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Fabric Shopping in New York City

Fabric Shopping in NY City

Last week I headed into New York City to do some fabric shopping and I thought you might like to know about my favorite shops. First up, a few caveats. I have to let you know that NY is not where I go for fabric bargains - sorry, but if you are looking for a bargain, you're probably going to find a better deal online. It is also not the place to go for quilting cotton - while there is some, it is called "Fashion Avenue" and it is known for fashion fabrics.

So why go? You will find fabrics here that you won't find anywhere else. You will also get a chance to see and feel the drape of a fabric - something that is so important when making a garment. One of the items on my list as I headed into NY was bridal satin. My daughter's wedding gown has an ivory satin band around the waist. When she tried on her gown, we thought it looked better with a wider band. In NY I found bridal satin that was stiff and bridal satin with a lovely drape., and both fabrics had the same fabric composition! I also found bridal satin in 50 different shades of ivory - so if you need an exact color, that is another reason to head into NY! Besides coming home with the perfect color of ivory bridal satin, I also came home with the perfect shade of forest green pima cotton sateen and crepe back satin for the flower girl dress and ring bearer's vest - not olive green, or hunter green with too much blue, but a lovely forest green!

Fabrics I purchased in NY

So where should you head for the fabrics you are looking for? I found the bridal satin and flower girl fabrics at New York Elegant Fabrics. I also received some wonderful help from the gentleman who worked there on the amount I needed for the waist band. NY Elegant Fabrics has swatches attached to the fabric bolts that so you can just pull off the one you are interested in and I appreciated that. It is also the place that I purchased the Guipure Lace years ago for my daughter's graduation dress.

Guipure Lace from NY Elegant Fabrics

If my daughter wanted silk for the flower girl dress, I would have headed off to Weaver Fabrics. My friend Wanda always goes there for the silk dupioni she uses to make her reticules.

Reticule by Wanda DeWitt

I love going to B & J Fabrics. They have swatches mounted of most of their fabrics that come on rolls which makes finding what you are looking for easy. When fabric is organized by roll stacked on top of roll, you often can't see the color or the print. For fabrics they have by bolts, they also have swatches hanging off the bolt so you can help yourself.

Of course, I have to mention Mood. I also have to admit that I get overwhelmed at Mood - there is just so much fabric! Doing your homework ahead of time by looking online and knowing what you are going for can be helpful.

Mood bag

Mood is also one of the few fabric stores in NY that has a great selection of buttons and trims. For buttons, zippers, purse findings etc. I like Pacific Trimmings which is right in the center of the Fashion district. And if you are willing to take a little more of a walk, M & J Trimmings is not far. Finally one of my favorite fabric shops for something different is Elliott Berman Textiles. They have a large selection of lovely and different fabrics and yet the selection isn't so overwhelming that my eyes glaze over and I walk out with nothing! I purchased the viscose that I made into this top from them:

Wiksten Tova

and have this lovely wool that I am hoping to get to after the wedding sewing is complete!

Wool from Elliott Berman

In order to have a great trip, here are a few additional tips. Doing a little homework before you go by looking at some of the websites online will help you find what you are looking for and make the most of your time. Also make sure you have the addresses and names of the shops you want to hit. Most of the shops are not on the street and some don't even have a sign, so make a list complete with addresses, go into the building and just ride the elevator - the store is there! Take swatches of fabrics you are trying to match, and write down the yardage requirements of patterns you might want to make. Most of the fabric stores I have listed do not sell patterns, and while you can look up yardage requirements online, that is taking up your precious fabric shopping time! I hope you make it into NY for fabric shopping sometime soon and find many one of a kind fabrics!

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