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Veni, Vedi, Vici: The Garment District of NYC

Okay, well maybe I didn’t conquer but I certainly came and saw. If I had conquered, there would be no reason to return, now would there?

I traveled to NY with my mom last week. We were there for about three days. The first 1.5 were spent seeing the city with the usual tourist activities (Lady Liberty, WTC, show on Broadway, double-decker bus tour, etc). The second 1.5 were spent in the garment district shopping for fabric, trim, buttons, notions, etc. I thought that was a pretty good balance!

We spent most of our time on 37th, 38th, and 39th Streets between 7th and 8th Avenue. We shopped up one side of the street, down the other side and then brought our purchases back to the hotel (fabric is heavy). This took us an entire day. The number of stores and selection of fabric is unbelievable. Until this trip I had sewn up more yards than I had added to the stash for 2009. I think I’ll “forget” about tracking that for the rest of the year. I just added 48.5 yards to the stash. That’s a lot of sewing. But I’m not worried. I have yet to meet a pile of fabric I couldn’t sew my way out of.

Large button and needle and garment worker statue at information kiosk in garment district.

I found Lindsay T’s reviews of stores in the garment district very helpful. The fabric stores I liked the best: Chic Fabrics, Metro Textiles, AK Fabrics. I found these stores had fabrics that worked with my lifestyle (casual, washable) and budget. If we had more time I would have really liked to see stores like Mood Fabrics, Rosen and Chaddick, B&J Fabrics, etc. It’s good to save something for next time, right? The fabrics in some of the stores did make me wish I needed a ball gown, but I just don’t. Bummer.

And then there were all the button and trim stores. I might have liked these better than the fabric ones. It was amazing to see all these possibilities in one place! I’ll never look at the button wall in my local fabric store the same. My favorite by far was Pacific Trimming. I could have spent an entire day in just that one store. I suspect I would feel the same about M&J Trimming, but we only had a few minutes to spend in there before heading back to catch a shuttle.

The garment district was everything I was hoping it would be. Now I have to decide what to sew first!

Next post: the loot!


  1. I want to go to New York so much. Some day I'll shop the garment district. Wow 48.5 yards. Sounds like fun.


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