Next stop on the Mpls/St. Paul sewing railroad. Treadle Yard Goods. A place to get a buckle kit. Really.

An experiment… lotus blossom welt pockets.
March 2, 2011
Looking forward to rain… Amy Butler Rainy Days Raincoat
March 4, 2011
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Next stop on the Mpls/St. Paul sewing railroad. Treadle Yard Goods. A place to get a buckle kit. Really.

Evening geckos and star-nosed moles. I clearly need to go to the zoo. I’m running out of animal names. I’m still working away on my two coat projects (raincoat and Mr. Bug coat) and am nearing completion on both, so hopefully by this time tomorrow you’ll all see a lovely new raincoat. In the meantime, I made a trip over to St. Paul today to stock up on a bit of white silk organza and some silk buttonhole twist and while I was there I snapped a bunch of photos for sharing… here’s the next stop, Treadle Yard Goods.


We’ll continue where we left off with our last geography lesson. Treadle is in St. Paul, our lovely state capital. Honestly, in the fifteen years I’ve lived in the Twin Cities (that’s what the Mpls/St. Paul area is called), I haven’t spent a lot of time in St. Paul and I generally need to print off google directions to get anywhere. I’ve marked Treadle with a giant purple dot. It takes me about fifteen minutes to drive over to Treadle from my house, if there’s no traffic.

I had heard of Treadle a few times over the years and driven past it a few times. For some reason, I thought it was a quilt shop and never stopped by to check things out. When I started working at Sewtropolis last November my new boss cleared up my misunderstanding and told me I would like Treadle and should check it out. Ah, she was so right!

[such a small storefront for so much goodness…]

The store has a bit of everything and is mostly geared towards garment sewing. There’s an amazing collection of wool in a ton of colors and textures. I haven’t checked the prices super close, but they seem to range in between $20 to $40. There’s crepes, thick nubby wools, plaids and even some fun stretch wools. If I remember correctly, the hot pink in the center picture is a cool stretchy type of wool!

[this wool must’ve come from some pretty funky colored sheep]

There’s a nice selection of Japanese import fabric in a variety of weights… does anyone recognize the Heather Ross fabric that I used for my laptop cover??

Some gorgeous velvets…
















A ton of fun voile and lawn – including some of the new Alexander Henry lawn! I also see a few of those new Anna Maria Horner velveteens I’m so in love with!

One thing I love about Treadle is that they carry quite a few pattern lines as well as the fabrics and other things. There’s the big 4 pattern books, as well as a lot of independent designers. In particular, it’s fun to flip through the Decades of Style and the Sewing Workshop pattern books. AND they have BurdaStyle! Even the plus size version!

There’s more oilcloth in one place than I’ve ever seen – here’s about half the stock…

[that’s a lot of tablecloths and basset hound coats…]

The whole reason I headed over to Treadle today was to get some white silk organza for my Lotus Blossom pockets. The silk selection at Treadle is, well, mind-blowing. At least it blows my little mind! Check out this embellished stuff!

There’s a whole wall of different silks – a lot of chiffon/charmeuse flowy types, some printed. There’s a few suit-weight silks and some cotton and silk blends.

A lot of the dupioni and similar weight silks are rolled onto cardboard tubes rather than folded over a bolt. Just look at those colors!

But I saved the best for last. This whole display is white silk in a variety of weights (and actually colors ranging from bright white to ecru) Just look at that variety! Just think of all the dying and painting and bridal gown making to be done!

And even better, a good selection of china and habotai silk – perfect for linings!

[china and habotai silks]

Lovely, isn’t it? Sigh. I have to admit, I’ve been holding out a bit. While there are tons of wonderful wool and supple silks and other good things, the real reason I love Treadle because of the notions and utility-type fabrics. Let me show you. First, there’s the trims, including velvet ribbon and high-quality double fold bias tape sold by the yard.

There’s silk thread in a variety of weights – no Gutermann here!

There’s felt made from rayon, wool and bamboo, sold by the bolt as well as cut rectangles.

This, my star-nosed moles, is a whole WALL of Ambiance lining. Look. At. All. Those. Colors.

And here’s the interfacing. They have everything – including hair canvas and weft insertion. AND swedish tracing paper! BTW – am I the only one who can’t bring myself to actually use  my roll of swedish tracing paper? It’s too ‘special’ – I keep using wax paper and the roll of craft paper I bought from the kid section of Ikea.

There’s also a nice selection of cotton lawn, voile and batiste in solid colors – very helpful for linings with warmer weather around the corner!

And yes, there are belt buckle kits. Real-life, cover your own buckle kits! I didn’t even think they were still being made, and here they are for sale!

Isn’t it all so lovely?? Treadle, alas, has no online ordering site***, although while chatting with the owner today she mentioned that they do quite a bit of mail order business and are happy to send out swatches. If you see something you like, give them a call (here’s the website.) And if you live in the Mpls/St. Paul area and haven’t  been to Treadle, head on over. It’s not a quilt shop. I promise.

And now, I’ll leave you with pictures of the giant button collection to be found at Treadle. And this isn’t even including their extensive vintage offering (which lives tucked away and not easily photographed!)

***Note! the sewing tour of mpls/st. paul posts are done purely for entertainment purposes and are in no way sponsored posts.

[Thanks Treadle!]


  1. Jess says:

    Thanks for this great write-up! You did the store proud.

  2. [patty the snug bug] says:

    T-isis – Linkishly challenged – tee hee. Speaking of which – how on EARTH do you do a link on burdastyle? their little guide example doesn't work for me!!

    Jane – I like to use silk thread for all hand sewing – both the during sewing basting kind that gets ripped out later as well as permanent finishing hand sewing – it's a dream to sew with!

    Laurwyn – if the piece is small enough, I'll sort of press with an iron while pulling up – so, curly side down, get the iron on and sort of roll it up – like when you're curing christmas ribbons – you know?

    Laura – naked molerats may be the ONLY thing I call all yall from now on!

    oh, and just for clarification – I got the swedish tracing paper to trace out TNT patterns that get used over and over – I just can't decides what's a TNT pattern!

    Ada – I've heard the same thing about the rochester store – I'll have to stop in the next time I'm heading through rochester! Oooooo…. knits!

    Angela – hee hee – Mr. Bug and I play a game all the time where we determine who we're most like on different shows – I WANT to be penelope, but I'm more like Hotchner…

  3. RiAnge Creations. Ltd. says:

    Hi Patti. Love your posts. This one is especially drool-worthy. The buttons!!!!
    Has anyone ever told you that you bear a close resemblance to one of my favourite TV actors: Kirsten Vangsness aka Penelope Garcia.


  4. Ada says:

    Treadles is a wonderful store. I make a special tirps(5 hours)all the way from IA just to visit this store. Oh, and stop in Rochester to visit Ginnys on the way. Another mind blowing garment fabric store. The onwer, Ginny, is a blast to visit with and very helpful. Her fabric is beyond amazing. She has a big section of knits that is beyond belief.

  5. Joy says:

    Fun store! I went there once this past summer and was amazed at how much great stuff they packed into such a small spot.

  6. LAP says:

    I totally use brown kraft paper from Target/Walmart for pattern making. It's super cheap too. You haven't called us naked molerats yet. That's a good one!

  7. Elle says:

    Another fabric shop that I so want to transplant to the deep south! I'm envious!

    As for tracing paper, have you ever tried the kind that comes on a roll at an art supply store? It comes in various widths (I think mine is 24" wide) and in white or a yellow-ish color that looks similar to the color patterns are printed on. AND it's inexpensive.

  8. Laurwyn says:

    OOoooooh! You are using IKEA kid paper too! I thought that I was the only one! I must say that it is very cheap and handy. My only problem with it! It rolls over all the time! Do you have a trick to keep it flatter without having to move around all your weights?

    This shop looks great! When I go back to visit family and friends in Belgium, I'll take pictures of my favorite fabric shop!

  9. Debi says:

    oh dear! I agree with Tanit-Isis, a very long layover in Minneapolis is required :-) Great photos!

  10. nfo says:

    Oh, my heart beats faster every time I look at those photos. Been too long since I've been in a REAL fabric store with lots of selection. Apparently, despite my best efforts, the local store wasn't selling enough fabric and had to close down. Now its a really long drive for anything good!!

  11. Jane says:

    Oh goodness, what an exciting (and dangerous) shop! This is like every fabric shop in my city combined, plus a whole heap of stuff I can only find online… all at your feely-feely fingertips (or star-nose).
    Just out of interest, what is silk thread useful for? I guess you might use it when sewing silk… but does it have other specific purposes? Apart from sounding so terribly exotic and luxurious?

  12. Tanit-Isis says:

    Hrrm. The link didn't go to my search, but it's the right site anyway ;). Apparently we are both linkishly challenged…

  13. Tanit-Isis says:

    I want to be a star-nosed mole! Oh, and here.I suspect this has more animal (and plant, fungi, and single-celled organism) names than you will ever want to use. Although maybe not in a convenient, non-scientific format…. ;).

    As for the sewing reviews… you make me want to book a REALLY long layover next time my plane changes in Minneapolis… ;) I have at least two vests that need buckles right now…

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