Wow, do I regret not returning to Jay’s Fabric Center in St. Petersburg sooner! I went there once in 2005, before I really understood what quality fabric was. I didn’t think much of it because I looked at a few bolts that were $10/yard and decided it was too expensive, not even looking around much. Dumb move.
Today I went knowing much more about fabrics, and let me tell you. This place was all I wanted in a fabric store! I wish I would have thought to take pics. It’s the size of a standard Joann’s but it’s ALL fabric and notions!!! They have solids on the perimeter and prints in the center, which the employee told my inquisitive 6 year old is so that you can see the prints in more detail (since they’re more accessible). They have a modest selection of quilting cottons, around $10/yard, then an awe-inducing array of fashion fabrics. They had everything there, from sportswear to formal. I saw the most beautiful special occasion fabrics, the likes of which I’ve never seen. The most expensive I saw was $130/yard, but most were $30-70. Rolls and rolls of them. Tons of French terry, which I was very happy to see. They had a sale table of knits, lots of swimwear, denim, broadcloth, batiste, gabardine, satin, chiffon, everything, I tell you!
I was so overwhelmed by all the wonderful stuff I only bought 3 things… French terry for $6/yard, knit print for $4/yard (sale price), and some hot pink elastic belting, the price of which I forgot but I know was cheap! They have cool zippers, drawers full of buttons, notions, threads, patterns, home dec fabrics and notions. It was beautiful. I won’t have to order my swimwear elastic online anymore, as they carry it in 2 widths, plus the hooks for bikini tops. So much unique stuff I’d never seen before.
The service was very good. I was asked if I needed help or a cart to carry my fabrics while browsing, and I waited less than a minute to have my fabric cut by a very nice employee. Their hours are limited (9-5:30, closed Sunday), but other than that I can’t think of a single complaint!
I went to Miami looking for a store that is a mere 1/2 hour away!! I haven’t been to many independent fabric stores (just Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, IL once when I lived in WI), but I can’t imagine it getting any better than this unless you’re in NYC or LA. SO worth it!