If you’ve been sewing for a while you know that finding Unique Fabric and Notions can be challenging. Many local stores don’t carry specialty items such as leather or lace; and searching online for these items can take a ton of time. You’re more likely to give up on the search before finding that perfect fabric or trim.
With that in mind I’ve scoped out a few of my favorite shops in this list of Unique Fabrics and Notions. I don’t consider this list complete and as I find new sources for unique sewing notions, I will continue to update the post.
Psst… Be sure to read to the end because I’ve included a small surprise!
*I’m an affiliate for things I’ve bought or used personally. If you click through my referral link, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you make a purchase. Thank you for your support in this way. Read my full disclosure policy here.
If you’re a fan of Project Runway, you may have noticed a few designers use leather in their garments. If I were inspired to create a bomber jacket, I’m pretty sure that my local Joann’s wouldn’t sell any type of leather. Realistically, most of us are more likely to add a bit of leather to a bag project, but would have no idea where to find reasonably priced pieces of leather. Until now.
The Leather GuyMN on Etsy* is your go-to leather source. You can get small pieces of leather that are reasonably priced and perfect for embellishing a project. If you would like a larger piece for something like a jacket, you will need to contact them for a price quote. They have exquisite dyed pieces as well as sparkly and hand stamped leather. (I’m kind of in love with the metallic champagne leather.) With over 23,000 sales and 6,000+ positive reviews I can confidently recommend them.
Recently, I wanted a wide piece of lace with a finished hem to create a shirt extender. I checked locally and came up empty handed. Turns out, most fabric stores don’t carry very much lace.
While most sewists aren’t going to be making a wedding dress, occasionally we do have a need for a small piece of lace for special occasions. Maybe you want to add a lace insert to a simple garment, embellish a top, or perhaps have a child who needs a flower girl dress.
When I needed a piece of lace I shopped at LaceLindsay on Etsy*. They are located in Hong Kong, but their location wasn’t a problem. I had my lace in a few days and it was exactly what I wanted for my project. Since I don’t have a huge need for lace pieces, I have Favorited this Etsy shop.
Every year when I attend Quilt Market in Houston I get to see the latest Japanese fabrics. It would be impossible to describe these exquisite and unique fabrics in a short blog post. They have unbelievably creative designs that you won’t see anywhere else. And, don’t even get me started on the voiles.
The problem is finding these incredible fabrics here in the US. Most local quilt shops may carry one or two bolts of Japanese fabrics, but no one is carrying the latest in everything. Except Miss Matatabi on Etsy*. She has a huge Etsy shop in Tokyo with reasonable shipping rates and every luscious Japanese fabric imaginable ~ the quilted double gauze alone will make you swoon. Shipping is fast and reasonably priced. A small piece of double-gauze ships for $4 and arrives within a week.
Japanese fabric manufacturers are also known for their whimsical children’s fabrics. Fabric Supply on Etsy (aka Bunny Designs) is one of the best sources for Japanese children’s fabric. The seller is located in my hometown (Austin, TX) and I’ve been to her shop. The selection of fairy tale Japanese fabrics is precious.
If you’re wanting to purchase whimsical, youthful, or Hello Kitty fabrics, I’d highly recommend giving this shop a look. Also, the best selection of double gauze I’ve every found!
Zippers seem like a simple item to pick up locally. Until you want a zipper with metal teeth and a unique pull for a bag project. Zipper Island on Etsy has been selling zippers and buttons for many years. They are the go-to zipper source for most of the sewists I know and I purchase the majority of my zippers directly from them. Their huge selection and fast shipping make zipper shopping a breeze. Be sure to check out some of their unique wooden buttons, too.
Occasionally, you need to make something waterproof like a rain jacket, bag, or table cloth. Nothing does this better than laminated cotton. Unfortunately, it’s not always available in large supply at local quilt shops and large chain stores. I’ve found that Laminates on Etsy* has the best selection and the latest prints.
Vintage Door on Etsy is a one-of-a-kind shop that you can’t find anywhere else. They exclusively sell crochet edge bias tape and quilt binding. As far as I can tell, they are the only US seller of this unique item. You can purchase as little as 1 yard for about $2.00 plus shipping. I’ve personally used it to bind a small quilt, but there are lots of other uses. Think collar trim on a little girl’s dress.
When I contacted the shop owners about using one of their images they graciously offered to send a couple of PDF Tutorials which I’ve attached below. I hope you enjoy them.
Finding Unique Fabrics and Notions can present a problem. We get a project idea and then are sidelined because we can’t find the right notion or fabric. While this is just a small sampling of shops that sell hard-to-find sewing items, I will continue to update this post as new sellers emerge. You may want to save this page to Pinterest so you can easily check back when you need Unique Fabrics and Notions.