in the US tend to be lucky enough to live near JoAnn or Hancock fabrics who often run sales on the Big 4 patterns where they cost from $1 to $5. Another option is to watch for BMV sales online and have them shipped.

    Good luck!

  2. I made it!! January 30, 2014 at 10:27 pm Reply

    This is something I have been wondering about too. I have one fabric shop in the city I can go to, so that is the only choice I have. I am willing to shop on line for fabrics. The chance of me going to the U.S. to shop is slim. Do JoAnn and Hancocks sell on line and ship fabric that is worth the effort and cost? I am not familiar with BMV. Are they on line too?

    • Chris January 30, 2014 at 11:18 pm Reply

      I have had the experience that customs on US shopping can be a problem. I have had goods kept back by the German tax office, you have to come into their office and declare the goods and the tax eats up any financial advantage there might be. That’s why I am keen to get stuff at real US prices on my husband’s tourist allowance. No, he isn’t a big shopper 😉 .

  3. Mrs.Smith January 30, 2014 at 10:42 pm Reply

    BMV is Butterick/McCalls/Vogue.

    Also, if you are a member of the Pattern Review website you can buy patterns there and I think they offer free shipping on purchases over a certain dollar amount.

    I can’t say that Hancock or JoAnn would be worth it for fabric and you can’t buy the patterns online from them.

    You specified “natural” fabrics but is popular (free shipping on orders over $35). FabricMart is very popular (my #1 online fabric source) and their shipping is a flat $8 (right now it’s free shipping for orders over $50).
    Vogue Fabrics is also popular (I’ve never shopped there).

    • Chris January 30, 2014 at 11:10 pm Reply

      Thanks so much for those tips – I will certainly check all those out!

    • Chris January 30, 2014 at 11:33 pm Reply

      omg, I just had a look at the Fabricmart website. I can’t believe the prices on there!! Merino knit for 12.99 – last time I looked in my fabric shop is was 45 euros, so that`s around 60 dollars! Incredible!

      • MrsSmith January 30, 2014 at 11:46 pm

        And they were on sale for even cheaper not too long ago! Like 30 or 40% off

  4. Laurie January 30, 2014 at 11:51 pm Reply

    I use FabricMart all the time- and I also really like and there is even a Mood website you can order from. OH! is awesome too. For patterns it is too bad you can’t get him to walk IN to a fabric store-! (lol) Joanns always has patterns sales – I just bought McCalls for $1.99 each and a few weeks back Simplicity 4 for $5. Check out They run regular sales- I got some KwikSew for 3.99 – sign up and you will get sale notices! Hope that helps and you can get some good stuff!

  5. I made it!! January 31, 2014 at 7:17 am Reply

    Thanks for the tips. I will look them up!

  6. Rosi February 1, 2014 at 10:07 am Reply

    Ich hätte da einen Einkaufstip für Stoffe in unserem Raum, in Mittelfranken. Und zwar ganz aktuell am Sonntag, den 2. Februar.

  7. […] have mentioned before that I will have a chance at some US fabric and pattern shopping, because my husband will be travelling to the States shortly and will be able to bring me stuff […]

  8. […] I told you some time ago that my husband would do some sewing related shopping for me in the US. Well, he’s back and I have loads of new fabrics and also (due to the throes […]

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