Our first stop was Mendel's. When you first walk in, it looks more like an art supply place than a fabric store. Upstairs they had quite a bit of fabric, including a very impressive selection of oilcloth.
Just a couple blocks down Haight Street was Discount Fabrics. Now this one immediately looked like a well stocked fabric store. They had a huge selection of unique fabrics and trims. I got two great elastics, gray ruffles and white rick rack!
Fabrix was one of those diamond in the rough places. It had a ton of gems, you just had to look for them. While Mike dug through a bin of buttons, I picked out a rainbow of really inexpensive rick rack and a cool cowboy/poppy cotton print for $2/yard.
Britex was, well, Britex. If you haven't been, just picture 4 stories of fabric, trims, buttons, everything a sewing heart could desire. After gasping at some of the price tags and picking out some lining fabric for a project (at a non-gasp-worthy price) on the first floor, I headed straight to the fourth floor - Remnants. Now that was more my speed. I picked up an Amy Butler piece and a reproduction piece, stopping on the third floor (Notions) for a bag of mixed buttons. I always feel a little overwhelmed in Britex, like I should be spending my time there more productively. But usually when I go there I don't have a specific project in mind, I'm merely soaking in all that potential. It's the kid of place you can see a designer coming to and buying fabric for their Spring Line.
On our first swing by Kinokuniya the power was out and they had to close the store. I was gutted, but we headed to Ichiban Kan which definitely perked up my spirits. So I went a little crazy in Ichiban Kan. Almost everything was $1-$1.50! And so cute! We actually got so much stuff at Ichiban Kan and Daiso, that it was too overwhelming to photograph. But here's a summary: tons of bentos, bento supplies, stationary, yummy random snacks, porcupine-sheep-ostrich tote bags, odd tongs and rectangle pans, a lemon timer and so much more.
After exhaustive shopping at Daiso, we headed back to Kinokuniya to see if they'd gotten power, and hurrah! they had. Mike very patiently browsed books in Japanese while I pored over the craft section, finally selecting these three (and a tote). For some inside pics, check here.
I must say, even after visiting all those fabric stores, my favorite part of the trip was Japantown. The food was delicious and check out this little walkway... so lovely.