LA’s garment district

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I’m back from my US trip. It was a great break but I really missed my sewing machine and am itching to get stuck into a new project. I made a quick warm-up knit dress yesterday but I think up next is something nice and meaty like a winter jumpsuit or another coat…

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I just wanted to share some pics from the Los Angeles stop on my trip, because I was lucky enough to meet up with Katie of Handmade Threads (plus her friend Katie – three sewing Katies!) for a guided shopping day in LA’s garment district. It was super fun and the shopping was great! A lot of garment manufacturing is done in LA so it stands to reason that they have good stores to support it.

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We started in an amazing trimmings and notions store, the aisles packed floor to ceiling with lovely laces, tapes, ribbons, bindings, straps etc. Following Katie’s lead I bought some cute bra strapping to encourage me to have another go at lingerie-making (I made a Watson toile a while ago, but it wasn’t quite right), plus some pretty woven decorative tape.

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Next we hit a few nearby fabric stores. My favourite was run by a chap who imports a bunch of (apparently organic) Korean rayons in beautiful prints. I bought some navy ikat print for a Roberts jumpsuit plus a distressed grey for a simple tee.

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Final stop (because Josh was patiently waiting for me) was Michael Levine, which I loved! Every type of fabric you’d need under one roof, from shibori bamboo knits (SWOON) to silks and coatings to an excellent range of quilting cottons including lots of Cotton & Steel. The prices are higher than the other stores but the quality seemed high, and I scored some black sandwashed silk and burgundy sweater knit each around $10/yd.

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Afterwards we got some pupusas (El Salvadorean street food) and coffee in the Grand Central Market. As well as showing me around, Katie very kindly gave me some of the Cone Mills denim that she sells in her store Threadbare Fabrics, so more jeans will be on my horizon too no doubt. Sewists are just the best <3 LAshops11

A few days later I found myself near Mood, which is in a different area of town called La Brea. It’s much smaller than the NYC branch, all on one floor and about half taken up by home decor fabrics. However there’s still a good range of knits, Liberty prints and ex-designer runoffs from brands like Cavalli and Anna Sui. I bought a bolt end of some lovely bouncy silk crepe; I was hoping to find something to make a dress for a wedding in December but there was only 1.5yds left. Sadly I didn’t get the chance to visit a few other stops like The Fabric Store and Michael Levine Loft, but I was right on my baggage weight allowance anyway so it was probably for the best.

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My stash was getting pretty low, so it was good to top it up again for some nice trans-seasonal garment making. It’s all in the prewash so I look forward to getting sewing!

16 thoughts on “LA’s garment district

  1. Jacqui

    I love the garment district! I grew up near LA, and my mom and I would often drive there to hunt for costume supplies. I loved getting lost in all the nooks and crannies and sifting through the chaos. Glad you enjoyed your trip!

  2. Cherie

    Katie, what a lovely time you must have had! Could you give a head’s up on the names of the stores in the first few paragraphs?

    Your trip to Yosemite also sounds wonderful! Love that jacket!

    1. Katie Post author

      Ah yeah it’s great – prices are much better on lots of things, especially silks and branded quilting cottons which are around half price so I always stock up.

  3. Fashionista

    “My stash was getting pretty low…..” words I thought I would never hear a sewist utter!

    I am going to LA next year so will be filing your post in my research file to revisit when I am planning my garment district foray. Thank you for the info!

  4. Katie

    I’m so, so happy that we got to meet up – and I had such a fantastic time. Your photos make all the stores look extra nice too :D

    Hopefully we can do the same thing in London someday!!

  5. Velosewer

    Glad you felt the same way about the garment district. They have such a great range of fabrics to choose from.
    What kept me grounded was baggage allowance back to Sydney.
    I think you got to visit some worthwhile stores.

  6. Katie

    Looks like you had a super awesome time in California. Did you go to the St. George distillery? It’s right near me in the SF Bay Area (not sure if you made it up this far).

    PS – I’m ANOTHER Katie…. I guess there are a disproportionate amount of us in sewing!

    1. Katie Post author

      I didn’t go to the distillery! We got as far north as Carmel only. I went to SF a few years back though, lovely city.

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