Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Plushie Supplies

A list of ressources
by Pheleon

Where do you get your materials?

I've been asked this question one too many times, so I think it's about time that I give the LONG answer.

Firstly, I inherited my grandmother's and mother's collection of fabric, so there is a lot of stuff that I use that can no longer be found (or I can't even tell you what it's called because there are no labels). I've also been collecting my own stash for the past decade, and they include fabrics that are even hand-dyed by yours truly (also making them one-of-a-kind).

Secondly, I try to recycle and re-use the most I can.  Mostly old clothes where the fabic is still in top shape, but the style or size is outdated and just doesn't fit (in which case, I just cut it up and make it into something more useful!).  Search your house. You might find lots of handy things.

Thirdly, if you're really starting from zero or simply cannot find the right material in your collection, it's probably time that you go and buy it! Where? Here's my LONG answer....

If you're local to the Montreal area...

Fabricville (West Island, Namur, Downtown) http://www.fabricville.com/

There are bunch of fabricville locations (in the rest of Canada, I think it's called fabricland) Check out their site to find a location near you.

I personally like the West Island location because it's spacious and has a better selection. The one downtown always dissapoints me~ I only go there for the convinience (it was only a few metro stops away from my school). The namur location is decent (and fairly convinient because it's right next to a metro stop), but it's still not as big as the West Island one.

If you plan on getting lots of fabric, their membership card is worth it. Sometimes you can save up to 75% off, and there are new deals every week. But all in all, it's more catered to fashion and home decor, so you'll have to really search to find stuff that can be used for crafts. It's mostly my staple store since it's the most accessible to me.

What I get here:- Flannel
- Flanelette
- Cotton broadcloth
- Lycra (although now discontinued)
- Random other specialty fabrics (corduroy, tulle, satin, velour, etc.)

- Thread (for domestic machines)
- Fiberfill
- Fray-blocker

C&M Textiles (metro Jean-Talon)  http://www.cmtextiles.com/

It's quite organised for a store located on St-Hubert street. There's a different selection of fabrics here, so it's a nice alternative from Fabricville. The fabrics are also labelled (unlike many stores on St-Hubert!). They carry a bunch of stuff from Telio (a wholesale company), so if you find a fabric that you really like and want to get a bolt, I'd suggest to write down the code and contact Telio.

What I get here:- Felt (by the meter)
- Organic Cotton knit (although I don't think they carry it anymore)
- Random other specialty fabrics

Sidenote: along St-Hubert street, espescially during the fall/winter, you'll be able to find a wide selection of fake furs! Lots of these stores even want to bargain with you, so be prepared to look tough and get a good deal.

Ultratext (metro Jean-Talon)  http://www.ultratext.ca/

I'm so surprised that they actually have a website because their store is very disorganised! But their selection is good and getting a bargain is easy. (but always make it seem like you don't really want the thing) They've got an impressive amount of lace.   And lots of feather boas (if you're into that?)

What I get here: - Lace
- Handbag straps
- Ribbons
- Industrial thread

Trimcité (metro Jean-Talon)

Very organised and nice selection of trims and ribbons. I also got some nice hoops for handbag straps.

What I get here:
- Hoops & belt buckles
- Various trims/ribbons
- Various chains

Omer DeSerres (Place Montreal Trust, metro Peel or McGill) http://www.deserres.ca/en-ca/

There are many locations of this store, but the one in Place Montreal Trust (connected to the Eaton's Center and Cours Mont-Royal) is the MOST crafty.  The fine arts section is a joke in this one, lol.

What I get here:
- Felt (in packs of 10)
- Wires/pipe-cleaners (in packs of 50)
- Touch Textiles- fabric paint by Pebeo
- Fabric marker by Pebeo
- Beads
- Sharpies & pigment liners
- Sculpey clay
- Paintbrushes
- Paints (Golden brand)

Minimax (Place Alexis-Nihon, metro Atwater)

This is an odd store to put on my list because it's essentially a dollar store! But it's a special one that has lots of handy craft things. :D  Their felt is surprisingly good quality (depends on the stock, but if you hit a good one, it's the jackpot!) and it's 35cents per sheet.

What I get here:
- Felt
- Beads
- Chains
- Ribbons
- Foam

Concordia Art Store (Concordia Visual Arts building, metro Lucien-l'allier)

Directions: coming out of the metro, turn right until you hit René-Levesque. Cross the street; the VA building will be in front of you, on the corner of Crescent. The address is 1395 René-Levesque.  The store is located on the first floor; when you walk in, pass the security desk and it's to your right.  Yes, it's a hole in the wall. No, you can't browse the store. Because yes, you have to ask the clerk for everything you want (kind of like a take-out place). 

What I get here:
- Acrylic paints (Stevenson, Liquitex)
- Silkscreen
- Ready-to-dye fabrics (like mercerized cotton)
- Paper in wide formats (for patterning)
- Acetate

Co-op UQAM (Pavillion Judith-Jasmin, metro Berri-UQAM)

Directions: Berri's a crazy metro station, you've been warned. Head towards the UQAM entrance~ it's the exit across of the store Le Parchemin.  The co-op is a bit hidden; it's located to your left, in a corner.  You'll see a sorta seating area and if you look up, I think it used to be a church cuz the ceiling's really high and church-like.

What I get here:
- Paints
- Paintbrushes
- Gesso
- Silkscreen ink

Doubletex (middle of nowhere, seriously!) http://www.doubletex.com/

This is an industrial wholesale sorta company.  I got fiberfill in bulk here because I needed a lot and it would cost me a lot less.  It was slightly confusing when we got there because most people were on vacation, but they very nice over the phone and my order went quickly all in all.  They also sell good quality upholstery foam~ I'd consider buying bulk from them for that if I want to produce more kiwis and oranges (I bought their same product at fabricville and it costed a lot!)

What I get here:
- Fiberfill in bulk

Online Stores

I also get lots of stuff online.  It's annoying having to pay for shipping, but when you're really looking for something specific, it's easier to search it online than in a random local store. Here's a list of sites that I've bought from:

Sassybears http://www.sassybearsandfabrics.com/
I've been buying from her for a few years now. I like how her quantities are small, so you can buy many different things (rather than being forced to buy a whole yard of fabric).  She's really catered to mini stuff and crafts, so it's a good ressource. 

I've ordered...
- Craft velour
- Bucksuede (now deersuede)
- Furs (not sure the name)
- Shag fur (it used to be under the hair section cuz it's a very long-pile fur!)
- Mini buttons!

Dollmakersjourney http://dollmakersjourney.com/
I really like them!! They seem really sweet; they personally sign your receipt when you receive your order. They've also thrown in little freebies like a measuring tape and needles and stuff. I think it's a nice added touch. ^_^  Anyways, I go to them for deersuede and craft velour now. Their service is fast, so I highly recommend them.

I've ordered...
- Deersuede
- Craftvelour

Hartsfabric http://www.hartsfabric.com/
They've got a really nice selection of fabrics, and they're good quality (or maybe it's the ones that I've choosed, lol).  I was pleased with their products, but not so pleased with my experience ordering from them.  They basically wrote almost double the amount I had spent on the shipping form, so I ended up having to pay a really big extra sum for the taxes!  I'm guessing it was a mistake, but it costed me one and I did not appreciate that lack of professionalism.  I'd like to order from them again, but I don't feel like being slapped on more for shipping...

I've ordered...
- Felt (by the yard)
- Japanese-import print fabric
- Gorgeous organic cotton knit

Joggles http://www.joggles.com/
I ordered from them on a whim~ I needed craft velour and thought I'd give them a shot.  Service was meh. Nothing special, really. But you might find other handy things on their site since it's supposedly catered for crafters.

I've ordered...
- Craft velour

Dharma trading co. http://www.dharmatrading.com/
I commend them for the fact that they sell an industrial steamer for setting dyes. Which I bought of course.  I think there's a lot of stuff on their site that sounds interesting (espescially if you're into textiles and print)... but I'm a bit paranoid of ordering dyes that will cross the border (mainly cuz I don't want it to get stopped for whatever reason and lose my order!)

I've ordered...
- Industrial stove-top steamer

Maiwa Handprints http://www.maiwa.com/home/supply/index.html
They're great! And finally a canadian company, so no fear of border crossings. :) Cool selection of natural dyes; I haven't bought them, but I've tried them out at school and they're good.  I did buy some other stuff though.

I've ordered...
- Proxion MX starter kit
- Synthrapol (for fabric scouring)

Softexpressions http://softexpressions.com/software/notions/jtcolorf.htm
They sell Quickfuse by June Tailor in big big bulk!

I've ordered...
- Quickfuse by June Tailor

Some other random whatever sites where you can find handy things by searching:
http://www.findingking.com/ - I found keychains in bulk
http://www.overstock.com/ - First place I found Quickfuse
http://www.amazon.com/ (not .ca) Believe it or not, but I've bought a lot of felt there! Mostly when I'm looking for a very specific colour!

And with all that...
it now concludes the question! That's where I get all my stuff. No secrets anymore. It's more what you do with things, rather than the tools/materials themselves. ^_^

1 comment:

  1. Very helpful post! I'm going to check out some of the online stores you've listed. Plushie skin fabric can be hard to find at fabric stores.