22 January 2015

Fabric Needlecraft and More... AKA The Fabric Cave

Don't ask me how I never knew about this place, but I quite literally stumbled across a reference to the Fabric Cave in a post by Perth blogger Fadanista's review of her latest make in December. Intrigued, I did some googling, and discovered this treasure trove of fabric, sewing and craft supplies, located in Meadowbank, less than half an hours drive from my place. (In Sydney terms, that's quite close!)

The shop's official name is Fabric, Needlecraft and More. It is run by a host of dedicated and caring volunteers from Achieve Australia, a non profit organisation with a long history of assisting people with disabilities in home, life, career and enterprise. The store also employs three people with disabilities.

The concept of this store has it's origins back in 1998 when the remaining stock of a needlecraft store which closed down were donated to Crowle Home, which operated for more than 60 years providing housing for people with intellectual disabilities. This stock was sold at a Needlecraft sale, which proved a huge success. Donations kept coming in, and the fundraising efforts moved into a garage shopfront which was open on Fridays. This expanding business ultimately moved to it's current location in Meadowbank in late 2013, where it is now open three days a week and one Sunday per month. All of the stock in the shop is donated, and profits go back into the work of Achieve Australia. Donations come from many avenues, deceased estates, those downsizing and moving into nursing homes, crafting guilds etc.

Prior to my visit, I contacted them and got the OK to take photos under the direction of staff. On my arrival I was introduced around to some of the staff, all of whom were very helpful. I was even offered a cup of coffee!

My first order of business was to work my way through the fabrics.

So much to choose from! The majority of fabric is pre-cut in lengths of between one and three metres, with most priced at just $3.00 per metre. The fabrics are grouped firstly by colour, and then roughly by type. Where the exact type of fabric is know, it will be marked and priced accordingly.

Some of the patterns on offer
The button wall
Rooky error: I forgot to take fabric samples with me to match up buttons that I'll be needing in the not too distant future! I guess I'll just have to rely on my stash.

Some of the craft books
Knitting and crochet essentials

So here's my haul. I came away with almost 24.5m of fabric, and some other supplies. My kids have been bugging me to teach them how to knit, so the knitting needles and wool are for teaching purposes.

And I got a darning mushroom! I have no excuses for not mending holes now!

I'm hoping I have the fabric buying bug out of my system for the time being. It didn't break the budget, with all of this fabric coming in at just under $75. But if I'm to meet my stashbusting pledge for the year, I am now facing the need to sew up around 33 metres of fabric from my stash by the end of the year. And that's if I don't buy any more fabric at all. Achievable in theory, but I'll have to wait and see how that goes once the year really starts to get underway.

I promised the family a picnic lunch if they could last the distance while I was engrossed in fabric hunting. They took off to find a park shortly after we arrived, but as I'd only just finished looking through the fabric when they came back, I didn't feel like I could continue my leisurely pace through the rest of the shop. There's so much more than what I took photos of available here, but these were my main areas of interest. I'll definitely be back, but I should probably get some sewing done first!

And we got our picnic lunch.


  1. I'm glad you found it and had such a successful visit Andrea. They were wonderful to my husband - he was also plied with coffee, and we are going back in a couple of weeks. I'm glad I don't live in Sydney! I should be bringing them some stuff out of my stash, but suspect that I'll be filling up a suitcase or two with bounty!

    1. Thanks for the tip-off Sue. I hope you find lots of hidden treasures on your next visit!

  2. Oh my! I am booking my plane ticket now!! :)

    1. LOL. Surely there's something like this a little closer to you! I'm sure you'd make it worth the trip though.