Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why can't Joann's carry decent fabric for men? My fabric shopping rant.

I had some extra time today and really needed a fabric fix. I was out and about and somehow did not have my ever present Joann's circular. I had a 40% and my Mystery 60% off coupons. I ran into the house, grabbed my coupons and a scrap of fabric to match some thread.

I wanted to get some fabric to make Mr. Toad the newest pattern from Thread Theory, their FREE Arrowsmith Men's Tank Top. Unfortunately, I could not find a jersey that did not have a feminine edge to it. Pink and teal is not a good color for Mr. Toad. Neither is a lacy or metallic strip or pattern. I couldn't even find a decent jersey. I finally settled, yes settled, on a blue ribbed knit. I really am not pleased with it and will probably order something from Fabric.com.

I think I looked everywhere except for the wall of fleece and the huge section of quilting cottons, and the special occasion fabrics for some inspiration.


I was so disappointed in the fabric selection. I even told a couple employees that the fabric selection is horrible. I even asked the person cutting if there was a way to suggest stocking some plain jerseys. She didn't seem to think that Joann's would change their ways.

I did end up getting myself a couple knits that I will use to make maxi tank dresses, another for a tee, a linen print for a dress and some navy ribbing to replace the waistband on my yoga pants.

While I did get a couple of fabrics that I'm okay with, I am seriously frustrated with Joann's selection of fabrics. I do have an alternative in Hancock Fabric and may start going there more often.

Why can't Joann's carry fabric that I can use to make a decent t-shirt for my husband or boys?  I can go on and on about my disappointing trips for fabric for myself as well. I spend a lot of money in their store, mainly on fabric.

I know I can go to Hancock Fabrics two miles farther, but I always feel like I am disrupting them when I want fabric cut or want to check out.

16 comments:

  1. It's crazy how much these stores vary. For me I despise JoAnn and will rarely go there; even for patterns!!!! ( disorganized messy drawers and it's always 2-3 weeks after a release before they have the patterns in stock). Thus is in stark contrast to my Hancock which has good quality fabric on their flat fold table, awesomely priced remnants and great staff. And I always catch new patterns on sale there.

    HOWEVER I fully agree that it's just plain difficult to find fabric for guys unless you're talking fairly boring suiting or shirting.

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    1. I think they see me enough at my Joann's. I've also learned how to deal with them. I know that new patterns won't be in until the next sale or two. I've actually had the manager help me find patterns in the box that will sit for hours/days waiting to go in the drawers and shelves. I often need to double check that online or in my circular sale dates, because signs don't go up. Their service might not be great, but I've learned to deal with them.
      I go to the Hancock's when I get the pool water checked. They are next door to the pool store! I'm wondering if they think people don't sew in Sacramento. Quilting stores have even closed. I may need a day trip to San Francisco.

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  2. Annette, this is totally off topic, but I wasn't sure if you'd get the reply I wrote to your comment on my blog, therefore should you require a mens pattern for US revolutionary war uniform, you'll find a great free resource in this phamlet from 1975,
    https://archive.org/details/MakingAContinentalMarineUniform

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    1. Thank you so much Kura! I got it and it looks great. I hope I can get this done for him. He will love it!

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  3. My local JoAnn is the same - nothing good for men. I want to make a fitted shirt for my husband and I have no idea where to get good quality fabric for men. Do you like fabric.com?

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    1. I used to shop and buy a lot from fabric.com. I have an Italian cotton that I bought from http://www.michaelsfabrics.com/ many years ago and have been afraid of messing up. I am searching for the right shirt pattern. I may end up drafting one.
      To be honest, I've been using Kona Cotton. It isn't too expensive and makes a nice casual-dress shirt. Just be sure to shrink it. If I want it to remain smooth over the stitches, I wash and dry twice. Otherwise, I wash once and get that crinkly over the stitches look over time.

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    2. I'm still a bit hesitant to buy fabric online. I'm afraid of not getting what I thought I was buying. I'll just have to give it a try.

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  4. Joanns sure does suck! My MIL and I say that every time we go in there and yet continue to shop there.... I guess that's because we don't have much of a choice without travelling a couple hours more to the bay area. We have Beverlys, too, but they cater to quilters and crafters and everything is expensive. I do go to Hancocks sometimes as we have one an hour and a half away, but I don't go down that way too often. I do, however, like my local Joanns (not the same one as my MIL and I go to as that's a different town). The people that work there care about their store and have been working there a long time, unlike all of the other joanns I've been to. It's a small, quiet store, so they stock the new patterns quickly. They do still have the crappy fabric selection.... I looked at the knits a couple of weeks ago and was unimpressed. I think I'm spoiled though and expect more. They sure do carry a lot of gaudy fabrics! I pretty much only buy linings, notions and patterns at joanns now unless the odd nice fabric grabs my attention. I've found a lot of nice shirtings for my husband at fabric mart and I do like fabric.com's basic knit selection. Harts has some nice knits, too. I wish I didn't have to buy most fabrics online, but it seems like the better fabrics at better prices are not in the stores. At least in this part of the state! We're thinking about going down south and checking out the LA garment district. It's just too bad that isn't closer!!

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    1. Mr. Toad just gave me a dirty look for interupting his recorded news! I had a loud laugh at your MIL opinion. I totally agree! I keep wantng to plan a Disneyland trip so that I can hit the fabric stores in LA. What options do we have in Northern California and maybe even Nevada besides Britex in San Francisco? No wonder we aren't known for our fashion. We can't get fabric we can feel.

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    2. We sure don't have much!! It's so sad!!! :( Its probably because people here like chain stores and all of the independent ones are gone. I did go to one in Sacramento a couple weeks ago that was good for cottons and special occasion fabrics - world class textiles (I think...). And there's Discount Fabrics in Berkeley and SF, but I've been unimpressed the last.few times I've been there. And then stone mountain in Berkeley, too,and Harts in Santa Cruz. The valley though is a wasteland.....

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  5. I was wondering about the ribbed knit at JA for the Arrowsmith. Now I won't wonder any more :) Hubby just requested a t-shirt and I'm already stumped after ten minutes of looking online. Good luck!

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    1. Hi Beth. I was going to go to Fabric.com and get some cotton or cotton blend in either a solid or a masculine stripe. If I remember correctly, they are having a sale.

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  6. I have the same problem where I live - very poor selection of fabrics. And really not good quality but they still charge a lot. I live in Australia, so not familiar with your stores, but I think it is a global phenomena - you can never find fabrics suitable for me (and men's fabrics can also make stunning female clothes - not so the other way around). And also, you can't find good basic fabrics now - cheap ones yes.

    Thank you for your well wishes the other day, I am now on the upswing out of the flare and getting back to doing some sewing and hobbies as well as the daily grind.

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    1. I agree, Sarah Liz. Fabric appropriate for men is definitely appropriate for women. I have hoarded fabric for Mr. Toad and have had to stop myself from stealing them!
      I am so glad you are feeling better. Unfortunately, I am in the middle of a pretty fierce flare that has had me laid out for a few days. I'm just doing the bare minimum on the computer today. I tried to cut out a pattern and just couldn't manage. Why can't my sewing mojo and my health be in sync?

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    2. I'm sorry to hear about your flare - and sorry to hear we have this in common :). They are a nuisance, aren't they - the only thing you can do is rest through it. They are so frustrating, because the desire and will are there, the body just isn't. Get well soon, Annette.

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  7. I don't know if this helps the fabric dilemma at Joann's but here's a bit of information that might at least make them palatable - the local management has ZERO control over their inventory. They can't order things they run out of, even though they may be hot sellers in their store and area. They are SENT what some corporate office yahoo thinks they need, not even what they're out of!
    I used to be a fabric store manager and did ordering for my store ALL THE TIME. If I was running out of ginghams I'd order two bolts of each color that I knew was going to sell. That may be how I took my stores from underperformers to million-dollar-a-year stores. If you don't have what people want they go somewhere else : ) Tanya is right, Stone Mountain has nice stuff, Harts is good as well. The nice thing about most online ordering is you can return something if it isn't right.
    That being said I think organizing a trip to Disneyland and going fabric shopping is a fabulous idea : )

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