I came across this old sign of a Woman’s Silk Shop that has been uncovered on State Street. I kept taking pictures of it because I couldn’t believe it. It made me wonder how many fabric stores were on State Street long ago.
From the Neal Graffy Collection, this ad came from a March 27, 1927 theater program.
This ad tells us that this was indeed a fabric shop, not a lingerie shop. It also tells us that they sold sewing patterns. It would have been common then to make a new dress for Easter.
The Woman’s Silk Shop was before my time. But I do remember shopping for fabric in the J.C. Penney basement on 1109 State Street. I remember searching the pattern books to make a new dress. I remember the man that used to cut the fabric. I loved how he put the fold of the fabric on the measuring “machine”. He would press a lever to mark the start of the fabric. Then he would pull the fold of the fabric along from one side to the other until the meter read the amount that I wanted. He would then press another lever down that gave the fabric a snip. He would use the scissors to cut the fabric the rest of the way off the bolt.
Most recently, I remember Betty’s Fabrics on 821 State Street where Sur la Table is now. I remember Beverly Fabrics having a State Street location.
What about you? Did you grow up sewing in Santa Barbara? What do you remember about the fabric sources? Share with us in the comments below.