Author Topic: Chicago fabric stores  (Read 10661 times)

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Offline mosew

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Chicago fabric stores
« on: March 20, 2007, 11:38:43 AM »
I'm going to be in Chicago the end of April with my children's chorus. There will be two "shopping" times, once for a 3 hour block. Can I get to any of the fabric stores by public transport easily and quickly from downtown? And if so, how and which one should I pick? I do garment sewing. TIA!!
Maureen
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Offline Portia

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2007, 12:16:03 PM »

Vogue Fabric in Evanston--718 Main Street (847.864.9600).  Lots of designer fabric and trims.  You can take the L north and then catch the connecting train to Evanston.  Their website is www.VogueFabricsStore.com.  They also have a smaller store in the south loop at 623 W. Roosevelt Road (312.829.2505).

Offline mosew

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2007, 01:49:25 PM »
Thanks Portia! How long would it be to take the L and then the train? And then do I have far to walk (and carry back heavy bags ;D)?
Maureen
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Offline mosew

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2007, 03:36:12 PM »
I looked at Vogue and also heard about Fishman's. The one Vogue store is located on Roosevelt Rd, and according to Mapquest is a tenth of a mile from Fishman's on DesPlaines. I see it's right next to the highway. Is this a safe part of town (in my area, it's not usually the most comfortable part of town to be in)? And it all looks reasonably close to the downtown (maybe cab?) so I could probably make it there and back?
Maureen
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Offline Portia

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2007, 04:06:29 PM »
To get to Evanston, take the red line to Howard and change there to the purple train (or during certain hours you can take the purple line express--mostly rush hour--this is the fastest).  The train stops at Main Street and Vogue is right there.  Time to travel depends on whether you're in rush hour or not.  Maybe a half hour or so?  I went to seminary in Evanston but it has been 15 years so hopefully someone from Chicago will tweak my information.  Here is the Chicago Transit Authority trip planner link   http://tripsweb.rtachicago.com/.  You also might try calling Vogue Fabric and asking them directly what they recommend.  Have fun!  I love Chicago!  I also enjoy Evanston--especially the Noyes Street Cafe if it is still there.

Offline Patti

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2007, 04:52:44 PM »
Yes, Portia, the Noyes Street Cafe is still open for business--had lunch there yesterday! Did you attend Seabury or Garrett?

And you are correct again about the trains--it is about 1/2 hr from downtown (but allow a little more time--one never knows when there is a delay on the tracks due to construction or repair).

The Vogue store on Roosevelt is very, very close to Fishman's--practically across the street. Public transportation to the Roosevelt Rd/Des Plaines Ave area is less straightforward than getting to Vogue in Evanston. Taking a taxi isn't a bad way to get down there. The area is safe. Not necessarily pretty, but safe. Here's your trade-off--the Vogue store on Roosevelt isn't as inspiring as Vogue in Evanston. But Fishman's is, IMHO, worthy of some of your fabric-shopping time if you can manage it. Remember, too, that Vogue in Evanston is open Monday and Thursday evenings.

Also, if you can manage it, a trip to Tender Buttons at 946 Rush Street would be a good use of a sewist's discretionary time in Chicago!

patti

Offline Portia

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2007, 07:31:48 PM »
Patti:  I went to Seabury--just a hop skip and a jump from Noyes Street Cafe.  I lived on Sherman so up the alley behind my apartment and I was there.  The BEST bagels in the world are for sale at the little Greek grocery across the street.  People would be lining up on Saturday morning to buy them hot out of the bag

Offline Patti

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2007, 07:48:52 PM »
Well, Portia, I work in the building just south of Seabury---2046 Sheridan--the Institute for Policy Research! And D & D (the Greek grocer/deli) is still open.

If  you spent any time at all at Vogue in Evanston it is possible that you and I crossed paths there. I don't spend quite so much time there anymore, since I'm on a self-imposed non-buying regimen. Still, it's nice to get there to see what I'm NOT buying these days  ;D


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Offline mosew

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2007, 05:07:47 PM »
I'm the travel coordinator for the group so I can't be MIA. I have one 3 hour window that I can see so far. It's from 2-5 on Sat. while the rest are wandering around the Navy Pier or wherever we decide. What's my best bet? Fishman's and the smaller Vogue? Or hopping the train to the larger Vogue? I only have one small independent that sells great machines but only a small amount of fabric. Then Joann's and the Hancock's is closing. So, I'll be pretty easily impressed. I've been to G Street, Britex and Baer and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven ;D If it helps your advice, I'd love great quality knits since I wear a lot of it in the summer to work. (Like the silk knit I lucked into online :))
Maureen
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Offline Patti

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2007, 11:30:14 PM »
Maureen, I don't think you can go wrong with either decision. You say you're coming in late April--I will make a commitment to check out the offerings at both places and let you know which store has the fabrics that best fit your wishes at this point.

Since I've been on a 'no new fabric' kick for more than a year I'm not sure what either store has in stock. But I'll find out for you!

patti

Offline mosew

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2007, 01:40:20 AM »
ooh Patti, what a fantastic sacrifice you're making for me :) That's tough to walk into a fabric store and be on a no-buy kick! Although I have to admit proudly that I did twice in the last week! I went to Joann's to look for fabric for a costume they need for this year's musical so I could report back to the director. A fabric I'd been looking at longingly for a l-o-n-g time finally hit the clearance. But I resisted because I knew I had a gift certificate at home I'd left at home on purpose. So I went back yesterday with my swatches, realized it just doesn't go with anything - and LEFT without purchasing! Whew that's hard! Have fun window shopping! (I do find just looking inspired me to go home and work with what I've got!)
Maureen
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Offline ManWhoSews

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2007, 04:12:10 AM »
Evanston's Vogue fabric store is responsible for me wanting to learn how to make garments instead of just pillows, curtains and tablecloths.  You will really love that store.   There's practically a whole ROOM of suiting wools alone.  I can't wait to go back and this time buy some fabric instead of just drool and look and feel.  Last time i wasn't ready and was outta money.  Hope you have a great time there!

Offline andib

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2007, 08:10:42 PM »
I used to zip down to Evanston (from Milwaukee) and shop, then call my friend from the payphone mounted on the cement pillar between the 2nd and 3rd fabric rooms.  Then we would go to Dave's Italian Kitchen on church st for spianch ricotta pie with lemon mushroom sauce!  I can still taste it!   Haven't been ther in years.  Now DS is in Downer's Grove, not exactly near Evanston!

Offline mamafitz

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2007, 08:21:23 PM »
isn't chicago fabrics near the art institute?  i would think if you are going to be by navy pier, you could go to tender buttons and chicago fabrics. 
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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2007, 09:07:42 PM »
And the Art Institute!  Although you don't have much time, do you.  I absolutely adore that museum -- and if you have never been, there's so much to see.  There's often a really great photography exhibit which is fun -- last year when I was there there was a cool exhibit on Paris in photographs from 1850 to 1950 -- it was right before my daughter went to Paris with her French class so we really enjoyed it.  It was so popular the book was sold out and they never did get any more -- waaa.

I grew up in Elgin and worked in the Loop for a couple of years so I love Chicago --

Offline Patti

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2007, 10:10:14 PM »
Chicago Fabrics is indeed close to the Art Institute. Even as I write I am wearing a bias skirt made from a piece of very lovely wool jacquard I got at Chicago Fabrics for the princely sum of ninety-nine cents a yard. One must do a lot of digging through drek to get to the good stuff at Chicago Fabrics, but I've picked up several nice pieces there.

I stopped by the Evanston Vogue on my way home this evening. I have to say I was pleased with what they have. I live so close, and have been shopping at Vogue for so many years, that there are times that I swear everything they have I've seen before. Not so today--they have some lovely new pieces. I stuck to my 'no new fabric' guns, though. I have to admit to being tempted by some lovely rayon georgette prints--but I resisted. And I resisted mightily at a gorgeous vivid purple boucle--a stunning piece! Some beautiful linens--one floral print rayon was so gorgeous--and had an almost-silky hand. I think that was the hardest for me to walk away from. :-X

Maureen, they have TONS of knits--many are poly, some are blends. They have some nice cotton/lycra (though limited in colors). Prints and solids. Most are in the first room. In the designer room they have slinkys, some lovely poly matte jersey, and rayon matte jersey for the paltry sum of $4.99/yd--again, limited colors on this one.

Sometime in the next 3 weeks I'll get to Fishman's and Vogue downtown and will report back.

Keith, I'm not surprised that you were blown away by all those gorgeous wools--and until I started buying fabrics from Michael's I would have said that Vogue and Fishman's couldn't be beat, but I think Michael Bearman beats them every time. I once showed a piece of fabric that I'd gotten from Michael to one of the managers at Vogue; he was amazed at the quality and the price. And that was BEFORE all the Zegna fabrics showed up on Michael's website!

patti

Offline mosew

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2007, 01:29:53 AM »
oh good gad - I'm going to have to make CHOICES?? ;D :o The linens and rayons sound lovely. As does the rayon jersey. I can't get any of those here. And woolens. Sigh. I just got help with a pants muslin at an ASG meeting on Monday so I'm psyched to make pants. Oh boy am I going to make up for my self-imposed fabric moratorium! But if I average it out ... it's not really that much spent per month is it? rationalize, rationalize ...
Keep that advice coming - I love how helpful everyone is here on SG!
Maureen
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Offline mosew

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2007, 11:32:35 AM »
thought I'd bring this back to the top for anyone that missed it and wants to get in their 2 cts :)
The itinerary is becoming a little more stable - it looks like I'll have longer than originally thought. We drop the kids Saturday at Water Tower for lunch and shopping, probably around 1:00 and won't have to be back until 6:00 or after. I would like to shop a little in Nordstroms, etc.  since we don't have those at home. So I might not spend the entire time fabric shopping ;D
I'm working on pants right now so some good quality twills and light wools would be nice along with great knits I'm always looking for. Oh, and rayons. Oh heck, who am I kidding ... I'll snatch up anything ::)
Maureen
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Online Marji

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2007, 12:26:04 PM »
I know that Fishman's is the US distributor for Cadena fabrics (Spain). Patti, do you know if they actually have any of the Cadena yardage in their store, or do they just have the catalogue there too?
Cadena catalogue
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Offline fzxdoc

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2007, 02:51:37 PM »
Marji, unless it is a recent addition, Fishman's does not carry the Cadena fabrics, only swatch cards and of course the catalog.

They have lots of other goodies.  That's often where I buy my eveningwear fabrics when I fabric shop in Chicago.  They have superwools, but not as inexpensively as they can be purchased from Michael's Fabrics, especially on sale.  Their home dec department expands, visit to visit for me.

Also, Patti, I had heard that Chicago Fabrics had closed.  Was that just a rumor?  Hope so!

Kathryn
« Last Edit: April 19, 2007, 02:53:14 PM by fzxdoc »

Offline Patti

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2007, 05:16:35 PM »
No, Chicago Fabrics didn't close; they've moved; new addy is 64 E. Monroe. I just called, and yes, he's still open.

When I worked downtown I would get to Chicago Fabrics ten times a year--every time we had a jazz concert at Symphony Center I'd stop in before meeting my group for dinner; my work tote ended up carrying fabric on those Friday evenings  ;D

I still haven't made it to Fishman's--my weekends have been pretty jammed lately. Kathryn is correct, the Cadena books and swatch catalogs are available, but there isn't a Cadena fabric section at Fishman's. Probably good news for my wallet  ::)

Fishman's does have a stunning eveningwear fabric selection--I know that Kathryn got a gorgeous black lace there within the last couple of years. And a good friend of mine found a marvelous iridescent silk taffeta for a ballgown (crossdyed teal and lavender). I, too, find their wools to be wonderful--but since Michael's has them available at a significantly lower price I order from him.

patti

Offline Geranium

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2007, 09:44:14 PM »
Mosew, I am not from Chicago, but I am from southern Wisconsin and travel to the Vogue Fabric stores about 2 times a year. I also travel a lot to other large cities and use public transit to get to fabric stores. I know that having a window of time to shop means tradeoffs in the number of stores you can visit and the type of transportation you use to get there. If you are staying in the Michigan Avenue area, I personally would hail a cab and have them take you to the Vogue Fabrics on Roosevelt. I think it's just a little faster and using a cab means you don't have to worry about train delays. Of course, it will be more expensive than taking the train to Evanston, but you won't have to worry about the time as much.

The Roosevelt store has a less extensive selection than the Evanstan store. The store is much smaller and there is less of everything, particularly nicer garment fabrics. Yet some nice things can be found. If you are looking for wools or stretch wovens, you'll find a nice selection. There was an okay selection of knits last time I was there. Both stores have a lot of poly stuff, like poly chiffons and poly wovens. But they both have a lot of Liz Claiborne fabrics. Given a limited amount of time, having a smaller selection automatically means you can go through the store faster and get back to your other activities. Not to turn you away from going to this store, but I wouldn't put Vogue Fabrics in the same category as the stores you listed. This store has factory roll ends and has an outlet-y feel. All of the fabrics are very, very cheap, but know that you will have to ignore the large amounts of poly to get to the good stuf!

Of course, if you haven't yet made time for other sightseeing, you really should plan for a couple of hours to walk up and down Michigan Avenue, and it's parallel street one block over (Rush Street) that has Tender Buttons. The former has lots of chain stores with huge selections of fashion forward clothes. The latter is more quaint and is more fun, in my opinion, if you've done the Michigan Avenue thing already.

Have fun!
« Last Edit: April 19, 2007, 09:49:05 PM by Geranium »

Offline makeupmaven

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2007, 01:05:41 AM »
I was at the Roosevelt Vogue store last week and Geranium explained and described the selection I saw to a "T".  I usually shop at the Evanston store, but time and traffic only permitted me a stop at the smaller Roosevelt store.  I was perfectly content with the selection I saw  I also walked down the block to Fishman's, having never been there before.  Didn't buy anything there, but enjoyed looking, especially at the drapery tiebacks I have absolutely no use for!  You could prpbably allow 1.5-2 hours for shopping and travel to Roosevelt and not feel cheated.
Gail

Offline mosew

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2007, 02:21:54 AM »
You are all so kind with your advice. Sounds like I can just decide based on my mood of the day. I'll have 5 hours (I do have to grab a quick bite in that 5 hours). So if I feel like grabbing the train, I can get to bigger store. But a cab to the smaller one on Roosevelt will probably be fine too. I'll be pretty pleased with anything that's not Joanns! Is Fishman's more garment or home dec. I think 2 people have mentioned home dec with them? I think I may be more worried about hauling the stuff around than anything ... fabric can get heavy  ;D
Wonder if the bus driver would at least drop me off .... they go off and park somewhere and usually are quite willing to take you somewhere. Especially when you treat them well ... which we always do - more fun for them and us!
Maureen
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Online Marji

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2007, 03:09:53 AM »
Maureen, ask if they'll send your purchases to you.
I've done that in several different cities. Especially a store which has a website presence, which both Vogue Fabrics and Fishmans do, they have a shipping dept. You should have seen the packages that Britex shipped back to me 2 years ago.  ;D

Bonus is that you typically won't have to pay state sales tax if you don't take the merchandise with you.
Marji

Offline makeupmaven

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2007, 05:22:08 PM »
I saw more home dec at Fishman's than garment fabric.  They had a wonderful selection of buttons and some tailoring notions that are hard to find in Cincinnati.  I wouldn't make a special trip there, but being just down the block from Vogue made it worthwhile.

Offline mosew

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2007, 04:50:17 PM »
Great point Marji, I can always ship it!! And then I can enjoy it all over again when I get home!

I'm still waffling on which store(s) to go to. I'll just go where the mood strikes me. I went on line and got transit info on each. If the weather's nice, I'll probably do the smaller Roosevelt Vogue and Fishman's. If it's yucky, I'll do the longer train ride to Evanston.

Thanks to all for their help and opinions. My children all think I'm nuts for planning this so carefully :) But they don't have hobbies where they can't get good supplies easily. It's also just inspiring to see all the fabrics, it seems to jump-start me. Have a great weekend, my weekend starts tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. when we start boarding a bus!
Maureen
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Offline sewsy

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2007, 05:11:28 PM »
Hope you have a fabulous time! :laugh:

Offline mosew

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2007, 05:27:55 PM »
What a beautiful day I had for fabric shopping on Saturday! Ended up I had 1:30 to 6:30 to shop. I dumped my son and his friend back on their chaperone (they'd kept migrating to me for a lot of the trip), and took off for the subway station.

Problem #1,  ::) station was closed and gave me options of a Red Line shuttle bus or some other bus routes. I looked at the bus stop route map and decided to walk a few blocks to catch the #29 bus down State St. to the Roosevelt store since obviously getting to Evanston was not going to be easy.

Problem #2,  ::) the driver said you can't get bus transfers (why not?) I looked at the map and thought, ah, it's a pretty day, doesn't look that far and decided to walk to Vogue and Fishman's at Des Plaines. Well, those blocks are farther on foot than on paper  ;D But it still took only 20 min. to get there.

Went to Fishman's first, found some lovely pieces but nothing exactly hit me. Then off to Vogue. Wow, the first tables in the door, and then a whole long line of Liz Claiborne stuff. I found a cool knit with all the colors I liked so I made it my inspiration piece. Found tons to go with it. And then ...

Problem #3, my 14YO son calls me from his friend's cell. "Do you know Andy's cell #?" I said, you mean, Andy, as in Andy your chaperone who you're supposed to be with right this minute? Yes, that was it. Andy's son was part of the group and had gotten sick. Andy had taken him off to the bathroom to take care of him and told the boys to stay in one area (they were in Legoland - quite happy). He hadn't come back and even though they hadn't moved, they were getting concerned. Turned out that Andy showed up minutes later and called me, saying the boys had done exactly what he'd asked them (bless that son of mine's heart!). But his son was ill and could I come take the other boys? My heart is falling at this point! So I said, sure ... sigh ... but it's going to be up to an hour before I can get to you with buses and walking. I finished looking in the rest of the first room of Vogue and couldn't go to the other rooms. :( Probably just as well, I ended up with 16 yards of fabric, all mix and match. So I have a new summer wardrobe. Yay! ;D

And yes, I had them ship it, thanks for the suggestion - didn't want to haul it the rest of the day. They were very nice in there and I still had a blast. Just would have like to look at trims and notions. But I think I did enough damage ;D

Thanks again to all the advice!!
Maureen
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Offline DeniseM

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2007, 06:29:08 PM »
Fishman's sent me some Cadena swatches and I ordered from them, and it was shipped from Spain. Most stores don't have Cadena in stock but have to order direct from Spain. I found Fishman's service really excellent. I hope the Vogue stores are better than what they bring to the Expos, which is mostly junk, IMHO. I'm always disappointed in their Expo selection.

Offline Geranium

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2007, 01:32:59 AM »
Mosew, glad that you had a good time, even though it was limited! At least you got a flavor for what they had. The first room (the one on the right) is probably the best one if you have only one to look in. The next room over tends to have more notions and home dec fabrics. But I think the wools are over there. But really, there are tons of places on the 'net that offer wools. You are quite adventurous taking the bus. Bravo! I like to take buses in whatever city I am visiting, just to see more of the city and hang out with the locals.

Offline mosew

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2007, 04:41:22 PM »
Geranium - I agree with you about buses. And I always figure, what's the worst that can happen - I get to the wrong place and turn around and go back. And frankly, if I can't figure out how to get somewhere on a bus, I don't think I should be out on my own ;D I did it as a college student in countries where they didn't even use the alphabet I was used to! Besides, I'm certainly not letting transportation get in between me and fabric :laugh:
Maureen
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Offline Geranium

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #32 on: May 04, 2007, 03:36:20 AM »
Neither sleet, nor rain, nor confusing transportation, nor crabby husbands can get between me and a few hours in fabricland!! Good point!

Offline ElaineMC

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #33 on: March 15, 2008, 06:18:32 PM »
I got to go to the Vogue Fabrics "Flagship" store in Evanston this past Thursday.  What a treat!!!  We don't have any stores like that left in Indianapolis.  There was so much to choose from, the prices were great, the service excellent.   Best of all, my DD was very patient while I shopped (maybe because I had already spent a $$$$ on her downtown . . .).   Thank you, Geranium, recommending it!

-EMC

Offline Penny B

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Re: Chicago fabric stores
« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2009, 09:15:04 PM »
I will be visiting the Evanston Vogue store and the one on Roosevelt Rd for the first time this weekend.  I've read all the info here and on pattern review about the stores.  I have what might be a really dumb question. 

Someone mentioned that the rolls of fabric can be very heavy and there aren't any shopping carts.  If I want fabric from more rolls than I can carry, do I just make multiple trips to the cutting table?  Do they give you a cutting slip that you take to the cashier (like they do at JoAnn's)?  Or do you pay at the cutting table?  Someone mentioned having to pay for your purchases in each room.  Are there usually long lines on the weekend?

Thanks for any advice you can give.  I want to be prepared so I can make the most of my visit.

Penny   :)

 

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