Looking for a local habby shop? These days, you’ll have to look a lot harder. Sewing has always been a way of making a social connection, offering people from different backgrounds a common interest where conversation is easy and encouragement is freely given. Right there in the middle of this group of creative minds used to be the local haberdashery store (affectionately known as “the habby shop”), offering sewing enthusiasts unique products, expert advice and a common meeting place. But sadly, these habby shops have been dwindling away, exhausted by trying to survive in a market place dominated by large retailers with enormous purchasing capacity, or online retailers with no staffing or rent costs to cover. Now that we are starting to notice that these stores are disappearing, we are realising that operators with decades of valuable experience are becoming lost to the next generation of sewing enthusiasts. In fact, most of this generation of teenage sewing lovers have never actually been in a habby shop. If you value your local haberdashery store, fabric shop or sewing machine dealer, remember them next time you need to make a purchase. Not only will you be getting access to better advice, quicker and more personal service, and a more specific range of products, but you’ll be helping to keep them an active part of you local sewing community. Best of all, they’ll appreciate your business.