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.
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.
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!