Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sandra Betzina Power Sewing Retreat - Part III Shopping

Early Saturday morning Dan (Sandra's husband) picked us up at the hotel for a full day of shopping. We shopped at Stone Mountain and Daughter, Thai Silk, and Eddie's Quilting Bee. Everyone was excited to shop for fabric. Our first stop was Stone Mountain and Daughter. Sandra's class received a 20% discount on non-sale items.
Stone Mountain and Daughter Fabrics
2518 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

The ladies of the Sandra Betzina Retreat talked about Stone Mountain quite a bit before the shopping trip. So I was very interested to see what they had to offer. Stone Mountain carries a variety of apparel, quality knit, quilting fabrics, and suiting fabrics. There are notions, patterns (including a large number of independent pattern makers), trims and buttons. There was something for every price level and fabric preference. They even offer sewing classes. I enjoyed the myself.

My bundle of fabric was shipped to my home. I didn't want to take any chances with my luggage being over the weight limit. LOL I mainly purchased knits and one boucle for another french jacket. No, I haven't finished the first one yet.

The prices were comparable to those at Vogue in Chicago. And that 20% discount was great. The sales people were exceptionally polite and helpful.

The overall shopping experience was pleasant. Throughout the store, they hung garments made to advertise uses for the fabrics they sold. Many of the samples where made from the independent patterns, which was very refreshing. It gave me an opportunity to see finished garments that stretched outside the norm. They gave me a greater appreciation for the details, something often lost in the photographs and illustrations on a pattern sleeve.

If I'm ever in the San Francisco area, I would definitely stop by, discount or not. LOL It's that great a store. I plan to sew some of the fabric I bought this fall/winter season.

Thai Silks
252 State Street
Los Altos, CA

Thai Silks is full of exotic, exquisite silks. They specialize in silk. I was overwhelmed and couldn't decide what to buy. So many beautiful silks at competitive prices and I didn't have a single "special" project in mind for any of them. Bummer. My shopping experience was strictly looking in this case.

The store was clean and well organized. The silk was on rolls instead of the usual bolts. I didn't see a lot of notions and trims.

They stocked a few gift items. They also have an online store, so if you are looking for a special silk fabric, you consider Thai Silks.

 Eddie's Quilting Bee
480 South Mathilda Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Sorry. I didn't get any pictures while in Eddie's, but you can visit their website and take a virtual tour. They carry everything related to quilting. There were tons of fine quilting fabrics and notions. They also carry necessities for non-quilting projects including trims, books, and the magazines commonly found in fabric stores. They also have teaching facilities. One of their sewing instructors, Karen S, who is also a model for Sandra, came to assist at the Marine's Memorial Club from 4 to 10pm. Karen's willingness enabled us to continue working on projects into the night. Her mom even came to a visit and helped me design a a trim for my French jacket. Thanks, ladies.

Karen pictured above wearing one of Sandra's jackets, "Power Sewing ToolBox"

I enjoyed myself again. LOL I purchased three knits from Eddie's. They had a superb collection of ponte and jersey knits. Their staff was incredibly polite and energetic. Eddie's also gave us a nice discount on regular priced items.

My fabrics from Eddie's, I've already sewn two garments using the ruffled and brown knits.

The store boasted an excellent selection and was very clean and organized. There were sample quilts hanging throughout the store. The shelves were well stocked. I would shop there again and I don't even have to go back to California to do it. They have an online store. So you can shop from the privacy of your own laptop.

Last, but not least was Britex's. It wasn't specifically listed on our shopping tour but it was minutes away from the Marine's Memorial Club, and we all made at least one trip there. As part of our education, we toured Britex with Sandra and Ron guiding us through the various departments of the store. Britex's has everything! Their fabric section is vast; every color, every fiber, and a wide range of trims and notions.

146 Geary Street
San Franciso, CA 94108

They have a huge section of imported goods that you won't find anywhere else. Britex's is definitely high end. You won't be disappointed. All in all it was a great shopping experience. Sadly, I only came away with thread and trim for my French jacket.

I would shop there again, but only for something special. Of course I highly recommend this store. The merchandise is of the best quality and the sales staff is outstanding.

That's all for now! Happy Sewing!


  1. What a great experience you have had. Sandra Betzina was on of my first teachers and I have used her techniques for ages. Stone Mountain is my favorite fabric store and I am glad you liked it. They pack a lot of great stuff in a not so big store.

  2. Thank-you for the armchair tour!

  3. You guys had a real shopping experience! I LOVE Britex and Stone Mountain & Daughter. I visited those stores on an ASG tour when the National Conference was held in Sacramento. I still have fabric in my stash from Stone Mountain! Thanks for the wonderful post!



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