Shopping for Fabric on Queen Street West

peeking into a shop on quee

There's an area in Toronto, on Queen St West between Spadina and Augusta, that is a person-who-sews' dream come true as far as buying fabric in Toronto goes. (I have just been going back and forth on the fact that it's probably not correct to call a person who sews a 'sewer' because, of course, a sewer is a whole different thing!)

I don't even sew that much but always have fun poking around the shops lining both sides of the street on this block. Many of them have been there for decades and probably even have old stock left from when they first opened.

You just never know what sewing-related materials you will find, so would likely come away with well-priced fabric that you didn't even realize you needed or wanted but that you can't wait to turn into something great. However if you're in need something specific, there is so much variety available that you will surely find exactly (or pretty close to) what you're looking for.

fabric on queen street west

barrels of fabric

bolts of fabric on the stre

bins of fabric queen st w

feathers and fabric

Shopping there is not for the faint of heart though, since in most of the stores everything is crammed together tightly and challenging to get at.

affordable fabrics 01

affordable fabrics 02

buttons and trim queen st w


sewing trims

After you've had a peek at the shops that are stuffed to the rafters (I recommend Affordable Textiles near Augusta for fabric, and Neverene's near Spadina for buttons, buckles and trims), there are also some nice and tidy shops, that sell the more luxurious fabrics, like imported silks and pure woollens. I don't have any of these to recommend because I don't risk sewing with fine fabrics myself, but there are many that look like they have gorgeous material.

fabric store queen st w

leos textiles queen st w

And even if you don't need anything for sewing or making things, it's still an interesting part of town that's great for people watching. And there are some good cafes, restaurants and bars along there to take a break in too.

fabric stores queen st w

bling bling queen street we

queen st w building 1881

its good to see you cameron

bike riding queen st w

I went last week because I needed a bit of polka-dot material to make a sash-belt for a dress I have. I brought my (store-bought) dress along with me and was able to match the black polka-dots almost perfectly except the dots are slightly larger on the fabric I found, which is fine with me.

cutting fabric

↑ That's my dotty fabric waiting to be cut in Affordable Textiles ↑

I also got a few other things, including an awl. I've wanted one for ages to make these notebooks, and when I saw some at one of the checkout counters I added one to my purchase.

So yes, I bought an awl as an impulse purchase. Exciting, right?
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12 Responses to Shopping for Fabric on Queen Street West

  1. I’ve never seen so much fabric in one place!!

  2. Hollie says:

    that’s a serious fabric store!!

  3. Vix says:

    That looks like heaven! I had to turn down a trip to a fabric stall today so i can live vicariously through yours instead! x

  4. I remember those stores well. But back when we used to hang out on Queen Street more, I didn’t consider sewing…ever! Now I occasionally need fabric for small craft projects. I will have to check it out again. :)

  5. Louise says:

    That looks like a fabulous place. I could quite get lost for hours there. I refer to myself as a sewist … Not grammatically correct but better than sewer lol. Xx

  6. Kaisa says:

    Aaahhh, looking like a heaven! xx

  7. Alexis Lakey says:

    I’m searching for chiffon or organza camouflage ribbon…. Camo fit for wedding favours.
    Thank you.

  8. Hi Loulou! I’m Tati, brazilian (from São Paulo) and planning to move to Toronto until december.
    I sew since I was 14. In São Paulo we have an extremely crowded but fabulous street called March 25th. You can find whatever you need there, and of course, sewing-related materials… a lot of it! It’s great to know there is in Toronto a street that, as you’ve said, is “a person-who-sews’ dream”!
    Thanks for sharing your opinion and experience! <3
    Kisses from Brazil!

    • Loulou says:

      Hi Tati! That certainly is a big move for you. I hope you enjoy it here in Toronto. I think you will love all the fabric shops on Queen Street West!

      • Hi Loulou, that’s me again, Tati. It’s been 2 years since I commented here… time flies!
        So, I’m living in Toronto since December 2016 but I only managed to bring my sewing machine from Brazil 10 months ago. Now I can say I’m a huge fan of Queen St W fabric stores and also of Fabricland and Lens Mills. The sewing thing is going so much better for me than I was expecting! I’m even going to be a vendor on a Etsy Market next August! Yay!
        Well, I’m only passing by to say hello, ’cause I’ve found your page bookmarked in my browser :)

        • Loulou says:

          Hi Tati :) Thank you for writing. It’s good to hear you’re doing well with your sewing and that you also like the fabric shops on Queen Street West. I like Fabricland also, but don’t have one nearby so don’t go often. Congratulations and good luck with the Etsy Market!

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