This month, after planning all summer to visit fabric stores in Portland, Nancy and I finally found 3 days to escape.
We shared the driving and on the first day we hit 2 stores- Josephine’s and Bolt.
Nancy has bought fabric from Josephine’s in the past and it seemed right to visit the most expensive and exclusive one first. Besides the most luscious wools and silks they also have the ubiquitous Liberty cottons displayed like this on wooden cutting boards:
At $36-45 a yard and mostly teeny tiny prints, I was not tempted. Nancy bought some gorgeous brownish/burgundy wool for pants and some very cool solids for jackets.
Next we moved unto Bolt situated in the funky Albert Street neighborhood filled with cool shops and restaurants. Nancy found some silk for blouses and I bought 2 remnants of cotton. Now, I know some of you will just say, “Hey Mrs. Mole, those are just ordinary quilting cottons” but I rarely get out of my sewing room to shop so these caught my eye and they were on sale in the remnant bin…always treasures in those bins! There were lots of more Liberty cottons and natural fabrics and quilting cottons. We decided that what they need is a mirror in the main section of the store with better lighting for people who want to see the colors next to their skin.
For dinner we dined at Nostrana and Nancy introduced me to a Budino, a rich little concoction like a creme brulee but with a salted caramel layer. I was assured that if eaten after the Meatball Monday special, it would not add to my hips.
Day 2, we visited Fabric Depot in the morning and found they were having a 25% off everything sale. I found some lovely poly chiffons to make some sheer jackets/blouses. Nancy found some things as well and by the time we got them cut and priced, the check-out line was very long at the cash registers.
That’s when I remembered that you can pay for fabrics around the back of the store where they do the special ordering and mail order. We left the line and skipped around to the back desk and were out in no time.
Lunch was delicious at Pho Van and if you click on the link you can see over 100 photos of the location and the food. Stuffed to the gills, we left to find a Starbucks for a hot mocha before we set out to find the next fabric store.
If you have never been to Mill End Store, you owe yourself a visit if you are ever in the Portland area. This place is HUGE! Everything is laid out well and it is clean and bright and the clerks are super helpful. Nancy found some of the most unusual fabrics for jackets and a wool blend fabric for a long cozy robe. The prices were very good and if you are a senior, they have discounts every Tuesday morning from 9-11 am. Since we were there in the late afternoon, we missed out but the prices were so low anyway it didn’t matter.
Day 3, we started the day with a morning walk to a darling little coffee house called Twenty Six. It was raining that morning and it would have been nice to sit inside to stay warm and toasty but as with so many coffee bars…it was filled with old coots/retired grandpas and their laptops. There were no tables open inside so we had to sit in the un-heated back patio. We thought they might have patio heaters but no such luck. We enjoyed our coffees and a blueberry scone while chatting with her daughter-in-law who lives next door.
Nancy wanted me to experience Helser’s on Alberta Street for a hearty brunch, so while waiting for a table we walked down to another fabric store/Bernina dealer called Modern Domestic. They have classes and lots of cotton fabrics and of course, Liberty fabrics. While being a light and airy store, we didn’t find anything that had to go home with us, so we browsed shops along the street before heading out for another Starbucks. You may wonder why we keep sipping coffee…are we caffeine deprived…well, no, but since I had no cell phone or internet connection, I needed their WiFi to download my email and daily edition of the UK newspaper The Daily Mail, my favorite read for gossip and politics.
Our last port of call was Cool Cottons on Hawthorne. It was in a darling pink house packed to the rafters with gorgeous fabrics. Nancy found some of the softest flannel for a night gown and I found a companion piece for my first purchase, the black cotton with blue circles.
Before dinner we wandered through a delightful garden shop called Garden Fever. They had the most unusual collection of things for the home and garden and it will certainly be a place to re-visit next time. There were so many things to touch and think about.
Dinner that night was next door at Lucca’s on NE 24th Street. We had a small pizza covered with fennel sausage and a Caesar salad.
In the morning, we packed and headed home with our delicious new fabrics. Soon you will see what garments are created with Nancy’s fabrics. Mine will take a little longer as there are brides to finish before Jan 1.
Hope you are all catching up with raking leaves and getting the garden ready for the winter…I know Mr Mole has been very busy with his leaf blowing and leaf collecting for next year’s compost bins.