I went to New York to speak at a conference a couple weeks ago. I was a tiny bit grumpy about going because I had been traveling so much the previous few weeks and had a cold coming on. But at least, among all the work, I found a little bit of time to visit the garment district.
The bulk of my purchases are pretty boring--lining and interfacing--but I did get a few pretties in fashion fabric. On the train up to New York I had actually been thinking that I need to let go of my snakeskin Burda 09-2009-123 wrap blouse. I really love the blouse and it is so different for me, but without a broad back adjustment it's just not wearable. I popped the underarm seam on first wear from the strain of, you know, reaching onto my desk to get a pen. I cannot move in it. So I had given myself permission to seek fabric to replace it. And lo and behold I found this piece in Chic Fabrics, a silk chiffon with a crepey texture for $10/yd. I don't like the print quite as much as the original; the diamond motifs will be annoying to cut around, but it will help me pass the top along to someone who can wear it without being straitjacketed.
I was trying to focus on cool weather fabrics, as I am really all stocked up on warm weather fabric. They had this wool sweaterknit in a couple of colors. I hemmed and hawed over turquoise (of course) or this royal blue. It is a good color for me, but I avoid it because I feel weird wearing any shade of blue with jeans. I don't wear jeans a ton, but we are allowed to wear them at work on Fridays and I do wear them on the weekend when it's cold. It will be a waterfall-type cardigan. Maybe I will even practice wearing it with jeans.
There was more sweaterknit at Fabrics for Less. I fell in love with the multi-blue striped wool knit but at $12/yd it seemed a little steep for me. I wandered around the store for a while and heard a woman aggressively bargaining with the guy working the store, who reluctantly (or not--I guess that's part of the game) knocked a couple dollars off the price.
I started with the copper denim in the middle. The picture does not do the fabric any justice. It shows the color, but not the gorgeous sheen of this fabric. I broke my cardinal fabric-buying rule with this piece. I have to be able to envision a specific project for a piece of fabric before I can buy it, but with this my imagination failed me. I am looking for some replacement fabric for the McCall 6279 trench dress (review forthcoming), but I'm not sure how much I'd wear a shimmery copper trench dress. Maybe a lot. Who knows? The fabric is a denim, but quite lightweight; good for a dress, not quite beefy enough for a jacket or pants. It was marked $7/yd, but I talked him down to $6 because it was narrower than the rest of the denims.
The green stripe caught my eye for some reason, though I'm not sure I don't regret the purchase now. There is a striped tunic I've been wanting to try so this will be a cheap way to try it.
Then it was time for the wool knit. I paid the marked price for the green stripe to butter him up. The wool knit was marked at $12. I asked what he could do for me. He said he couldn't knock down the price, that it was already rock bottom. I started walking away. He offered me $10/yd. I was sold.
Most of what I bought is actually, gasp, practical. I bought a lot of lining and interfacing. At Paron I found a bolt of 100% rayon lining in the Annex for $3.50/yd, an excellent price for what I assume is Bemberg or its equivalent knockoff. I also bought some silk habitoi; at $5.25/yd it will make a wonderful, luxurious lining for something. My splurge was the light sage stretch silk charmeuse. I want to try pants this winter and I have a nice stretch wool (though I found it quite wrinkled during my stash reorg and am a bit worried I might have ruined it). Stretch fabric needs a stretch lining and how luxurious would silk-lined pants be? I wear pants only on the very coldest days of winter and a silk lining would be much appreciated. Of course, the fabric is so lovely that I am now questioning whether I could sacrifice it for lining!
One of the things I was hoping to pick up while in NYC was interfacing. I couldn't recall ever having seen interfacing in all the trips I have made to all the stores, so I contacted Garment District Goddess LindsayT at her blog, Shop the Garment District, for her advice. She responded that Mood, of all places, was the best source for reasonably priced interfacing.
After Project Runway hit, I visited Mood along with every other fan of the show. They do have a wide selection of beautiful fabric, but the prices are so, so high compared to the other stores of the Garment District that I haven't been back. Well, Mood's popularity has not waned. The store was *packed* and I passed several groups of pre-teen girls, one group receiving a lecture from one of the store employees about how he and Tim Gunn are tight. I managed to squeeze my way back to the interfacings and, sure enough, they are good quality and reasonably priced ($2.50/yd and relatively wide at around 40 inches). LindsayT had warned me that they are not labeled; you have to know what you're looking for.
In addition to the reasonably-priced interfacing, they also have good prices on lining. I picked up a bunch of this stretch lining for $5/yd.
I had to stop by Steinlauf & Stoller to pick up some more bra strap keepers at 90 cents a pair. With my sloping shoulders, I've gotten in the habit of putting them in just about every garment that can't be worn with a racerback bra. No more bra straps falling down! I also got these two specialty elastics at $0.90/yd. I use my black picot elastic fairly frequently on underwear and outerwear and have occasionally wished I had some white. The black ruffle elastic I just thought was cute.
You'd think this would have sated me for a while, but when I went to G Street for Fashion Sewing Club they had some really good stuff on the $2.97/yd table. On the left is a black & white knit with a boucle-like texture. It was make a cute cardigan and skirt combo for a very low-end faux Chanel look. The yellow fabric was, of course, immediately sewn up. The fabric on the right is a stretch lace in a deep sage color. I got it in case I decided I didn't like the yellow netting when I got it home. It will be a top as well.
When I posted about the Tweed Ride, Bijoux asked about the shoes I was wearing. I bought them at 6pm.com last year, where they are unfortunately no longer available. The shoe is the Born Gellar; a google search shows a few random sizes available on various places of the web. Good luck!
Abby and Lydia both expressed interest in the stash purge I have up for grabs, but neither of you left any contact information. If you're still interested, please leave a comment on this post with an email address I can reach you at. Don't write out the full email address to avoid spam harvesters--write it something like "example at yahoo."