Everyone has a favorite type of store — The place they would love to wander for hours. the place they would go first if they won the lottery, the place that speaks to their soul. For me, it’s fabric stores. I love the stunning prints, the feel of upholstery fabric, the cottony smell, the sound of the bolt of cloth thunking the table as someone rolls out the cloth, measuring the yards, preparing to slice it off with fantastic, sharp scissors.
When I was a child, I visited fabric stores fairly often, as my mother was (is) a great seamstress, and she made most of my clothes. I loved pouring over the Butterick pattern catalogue and helping her decide on zippers and notions (I even love the word “notions”). She taught me to sew (“If you can read, you can sew” was a household motto) and inspired in me the confidence to make all sorts of things.
I love the sign at Freddy Farkel’s Fabric Store in Watertown, shown above. I am sure that unattended children cause havoc in a fabric store like this one, over-excited as they are by the colors and smells and vision of what would happen if they just pull on this roll of fabric way up here… But I do hope that parents are bringing the children with them to this store (holding their hand, of course). It is a place for imagining possibilities and breath-taking renovations. That which has been cast down (that old ottoman) can be raised up (with this stunning damask!), and things which have grown old (the dining room) can be made new (for only $4.95 a yard!). And we can have a hand in that.