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Sew Paradise

Grand Prix Fabric Shopping

We went to the Toronto Grand Prix this past weekend (more on how much I hate homeland security in a moment…) I had heard from online friends at Sewing Refuge that (twenty years ago) there was a cool fabric district in QueenStreetWest area, near Chinatown. So I googled it and found a canadian craft blogger who listed addresses. At first, walking by where Designer’s Showroom should have been, it looked closed, paper on the windows, I thought, uh oh. So I moseyed on, E. in the stroller. On the way back, I found Designer’s Showroom just by accident.

It’s quite a store. The fabric are displayed in large swatches hung on pant hangers. You select what you want, in a big, open, airy showroom and they look it up in the computer. You buy, and they ship. I got some dress weight denim (Hot Patterns P&S shirtdress, or similar from my pattern stash), two rayon lycra knits, two cotton lycra knits, a sheer textured striped knit and a linen-look woven. Mmmm. And, I fed E. in the red dupioni sling I borrowed, but am going to copy.

There were a ton of button, trim, bead, yarn and fabric stores, all mixed in with an uber-trendy neighborhood, but sort of a blue-hair, multi-pierced sort of trendy. Not a H&M trendy, though one of those is opening there too.

So, am I sold on the Toronto grand prix? We had a nice enough time (shopping, an art festival, the race – watched from jumbotrons inside the Expo center). The drive home sucked. Stuck at the bridge, dived out to friend’s in Sarnia, then south to the ferry at Sombra/Marine City (who knew 65 other cars also knew about it, 12 at a time, we were there 2 hours anyway). Intermittent bouts of screaming baby.

But yeah, she’ll be 15 months old, past the screaming baby stage. And we could go shopping with the sling next year. And really dive in to the stores we had to pass by, because I had the SUV stroller. Some of the stores had fabricĀ  packed to the ceiling, with bolts scattered, stacked, draped and shoved in every available space. Warren-like ‘aisles’ of fabric. And trim stores with stairs to get in, bead stores too tightly packed for stroller, and maybe even a bit dangerous for 15-month old hands, but we’ll try next year.

By paradise

I'm Ann. I've been sewing since I was 9. My first project was a denim wrap skirt. Thrifting is a way of life for me - both eco-chic and financially savvy.

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