Saturday, 21 April 2012

Fabric Shopping in Chicago with Liz!








  

My friends - words and pictures cannot convey the scale of the Textile Discount Outlet in Chicago. Half a city block long, three floors high, 12 ginormous rooms jam-packed full of fabrics, over-spilling with zippers, piled high with trimmings, bursting full of buckles... I spent a good couple of hours there and I still can't quite get my head round the amount of stuff they had in there, all at ridiculously low prices. This great video I found on the internets just skims the surface, but the cutter's comment that "It's like a fabric store on crack" really hits the nail on the head.

I'm in Chicago visiting my brother who lives here, but what's a city visit without a spot of fabric shopping? The lovely Liz from Zilredloh was my guide for the day. I'm so glad she was there as I wouldn't be surprised if skeletons of customers who lost their way were lurking amongst the basement aisles. Liz was super lovely and great fun - we had a hilarious time giggling at the random piles of off-cuts and rummaging for gems amongst the boxes.



And here's what I came away with - two silky soft polyesters which I want to use for Cynthia Rowley 1801, a denim-look thick cotton for a skirt, trimmings, nautical piping, and a really unusual belt buckle. Erm... yes, a couple of these pieces might look familiar to you, but I'm glad that I focused and found some things that are to my taste, rather than getting overwhelmed by the amount of stock, panicking and leaving empty handed. Now I can't wait to get cutting!

[Soundtrack: 'Come On! Feel the Illinoise!' by Sufjan Stevens]

30 comments:

  1. Awesome! I'm beginning to thing that Liz has that great smile on constantly! And you got some terrific things.

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  2. wow this is really a fabric paradise i so would love to join your shopping trip there, as i need a lot of fabrics for a lot of dresses;)
    kiss,mary
    http://maryloucinnamon.blogspot.com/

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  3. I take my hat off to you - such restraint! Lovely purchases too :)

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  4. Gee, suddenly I feel a strong urge to go overseas! I've never heard of anything like this in my vicinity :-D.

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  5. ok i live in chicago and i have never heard of this place. how is that possible? I will be visiting soon.

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  6. Oh God, oh God. So we're passing Chicago on the way back east this summer and debating stopping in the city to check out some fabric shops. Obviously THIS is where we need to go!

    Are the prices significantly better than retail? (I buy linen by the bolt for historical costuming, and I always need good sources!) Even if they're not, this place still looks like a blast.

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  7. I am expiring from fabric shop envy right now. I can see myself just standing in the middle of all of that fabric feeling lost and confused at where to begin! Never mind skeletons from people getting lost, more like people who simply couldn't decide...

    Shame I have no relatives or reasonable excuse to go there :(

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  8. My hubby goes to Chicago on business sometimes. Obviously, next time he goes, I'm going with him!!!

    Nothy Lane
    www.aftagley.blogspot.com

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  9. Wow! When I ever visit the United States this is on my to-visit-list!

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  10. 12 rooms? 12 rooms?! Puts Goldhawk Road into perspective. I love that little buckle. Have a lovely time, Tilly, you deserve it!

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  11. I MUST plan a trip to Chicago.

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  12. Oh. Wow. I'm adding Chicago to my list of Places to Visit NOW.

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  13. Hm... Chicago is only a 8 hour drive away... This post may have inspired a road trip, Tilly!

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  14. Just added to my must visit list. So funny how much I don't want to "shop" in big cities anymore as much as I want to hunt down these gems....

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  15. Wow! What a store! I'm surprised you managed to just buy that little! :-)

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  16. Cet endroit est incroyable!
    C'est le paradis des couturières!
    Je n'en connais pas de pareil en France!
    Have a wonderful sunday!

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  17. So when we finally decide to go to Chicago before doing route 66, I'll be spending quality time in Chicago.

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  18. wow! I hope it wasn't too overwhelming!

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  19. i live in chicago and have yet to visit 2121... they're closed on saturdays which is the best day for me to shop sans my kiddos... now that i've seen your pics, i'm a little scared... thatsa lotta fabric... :)

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  20. Wow this really puts the fabric stores in Maryland to shame!!! Overwhelming yet awesome, hope to visit someday, but not without a map and compass to find my way out of there!! Thanx for sharing.

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  21. Wow, what a place! My local fabric shop is about the size of a bedroom - a shop that size would be heaven. Pack some survival essentials and tell the hubby to come back for me in a few days.

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  22. I've been to Chicago but I didn't go fabric shopping while I visit the city but next time I go, that store will definitely be on my list of places to go! It looks like you had a lovely lovely time!

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  23. Pati from London23 April 2012 21:27

    WoW!! What a shop and what fab purchases!! As I am a complete beginner, could you recommend good fabric/haberdasheries in London, please, pleaese please??? Do we have something similar to the one in Chicago here? Thanks for sharing, Pati x

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  24. That looks like such a blast! Your fabrics and trims are adorable!

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  25. That shop is Just. Effing. Mental.

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  26. This is excellent to know. Next time I have a day to kill in Chicago (not unheard of, since I live in Los Angeles but home is in Michigan, so it's cheapest to fly to Chicago then take the train the rest of the way), perhaps I shall hunt this place down. At the very least I'll have to point my mom there- she'd love it. :)

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  27. Oh I am so sad that I live in Scotland not in America :(

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