Nancy’s Sewing Basket (www.nancyssewingbasket.com) is truly one of the nicest fabric shops I’ve ever been to. I usually end up going on gray, rainy days, so just walking into the warm, high-ceilinged space is wonderful — not to mention you’re immediately surrounded by gorgeous, unusual fabrics!
First off, you’re in the silk section. Nancy’s carries many different kinds of silks (on this trip I was delighted to discover they have the full line of Radiance, which is one of my favorite choices for lining. It’s a cotton/silk blend, delightful to work with, and just the right weight for dolls! My normal fabric haunt was getting a bit hit-and-miss, but Nancy’s said they carried all the colors on a standard basis! Hooray!) I also picked up some real silk taffeta, which I’ve never tried before. But just fingering it, I can tell it’s going to be a lot better behaved than polyester taffeta…
If you can manage to tear yourself away from the silks, you find yourself next to the linens (real handkerchief linen imported from Italy!), then the velvets (oh dear, don’t get me started), and the wools (yes, it’s soft — did you know that’s Italian cashmere!?). But tucked away at the back of the shop is probably my favorite part: the ribbon room. It’s so tiny that if you didn’t know it was there, you might miss it.
It’s chock full of incredible ribbons, trims, and laces, many of which are vintage, imported, or otherwise rare and beautiful. I had to control myself to come away with only this much — the longer I stayed, the more I discovered! I’m going to split it up over several posts, since there’s a lot to say about some of it.
I’d eyed this c. 1910s lace last time I visited, and finally gave in and got some. Apparently it’s Aesop’s fable lace — but we don’t know which fable it is for sure. Any guesses? I love the soft, two-tone color scheme, not to mention the charming birds thereupon!
Cotton satin ribbon. Yes, since satin is a weave, you can weave cotton into a satin. I’d never seen it done before — it’s a lot less shiny than silk or polyester satin ribbon, but it’s got a deliciously gentle luster and a very intriguing feel in-hand.
And check out this satin-back velvet ribbon! The camera doesn’t do the colors justice — it’s a deep forest green on one side, with a greenish gold backside. So luscious that if ribbons were edible, I don’t think this one would last very long around here! Don’t quote me, but I think this one came all the way from Japan.
Oh dear. Time fails me — but don’t worry, I’ll tell you about the swiss insertion and French lace coming up!