In response to my post on Sewing in New York, one commenter suggested (brilliantly, if I may say so) that I write a similar post on my favorite fabric stores in the St. Louis area. I’m relatively new to this area–on our most recent move, I’ve only been here for about two years–so I don’t claim to know the sewing market as well as others do. However, I have been known to do a fair amount of fabric shopping, and I have the additional resource of my lovely fellow St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild members to point me in the direction of shops I hadn’t previously been aware of. As with my list for NYC, I make no claim that this is a comprehensive list. Rather, these are the places I visit most frequently and the newly discovered gems that I plan on visiting regularly in the future.
Central St. Louis County area:
Jackman’s Fabrics: 1234 Lindbergh Blvd. (north of Olive Blvd.)
One of the first fabric stores that I visited the first time I moved to St. Louis, Jackman’s stocks an extensive selection of fabrics, both quilting cottons and apparel fabrics. In the back of the store, another business, Artistic Fabrics, carries an extensive selection of home decor weight fabrics. They also carry sewing patterns, embroidery floss, and an extensive range of notions. Jackman’s also offers Baby Lock sewing machines for sale–home machines, embroidery machines, sergers, and long-arm quilting machines–and they offer classes and occasional workshops related to these machines. The staff have always been friendly and interested when I’ve shopped here.
The Quilted Fox: 10403 Clayton Road (near Lindbergh Blvd.)
Tucked away on the second floor of a French village-inspired shopping center, the Quilted Fox is a dedicated quilt store. Their selection of quilting cottons ranges from the traditional to the modern, with batiks, Kaffe Fasset prints, and Asian prints included in the mix. They also offer a wide selection of quilt patterns, books, and notions, including Aurifil threads and Clover Black Gold quilting needles. They offer a wide variety of classes, as well as a monthly sewing evening where participants can bring their own projects to work on while socializing with other quilters. The are also an authorized distributor of Elna sewing machines. As at Jackman’s, the staff have been unfailingly pleasant to work with.
Janie Lou: 10041 Manchester Road (near Sappington Road)
The newest shop on the block, Janie Lou carries a well-curated selection of fabrics and notions. I would describe their fabric selection as tending towards the modern, and they always seem to have an ample supply of the newest lines to hit the market. They also stock a large range of Moda Bella solids, which is helpful when you are seeking to match a particular print or color. Again, the staff are fantastic to work with–helpful, interested, and just plain fun to talk with. (Full disclosure: Janie Lou also stocks my own patterns, and I can attest that they are as lovely to work with as a seller as they are as a customer.)
Make it Sew/Eunice Farmer Fabrics: 10206 Watson Rd. (east of Lindbergh Blvd.)
This store caters more to the maker of heirloom apparel than to the quilter. As such, they are my new go-to place for apparel fabrics to include in my quilts. In addition to stocking a variety of apparel fabrics, they offer classes on heirloom handwork, including smocking (which I must learn one of these days), as well as one-on-one apparel sewing lessons. The also sell Bernina and Baby Lock sewing machines and sergers.
In Stitches: 14664 Manchester Road (between Holloway and Baxter Roads)
Tucked away in a strip mall in Ballwin, this shop is a authorized Bernina dealer and carries a good selection of quilting cottons in addition. Their selection tends towards the traditional, although they also stock a sizeable selection of batiks and hand-painted fabrics, Halloween, and Christmas prints. They also stock Quilter’s Dream battings in both Poly and Cotton, which I haven’t seen at other area shops. As a parent visiting with a five-year-old, I was impressed at how they quickly directed my son to their selection of kids’ toys and games so that I could shop without trying his patience. The two staff-members I met with were lovely to talk with, and noted that the shop also offers a number of classes.
Merrily We Sew Along: 262 Lamp and Lantern Village (at Clayton and Woods Mill Roads)
I am most familiar with this shop as a sewing machine dealer: in addition to selling Bernina domestic machines and Gamill long-arms, they rent time on both their hand-guided and computerized long-arms and service vintage machines of all makes, as well. They also carry a small selection of quilting cottons that tend towards the traditional in style, as well as a nice selection of quilting notions and books. The staff has always been wonderful and I look forward to my next chance to work with them. They have a sister store in Springfield, MO, which I have not visited yet.
Hyde Sewing Machine Center: 5451 South Lindbergh Blvd. (just south of Baptist Church Road)
Located further south along Lindbergh Boulevard, Hyde Sewing Machine Center sells Brother domestic machines, embroidery machines, and sergers, as well as HandiQuilter long-arms. They also stock a wide variety of notions, including impressive selections of rulers and scissors. Although their name suggests they focus on sewing machines, they also carry a considerable selection of quilting cottons, including some of modern-leaning Moda collections such as those by Bunny Hill Designs, Bonnie and Camille, and Cosmo Cricket, as well as Kona and Moda Bella solids. They also advertise a variety of classes.
Helen’s Hen House: 180 Dunn Road, Florissant, Mo (just west of N. Hanley Road)
Located north of the airport in Florissant, Helen’s Hen House occupies a charming (and, some say, haunted) 19th century farm house. Their fabric selection includes traditional and primitive style fabrics, but they carry patterns and books by a number of modern designers, including Kelly Lee-Creel of EverKelly. They also have a lovely selection of wool felt and roving, as well as an extensive yarn selection on the second level. They rent time on their long-arm quilting machine for reasonable rates–contact the owner directly to set up an appointment.
Susie Q: 131B South Central Avenue, Eureka, MO
This intimate shop is located in historic downtown Eureka, Missouri (about 30 minutes south of far-west St. Louis county). They offer an eclectic selection of quilting cotton fabric that tends towards the traditional; however, there are the occasional modern gems interspersed throughout (and some of these are otherwise hard-to-find out-of-print fabrics). They also have a delightful selection of notions, some of which I haven’t seen at other stores. For example, they carry a wide variety of Clover brand Kanzashi makers. I was able to choose from a couple different brands of batting tape on my last visit. Not to sound like a broken record, but the woman working when I stopped in was wonderful to speak with and even told me about a couple appliqué techniques I hadn’t been aware of!
Conspicuously absent from this list are shops across the river in Illinois–I’m still too terrified of driving on the freeway to venture out there, but I know there are some wonderful fabric stores there to reward the trip. I’ve also focused on quilting and apparel fabric shops; St. Louis is also home to several great home decor fabric shops, such as Artistic Fabrics, LuLu Belles, Calico Corners, and Anatol’s Fabric Outlet.
I’m always up for visiting new (to me) fabric shops, so if you know of any great stores that I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments! I’d love to add them to the list!