I have a bit of a love / hate relationship with the NYC garment district. It was one of the things that I was most excited about when I moved here. It’s amazing to have a whole area of a big city dedicated to fabric shopping. I love that most of it is focused on apparel instead of fleece. It’s just fun to walk in and out of the many stores, digging for treasures, and bartering a bit once you find it. There are elastics, buttons, and silks that would be hard to find at any big name store.
But there are some drawbacks too. It’s not an easy errand anymore. We are talking a few hours at least once you factor in subway travel and the hunting necessary. It also tends to be quite a bit more expensive, and no coupons (although I have found a groupon for Paron’s once). It’s a bit quirky with sometimes rude salespeople, loads of ridiculously gaudy fabric, and the time I accidentally got locked in a store with my newborn for 1/2 hour while someone took a break – not even kidding. And don’t even get me started on taking kids with me. It’s a nightmare waiting to happen. It just makes it super hard when all I want is a few buttons, or matching thread and I am looking at a 2 hour ordeal at the least.
All of that being said, I still love it here and frequent the NYC garment district way too often. But I have found that I have inadvertantly created a little “go to” list of stores where I feel comfortable, and I know I can find what I am looking for. Here it is:
Gray Lines Linen (260 W. 39th Street #4) – This store is full of all sorts of linen including tons of beautiful stripes. And everything in the store seems to be under $10 a yard and very wide. Seriously love this store. It’s my current fav.
I bought this aztec linen there which I still need to make into something and the fabric for this jumpsuit.
Mood (225 W 37th St. 3rd Floor)- You can’t go wrong here. Lot’s of choices and friendly staff. Plus a really cute dog. I think that Project Runway has made this store super approachable. I even feel fine bringing my kids with me here on a weekday.
I’ve made a lot with their fabrics including this, this, and this.
Paron Fabrics (257 W 39th Street) – The first store that I ever shopped in thanks to Gingermakes. They have the nicest people working for them and a really good mix of quality fabrics and a good clearance section. They also often do groupons.
I used their fabric for this and this.
Chic Fabrics (225 W 39th Street #11)- This one is a bit more crazy with bolts of fabric piled high and small walkways to weave your way between them. But they have great deals. If you know your fabrics you can really find some great stuff here especially silks.
I bought fabric here to make this.
Vardhman Inc. (269 W. 39th Street) – This is a small family owned shop that I always check first when looking for notions. One time I didn’t have cash for some buttons and they gave them to me for free. Ever since then I have been loyal to them. They are really affordable too.
Daytona Trimmings (251 W 39th Street) – They have just about everything where it comes to trimmings. I find them a bit less expensive than Pacific and have really nice staff. They also have a store cat that my kids like follow around.
Pacific Trimming (218 W 38th St.) – Certainly a bit more expensive that than some of the other notions stores, but they have some really great stuff. I love going here for specific stand out items printed elastic or neon cording. I love just looking.
SIL Thread (257 W 38th St. #1) – They have rows and rows of zippers in every color and I’ve gotten almost all of my patternmaking supplies there.
Recommended (these are ones that I have never actually been to, but keep hearing great things about)
B & J – I can’t believe that I have never been here. From what I hear they have tons of fabric and are extremely organized. I think that they are on the more expensive end so I’ve just been waiting for the right project.
Metro Textiles (265 W 37th St. #908) – I havn’t been here either, but I know that a lot of my NYC sewing peeps go here a lot. I hear that there are great deals to be found. I will definitely pop in next time I am there.
Well there you have it. Do any of you have “go to” stores in NYC? Please let me know what I am missing.
Also, the winner of last weeks Fashionary Measuring Tape is Shelley Carr. Congrats!