With the floor outside my craft room still under construction (aka all my projects at a stand still), I thought it would be a good time to do a little show & tell of some fab new fabrics I picked up a few weeks ago. The husband and I took a kid-free weekend jaunt across the border into Canada. Amongst our other adventures, I spent a few hours fabric shopping. Soooo nice.
I head over there at least twice a year and always score some great stuff I can't get around here. Today I'm going to share some of my latest finds and the 411 on fabric store differences in the US & Canada.
Here in the US the big chain sources for most fabrics are Jo-Ann, Hancock, Hobby Lobby and Calico Corners. In Canada there's Fabricland and Len's Mill Stores.
What They Offer:
Besides fabric, Jo-Ann & Hobby Lobby also offer craft supplies and home decor. Fabricland just has fabric & home decor items like bedding, throw pillows & drapes. Len's Mill offers all sorts of fabric and craft supplies, but also carries overstock clothes, packaged food, toiletries and other random stuff (we've bought plastic vuvuzelas, garden spades and socks there).
There's a bit of difference in pricing and I don't mean the exchange rate. Here most quilting cottons are pretty inexpensive, but in Canada they can be $$$. Like $14.99/yd for the same prints that go for $7.99/yd here. Same goes for Cuddle/Minky or Laminated Cotton fabric - upwards of $20/yd for low-end versions that would cost about $10 at home.
However, knits & apparel fabric can be snapped up for very little in Canada. I always find great stretch fabrics that would cost a fortune over here. I found this fun blue & white interlock to make another wrap dress with and a unique textured green jersey and both were about $6/meter over at Fabricland:
The detailing on the jersey is really nice too:
For unusual knits, Len's Mill is my go-to place. Warning though - they definitely don't spend much overhead on store design or pretty displays. The one we usually visit is a giant warehouse with concrete floors and stuff EVERYWHERE. Like a cross between a dollar store, hoarder's basement and fabric liquidator. Some of it looks like it's out of a time warp from 1987. Seriously. What it lacks in ambiance it makes up for in hidden gems like this unusual pink & green tie dye ruffle fabric:
And this fun crochet chevron. I think this would be great as a drape-y summer top over a tank:
Most fabric is sold by the meter (or should I say metre?) in Canada. That extra 3 inches is a nice bonus. At Len's Mill you can buy your fabric by the yard or meter and they have prices for both on each bolt. These beautiful textured knits were just $5/yd:
That store is also good for some hard-to-find or retired cottons, some at a pretty decent price. I discovered these adorable prints from the Marty Loves Mars collection by Camelot Cottons. Beyond cute:
I also loved these colorful apparel cottons (found at Fabricland). Can you believe they were each only $2.74/meter after the exchange rate?!? Insane!!! At that price, I was able to grab a few of each. So many project possibilities with these...
It's a lot of fun seeing what's different between the two countries and findings things you can't get at your usual spots. If you ever have the chance to visit other countries, definitely scope out their fabric stores. You may find some hidden treasures like I did!