Miss Wallaby Goes Fabric Shopping

Hive, remember when I shared my ceremony decor inspiration? The focal point of our ceremony site is an enormous old oak tree, so I contemplated draping the tree with white or ivory cloth to create an “altar.”

Well, I finally got around to sourcing a long piece of ivory fabric to drape from the branches of our own ceremony tree!

My little quest began at Jo-Ann Fabric. I arrived armed with a 40% off coupon and determined to keep the purchase below $40—or even cheaper, if possible. I confess that I do not know very much about fabric—I’m much more experienced with painting, sketching, and building than sewing and quilting. I added a lot of new terms to my vocabulary when I went dress shopping: tulle, taffeta, organza, charmeuse…embarrassing, I know! So when I entered Jo-Ann Fabric, I had no idea what type of fabric to search for. I made my way up and down the aisles, pulling bolts of all different types of white and ivory cloth off the shelf. Soon I was struggling under the weight of at least 20 bolts of fabric, so I lugged them all to the fabric-cutting counter and laid them side-by-side to compare.

There was a really friendly lady waiting in front of me in line, and she was curious about my project. I showed her my inspiration pic on my phone, and she studied my fabric choices with a quizzical look. She immediately nixed the muslin. (Oops!) She pointed out that satin would be pretty shiny in photos, and tulle is too sheer to achieve the same look as my inspiration pic. She helped me find a few different fabrics that were much better for the job. But when we checked the prices, my stomach dropped, because I realized I wouldn’t be able to walk out of there without spending more than $50. I needed at least 12 yards of fabric, and all of the fabrics we were looking at cost at least $8 a yard. My 40%-off coupon wouldn’t even help enough to stay within budget.

But then this kind lady leaned over and whispered something in my ear:

“Sweetie, you need to try Glick, over on the Southwest Freeway. They sell fabric wholesale at really good mark-downs.”

Glick Textiles is a wholesale fabric warehouse, and I’ve been told that it’s a last-chance outlet for inventory from High Fashion Fabric, a higher-end fabric store in Houston’s Midtown neighborhood. Glick is a mecca for theater costume designers, home decorators, and thrifty crafters. I had forgotten about Glick, but it made perfect sense to look there for a discounted sheet of ivory fabric.

When I pulled into the parking lot, I wasn’t surprised to find that Glick’s exterior is far from flashy. Most wholesale shops in Houston are in pretty modest buildings.

GlickFa

Glick Textiles / Personal photo

On the inside, the store is pretty overwhelming. It reminds me of the warehouse section of an Ikea store: every square foot of space is filled from floor to ceiling with inventory. There’s a large area with incredibly diverse fabrics for every purpose, and you can purchase fabric by the yard. There’s another large area of thick upholstery fabric—I must return when I get around to carrying out some of my Pinterest projects that involve reupholstering antique chairs! But on to the task at hand.

In the corner near the store exit, there was a smaller area of last-call fabric that is only sold by the bolt. Here I found the most beautiful fabrics—satin, charmeuse, chiffon, alencon lace—for as cheap as $1.50 a yard! I found a bolt of creamy ivory charmeuse, with the perfect amount of shine, not too stiff or too sheer, on sale for $2.25 a yard for 17 yards. With 17 yards, I would have plenty of fabric left over to drape the gazebo as well. Plus, my dress is a lace overlay with a champagne-colored satin slip, so ivory charmeuse draping would complement my dress. Sold!

BoltOfF

The discounted fabric I scored at Glick / Personal photo

Here’s the tree and gazebo that we’d be decorating the weekend of the wedding:

Oak+Tre03

“The” Tree. Ohmygawsh I get goosebumps looking at photos of our venue. / Photo by Joshua Tyi Photography via Woodlands Bride

Gazebo

The venue’s gazebo, where our string quartet will be playing during the ceremony / Photo via Oak Tree Manor

As with any type of shopping, it’s always best to shop around before making a big purchase! If you need to source a large volume of fabric for a wedding-related project, I recommend searching out discount or wholesale fabric stores in your area.

How have you saved money on wedding materials? Are you using any draping to decorate your venue?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Wallaby

Location:
Houston
Wedding Date:
November 2012
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  1. Member
    lovelyduckie 851 posts, Busy bee @ 11:40 am

    I’ve “saved” money on materials I guess, I wanted loads of ribbon and simply jaw dropped at how difficult it would be for me to get LOTS of the same type of ribbon at the local hobby stores (even if money were no object). I got a great deal on ribbon but it still feels awfully expensive, but hey it’s my main decorations for the ceremony and reception. I probably spent about $200 on ribbon but I got 600 yards of 1 1/2″ colors and 300 yards of 1/4″. I’ll be making LOTS of garland both for the arbor in the ceremony and for the back of every chair. The thinner ribbon is for wand streamers.

  2. Member
    cosmo_gmr 945 posts, Busy bee @ 12:36 pm

    I totally gasped at the tree picture… it magical!
    I’m so happy for you for finding the right fabric and so cheap!!! Can’t wait to see the end result XD

  3. Member
    Mrs. Bracelet 1409 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:41 pm

    What a great deal! Congratulations.

  4. Member
    Mrs. Pony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 2:10 pm

    What a great find, I can’t wait to see the final product!

  5. Member
    jilleeann 407 posts, Helper bee @ 8:43 pm

    I can’t wait to see what this looked like when you were done! Fabric warehouses are a gold mine in my world. If nothing else, you can walk through and get inspiration.

  6. Guest
    Annelizabeth, Guest @ 2:06 am

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  7. Member
    Mrs. Marmalade 296 posts, Helper bee @ 5:32 am

    First thought I had was that woman had to be your fairy godmother or somethng–amazing find!

  8. Member
    iswimibikeirun 1424 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:14 pm

    My mom has long gone to Glick for bulk fabric. But alas, I saw that they are going out of business!

  9. Member
    Mrs. Wallaby 2807 posts, Sugar bee @ 1:44 pm

    @lovelyduckie: Wow! Good work! I can’t imagine trying to collect that much ribbon!
    @jilleeann: Yes! I’ve never known about fabric warehouses before but they’re awesome!
    @iswimibikeirun: No way!!! I’ll have to go in and buy up a lot of fabric! Hopefully there will be a going-out-of-business sale though.

  10. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 9:27 am

    I get goosies looking at our venue, too. :) Yours is stellar (the pictures from your wedding are going to be so damn fabulous) and I’m glad you were able to add your personal touch while staying within budget.

  11. Member
    Mrs. Pain au Chocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:39 pm

    What a great tip from that sweet lady! I like to think of those people as wedding angels. :)

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