Shop Talk is written by OM senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, OM account executive and fashion maven.
We know the crafting community is strong in Ottawa, as is the support for independent designers. We know people love retro fashion and that some of those people are also drawn to a more modern aesthetic. And we have a hunch that there are govies out there who hate their desk jobs but are passionate about their hobbies. But we didn’t know that there is a place that brings all of these Ottawa truisms together — until now.
Fabrications opened December 1st on the eastern fringes of Hintonburg. It’s a fabric store and more, with an impressive schedule of sewing classes and a very pretty website that shows off their carefully chosen fabrics and sewing accessories. And Fabrications is the dream-come-true story of Curtis Blondin and Carrie Alexander.
The owners are both photographers — Carrie is originally from Sudbury, Curtis from Wakefield — who love crafting and sewing. The two were enjoying plugging away at their projects in the evenings while spending their days at desk jobs with the federal government. They would spend hours searching out cool fabrics online, ordering metres with bated breath, and sometimes be disappointed with the results. One day, Curtis suggested they open their own store that offered unique, vintage, and reclaimed fabrics and, as Carrie says, “there was no good reason not to.”
“We have a few suppliers that deal with the designers that have the look we’re going for,” says Carrie. That look? “Modern. Retro- looking … new but with a retro feel.” The store supports independent fabric and pattern designers — they don’t sell anything you can buy at Fabricland.
While Carrie says the store appeals to anyone who is interested in sewing, their customers are young — mostly people in the 20s and 30s who would otherwise shop online for fabric. And with a long list of classes that offer the chance to complete a project in a few hours, it seems they are growing that base.