Fabric Shopping, New York City Style

 This past weekend, my husband and I took off for our first real weekend away without kids.  Hard to believe that in almost 6 years, this was our first time getting away.  We're only 3 hours from New York City and figured it was time we go and explore.  Of course, for me, it was fabric heaven!
Our first stop on our tour of the Garment District was Mood.  When we got there, we were informed that Mood was closed for an hour while they filmed Project Runway.  I was simultaneously annoyed and excited. We didn't spot Tim, but he's up there!
 We spent the hour exploring all the smaller shops nearby.  My hunt was mostly for interesting knits, the one fabric type that's really lacking in my local fabric shops.  Right across the street from Mood is Stretch House.  I quickly realized that the smaller shops are a whole different world from Mood and the other larger shops.  Prices aren't really marked and you'd be a fool not to negotiate.  The employees were very friendly and I was happy with my purchases.  My next stop was Spandex House.
All these places are jam packed with roll after roll of fabric.  But, the staff pretty much knows exactly where everything is.  After asking about striped, cotton blends, I was led upstairs to the exact spot.  Pretty impressive considering the appearance of chaos.

Later in the day as we were wandering towards Little Italy for dinner, we just happened across Jem Fabric Warehouse. It was really cute with much more character than the other stores we visited.  There's a huge urn of buttons and some nice couches for dutiful husbands to sit down and read on.

And now for the loot!
 I got a yard of a black and oatmeal wide striped knit and a yard of nude swimwear lining for about $10 total.

 I got the best deal on this pink and white striped cotton knit.  The salesman told me it was $6 per yard, but then only charged me for $7 for a yard and half.  I was pretty excited about that!
We were lured into the next shop by their "inventory reduction" sign.  And I hate to say it, but the salesman could not have been grumpier.  There were a bunch of rolls of knit, all leaning together in the middle of the store.  I asked for the blue striped fabric, which was at the dead center of the group.  When the salesman found out I only wanted a yard, he almost refused to get it for me!  I ended up getting 2 yards, along with a few others.  All were $5 per yard.
 I also got this beautiful woven fabric for $5 per yard. Finally, we headed back to Mood, where I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly all the sales people were.  After hearing that Project Runway was literally there moments before, I was feeling a bit intimidated.  But everyone was really down to earth and super helpful.  There are no deals at Mood, but the fabric is definitely higher quality than the smaller shops.
I got 3 yards of this cotton, spandex, knit and a yard of this interesting knit print.

 I also got a few yards of stretch lace trim after pinning this tutorial for making your own underwear. 
 A pretty sweet haul!
 So, if you're planning your own trip to NYC, here's my advice:
  • definitely shop the smaller stores and don't be afraid to negotiate 
  • bring some cash as the smaller shops prefer it and it definitely helps if you want to negotiate
  •  you kind of get what you pay for - the prices are higher at the larger stores, but the quality if often better
  • in general, everyone is super friendly, so don't be afraid to ask for help and don't be intimidated 
Well, there you have it.  We had such an amazing time in NYC and will definitely be back.  Any tips for our next trip?


  1. So jealous! Glad you had fun! It is on my one day list!

  2. What a great loot! The fabrics look amazing. I can't wait to see what you'll be creating with it :-)

  3. Glad you guys had a great trip! Karen *LOVES* spandex house, especially for stretchy dance costumes. That's so cool you were there the same day they were taping PR!

  4. Sounds like fun. Your hubby must be a pretty patient guy. He definitely gets snaps for visiting fabric stores with you! I'll have to add that to my list of things to do if I get to the city again one day.

  5. Great fabric -- sounds like a very productive day!

  6. Very nice post. Keep up the great work.....

    Peace!...with 2 fingers;)

  7. Great stuff! I can't wait to see what you make with that pink woven fabric and that "seashell" looking print. I am very happy for you that you got to do that!! Janelle