Thursday, June 16, 2011

Show & Tell: Fabrics From Vacation

Well, mini-vacation is over and, now that I'm back home, the kids & my work are piling on the busy doubletime.  But I thought I'd do a little show & tell on some of the fun fabrics I got during our across-the-border anniversary getaway.  My husband & I used most of our kid-free time enjoying a romantic manor house hotel & trying tasty eateries, but we also scoped out where to find fabric in Canada - it's not Joann's!

Fabricland seemed to be the equivalent of Joann's over there.  Except it was a lot less organized and everything was by the meter instead of the yard.  It didn't occur to me until after I got my fabric cut that a meter is a lot more fabric, but there were some bargains to be had (some were as low as $1.50/meter!), so I got a good amount of cool stuff for a knock-down price.  Like this Michael Miller sewing print cotton - it's sort of a lightweight canvas & was only $4/meter!

I also scored this cuddly knit sherpa for the same price:

It's got sweater knit on one side and fuzzy sherpa on the other.  I got tons of it so I can make myself some cuddly lounge pants & some fun items for my little girl when winter returns.  Way easier than breaking out the knitting needles:

The other fun fabric place I checked out was Len's Mill Stores.  It's kind of like Hobby Lobby+Dollar Store.  The one we went to was a giant warehouse and they had all kinds of random stuff - food, ultra-cheap clothing, hair dye, pool noodles, etc.  It sort of looked like a flea market crossed with hoarder's basement.  It was definitely lit like a basement.  And there was zero overhead put into presentation.  Not exactly my idea of fine shopping, but I looked beyond that because they had a crazy big selection of fabric.  A lot of it was nice stuff too.  Like this super cute cotton paper doll panel:

You cut the dolls & outfits out of the panel, add some backing and presto!  You've got adorable paper dolls that can stand the test of time.  And I totally loved the old-fashioned clothing designs.  SO cute!

I also had to have this weird & wonderful fabric.  It looks like fleece, but it's not -

It's a thin poly terry cloth, but the fruits & flowers are all flocked with fleece:

The feel is really soft, but lightweight, so it would be great for beachwear or rompers for the kids.   And again the prices on these were pretty good.  They also offered cuts by the yard AND by the meter.  I did notice that the prices in general seemed the opposite of those in the US.  The knits, fleeces & specialty fabrics were crazy cheap compared to here, but the regular quilting cottons were way expensive (some were $17/yd!!!).  Maybe it's because they're imported from the US or the increase in cotton prices has really taken hold over there.

But it was a lot of fun checking out some new places.  And props to my husband who put up with me dragging him into said stores.  I actually got to browse leisurely in fabric stores for a change.  Browsing with 3 small kids usually equals 5 whole minutes in a store and most of it is spent telling someone to: stop touching things/stay next to me/quit asking for stuff.  As well as giving bribes in the form of treats from my purse to keep them from being annoying to everyone else in the store.  My husband didn't require any of those things.  What a fabric shopping difference!


  1. Cute fabric! I grew up in Canada and Fabricland was the only place to find fabric (besides some specialty shops). Fabricland is like the Walmart version of Joann - some good deals but not always pretty.

  2. Fabric is generally much more expensive here in Canada. We like to stock up when go across the border to the USA.
    Fabricland stores are hit and miss. Some are better organized than others. I'd compare them to your Joanne's, too.
    Other than Fabricland the only options for fabric buying are in specialty stores. And there are some very nice ones - but they do cost waaaaay more.
    Glad you enjoyed your trip across the border!

  3. It was interesting seeing the +/- differences in the stores over there. It was lots of fun though - would definitely hit them up again!


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