I’ve just got back from a wonderful week in New York. We stayed in Brooklyn and made the trip over to Manhattan a couple of times for shopping and eating. I confess, a large part of my wanting to visit NYC was for the fabric shops, and the Garment District sure did not disappoint.
Of course, top of everyone’s dream fabric shop wishlist must be a visit to the famous Mood. On the walk there, my anticipation rose as I spotted all the Project Runway landmarks along the way: there’s the Atlas Apartments! The Refinery Hotel! Lord & Taylor of Accessory Wall fame! Squeeeeee.
Mood is huuuge and absolutely packed to the rafters as you can see! I found it particularly strong in knits, wools, coatings and print jerseys. Mmm, my favourites.
I even spotted Swatch the pooch waddling about, but sadly no Tim Gunn to be seen.
Here I am outside it with my haul, looking appropriately fabric-dazed. It took us two walks around the block to find it in the first place: surprisingly it’s not marked at all at street level, but look up and you see the window signs as it’s on the third floor. We actually visited twice during our stay – I got a bit overwhelmed on the first trip, took a day to digest all that I saw then went back for round two. (Don’t worry, patient boyfriend got to visit lots of beer shops to make up for it.)
After Mood we visited nearby B&J Fabrics, which isn’t quite as overwhelming but still has a great range of fabrics, from pricey premium coatings to nice denims and cotton prints. (Kicking myself a bit for not buying some of that adorable anchor chambray, wah.)
Also in the garment district we visited M&J Trimmings, an absolute heaven of notions with a ridiculously comprehensive range of buttons, buckles (should have waited to finish my coat!), cords, lace, bindings, ribbons and also a great range of helpful tools and trinkets.
Finally further downtown, Purl Soho is a little jewelbox of a store with a very good range of fabrics in addition to the knitting yarns it’s famed for. Lots of Japanese linens, pretty cotton prints, Liberty fabrics and also a few specialty coatings and denims.
I missed out of loads more, including Spandex House, but budget and suitcase-space constraints meant I was pretty much spent after all of those.
So what was in my haul? I went a little overboard, but I think I basically have everything I need to sew up a capsule winter wardrobe so I’m feeling good about my investments. From Mood: a beautiful sea-blue Marc Jacobs denim and black flecked wool tweed, which will become a shirt dress and slacks respectively. Plus a lovely slubby reversible jersey knit for a raglan sweater. They photograph boringly but trust me, they are all just gorgeous IRL.
From my second Mood trip: Blue and grey feather-print jersey for a dress, and Oscar de la Renta silk crepe for a blouse. These were all $14-18 a yard.
From M&J: super sweet little pewter anchor buttons and a cute toggle (for coat #2?), and some Stitch Witchery tape.
From Purl, a nice yarn-dyed Robert Kaufman Brussels Washer, much cheaper than in the UK at $10/yd. Can’t decide if this should be a shirt or skirt – another Kelly maybe as my first one doesn’t fit great anymore. I also picked up Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing at 40% off, which is a fantastic read even though vintage style isn’t really my thing. Phew! Better get sewing.