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May 11, 2012


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If you can't find a good match for an invisible zip, then you can use one that is close (or inoffensive) and then paint the zip pull with nail varnish. Alternatively, use one that is an obvious contrast. I saw a black and white polka dot dress with a red zip pull (the zip itself was sewn in completely invisibly) and it looked like an intentional part of the design.


I've never found an even halfway decent selection of zippers or bias tape at any big box store. The color selection is pathetic, and the lengths are pretty sad as well. I actually am lucky enough to have a local indie fabric store that has a wonderful section, and I try to shop there as much as possible. The zippers they carry come in a wonderful range of (bright!!)colors, and they are actually a little bit cheaper than the ones at Joanns. They sell all sorts of hard-to-find notions (except spiral steel boning, for some reason they stopped carrying that. Boo), and while a lot of their prices are kind of high, I'll gladly pay extra to keep them around.


I totally feel your pain, we have only Hancock and if I didn't have family that worked there, I swear I'd fling poo as I drove by. Oh, that wasn't ladylike, was it? Ok, I'd give them a stern eye as I pass their door........

We Love Sewing

I live in the Philippines, and although I can find a decent selection of fabric here, notions are another matter. The buttons are awful and look cheap, so I generally have my buttons covered (very inexpensive to have done here!). Zippers are always a problem, so I just buy long ones and shorten them. I used to work for a garment factory in Manila, and we would often dye zippers if they arrived in the wrong colour. A lot of experimentation but it might be worth a try if you are desperate!


I live in a smaller town where we are still lucky to have independent stores, but they don't have a wider selection of notions than the big boxes. So, I have found Etsy as the next best place for zips. All sorts of great colored zips on Etsy, you just have to allow a few days for shipping- but you can often get wonderful quality vintage zips in amazing colors!

Also, if the bias is going to show, I'd probably make my own. But if it's just for binding seams, then the pink is such a cute contrast!

Sew Ducky

Neither. I buy everything online anymore. Quality selection and color is better and I can get a wider variety of things at the touch of a fingertip.

Bias tape: I haven't bought any for years, I make my own. I always have what I need/want on hand and it takes less time then driving an hour anywhere.


Online, mostly. And you know I live in a big city. Try http://wawak.com/. If I absolutely, positively must have a particular notion NOW it will depend on my schedule. Hancocks is 10 minutes from my house, but, as you discovered, often incredibly disappointing. Joann's is about 20 minutes up a big interstate (with no traffic), much longer than that often, but is less likely to disappoint.


Albuquerque fabric stores are completely awful. The "new and improved" Joann's is neither new nor improved, and the Hancock's is typically awful, except for the occasional fabulous score on one of their clearance tables. If you are ever up in Santa Fe with money to burn, stop in at Santa Fe Fabrics. They have a lovely selection of gorgeous silks, linens, wools, etc. Wonderful drool-worthy fabrics, but you'll pay for the privilege of shopping there! At the other end of the spectrum, if you're ever in El Paso, you HAVE TO shop at Rio Bravo!! An incredible selection of mill-ends, remnants, designer overstocks, spools and spools of zippers, box after box of buttons, rolls of trim, and the prices have to be seen to be believed!! Cashmere/wool/silk suiting from England for less than 1/4 retail price!


I only have JoAnn Superstore for notions and stuff. I've visited Hancock's in other states and I wasn't that impressed. I'm almost always able to find the zipper in the color I need. I wouldn't order zippers online unless I had an accurate color chart. And I LOVE it when JoAnn has a 50% off Notion Wall sale. I may not buy fabric from JoAnn, but I buy everything else there.


I live in the far southeast part of Georgia, we *just* got a JoAnns here (literally opened in Feb of this year) and their selection is pretty decent. They have most of the supplies I need, the only thing they seem to be a bit short of is things like basic buttons (however they have scores of fancy and decorative ones).
We don't have a single other store that sells fabrics or notions, so I usually end up buying anything I need online.

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