Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fabric Hunting in Toronto

This past weekend I took a trip to Toronto to visit some family and while I was there I wanted to check out a couple of fabric stores that carry the fabric of my favourite designers. As I am not able to find the fabrics I love in the Ottawa stores, I currently order my fabric from the States but would prefer if possible to purchase from Canadian retailers. Before leaving for Toronto I did some research and compiled a list of retailers that carry my fave fabrics. So, on Saturday with the addresses committed to memory, my Uncle (a great Uncle indeed to wander about fabric stores for an afternoon with his niece) and I headed to the garment district in search of my fabrics.

When I walked through the door of the first store and laid my eyes upon the rows of beautiful fabric lining the walls I was thrilled! There they were; Amy Butler, Sandi Henderson, Michael Miller, etc… Gorgeous fabrics that I could just pluck off the shelf – I was in fabric heaven. I took one roll off the shelf, glanced at the price and that’s where thrill turned to shock and then dismay. What the heck! It was about twice the price of what I pay the U.S. retailers. So, thinking it was just that particular pattern I placed that roll back and took down another one. Nope, same price. Back it went and down came another – same $. As I pulled out roll after roll (trying not to look frenzied) I realized I was not going to find anything to buy here. They must have inflated prices because they are a crafting store, I thought as I left. So, a little disappointed, but still full of hope, off we went. Now the next few stores weren’t on the list, but we were in the garment district and I wasn’t going to pass up checking them out, I never know what I might find. Plus it was a gorgeous sunny day, perfect for wandering the streets.

Overwhelming. That is the first word that comes to mind when trying to describe some of these stores. Piles and piles of fabric rolls stacked above our heads, some with aisles so small two people would have a hard time passing each other. I really wish I‘d had my camera with me to document the craziness of it. Having not found anything in a few of these stores we arrived at another of the stores on my list. Again as I walked through the door a little thrill ran through me as saw a great display of my fabrics (yes, sadly beautiful fabrics do give me that kind of reaction). However as I got closer I could see that they were the same price as the first store. Seriously!? Even the few rolls they had on sale were more expensive than what I could get through the States. Again we left the store empty handed. We hit a few more stores as we strolled down the street in the sun and I even came across a couple rolls of the fabrics I was looking for, but again same inflated price. I finally ended up purchasing a few meters of fabric in two cute designs that were not from my designers, but were the price I was looking for and in the end I felt the afternoon was definitely not a loss. It confirmed that the way I have been purchasing fabrics from the U.S. is absolutely the way to go, I got a little exercise and enjoyed the beautiful sunny day with my Uncle. All in all a very nice afternoon. Now back online I go to purchase some more fabric.

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