5 days in NYC Garment District

“You makin’ a dress? Mm-mm, them bugs in the park will LURVE YOU, yes they will!”, said the best man in the world in a singing Southern accent down at Paron Fabrics, and continued: “You from London? The Bridge fallen down yet?”.

 

I can’t even begin to describe the sheer heaven New York’s Garment District is. I’ve read a thousand sewing blog posts about it over the years and read them again before my trip, but nothing could prepare me for the miles and miles of gloriously bolt-bursting isles. My mind was blown, stayed blown and will never be the same again.

I tried my best to be organised. I had a list of fabrics I had never seen in real life in the UK before, and pictures of garments I wanted to knock off. I also wanted to give plenty of room for serendipity, of course. Equipped with my new fabric shopping bag and the blog Shop The Garment District’s invaluable map, I invaded.

From then on, it’s all a blur. The Garment District ate me alive.

I can’t find words to describe my feelings. No seriously, so I had to get some help:

ROLLERCOASTER! Emotions I felt, often within seconds of each other, or all of them at the same time!

All-over-the-place emotions I felt, often within seconds of each other, or all of them at the same time! I guess “Anger” and “Pride” kick in when I sew up my fabric.

Rules:

  • Don’t buy anything you can get in London (like silk organza, general bargain-hunting, haberdashery). Go spectacular!
  • Only take swatches and photos on day one – DO NOT BUY! Think it over and plot your projects, then go back. Otherwise it’s like going to the supermarket starving without a shopping list – you’ll eat wine gums with Babybel cheese for dinner for a week.
  • Don’t hesitate when you fall in love (but only after the first day’s DO NOT BUY ban. Perhaps).
  • Try not to panic. This is not the only time in life you’ll see fabric.
  • Try to refrain from hiding bolts in secret places in the shops for your next visit, Petra!

Swatch at Mood (click first photo for slideshow and captions):

 

NY Elegant Fabrics. Treat!: Click here to go inside the shop on Streetview!

 

Fabric shopping bag in action at B&J Fabrics, but nowhere near full yet! Chuffed with its performance!

Fabric shopping bag in action at B&J Fabrics, but nowhere near full yet! Chuffed with its performance!

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Click here for many more photos!

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Biggest lesson learned from this: Spend more money on fabric (she says while eating porridge for dinner for a month). Look for better quality and fall in love. It’s time to step up my game.

50 yards bought. Now some serious planning can begin – Head, be blown again!

Here’s a list of blog posts which can do much more justice to this area than I can (hope no-one minds):

All posts, from beginning to end! Amazing! Also the google map:
http://www.shopthegarmentdistrict.com/

Some of Peter’s marvellous posts, but he has written many, many!:
Gertie’s guides:
Karen’s posts:
Lladybird Lauren:
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