Saturday, May 23, 2015

Planning your own garment district tour


*Reposted and updated*


Anyone can take you on a shopping trip.  Let's face it; a basic tour... "Here's a store! Let's go inside!" - That doesn't take much skill or knowledge.

Here's the thing.  Since I am in the district all the time, talking to store owners, looking at what's new, and discovering what's special, I curate a really useful selection of stores, respecting your time, their businesses, and recognizing their ability to cut special deals when appropriate. There are more stores than most people have time to explore, and while some of them are otherwise invisible, talk to enough people and you can find any of them... eventually. Below, I am offering a list of some stores for those of you who would prefer to organize your own explorations.  I made this list in 2012, and while much of it has changed, much of it hasn't...

Let's say you are in New York City for a week. Or a day.  Or a few hours.  Or even a few minutes... You may read this blog, and get jazzed by the descriptions of a variety of stores, but which ones do you visit?  Well, that depends on what you want to make.  Are you easily overwhelmed by too many stores and choices?  Are you on a budget? What season is it?  Do you know what you need, or do you need input and encouragement?

You can always plan to come with me on a guided tour.  My September 28th tour is full, but there are still plenty of spaces open for the November 2 tour (this was a long time ago...).  If you like the fun and support of shopping in a group, with an organized plan, discounts, and lunch, come with me!  Even if a guided tour is not your cup of tea,  keep reading...

With full awareness that I have been walking the district for years, and have grown very comfortable with these stores, I know that it remains a mystery and a maze for many others, and non-professionals are often intimidated by the frantic, constant hustle-bustle of the area. For shopping on your own, this blog gives you plenty of reviews and ideas for places to go, so I'll organize some choices for you, to make planning a little easier.  Of course, there are many more, but this will get your feet wet.  Click through the links for all details on any of these stores.

For the designer/fashionista type:

New York Elegant Fabrics
Paron
Fabrics & Fabrics (new, expanded Lace Star)
B&J 
Mood
Metro Textiles

For the crafter/accessory/home dec maker type:

New York Elegant (upstairs)
Leather Suede Skins
Leather Impact
Day to Day Fabrics
Botani
Pacific Trimming
Mokuba
Daytona
Beads World
Mood

Printed cottons:

Material World (window - front of store - Alexander Henry prints)
Rosen and Chadick (window)
NY Elegant (center aisle)

Shirtings:

Rosen and Chadick
New York Elegant

High quality, Classic fabrics:

Rosen & Chadick
B&J
Elliott Berman


For the Explorer/Adventurer/Bargain Hunter:

Truemart
Metro Textiles
Its a Material World


Formal/Bridal:

Sposabella
C&J
Fabrics & Fabrics
B&J

Costume:

Fabrics World
Spandex House
New York Elegant
Manhattan Wardrobe Supply
Dersh Feathers
M&J Trimming


Swim/Lingerie, Dance, Sport and Stretch:

Spandex House
Spandex World
Fabrics World

Notions and equipment:

Steinlauf & Stoller
SIL Thread
Manhattan Wardrobe Supply
Daytona
Panda

Buttons:

Pacific Trimming
M&J Trimming
Tender Buttons (not in the garment district, but not to be missed!)

Zippers:

SIL Thread
Steinlauf & Stoller
Daytona
Pacific
Panda
Botani

Patterns and books:

Paron
Daytona (very small, very haphazard selection)
Fashion Design Bookstore
Butterick (order online)
Onion (order online)
McCalls (order online)
Vogue (order inline)
Simplicity (order online)
Burda (order online/buy publication)
Folkwear (order online)
Vintage and Old Patterns (order online)
Vintage Pattern Lending Library (order online)


Linings:

Guide Fabrics

Services:

Getting snaps, studs, etc. applied
Getting buttons covered
Buttonholes
Grommets applied
Scissors sharpened
Pleating
Fusing
Dressmakers and teachers


Whew!  I think I need a nap... and this represents juts a SLIVER of the district.  Seriously.  Come on a tour (click the link at the top of the page) if you wanna hang out with the big kids...







24 comments:

  1. Thank you, these categories are so helpful, and your timing couldn't be better for me. We'll be in NYC one week from today!

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  2. Im loving the updated & categorized list! Thanks. I love your site and although I usually get stuck in one of my fave fabric shops for days, I always use your list for my forays to the GD. I think I'll start backwards going forward lol. Great work! :-)

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  3. I could have used this list on a previous trip. I was stretch swatching for a designer friend & it was tough trying to keep the World/House names straight. To add to my confusion, I think I even stopped at a place named Stretch House?

    What about Lace Star? Would you recommend them, too, on the Formal/Bridal list? I can't wait to see their new digs!

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    Replies
    1. Lace Star is now called Fabrics & Fabrics. Yup, they are represented on this list!

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    2. Still going by "Lace Star" on their website, so I didn't recognize that other name.

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  4. Shirtings

    Beckenstein Men's Fabric Czar


    Below the Garment Center, but worth checking out:

    FIT Bookstore (W. 27th Street off Seventh Ave.)

    Fashion Design Books (W. 27th Street off Seventh)

    The City Quilter (notions and quilting fabric) (W. 25th between Sixth and Seventh)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two of the above (FIT Bookstore and City Quilter) wouldn't be the first places I'd recommend, but the Fashion Design Bookstore is mentioned above, and men's shirtings are also great at the others I mentioned. The list above is just a sliver... Could go on for days...

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  5. I am looking for a supplier of venise laces and lace motifs. Can you suggest a shoppe for my needs?

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    Replies
    1. Formal/bridal choices above will be great places to look.

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    2. Retail or wholesale lace? Retail, you can also try --

      M&J Trimming (online bridal blog, too)

      Mood

      Trims de Carnival (on 38th)

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  6. Thanks for this post! You mentioned some stores I haven't found on my own yet. Definitely bookmarked.

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  7. Hi! I live on the city but have paid for shipping for my McCalls and Vogue patterns. Can you tell me more about what I would find at their addresses? I'm chasing after two kids in Washington Heights dorring business hours. I don't get much time for investigating myself!

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    Replies
    1. The easiest (but not fastest) way to get the patterns is to have them shipped to you. The office address of the companies here in New York City are not retail establishments. If you venture outside of Manhattan, you can find stores that sell patterns, too, but I wouldn't think you would consider it worth a trip for that reason alone. Does that answer your question? I'm not sure what you meant by "tell me more about..." in your question.

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    2. Since Vouge and McCalls are listed above as a suggestion for planning our own tour, I thought that meant they might have a store front.

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    3. Makes sense - I should clarify the pattern choices. I wasn't referring to places to go, as much as ways to obtain them. That's why the clicking through leads you to websites.

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  8. Thank you for all of your posts. I enjoy reading your posts and am always delighted when you add a posting.

    How much fun it would be to hang with the big kids on the tour. Learn. Obtain tips and discounts that could save me $. Fabric. Fun. More fabric.

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    Replies
    1. C'mon along, if you can! It will be fun!

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  9. I'm also looking for 4-6" wide crochet trim finished on both edges....where's the best place to find that and what could I expect to pay?

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    Replies
    1. What you should expect to pay is really a wide open question. The garment district is VAST, and full of inexpensive and EXPENSIVE choices. Try Daytona Trimming first, then Joyce Trimming, then Mood, then Pacific Trimming. These are all places with affordable offerings.

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