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Photo of Curtis and Carrie on location at Fabrications by Tom Thompson.

Fabrications: Fabulous finds for Ottawa’s crafting scene

By Karen Diepeveen on November 30, 2012

Ottawa’s always been lacking in the fabric store department, particularly in the downtown area – until now. Thanks to two civil-servants-turned-shop-owners, the crafting scene here in town doesn’t need to turn to the interweb to find fabric delights.

Fabrications is the joint venture of Carrie and Curtis, who saw the opening for a little crafty shop down at 1098a Somerset (at Spadina). Yes, they’ll have fabric, but they’ll also have sewing machines for rent and offer classes for those of us less inclined to start a project on our own. With the opening party tonight from 7-10pm, they’ll officially be open for business tomorrow (Saturday). And to give you a sneak peek we sent them a few questions about what they’re hoping this quaint little shop will achieve.

Apt613: So what’s all the buzz about Fabrications? Tell us about the shop, and where you got the idea.

Curtis and Carrie: The idea for Fabrications was born over coffee and complaints about the lack of good fabric stores in Ottawa. The only place that I could get the fabrics I loved was to shop online. Being a person who is both tactile and impatient, it wasn’t the ideal shopping situation. Curtis commented that I should open that store. My first reaction was to say no, but when we thought about it more, it became an idea that we both felt we could run with. There are similar shops in Toronto, Vancouver, Hamilton, and in Europe, but Ottawa’s craft scene seemed to be lacking in this area. We were both government workers and our spirits were being crushed by years of public service. This was our ticket out.

The shop itself has hundreds of fabrics from popular designers to choose from. We stock cottons, organics, Japanese fabrics and are building our collection of vintage and reclaimed fabrics. We also have a selection of ribbons, notions and almost everything you could need for your sewing projects. If we don’t have what you’re looking for, please let us know and we will be happy to get it in for you.

Ottawa’s got a thriving craft scene. What kind of niche do you see Fabrications filling?

The empty one where a fabric store is required. But honestly we want to be a place where crafters and other like-minded individuals can come and get the supplies they need without leaving the community or having to order online. Although we will have an online presence there is a particular something about brick and mortar stores that can’t be described in words. We want to add to this already thriving community and we believe that we will be filling a void.

What’s it like selecting fabric from all of the amazing options out there?

Overwhelming! It was a task to narrow it down and decide what we thought would work best to start off but we think we have a pretty great selection. It will only keep growing and getting better.

 What else will be on offer at the shop?

We have 6 Bernina sewing machines and one Bernina serger that can be rented by the hour for use in store. This is perfect if you don’t have a sewing machine of your own, or if you would like to spend time being crafty with friends in a relaxed and welcoming environment. We give you the basic tools to use, including pins, marking tools, scissors, rotary cutters, tape measures, rulers, all the goodies.

We have complementary coffee and beverages and a cozy couch to sit and enjoy your drink and read a crafty magazine for inspiration. You will never feel rushed or pushed out. After hours we will be hosting various sewing workshops, which range from beginner level to advanced. It is very important to us that at the end of each workshop, the students go home with a completed project. We think this is so much more encouraging, especially for beginners. It will prove that anyone can sew and make beautiful things. There are so many fun things planned for the store that it’s hard to include them all without going on for pages and pages but a few other cool things are silk screening workshops which will be added in the near future, book binding workshops and free stitch n’ bitch evenings. It’s an evolution and we plan to always be adding new things.

Any other thoughts on what you hope Fabrications will be?

More than anything, we hope it will be a place that inspires creativity and a desire to learn new skills. Like you already mentioned, Ottawa has an amazing craft scene; we can only hope that our little shop is welcomed into the fold and will be seen as a fun place to come and hang out and be crafty together.