Friday, August 29, 2008

All Hail Jomar!

Yesterday we took a mental health day and drove up to New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ for some shopping, people-watching, and a very nice dinner at the Mansion Inn. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and we had a great time.

My favorite part of the day (not to seem ungrateful, you understand) was the half-hour stop at Jomar on our way out of town.

Ah, Jomar. Let me try to explain. The store's slogan is, "It's all here. You just have to find it."

I'm a sucker for a store that brings out the hunger/gatherer in me, and this place does it in a big way. I generally go to the store in South Philadelphia, although there are other locations in and near the city. The downstairs is mens- and womenswear, kids stuff, housewares, all kinds of discounted stuff.

Upstairs, it's all FABRIC.

Except when it's trim. Or lace. Or buttons. Or zippers priced at a penny per inch.

I don't know where the stuff comes from, and the quality varies wildly between crap and I-can't-believe-they're-selling-this-stuff. It's pretty much equal, but then again, what I think is crap may be just what someone else is looking for - like the rack of fleece which I wouldn't feed into my machine at gunpoint.

There's also a ton of home dec, including a lot of Waverly, an entire corner of lining fabrics, priced from $1 - $3 (really), a short section of tie silks, a large section of regular silks, wools, cottons, quilting cottons, all kinds of prints and solids, and entire tables of random fabrics that are priced $1 and $2 per yard. Did I mention the laces? And the table of pre-cut remnants, all priced under $5?

I got a wonderful scalloped black lace for $2 a yard, some olive-green glen plaid bottom-weight (close to a stretch moleskin, but not quite), more shirt fabric for Mario, 2 yards of a drapy brown rayon jersey, a caramel velvet remnant, a map-printed stretch jersey remnant, and lining fabrics in black, brown, striped, light gray, dark gray and nude (for the lining of my Prada knockoff), for $39. That's 28 yards of fabric, people. That's an almost obscene breaking of the fabric fast, but who am I to resist that kind of pricing?

What I went in for was lining fabric - the lining drawer was almost empty, and my local store charges $2.95 and up for lining. That's okay if I need a yard or so, but not if I want to stockpile for the upcoming colder weather and the mad sewing inspiration that will hit at roughly the same time.

Ever since I raised my bleary eyes from the fall fashion magazines, I've wanted to start my fall and winter sewing. No matter that I still have some summer sewing - including a really cute pair of seersucker pants - cut out and not finished. No matter that I'm almost finished a nice little wrap dress - it'll be great for fall!

I want textures and sweater knits and more reasons for lined jackets. I want to make more pants, now that I have a TNT pattern that I know will work. I want to make a gray-based wardrobe (sorry, Carolyn, I'm not being a deliberate copycat, I just realized that I have 8 different gray or gray patterned fabrics that I really like). I want, I want, I want. And now I have some of the fabrics that will get me there.

It's a long weekend, and the only things on my agenda are photographing my Mini-Wardrobe Contest submission and sewing.


senaSews said...

As a child i wanted to be locked up for a night in a toy shop. Now as a grown up i can say, i want to be locked up for a night at jomar. what an amazing shop!

Cathy said...

What an amazing store! I'm drooling all over the keyboard. We have nothing like that in this area.

Maryissewfast said...

Wow! I am drooling at your bargains...we have Fabric Depot and the Mill End store, but they can't compete with your Jomar. Makes me want to head East! Mary

Lisa Laree said...

Wowza. All that those prices...

It's probably a good thing it's nowhere near where I live or ever travel or I'd never see the light of fabric parity again! ;)

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Okay I've been to that Jomars in Lambertville about 5 years ago and didn't realize that it was still there! You only were THERE for a half hour?! Your kiddin' me right? But I am jealous...I love JoMars!

cidell said...

Ok. I might have to detour here on my next drive to NYC. Thanks for such a detailed and fun review. You did 28 yards in 30 minutes? Sister. I am in awe.

laura said...

We had a similar store in my area but it went out of business about 10 years ago. It was called the 'Selvage Shop'. It was housed in a couple of shoved together trailers with an addition tacked on. Very ugly from the outside but my mother nearly fainted everytime she went there and found real velvets, and silks incredibly cheap prices. They had EVERYTHING down to tons of trim, zippers, and buttons. I have no idea why they didn't sell the place as I'm sure someone would have been happy to take over but sadly it's gone! We all miss it.

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

Oooooh, what a fun visit. You'd have to go fresh and probably bring snacks, but it looks like you could spend quite a bit of time (and money) in Jomar. But not so much money! Your bargains are insane!!! Can't wait to see your gray wardrobe.