Gem of a Fabric Shop: Sckafs at Indooroopilly

Despite my best intentions, I haven’t added to my “Guide to Brisbane Fabric Stores” since I bagged Lincraft, but this morning I headed out with my friend Janet to check out Sckafs.  I’ve lived (and sewn) here in Brisbane for nearly five years and somehow never visited before!

It’s located in level one of the Indooroopilly shopping center (that’s a big mall, Americans, but they don’t use that word here) next to Myer (kind of like Macy’s).  It’s fantastic!

In fact, it’s so full of absolutely gorgeous fabrics, trims and bits I didn’t know where to look first.  Fran, the lovely lady behind the counter bemoaned the lack of space in the shop, but I think it’s wonderful.  It’s one thing to walk into a cramped shop with very little of interest, it’s another to find a clean, tidy, well-lit Aladdin’s Cave of goodies.  Well done, Sckaf’s.

They had linens- more colors than I could possibly photograph- neutrals, blues, pinks, reds, yellow, everything.

Rolls upon rolls of denim- heavy to light, white to deep indigo to a funny bright blue herringbone stripe that I’m now kicking myself for not bringing home with me…

Checks of every size, color and description from gingham to mardras.  I’m eyeing that blue/green/aqua/white madras there to the left.  Mmmm.

They also stock sumptuous silks- plain, embroidered, damask, beaded.  You name it, Sckafs probably has it.  That lovely happy checked silk kept calling to me…

Oh, how I wish I could justify buying a little white silk with red watercolored roses!  If only I had a reason to wear such a fabric!

Those were just a few of my favorites, I couldn’t begin to name off everything they have- linings, poly ITY, a silk-wool twill with excellent drape, broderie anglaise, the list goes on.  Even more amazing- they have an online store.  How have I never visited them?

Janet and I pawed through the laces.  I could see this as an insertion near the hem of a full skirt.  Wow.

Huge selection of lace and trim.  Alas, nothing I could find that would work for my NYC LBD.

And their button wall?  Truly epic.  This is half of it- floor to ceiling.

Besides all the pretties, I was really impressed by their customer service.  Both ladies behind the counter worked quickly and courteously to help each customer in turn.  Sckafs seemed pretty busy while I was there, but they neither hurried nor seemed flustered.  My bud Enid told me when she went there to obsess over wedding-party silks, they took time with her to discuss shades of pink and ways to put together ties.  I love that!

Brisbanites- where would you like me to scope out next?

This is the shape April’s Hack will take.

I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for helping me sort out the design issues with the 40’s Charm hack.  It all seemed so clear once I read your comments this morning, I’m all charged up and feeling confident while I finish the hack and pattern.  Thank you!  And a big, extra special THANK YOU to Tanit-Isis, who makes my line drawings every month because she’s talented and lovely.  I really enjoy our collaborations.


21 comments

  1. I’m very jealous of your fabric shopping opportunities! I can”t imagine any sort of sewing store being able to afford the rent in a shopping mall here!
    I love Tanit Isis line drawings they have so much personality while still being clear.

    • Sigh… I was more like Janet’s accessory and I cased the joint for future trips but alas and alack, I really can’t buy fabric right now.

      I love her drawings, too! I’m so grateful she makes them for me, the talented minx.

  2. Yay for Tanit-Isis! I didn’t realize you were collaborating with her – she is an over-the-top-amazing-jaw-dropping-you-DREW-that? draw-er. Sorry for my horrid grammar, but her sketches really do feed the envy beast in my drawing-skill-less self. :) Likewise your ability to create beautiful hacks!

  3. The store looks amazing. I can’t agree more that fabric stores are supposed to be cramped and stuffed from floor to ceiling. It’s what makes a fabric store a fabric store.

  4. Defnitely my next fabric outing. Perhaps you would like to try my local fabric store next. East Coast Fabrics at Springwood. Always someting interesting there and the prices….oh my!

  5. Surprised you haven’t come across Sckaf’s before. It is great for everything and buttons – mecca! I picked up my dress fabric for my ball dress there and loved that they can give advise too on fabric prep, needle size, etc as they really know their fabrics!

  6. Sckafs was my first fabric shop – a site of so much teenage dreaming! That was in the 80’s. So glad that it is still there.
    I started to get a clothes allowance when I was 14 and decided that I would be much better off trying to sew my own clothes. I would pore over the pattern books in Sckafs (Vogue American Designer was a great favourite). The trouble was that I was a pretty basic sewer -and Mum was too busy to help much. So bumble on I did, and I think I made a few wearable things. Many more were 80% – 90% finished and help together with safety pins. Others never even made it that far…
    When Mum moved out of the family home 20 years later she presented me with my old sewing ‘fails’. Lots of Sckaf’s bags filled with cut out patterns and fabric. Not that many were sewn together. And in my opinion none were salvageable (except for some kind of 80’s fancy dress night).
    So that was my sex and drugs Brisbane adolescence – spending my dollars at Sckafs!
    Is “Patches” at Indooroopilly still there? My friend’s mum used to go there for very posh fabric long ago.

    • What a great memory Kate! I have memories of Scafs from a much younger age – hanging around my mums ankles while she flicked through pattern book after pattern book. What a wonderland for a small child though, all those bolts to hide behind! Patches is still at Indooroopilly. Think it’s mainly quilty stuff now, not posh fabric!

  7. Pingback: Frock Out Prizes Update and Giveaway « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

    • The Fabric Store, 38 Wandoo Street. It’s shocking how many of my fabrics come from there… :) They have great selection of wearable and also interesting fabrics.

  8. Sckafs is gone. I went looking for needle and thread at Indooroopilly Shoppingtown today and couldn’t find any!

    • Wow, really? I’m so surprised! I hadn’t heard, not even about a closing down sale… And their online shop… http://www.sckafsfabrics.com.au/ It says they’re still there, but maybe the construction was hiding it? Last time I went, there was heaps of construction in the shopping center area…?


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