My blogging has been about as slow as my sewing lately. A crazy work schedule, a bit of a flu, and the usual stuff.
However in case anyone has a trip to the garment district planned here is my person itinerary:
I have organized this so you work your way across by street so there is no turning back. I have also included a lunch place more or less in the middle.
Things you need to know about shopping in the garment district:
1. This is a place for special not bargains. If you want bargains go to NorthWest Fabrics on Berry Street in Winnipeg which is sort of out of the way for this itinerary.
2. The many ground floor stores tend not to be the good ones, for fabric that is. A lot of show fabrics and sequins but not garment fabrics unless you work in Vegas.
3. In many cases you have to go up a few floors in an elevator of what looks like an office building to find the fabric store, which may be crammed full of bolts.
4. The staff in these places work. This is not Joann's or Fabricville where you browse and then take your fabric over to be cut. These folks work it - think personal shopper. When you go in they ask what you are interested in and they start pulling bolts and making suggestions. They find things for you and tell you honestly if it suits you. This is very helpful because there is so much and it can be overwhelming - the expectation is that the sales staff shop with you.
OK here is where I would go and why:
1. Elliott Berman - 225 West 35th, 7th floor. Start here because they are the best. You don't want to blow your budget and then go to Elliot Berman. The fabric is leading edge and unique - new fabric just released from the European mills for the season for example. A little pricey but totally worth it. I got an incredible knit and a rayon challis for $15 and $20 a yard each which was not outrageous since they are beyond cool. (Fabric pictures will be posted when I have more time.) Service is superb.
2. Botani: Buttons and fashion hardware. 263 West 36th. Just go there. I can't describe it. A whole room full of purse making accessories and 40 million buttons. High end but special. They covered my buckles and will dye buttons to match with a few days notice.
3. Mood - 225 West 37th. Third floor. You have to go to Mood too. It is the Garment District's department store. Three floors of everything and wonderful hardworking staff. A full range of fabrics so if you can't find it anywhere else Mood will have it. I got some cottons for summer, silk jersey, ponte and a beautiful coating I am afraid to cut into here.
4. SIL Thread - 257 West 38th Street level. YKK zippers, threads and notions in such quantity that it makes your head spin. Every, every colour. Many of the zippers are 36" as the standard and they cut and finish to size for you while you wait.
5. Pacific Trimming: 220 West 38th Street level. You name it they got it. Buttons, trims and all points in between. I actually prefer them to the more expensive if better known M&J Trim on Sixth.
6. Paron's Fabrics: 257 West 39th. Street level. Great quality of conventional fabrics - wool suitings and boucles for example. I picked up a great Linton tweed here for a Channel jacket. Good value for the quality.
7. Chic Fabrics: 225 West 39th Street level. Really the best prices in the district, particularly for dress cottons and silk - not as fashion forward but solid quality. I got two dress cotton prints here.
I would go to Ben's Kosher Deli 209 West 38th. It is big there so there is lots of room for all your bags of fabric and the food is nourishing. I like the Matzo Ball chicken soup and a tea when I need to regroup.
- I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon