30 May, 2010

Ace Drapers

In my previous post I mentioned the shop "Ace Drapers" and promised to devote an entire blog entry to this remarkable establishment. I have not yet found a way to sneakily take photos, so I will add them later.

Let me start by saying that one should never go into Aces without first notifying a loved one and charging your mobile phone as getting lost amoungst the stock is a real possibility. Aces is run by Alan. I am relatively new to Roma so I don't know his last name. I do know that he and his brother also own a furniture shop, Ace drapers no. 2 and probably half of the town. To say that they are hoarders would be a giant understatement.

I'm getting ahead of myself here, essentially Ace Drapers is a drapery, a material shop. However if you are looking for anything along the craft line, it is worth dropping in and having a look around. They stock material, patterns, beads (glass, plastic and chrystal), scrapbooking supplies and tools, patchworking tools, sewing machine accessories, the usual material shop odds and ends such as ribbons, lace, elastic, cotton, embroidery threads, needles etc. They also stock a huge range of craft wood projects by Kaiser, craft wood letters, fake flowers, buttons galore, window blinds, and a whole isle of kitchen related stock. The kitchen isle is so full it is inaccessible....literally. The boxes and piles of stuff are stacked the length of the isle as high as my head. If you want something kitcheny, either go somewhere else or ask Alan - don't bother trying to find it.

Every isle is crammed full of stock and boxes line the floor - also full of stock. You really have to watch where you are walking as you are likely to trip over a stack of stock. Each morning before opening, Alan wheels piles of boxes out of the material isles and these are stacked outside the shop on the footpath. Next to the shop he has a shipping container, also full of stock. Upstairs above the shop is full of stock, the car is full of stock - so full I don't know how he drives it.

Going into this shop is sometimes a leap of faith, but it is always an adventure.

Now, I can hear you thinking surely she is exaggerating. I'M NOT!! The family owns a pub, it's windows are all boarded up, and I'm sure it is full of stock too. Who knows. What I do know is that bus loads of women come to Roma as a part of special craft/patchworking tours specially to go to this shop. You can spend hours going through boxes and not find what you are looking for. Once I went in looking for hot pink piping for a dress I'm still halfway through sewing, and I couldn't find the right pink. I asked Alan and he said that he didn't have any at the shop but he knew where he did have some and if I came back at 2 he'd have it for me. And he did. The shop might be messy and full beyond belief, but he knows exactly where everything is.

I will get photographic proof asap of our local treasure!

Emily xoxo


  1. LMAO I have walked passed this shop and it looks frightening hehe I didnt know it was actually ever open its just so filled with stuff!

  2. Would love to see some pic's of "ace Drapers"... Do you think you could post a photo of Allan too ??

  3. I went searching for info/names etc of people I went to school with and came across this blog..quite funny and so very accurate. I went to school with Alan and I left there in 1979 but I can still walk into his shop and he knows me and we have a conversation. I have a feeling I have a photo of outside the shop. And when I eventually find it, I know I have a school photo. He hasn't changed at all, just got older :)

  4. I can't seem to post a link here, but I have a couple of photos I took on my iPhone on my Facebook page if you want to take a look, feel free to copy them and upload them here. Not the best pictures in the world, but I didn't really have time to get good ones before he almost caught me!
    Carolyn Spencer

  5. The original Ace Drapers (boarded up next to the irish pub) is a clothing, kitchen needs. just about anything is available. I worked there about 30 years ago. Yes it is still fully stocked as well as up stairs. Alan's last name is Anderson.

  6. I worked for his mum in the furniture shop many years ago. I have some photos down several isles....amazing amount of stock.....

  7. Elvis is alive! He is just lost in Ace Drapers.

  8. Photos have been posted on the Australian Sewing Advice and Inspiration page on Facebook.

  9. I worked there once. Was in the original Ace Drapers (on the corner near Irish McGanns) first and then down at the Overflow.
    Ended up leaving as he was sooooooo rude!!
    The straw that broke the camel's back was when I'd made a sale of over $100 ..... he told me there was a lady down in the kitchen wares area and to go there, then when she said she was just looking and I walked back up to the material area he asked me what I was doing. Told him the lady was just looking and he said 'Well get down the back and serve that customer. I don't pay you to stand around doing nothing!'
    I'm sure there is stock in the original Ace Drapers (which is now boarded up) and in the Overflow that dates back to when they first opened the shop!!!!! LOL