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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


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Monday, March 16, 2015

What an ordinary sewer bought and two garment store reviews

First off let's remember this is me writing this blog.  

Not some fashionista photographista but a person about to go online teaching who rushed her fabric bags out into the sun and threw them over a lawn chair and snapped some pictures.

OK, set up the expectations appropriately?

I am in the middle of sewing planning for some wedding outfits for various family members and collecting fabric probably too crazy for my own outfits.

Here we go:

From Mary Jo's in N. Carolina. I have some idea that I could do sleeves and a bit of a bodice with the rest dupioni. OK just idea #93.

After seeing a lot, a lot of lace with beads and sequins I was quite taken by this completely random ... stuff. Don't worry no one at home will let me wear this to a wedding.

Heavy silk jersey for my youngest son's girlfriend. From C&J

Red silk knit out of the bag obviously, heavy and a gorgeous hand. A wrap dress for me.

Melon coloured crepe de chine $15 a yard btw

More crepe de chine. My daughter said something about a striped skirt, she's probably changed her mind now. It would make a good top for me. Such a quiet dresser I am.

Beautiful silk charmeuse for another dress for girlfriend of son #2.
 And now onto two stores I want to talk about.

Both of these places do not have websites so you might miss out on them.

The first is: 

New York Elegant Fabrics 222 W. 40th.

This is a really neat place with a lot of classic fabric that so many places don't carry any more. Swiss dot in many colours, seersucker, home dec, fancy- really a fabric location of your dreams and fabrics priced well and what they are worth. 

If you are the kind of shopper who gets overwhelmed, they also have something I really like - at the end of every bolt there are 3" swatches already cut and you can just pull one of these off and take it home so if you have one of those awful "why didn't I buy that" moments you can snap a picture and email them or even send off the swatch back so they know what you are talking about.

Nice relaxed salespeople. Listen I could live there.

C & J Textiles 7th floor 230 W. 38th

C & J is like an office.

Well dressed folks at desks with papers and phones and business being done you can see through a door. They are manufacturers and garment industry suppliers - those are the deals being done in there.

However the front office is a showroom of discontinued fabrics and leftover bolts, going at good prices for superior fabrics, plus these sample cards of their silks and other fabrics:

Colour card for the silks (every kind you can think of) All fabrics in all of these colours, you just have to tell them what they want - no minimum cuts, and some person in the back will bring it out to you.

This is an upside down picture of the silk cotton (heavy like taffeta) and the colours that comes in

Fabrications means the list of types of fabric they have in the above colours - this will blow you mind - words you haven't seen in a long time - crepes, 4 ply, crepe. And this is a sideways picture in case you haven't noticed.


Good I thought considering what you are getting, for silks:

Crepe de chine  54/55" $17.50
Charmeuse 54/55"  $21.00
Heavy (as in not slinky or clingy) silk knit $33.00 also wide width

Pretty cool?

I thought so.


Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

NY Elegance is where I purchase my bemberg rayon - they have an amazing selection in both 45" and 60" in a variety of colors. Haven't heard of the other one may have to track it down! Your fabric choices are interesting...

Barbara said...

Carolyn, you have good taste all wrapped up, someone had to do loud. That's where I come in.

Anonymous said...

Those are beautiful fabrics; I can imagine the gorgeous silk dresses you will make for your younger son's girlfriend. They will surely make her a convert to fabulous fabrics. And the "loud" colors are awesome, they will look great on you!

These two stores will be on my list of stores to hit up when I'm in NY. The prices are very reasonable, especially considering the no tax under $110 policy.

-A new fan in Cali

Marianne said...

Really like idea #93!

Anonymous said...

Your wedding sewing is so much fun (for me.....), having spent most of last November and December on a mother of the groom dress I was not thrilled with in the end it will be delightful to re-experience the whole thing with (I'm sure) a better outcome. Plus in Florida and then Canada, so exotic!


PS no dog news lately? Hope all is well........

Judi Pinkham said...

The red fabric from Mary Jo's is awesome!!!

Mainelydad said...

I LOVE New York Elegant! The salespeople are hugely helpful, and the selection is mind boggling. I would go here over Mood any day.