I didn't bother to go out of my way to fabric shop while in Melbourne, but couldn't help but notice the sign in the window of Job Warehouse ('specialising in vintage fabrics', or something similar). Job Warehouse, as I'm sure Melbournians know, is a freakish anomaly. It's right in the CBD, next to an extremely popular Italian espresso bar and a couple of doors down from one of the city's finest Italian restaurants.* It is a store that by all odds should've gone the way of milk in bottles.
Here is what Job Warehouse looks like. From the back of the store looking towards the door. What you can't see is that there are several doorways on the left of the photo, into rooms filled with more fabric. Unfortunately I couldn't actually get into them, because fabric bolts were stacked chest-high across the doorways.
There are no labels, and no prices. Apparently the gentlemen that work there price according to mood. Well they liked me well enough, because I paid on average $10 p/m. For three metres of 1970s tartan acetate taffeta, two metres of (80s?) striped cotton and five metres of printed panels.
That's just half a panel I've photographed. I have no idea when these are from - ideas, anyone? The full circle skirt suggests 50s, but the print and colourway to me looks more early 80s? And the best bit - look around the panel. Along one selvedge is a printed band - for a waistband or matching button-band on a blouse. There's collar panels, and two kind of pocket panels. Pocket panels! Two kinds! I bought enough for a full circle skirt for me (too much? Should I make it only a half?) and the half panel over will become an apron.
* For those that can't afford to eat at Grossi Florentino itself (we didn't), I completely recommend the Cellar Bar - the cheaper, more casual restaurant on the side of the building also run by Mr Florentino. Most meals under $20, and absolutely fabulous. Same quality ingredients, just simpler food (spaghetti bolognaise, osso bucco, eggplant parmigiana, minestrone). Most of those dishes are under $20. Best. Value. Ever.