Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Where, Oh Where?

Back in March, Cindy emailed to ask if I could share any "mustn't miss recommendations for fabric stores" in Winnipeg and leads on sewing classes for garment making. Cindy mentioned that her home town has a good selection of quilting specialized shops but she was looking for shops focused on garment making.

Her question was a good one, I had to think about it since I often long for the fabric selection in Toronto and dream about taking a sewing themed vacation. But I digress...

Here is a list of local businesses that I am familiar with, it is by all means not a complete list of Winnipeg shops. I'm sure there are some hidden gems that I haven't yet discovered.

Carellan Sewing Centre

Carellan Sewing Centre is located in the west end of the city.  They sell sewing machines (Pfaff) and offer sewing classes at various times in the year.  Their classes range from bra making to quilting and cater to different skill levels.

The store also sells sewing notions.  

Pros:  They carry Pfaff sewing machines. I am loyal to my Janome sewing machine and serger but I have heard many good things about Pfaff sewing machines.

Cons:   Parking can be an issue.  Recommended by a co-worker, I stopped by once when I was shopping for a new serger. There was a pajama making class going on in the middle of the afternoon.  So there was no one available to sell me a serger because all the staff was busy helping the room of teenage girls. Quilt as Desired was able to sell me a serger that after after the staff at Carella Sewing Centre asked me to come back another day. Long story short, shop there when there is not a class going on. Or go for the classes. That way you get the staff's focus.


There are three Fabricland locations in the city. One on Pembina Highway, Regent Avenue, and St. James. I find the staff friendly and knowledgable, especially at the Pembina Hwy location where I tend to shop the most. There seems to be a lot of quilters that shop at the Pembina Hwy location and they have a largest selection of the three locations dedicated to quilting. That said they have a fair selection of garment quality fabric.

Pros:  They carry special occasion, seasonal, quilting (some that are appropriate for garment making), sportswear fabrics.  They carry Vogue, Butterick, McCall's, Look, and Burda patterns.

Cons:  Very limited selection of notions for garment making, especially zippers.  Most notions seem to be of the novelty genre. Seriously, I don't shop at the fabric store for sewing themed nail files. Lots of notions dedicated to quilting. More and more floor space is novelty (seasonal) and home decor (drapery) items.  Shopping here can be expensive unless you have a membership card.    

Mitchell Fabrics

Mitchell Fabrics has so much to offer. If you are looking for fancy/special occasion and bridal fabric this would be your place to shop. They have a beautiful selection of lace.

I also have the best results when I'm looking for notions. Orange is the hot colour of the season? You'll be able to find an orange zipper. Love that!

They have a huge selection of buttons, some vintage.  Oh, and you must check out their vintage selection downstairs, it is quite the trip.

Pros:  The selection and the service. They will special order fabric if they can. And they will go out of their way to help.  

Cons:  Location is in the north end of the city.  Parking can be an issue.  The store has a cat that has the run of the store. If you have allergies, you might want to keep that in mind.  They have a limited offering of sewing patterns.

NorthWest Fabrics

I've never been to Northwest (Marshall) Fabrics but I have heard wonderful reviews of this place. I'm scared to visit only because it might result in additional fabric to my stash.

Quilt as Desired

I highly recommend this shop. The customer service is the best in the city and this store is my go-to place for servicing my sewing machine and serger. They carry an impressive line of sewing machine and serger accessories, sewing and quilting books and an impressively displayed collection of quilting fabric.  

Quilt as Desired offers sewing and quilting classes and if you purchase a machine here they offer classes to help you become familiar with your machine.

Pros:  Best customer service in the city. If they don't have something in stock, they are willing to see if they can order it for you.

Cons:  Limited parking spaces, but I've never had an issue with parking. So really, I can't think of any cons.

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