The Rossi Family Vision
Nancy's Sewing Basket is a family owned and operated store that has been in business for over 34 years. Nancy’s Sewing Basket was opened in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle Washington in by John and Jacqueline Rossi with their daughter Nancy as manager. Their dream was to have a retail store that would serve the community which their family has been a part of since 1902. Nancy's Sewing Basket was the first new business to open on Queen Anne in many years and helped to revive the community business district.4
The original location, ½ a block from the current Nancy’s Sewing Basket, was opened in what long time residents of Queen Anne will fondly remember as Elsie’s Five & Dime, and current residents know as Café Ladro. John Rossi was a constant presence on Queen Anne Avenue and well known to everyone. He took pride in the community and his business that doubled in size in 1979 and expanded again in 1980. For the first 6 years John could be seen every morning opening the shop, sweeping the sidewalk and greeting customers and friends. John also worked with the community to bring trees to beautify Queen Anne Avenue. Because of his dedication, Queen Anne has trees that line the Avenue today. In the spring of 1983 he received an award from Mayor Royer for his work in the community.
John Rossi passed away in the Fall of 1983. His vision for the store continued to grow under the guidance of Jacqueline and Nancy. In 1990 a new building was designed and built in the style of early Queen Anne Hill architecture. This is the permanent location that you visit today. John is remembered by the marble plaque bearing his name set in the brick at the front of the building. In keeping with the original vision of the store we still offer a selection of what we consider basics as well as incredible fabrics that are completely luxurious.
When Nancy's opened in 1978, it was the plan of John and Jacqueline that this fabric store would be a place where everyone could come and find what they needed. That is why they went against all industry recommendations that you "specialize." From the beginning Nancy's has been the all around fabric store. We have always listened to our customers and tried to find the products that they need and have requested. Nancy's has always been known for the unusual. Our button selection is not to matched in Seattle. Our buttons range from antique and vintage to contemporary styles. You can also find many wonderful children's buttons as well as that special button to finish a sewing or knitting project. Our Bridal and Special Occasion fabrics are the best in the Seattle area. Designer and fashion fabrics are always available. Many of the local theaters and clothing designers find their special and unique fabrics here. Nancy's is not considered a Home Decor store, however, there are many wonderful fabrics, trims, tassels and finishing touches to be found.
From the first employee to the current staff of 12 employees, Nancy’s has always maintained a knowledgeable and enthusiastic crew. Many are graduates and students of local Apparel design programs at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle Central Community College and The Art Institute of Seattle. We enjoy hearing about your projects, seeing a new business blossom, solving problems and giving our best advice to make your project a success.
The Ribbon Room
In 1994 while the rest of the country was crazy for quilting we decided to expand our ribbon selection. The classroom space in the store became “The Ribbon Room”. The Ribbon Room has become a destination for our local customers as well as visitors from out of town. Our cutomers tell us it is the largest ribbon selection outside of New York. Even Susan and Tamara, the wonderfully inspiring women who work in the Ribbon Room are celebrities in certain circles.
Every February Nancy’s packs up a selection of the store and participates in the Sewing Expo in Puyallup, joining hundreds of other sewing related businesses keeping the needle arts alive. In the spirit of John Rossi’s community involvement, Nancy’s continues to support local school auctions, local clothing designers and programs such as Sanctuary Arts Center.
Nancy, Jackie, and all of the staff would like to thank everyone who has ever purchased a spool of thread, fabric for a wedding gown, and everything in between. You keep us a viable part of the sewing community
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:30-6, Thur 'til 8, Sun 12:30-5
To speak to our knowledgeable staff please call 206-282-9112 or 800-443-2964
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is there a Nancy?
A: Yes, there is! She is the daughter of the owner. She was the manager of the store until about 2007 when she ‘retired’ to work with her horses. She is still involved with the buying and bookkeeping end of the business
Q: Do you sell fabric online?
A: We don’t have an e-commerce or online catalog site, however we do offer mail order and swatch services
Q: What is the minimum amount of fabric I can buy?
A: Our minimum cut is 1/8 of a yard of in stock, fabric and ribbon. If you need to special order a fabric or ribbon the minimum order is 5 yards unless the item is considered a stock item
Q: How often do you get fabric?
A: UPS and FedEx stop by every day bringing us fabric, ribbon, flowers, books, notions…..
Q: Do you do sewing there?
A: We do not do any sewing but are happy to give you a list of local Seattle area dressmakers. Our list is compiled of local dressmakers who frequent our store, have been in business many years, and of whom we have had no complaints. We also have an extended resource book for other types of specialty sewing and, dressmakers outside of the immediate Seattle area
Q: Does your staff know how to sew?
A: All of our staff knows how to sew and sews on a regular basis. Half of the staff has had formal training and half are self taught. We all love to sew and love the wonderful environment we work in. We are very happy to help you with your projects
Nancy's Sewing Basket, circa 1978
© 2015 Nancy's Sewing Basket. All Rights Reserved.