Thursday, March 25, 2010

NYC garment district, I heart you

Seriously, if I lived in New York City, I'd be down there all the time, checking out the remnants and picking up just a little bit of this or that. Things which I've looked for in half a dozen stores around here and failed to find were there in bucketloads in NYC. Sigh.

I went to three stores while my SO and I were on our mini vacation. First stop was Paron fabrics, which wasn't actually the store I intended to go to, but we ended up there anyway because it was the only store that was open on a sunday. It wasn't a giant store, but it has a fantastic 50% off room and the salespeople were really nice. I picked up three pieces of fabric from the sale annex, all 50% off:

The middle one is a lining for the dress I plan to make for my brother's wedding, and since I needed a good bit of fabric I was determined to find something cheap. This was only two bucks a yard! Good deal. The fabric on the left is a really soft shirting with stripes. Now that I have the power of the FBA, I'm determined to make the classic button down shirt that I've never been able to wear before. The tag said it was a Banana Republic remnant. I asked for two yards, but the nice guy at the store gave me the last yard that was on the roll for free, so I got three yards for $13. The flowery fabric was one that I just couldn't resist. It's a silk chiffon, and I noticed after I bought it that it's Besty Johnson remnant. It was still $10 a yard, so not exactly a steal but also not wallet-breaking either. I haven't decided exactly what I'll do with this yet, but some sort of floppy, cute blouse that I can wear with my Beignet skirt is likely what will end up happening with it.

The find of the day, though, goes to my SO. While I was pawing through the chiffons, he noticed a sign in the corner next to a pile of buttons: "Buttons. $1 each or $25 for the box." I walked right by this until he pointed out that the boxes were HUGE.

Look at all these buttons I got for only $25 bucks! After having spent ten dollars recently on a dozen red buttons, this box is going to pay for itself pretty quickly. Six different colors (they look a little funky under the flash here, but they're browns, blues and blacks), all different sizes, and enough for tons of projects. This thing was heavy to drag around after I got it, but still worth it. I already gave a few buttons to friend in Philly for her coat.

On my way back through NYC at the end of my mini vacation, I stopped at New York Elegant Fabrics, which was the store I had planned on going to. It was huge and wonderful, just as I'd imagined it, but unfortunately elegant fabrics = expensive fabrics. Since I already had my Paron finds I was happy to just browse, but on my way out I noticed a little rack of remnants and of course had to paw through that. Most of what they had there was pretty small cuts (averaging around a yard), but some were still big enough for a skirt here or a blouse there. I ended up buying these:

The green wool with the cool pattern is a pretty small piece. I'm a bit worried about whether it's actually enough to make something, but I thought for $7 I'd take it home and see if I could squeeze a short skirt out of there. The black fabric is an incredible lightweight wool that was originally $50 a yard! As soon as I touched it, I was sold. It just feels so, so luxurious. Buying fabrics by touch is something that I do miss, since I do mostly web based shopping these days. I bought 1.25 yards for $30. It's 60 inches wide, so I think I might be able to do a really classy black blazer with this.

Finally, I stopped by Pacific Trimmings and got some twill tape, some cord for making my own piping (which I just could not find for love nor money around here), and a lightweight zipper for the wedding dress. All of these things are things which are pretty new to me, so I was a bit bumbling in the trim store. Eventually I just asked someone about the zipper, and the saleslady just grabbed my swatch and came back about ten minutes later with the perfect zipper. Weird experience, but very efficient!

All in all, I can't imagine a better place to be a hobby sewist than NYC. Except that maybe my habit to stash fabric would probably clash with my terribly small apartment if I actually did move there. Maybe it's time to put in an application for that NYC job?

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