The Ingham's fabric of society
THE Ipswich retail landscape has changed, but we have a large number of long-term established businesses that are going strong.
One such business is Bargain Box Fabrics at 11 Darling St East, in Ipswich Central.
It is one of the significant destination shops that continues to provide customer service and products that are keeping pace with today's trends.
Bargain Box Fabrics is owned and operated by Margaret and Alan Ingham.
The business started 24 years ago in the city but was already an established name in the founding suburb of Acacia Ridge, and expanded to Capalaba and Zillmere.
"We started 30 years ago in Acacia Ridge and what we wanted was to provide a family shop with reasonably priced material and sewing accessories. Ipswich needed a store like this so we decided to open up," Margaret Ingham said.
1988 saw World Expo but it also saw women undertaking dressmaking, particularly children's clothing, and making their own things. "Stretch sewing was big then, knit fabric was just coming in with patterns being very accessible," Mrs Ingham said.
Sewing machines were simple but effective.
Time has moved on and Bargain Box Fabrics are keeping pace with the changing needs.
"Not so many women are making clothes for their children today," Mrs Ingham said.
She said that the choice to make clothes, rather than get them off the rack in a chain store, is one of quality and uniqueness.
More generally she identified that in the past two years there has been a notable growth of interest in home dressmaking.
"Basically women are sick of looking like everyone else, so they are turning to making their own clothes," she said. "I have the children who used to come in with mum, now adults and some bring in their children. The parents are coming in because they remember doing this when they were young, often to get items for home economics at school."
Bargain Box Fabrics has the distinct advantage of offering personalised service, a place where you can get advice and support in any area of sewing.
It is in a very handy location, a short walk from central Ipswich or ample off-street parking at the rear of the building.
They still have a good range of dressmaking materials that includes Italian cotton and corduroy as well as wool blends, mainly Australian manufacturing.
They have added 3500 bolts for patchwork, along with wadding, thread, braiding and all other accessories.
"We have everyday things as well. A good but cheaper fabric that is versatile is poplin and a lot of ladies make up costumes or even use it for bunting for party decoration," she said.
"We also have cross-stitch kits, stranded threads, tapestry canvases, in fact a lot of craft items. Winter is a very popular time to sit in the sun and take time to work on some craft."
Bargain Box Fabrics carries a large range of patterns from all of the leading brands, and they are in stock.
They have knitting wool, carrying their preferred brand of Magnum.
Their range of buttons has to be seen to be believed, with lots of fashion buttons to choose from.
It's open Monday-Friday from 8.30am-5pm and Saturday from 8.30am-12.15pm.
See www.bargain boxfabrics.blogspot.co.au or call 3202 2887.