Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Oh Canada! Fabric & Button Shopping in Vancouver


How much did I enjoy my trip to Canada? OMG.


While I was technically there (in Edmonton, AB) for work, the trip came just after our second wedding anniversary so El Husbando and I decided to tack on a few extra days and check out the Vancouver, BC beer scene as our anniversary celebration. While I was AFSM (away from sewing machine) for 2 entire weeks, I was also subsisting on delicious sour beers from all over Canada (shout out to LTM for one of the best Goses I've ever enjoyed!) and not getting to bed until midnight because the sun doesn't go down until after 10 pm in Edmonton.

This was the view from my hotel room at 9:45 one evening, when the room suddenly got brighter.

A post shared by Paulette Font-Erato (@pfont) on


That was a trip!

Once we go to Vancouver, the sunset situation was a little closer to what we're used to all the way down here in Los Angeles. I think the sun was fully set by 10 pm, and not still lighting up the sky like Canada Day fireworks (which we also got to enjoy!).

I had reached out to a few area makers via the #vancouversews tag on Instagram for tips on where to go and what to buy, since every trip to a new city requires not only beer adventures but also some fabric shopping. I was immediately directed to Atex Fabrics, Dressew Supply, and Button Button. Gotta love the online sewist community!

All three of these stores were located within blocks of each other in the Gastown area of Vancouver, which is near the waterfront and downtown. While we were staying in the East Village, the public transportation system in the city is one of the best, hands down. And I thought navigating Paris was easy! Turns out, speaking the language made this town EVEN EASIER! There was absolutely no need to rent a car, which is always a nice upside to traveling. Especially when there's a beer-centric travel agenda.

Saturday afternoon was rainy and gloomy (and very cold for end of June). But that didn't deter us from enjoying ourselves around Gastown.

Atex Fabrics and Dressews are directly across the street from each other. We got off on the Atex side of the street, so stopped there first. It's a very small store but chock full of nicely priced fabrics.


Everything is in large rolls, so you have to be patient and careful—the rolls are stacked to the ceiling! Thankfully I had an extra pair of hands in El Husbando. We bought a length of chocolate brown hacci sweater knit (for my dad's Finlayson) and a white poly chiffon crepe printed with a stamped Eiffel Tower pattern repeat.


I have no idea what to make with the crepe, but it's so light and blousy that I couldn't resist buying it. Any suggestions?

Across the street, Dress Sews felt like equal parts Halloween Store and craft store. It's what Joann's would be if they were 90% apparel fabric and notions, instead of what...ever they are. The selection of everything you can think of was vast. But there was nothing that really caught my eye.


Then it was off to Button Button, just one street over. It's a teeny one room shop but OH. MY. So darling!! El Husbando had a mission to find buttons for his future shirts (I find that giving him a goal makes the drudgery of being dragged fabric and notion shopping less painful for him).


Allan, the delightful shop worker, immediately found me the perfect shade of green shank buttons I had been hunting after for months! Ryan also found himself some rad black and white cat eye buttons, as well as some pearlized square ones. I also snagged a variety of unique metal shank buttons. All this cost about $20 CAN.


And then we were off to drink more beer!


Thank you, Vancouver! I think this is a place we might come back to one day.

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