Fabric stores are seeing more and more sewing enthusiasts looking for unusual and novelty fabrics for their projects. In the past, sewing projects were functional in nature, focused on clothes and draperies. Now designs are not limited by such practical considerations. Many fabric artists even intend their finished product to be works of art hung from the wall, and were never designed with any practical purpose in mind. And fabric stores are finding that people are not sticking to traditional fabrics such as cotton, silks, and wools. Companies are carrying hand-painted specialty materials and many imported textiles with abstract and contemporary motifs. Aesthetics along with practicality are dictating the selection of fabrics being offered. Color-coordinated groupings, which can be handy, are even suggested if you shop online.
Not only do fabric stores sell fabrics and notions for your sewing needs, but they also offer classes. They will help you get started on a project and assist you in completing it. Having someone help you is especially important if you are a beginner. If you have signed up for a class, discounts are usually offered by the management. Fabric stores also have a large selection of books and magazines with step-by-step instructions, materials and yardage suggestions, and designs. Subscriptions to online newsletters (some of them free) are available for downloading. Our "Fabric Stores Resources" section suggests some companies that offer sewing newsletters online and several different yardage calculators (see which one you like the best).