Apologies for this post being late. When I finally got a chance to add the pictures yesterday WordPress was having none of that. Here is a quick(ish) recap of my recent visit to the NYC garment district.
Given: piles of fabric at home, 3 hours, many general projects (jeans, bras, dresses, shirts), no specific projects.
First stop Gray Line Linens: Having pre-perused the website. I took one look through the window and decided to keep walking. November in the north east doesn’t inspire the purchase of linen.
Spandex House: Lots of fun knits, but the spandex content was higher than desired.
Second Stop SIL thread: This was my favorite store. Utilitarian to the max this shop specializes in “basic” notions. I put that in quotes because they have many styles of zippers in hundreds of colors, and supplies that being a rural resident I would have to order from a specialty store on the internet. For instance I found rings and sliders for lingerie in bulk (144/pkg)($15). They were available in 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ sizes if I recall correctly and in black or white, or steel. Of course my preference would have been 3/4″ in gold, but I’m not losing out if I can get some in bulk to practice with and then have to order my favorites as I would otherwise have had to anyway. I got some nice baby size buttons in blue/red/purple and some white shank buttons to use on A’s clothes too. They are basic but can be surprisingly hard to find particularly in a variety of colors. Boning, large spools of Gutterman 30 weight poly thread ($4), lingerie snaps and jean tacks rounded out my purchase. Nothing fancy really, but all things that would take a bit of work to source in my neck of the woods (or to source in reasonable quantities particularly since shipping can kill you on small items).
Mood Fabrics: Giant selection, yet oddly not much jumped out at me. There were a few items that were pretty nice, but prices were high. I figured I could buy them on the mood site and have them shipped to me rather than carrying them on the train. Though it seems they may not be on the site. Knowing the store better, I might stop in again if I want to do anything in leather or a bit more extravagant.
MJ Trimming: In contrast to SIL Thread this seemed more mainstream than I had anticipated. Like most stores in any large city vertical space is throughly used. Unlike many stores though I couldn’t figure out how you would really get to or look at any of the items stored up high. On this particular Saturday afternoon there were two staff people at the check out and I could identify a couple more in the store helping people, however all but one of the cutting tables were not manned and help was not offered. I’m not certain if the store was going though a rush. It certainly didn’t seem packed.
I was looking to be inspired buy ribbon or trim or buttons and I was. A couple of vague dress ideas featuring some really fun embroidered trim and some satin backed velvet ribbon are now floating around in the back of my mind. As far as specific projects. I was sort of looking for inspiration with regards to spiffing up the front of A’s new flannel Geranium dress, but I struck out.
Not one piece of fabric came home with me from the Garment District in NYC. I’m still a bit baffled by that. When I returned in just two hours without any (visible) bags, my husband was worried that the shopping portion of the trip was a failure. It’d be great to go back to shop at leisure for a specific project or a season’s wardrobe or amazing bargains, but I’m not sure that last is a thing anymore. Prior to going I spent some time looking at various garment district recommendations and even purchased a garment district shopping map (save your money-skip the map). Many said that pickings were getting slimmer in the bargains department. One thing I wish I had done was to have looked into more lingerie supplies. Need availability and cost are definitely not meeting up in that area.