Fabric Stores along the 405

405fabric01Wait… what? I abandon this journal for about 2 years and my first post after such a long gap is a shopping trip? In California? Yes. I suppose writing for me is like weight loss. There isn’t any point in trying to “make up” for all the time I missed. It’s best to jump right in and continue right on. The urge to write went dormant for me. The urge to sew never did. But yesterday I went on a fabric trip along the 405 highway in California and the feeling of wanting to write came back. Hopefully there won’t be a terribly long gap before my next post.

caliI’m now a California Girl. Here in Orange County, this is where I am and this is where I want to be. For those unfamiliar with the area, LA is about 45 miles away without traffic. And when you have to go to LA… you better find other things to do to justify your drive up there. I needed to be in LA at 3pm for a retirement farewell for a coworker, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to visit all the fabric stores on the way. Often times these places by themselves are not worth the drive, but I hadn’t been to any of them yet and I needed to go to LA anyway, so why not? Here goes! I hope it will be helpful to anyone looking for more info about fabric shopping in LA. So, from South to North along the 405, here goes!

Fabric Barn
3111 E Anaheim St
Long Beach, CA 90804

405fabric02My first stop along the 405 was Fabric Barn in Long Beach. They have their own private lot in the back along a very narrow alleyway.

405fabric03The entrance is also easier to access from the back. If you can find street parking from the front, then go for it, but I went in and out through the back.

405fabric05This place is a lot more than fabric. They sell crafts for party supplies as well. Think decorations for weddings, baby showers, birthdays, plastic flowers, etc. Kind of like a Party City.

405fabric04Prices here were low. Lots of ribbons, elastics, laces, and cheap fabric. Nothing spectacular for me to ooo and ahh over. Honestly, there wasn’t that much fabric compared to all the other random things they had there.

Chic Fabric Remnants
1704 E Anaheim St
Long Beach, CA 90813

405fabric06Down the street, about a 15 minute walk or 3 minute drive is Chic Fabric Remnants.

405fabric07To be honest I don’t like buying fabric that isn’t labeled. I like to know the content at the very least as I am horrible at guessing what is what. This store was much smaller but didn’t have any filler non sewing related stuff. The person working here was also sitting at a machine doing alterations. One thing I did like from this place is they had ready made adjustable camisole/bra straps. Very convenient, but since I didn’t have any projects in mind I skipped out. Also, maybe I enjoy the challenge of hunting down the notions if I ever need them.

The Long Beach Depot for Creative ReUse
320 Elm Ave
Long Beach, CA 90802

405fabric08Next up was The Long Beach Depot for Creative ReUse. There is parking in front but it is metered so bring some change. This isn’t strictly a fabric shop, but does carry fabric and sewing patterns that have been donated to them. It’s a place with random things that crafters might need or want. Pill boxes, old hang tags, bottle caps, rubber bands, etc.

405fabric09It’s a fun place to browse! There’s a lot of stuff that people would normally throw away, but here is is neatly organized for someone to hopefully turn into something creative.

Islands Fabric
638 E 219th St
Carson, CA 90745

405fabric10To be honest I did not do too much research before compiling my list of stores to visit and adding Islands Fabric over in Carson to the list. The only thing I check is that they sell apparel fabric, because too many times I’ve gone to a store only to find out it’s upholstery fabric.

405fabric11I should have known by the name of the store… it’s Hawaiian print fabric! Not my style and not at all what I am looking for in fabric.

405fabric12But, it’s good to know where I can go for Hawaiian fabric if ever I need it.

Goodwill Store & Donation Center
21827 S Avalon Blvd
Carson, CA 90745

405fabric13This Goodwill was a bonus if you’re into thrifting. It’s right around the corner from Islands Fabrics so I hopped inside for a quick look. Nothing that caught my eye, but it’s always good to check Goodwill just in case there is a treasure for you to find.

Calas Park
1000 E 220th St
Carson, CA 90745

405fabric14Not a fabric store. But it was around noon and I needed a break. I looked for the nearest green colored area in Google Maps and made my way to Calas Park to eat my lunch.

Momen Plus Fabric Store
1323 El Prado Ave
Torrance, CA 90501

405fabric16Another city, another store – this time in Torrance. Finally a fabric store that was worth it. Momen+ may not be dirt cheap, but sometimes I want to see stuff that is labeled and not available everywhere.

405fabric15Fabrics are organized by designer, and my favorite section was the nani iro section. I didn’t have a particular project in mind so I passed on it, but I know I’ll be back one day. The fabrics are also more cotton types for bag or quilt making. There are some apparel fabrics such as soft cottons, chambray, voile, and denim, but this is more of a place to find really cute cotton prints. I don’t believe I saw any knits in this store.

405fabric17They are also heavily Japanese influenced. There is bias tape imported from Japan, which was refreshing if you’ve only ever seen the Wright’s brand. They also carried Japanese sewing patterns, which of course is the oversized boxy look – not my style, but I enjoyed browsing the selection.

Antique Attic
1274 Sartori Ave
Torrance, CA 90501

405fabric18Momen+ is actually in a really cute area of Torrance (there is a nice bakery right next to it) so I took a walk around and walked right into Antique Attic. Inside I found some vintage sewing patterns, and they were priced accordingly. Stuff from the 1970s-now were priced at about 5$, but anything from the 1920s-1950s were priced in the 25-30 range. The owners here know the value of really old sewing patterns! I didn’t see any fabric here, but they did have some vintage dresses. And a lot of vintage everything else. Loads of jewelry as well if you’re into that.

Street Faire Antiques
1317 Sartori Ave
Torrance, CA 90501

405fabric19I kept wandering on foot and found Street Faire Antiques. Inside they had some fabric, but nothing I really wanted. No sewing patterns in sight, but a lot of other collectibles.

SAS Fabrics
13500 Hawthorne Blvd
Hawthorne, CA 90250

405fabric20Scooting along further north along the 405 I went to my last fabric store, SAS Fabrics in Hawthorne.

405fabric21Inside, prices are cheap and there is no lack of quantity. Quality, that I don’t know. Definitely no silks or wools, just a lot of poly. But for wearable muslins… that is all you need, right? Some fabrics are by the yard, but a lot of it was by the pound. I browsed the $3.49/lb section.

405fabric22There was a lot to choose from!

405fabric23I ended up with some bottom weight mystery gray fabric to practice making pants, some stretchy lycra (?) to practice making leggings, and some stretchy (lycra again?) shiny metallic fabric because of my inner magpie. $11.45 for all that fabric, not bad!

Salt Creek Grille
2015 East Park Place
El Segundo, CA 90245

405fabric24And then I made it right on time to Salt Creek Grille in El Segundo for some Happy Hour celebration! I started at about 9:30 AM, so the total time it took me to visit all these stops was about five and a half hours. Not too bad. The only place I’d probably go back to is Momen+ in Torrance and the Long Beach Depot. Momen+ just had materials I hadn’t seen anywhere else, and the Long Beach Depot just had so much stuff to dig through that I liked. For everything else, there are similar stores closer in Santa Ana and Huntington Beach. Eventually I’ll write about those fabric stores (and my sewing projects), but today was a sample itinerary of fabric hunting along the 405. I’m glad to be writing again!

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