Fabric shops in Toronto

Why are they all a jumbled mess?

Most of the shops along Queen and Spadina are dusty, dim, crammed-to-the-rafters kind of places. The selection is great, for the most part, but when you’re feeling a bit like you need to keep one eye out for mice while you’re looking for a great print for a new sundress, that’s a bit, um, off-putting. Part of me likes the jumbled flea-market feel of some of these shops: you know, no pretension, no wondering whether you’re paying more for the ‘ambience’, blah blah. But I’ve been yearning for a, well, prettier place to shop for fabrics where I can find a little inspiration. Do you know of any such fabric shop that I should check out in Toronto? And please don’t send me to a quilting store where everyone is encouraged to sew some kind of mimsy apron, or where they only carry patterns that cost upwards of $20 and only feature dress designs for librarians. (Sorry, librarians, I know you can be a cool lot.) You know the ones I’m talking about.

designerfabrics
Photo from BlogTO. This is one of the more spacious showrooms. And no, this definitely isn’t how I want to shop for fabric.

Last month I went to Portland, Oregon for a conference and came across a very pretty fabric shop downtown called Josephine’s Dry Goods. I’d like to post some pics of the interior of the store, but I was asleep at the switch and didn’t think to get my camera out. Unfortunately they haven’t got many pics even on their own website. But it’s a light-filled, spacious place, with fabrics laid out so you can see them, and plenty of gorgeous garment samples throughout the store for inspiration. We could really use a place like this in Toronto.

A shot of Josephine’s Dry Goods by Amy Hodge

Oh, and don’t even get me started on the inexplicable fact that there aren’t any stores within 10 km of Toronto’s so-called ‘garment district’ — where there are scores of fabric stores — who carry patterns. WTF?  Business opportunity, people!

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4 thoughts on “Fabric shops in Toronto

  1. Just found your blog today. Hard to find a good Canadian sewing type blog. If you can recommend any others I would appreciate it. Do you not like the Fabricland stores.? That is about all we have up here near Ottawa. I find I order a lot of fabric online.

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    1. Hi Alice, & thanks for your comment. Try A Colourful Canvas (http://acolourfulcanvas.blogspot.ca/)…Sue lives on the west coast and makes beautiful clothes. I do like Fabricland, but it’s quite a drive from where I live…there used to be a couple of them within the downtown area and now the closest one to me is in a different city! How do you find ordering fabric online? Is it usually as you expected?

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