Bit of a picture heavy post today sharing my fabric haul from the Garment District in New York. Where to start?
Well, as a Brit who has never been fabric shopping in that particular part of the world before, I was concerned that it might be a little….overwhelming. But I needn’t have worried. Rather than start with a biggie (like Mood), I started with the smaller shops first and actually did a round of all the shops I wanted to first before comitting to buying anything.
Backing up. We were staying in a hotel on West 44th Street in NYC so it took me like 10 minutes to walk to the Garment District on the day I went shopping. Phil and Kezia headed off to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty on the Staten Island Ferry that day (Kezia’s choice), so I was left to my own devices, although they came and met me later in the day.
First stop was Paron Fabrics (West 39th Street) (not the best of photographs; my camera lens needed cleaning I think!):
Fabrics were well organised by type (lots of choice) and they had lots of high end European imported stuff (Italian), which I avoided…because I was basically trying really hard to buy things which are hard to get here in the UK. I can’t remember the name of the older guy who served me but he was lovely (and gave me a discount – there was a sale on at the time too), and I could easily have spent a lot of money here.
This is what I bought here – top to bottom: top: a heavy weight waterproof fabric which has been bonded on the reverse side to what looks like a knit interfacing (i.e. it’s needle ready – love!), middle: medium/ heavy weight weight cotton flannel plaid and bottom: heavy weight satin lining (for the waterproof jacket).
Next I went across the road to Gray Line Linens (West 39th Street). Again, fabrics were well organised but prices were not marked and you had to ask them. There were lots of lovely metallic linens but I resisted. I figured linen is something you can get here. There were a few rolls of eyelet cotton but I held out and got some from Metro Textiles for a better price (see below):
After that I called into Daytona Trims (West 39th Street). Now here I did feel overwhelmed and didn’t purchase anything. I guess I am just someone who likes to buy notions and trims on a “by project” basis, so it was hard for me to buy something without a specific project in mind. However, if I had a trim shop like this near me, it would be heaven!
Next was the much advocated Chic Fabrics (West 39th Street) (despite some confusion on Instagram it does still exist).
This place had some wonderful silks and cottons but I walked away with just one piece which is incredibly hard to capture the true colour of. In real life this amazing washed stretch silk is an olive green colour, but here it is photographing more brown. Utility shirt dress with lots of gold hardware methinks.
I walked over to West 37th Street after that (because I was meeting Philip and Kezia there) and called into Metro Textiles where I met the famous Kashi!
The charming Kashi, of course, was open to a bit of bargaining, and he had a smaller selection of good quality fabrics of all kinds. I ended up purchasing two pieces from him: (top) a piece of red cotton eyelet (very hard to get in the UK) and (bottom) some printed silk crepe de chine which appears to have gone off grain so I am going to have to do something about that.
By this time Philip and Kezia had arrived and Carolyn from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic also joined us for a quick foray into Mood Fabrics. Can I just say it was wonderful to meet Carolyn and it felt as if we had been friends forever, instead of meeting for the first time for a quick shopping trip.It’s a shame we didn’t have more time.
I pretty much had only one thing in mind to buy from Mood…silk jersey. Finding silk jersey in the UK is like finding hens teeth. Anyway, this is what I walked away with: a panel printed silk jersey (I took 2 panels) and a half yard of plain orange silk jersey for accents. This was the most pricey purchase of the day and I hope that, when it eventually happens, I can do justice to this piece. I don’t need to write much about Mood as so much has already been written about shopping here. It is definitely a fabric shoppers paradise, but I found I prefered the scale and pace of the smaller shops.
The last place I hit was Spandex House (West 38th Street). Now I am not a huge knit wearer (in case you hadn’t noticed). Nor I am a huge lover of novelty prints. But if those things are your bag then this is the place for you.
Here I bought three pieces of supplex (again very hard if not impossible to buy here in the UK) to make workout tops for myself.
And finally, for Kezia I bought two pieces of glittery printed lycra (spandex) to make gymnastics leotards/ shorts, in her requested colours. These photos (all of them in this post in fact) were taken post washing and the glitter hasn’t come away which is encouraging. Again, Spandex House gave me a decent discount (your man Jean was the star here) and that’s always nice.
I left my hotel at 10am and was back by 4pm, exhausted but very pleased with my purchases (I haven’t had by credit card bill yet, haha). All the fabrics came home safely and I am looking forward to sewing them up. I tried hard to buy fairly classic pieces – nothing too outlandish or unusual – just because that’s me. I know when I eventually wear an item made from these pieces I will cherish the memories of our great holiday.
See you soon!