Just before my birthday in July I wrote about Spotlight, Australia's biggest fabric store. I wasn't entirely complimentary but I think I did concede that most of the time they'll have something along the lines of what you're looking for. Guess what I got for a birthday present? Yes, a Spotlight gift card!
Initially appalled, I traipsed over there a while later to see what I could get; so today I'm showing you something of what's inside a typical Spotlight store (sorry to Australian readers all of whom will have been inside Spotlight many times I'm sure). My local Spotlight, in Mentone, Melbourne, is enormous. It's brand new, having only opened this year to replace a smaller store in nearby Moorabbin. It was pretty exciting to discover we were getting a brand new, ginormous shop.
The parking is just as convenient and we don't have to go up an escalator to get inside. But what's inside? Tons and tons of ready made manchester, curtains, cushions, household goods and party ware. The fabric departments (fashion and curtains), have shrunk! I was shocked!
At least it seems so. I would say the new Spotlight has about 10-20% less space devoted to fabrics. However, what they do have is well organised; fashion fabric on one side of a wall and curtain and upholstery fabric on the other. Right now the offerings in both departments are pretty good. The haberdashery is much improved, primarily due to being tidier but also possibly having more space and therefore product. The shop is double storey with lots of craft goods spread upstairs (as well as balloons, paper plates and pinatas).
The new cutting and payment system is annoying. You have to queue up to have your fabric cut then queue up again at the separate checkouts at the front of the shop to pay. Of course too few staff are put on the checkouts so it's often a long, frustrating wait. The staff tell me a lot of customers have complained.
My trip a few weeks ago was to find some fabric for a new Winter hat. I wanted to match a beautiful braid my friend Wanda had given me. Eventually I settled on a felt. When I went to have it cut we found a lot of flaws in it so I was given quite a bit more than I asked for - hopefully I'll be able to cut around the marks. Came up with a brainwave idea for lining - flannelette! Hopefully it won't be too thick - it'll probably be a good idea to make the hat 1 size bigger. Keep your eye out for the finished hat coming up soon - I hope.
(You may have noticed some tardiness re my blogs of late - my excuse is that we're in the process of designing a new house and instead of tapping out blogs or stitching up hats I've been drawing up kitchens and carports. The blog schedule is being modified accordingly so look forward to updates twice a month from November onwards!)
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