Friday, May 29, 2009

Jo-Ann Fabrics: This is not your granny's sewing shop

I was at Jo-Ann Fabrics today. (surprised?) And, I just want you non-Jo-Ann shoppers to know what it's really like in there. I've always thought that it was filled to the brim with 75 year old ladies buying quilting fabrics and maybe some little girls who aspired to be crafters...for a day.

But, no.

One time...I was sitting looking at patterns in the Butterick pattern book and started asking a stranger questions like she was some expert. (I'm convinced everyone there has a doctorate in sewing.) She was older, heavier, had a deep raspy voice. Anyways, she gets to telling me how S.R. Harris was a WONDERFUL place to get fabrics for her belly dancing costumes. No kidding. Of course, I immediately pictured her all beaded and bare-bellied dancing on the Butterick patterns table. That's how everyone's brains work, right? no? hm.

One time...as the lady was cutting for me at the table, she told me how she used boning for her corsets (obviously.) for the annual Renaissance festival...and how the boning doesn't really hold it's shape when you're working with steam (oh. helpful to know for all the times I'll be wearing a corset while I am in a steam room??). I made a mental note, oh...so this is where Renaissance junkies hide the other 360 days of the year...at Jo-Ann. hm. Oh, and just so you know, she looked like this guy from The Princess Bride:

...in a corset. hot. i know.

One time...I asked this lady how she was going to use the yards upon yards of metallic fabric (aka lame, pronounced lam-ay) she was having cut. I should have guessed. No. I wouldn't have guessed that she was making metallic prayer shawls for some rites-of-passage ritual for some cultish sect of the Catholic church. (I double checked with my Catholic neighbor. These sistas is not legit!)

One time...today...This tall blond was looking at vinyl and offered to help me with this huge bolt of curtain lining. I'm always curious what other people are working on. So, making an assumption I asked, "What are you going to cover?". Because she had bolts of vinyl. She answered "models". "That'll be toasty for them," I replied. "Well, not really. They won't be wearing much else...just some fur. It's for this post-apocalyptic punk-rock lingerie show. I design lingerie." I'm thinking, LINGERIE DESIGNERS SHOP AT JO-ANN FABRIC??? She went on to complain that NO ONE sells stretchy black lace. I thought, dude. the internet??? But, instead I acted like that was a real bummer and went on my merry way.

This gets me thinking...Wouldn't these little reality vignettes make a great ad campaign for Jo-Ann???

Anyway, just make sure to break the silence next time you're in line at the fabric store (or wherever), and ask, "So...whatchya workin' on?" You'll likely be very surprised.

10 comments:

Jess said...

Those are awesome stories! You should submit them to The Jo-Ann Journal.

Ched said...

"These sistas is not legit!"

A fine expression.

nightpsalms said...

I have been so blessed by your blog! I found it through Jenny R. and I think I have read almost every post. Hilarious! And I love the way you speak about and of your children. Thank you for the encouragement and the laughs!

Laurie Lynn said...

Oh, you "had me in stitches"! (sorry, but it's true)
Yep! You are onto something sista!
The ad campaign is brilliant!

Greta said...

Those are some quality "run-ins".
And I happen to think that lady WOULD'VE looked hot in a corset, at a Renaissance fair, with the boning failing her...

B-Rob said...

post apocalyptic....
punk rock...
lingerie show?
what...
the...
crap.gue

B-Rob said...

ps
gue made its way into my post as i tried to type the blasted word verification. the word this time is forks, fyi.

Neely and Steve said...

so guess what... if you google "post apocalyptic punk rock lingerie show"... jenna's post shows up. hilarious.

Sarah said...

HAAHHHAAA neely!! Hilarious. Sorry Jenna...if I was a random stranger in Jo-Ann's...you'd find me very confused, blurry eyed and possibly irritable. I called my friend Laura 4x the other day...ummm...and it was over a spool of thread. No mystery behind the woman staring at the rows of thread.

Anonymous said...

I do wonder, though, if your Jo-Ann's might have a different flavor than my Jo-Ann's. I'll let you know (but I guess first I'd have to learn how to sew.)

You're so funny, Jenna!

Lori