My favorite thing to do when I go on trips is to find the best fabric stores in town and buy some souvenirs from my travels to add to my fabric stash. Here’s a list of my favorite Pittsburgh fabric stores (and other cool stuff nearby) for anyone who comes to visit and is looking for the Good Stuff.
Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse
This store is an elementary school teacher’s dream. It has every type of odds and ends you could ever dream up, organized perfectly. Think of it like the home section of the best Goodwill you can imagine. Their fabric section is in the back corner, and it can be hit or miss, but I have scored some major fabric finds there, as well as other sewing/knitting supplies (like a sleeve board that I use almost every day). It is priced like a Goodwill, too. They have a monthly craft night at Allegheny Wine Mixer which offers on-the-spot craft kits to purchase and make right there for a small fee.
Nearby to do: East End Food Co-op, for a snack and the best bulk-food section in the city, Construction Junction, saved-from-the-landfill building supplies and furniture, Free Ride, where you can build/maintain your own bike, Frick Park, lots of trails and beautiful scenery, and the Frick Art Museum, beautiful estate with free admission to their seasonal traveling art exhibitions.
Firecracker Fabrics/Cut and Sew Studio
Indie-loving fabric and pattern shop with an attached sewing studio that offers a variety of classes.
Nearby to do: Tazza D’Oro Coffee, a cute neighborhood coffee shop with outdoor seating, Park Brugges, Belgian-inspired fare with an excellent draft list, Smiling Banana Leaf, tasty Thai food in an intimate setting (with outdoor seating), Bryant Street Market (fb link, sorry), neighborhood bodega with killer sandwiches, and Highland Park, a beautiful city park with a 1 mile running loop, swimming pool, trails, and a reservoir.
Loom Exquisite Textiles
Very quirky collection of quilting cottons, as well as some apparel fabric, and lovely vintage trims.
Nearby to do: Strip District, a walkable stretch with lots of food shops and retail stores, do not miss Roxanne’s Dried Flowers, Penzey’s Spices, Penn Mac, Gaucho.
The Fabric Place
If you are looking for special occasion fabric, or lycra of any type, this store is for you. They have an amazing supply of spandex due to their large figure-skating client base. They also have an enormous selection of buttons, and are happy to help you find the perfect match for your project. I bought my wedding dress fabric here, and they were extremely knowledgeable and helpful. This store is about a 25 minute drive from the city, but if you are looking for a cute neighborhood to walk around, and have any interest in lyrca, its worth the side trip.
Nearby to do: Mt. Lebanon shops and adorable houses to ogle off the main street, Uptown Coffee, Hitchiker Brewing.