Dressew in Vancouver

Dressew fabrics in downtown Vancouver, BC - a great source of a wide variety of fabrics, trims, and notions.

Dressew fabrics in downtown Vancouver

In an earlier post I shared a few photos from my visit to Atex Designer Fabrics in Vancouver, BC. I mentioned that it was right across the street from Dressew – a regular destination for me pretty much every time I visit Vancouver. Today I’ll share a few photos from Dressew which I visited when I was in the city in late September 2017.

You might recognise the name… I’ve blogged about Dressew before too – there’s a reason I love it!

I was specifically looking for a few things at Dressew:

  • Nice wool suiting in herringbone twill or even better diamond/lozenge twill – preferably in blues or reds. I want these for my Viking Age costumes.
  • Nice, fine, high-quality linen in tabby, herringbone twill, or twill weaves – again preferably in blues or reds for my Viking Age costumes, blues or oranges for my Ottoman costumes, or teals or rusts for my Italian Renaissance costumes.
  • Fun, interesting, and unique knitwear for leggings and dresses for mundane, everyday clothing.
  • Tabby, herringbone twill, or twill woven silks for trim on my Viking age costumes.
  • Silk taffeta, especially colour-change (shot) silks in bright blues, pinks, or oranges for my Ottoman costume wardrobe.
  • Silk taffeta in a beautiful copper/bronze for my Italian Renaissance costume wardrobe.
  • Pleated fabrics for a possible Egyptian costume.

Unfortunately, Dressew didn’t have ANY of the wools I had in mind – there were very few suitings, fewer still wool suitings, and none of the wool suiting they had was red. There wasn’t even any red wool blend suiting. 😦

Some of the linens along with their price and content tags from Dressew in Vancouver, BC

Some of the linens along with their price and content tags from Dressew

Their linens were a bit of a disappointment too – there wasn’t much selection, and the prices weren’t any better than what I can order online (minus shipping mind you…) if I’d seen something stunning I might have bought anyways – but there really wasn’t anything that was jumping out at me. The photo above shows a few different linens they had – $11.99 for 100% linen (a lightweight linen they had in a number of bright, summery colours) and $19.99 for a 54% linen/44% viscose/2% spandex blend which felt great for mundane clothing, but I really dislike working with viscose, and wasn’t shopping for mundane sewing fabrics anyways!

Likewise, I was sad that there really wasn’t anything in the knitwear that jumped out at me. I was looking for embossed, foiled, or other neat finishes for leggings… but there really wasn’t anything. I did look at some of their dancewear fabrics, but all of the things that caught my eye… I already have – purchased (for the same price I think) from Marshall’s in Edmonton.

Plum (Raisin) silk taffeta from Dressew in Vancouver BC for $19.99 /meter

Plum silk taffeta from Dressew

On the silks… I DID find a lot of lovely things… though unfortunately they really didn’t have much in the colourways that I was looking for. I picked up a plum (labeled as Rasin) silk taffeta for $19.99/meter, which is cheaper than what I normally would pay for it here in Calgary. The colour isn’t something that is in my planned costume wardrobe… but I know I’ll use it for something wonderful!

Finally I did find some of the pleated fabric I had in mind for an upcoming Egyptian costume. I didn’t want any of the micro-pleat knit I’ve seen used elsewhere, and really I’m not super interested in using synthetics… but I found some great fabric to at least test out my pattern with – before I move onto the shibori pleated linen fabric I intend to use for my final version.

The pleated fabric I found is sheer, and I bought it in teal and orange. It’s 60% tencel, and 40% nylon (not an ideal content for sure) but at only $5.99/meter, it’s a good start to make a workable toile.

Pleated sheer fabric for a future Egyptian costume for $5.99 at Dressew in Vancouver

Pleated sheer fabric for a future Egyptian costume

Fancy fabrics at Dressew including a wide selection of colour-changing mermaid sequined fabric

Fancy fabrics at Dressew

While I was there, I also looked at their fancy fabrics, and of course had to spend some time playing with the mermaid-sequined fabric. These are sequins with one colour on one side of the plastic sequin, and a different colour on the other. They’re sewn so that they will “flip over” when you brush them with your hand, creating a colour-changing look.

Dressew had the best selection of colours of this fabric that I’ve seen so far… but I’m torn – I love it…but I still can’t think of what I’d want to MAKE with it…. so despite the love, it stayed on the shelf.

I also went downstairs and looked at their trims and notions. I didn’t buy any trims this time around (most of the things that I liked are far too modern-looking for any of my planned costumes) but I did grab a bunch of notions and things for upcoming projects and to add to my general sewing stash.

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