Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Fresh Take: B&J Fabrics

Tons of waterproof fabric options at B&J Fabrics
I don't know exactly why B&J Fabrics hasn't been on my list of fabric stores I immediately think of when I need more fabric. Maybe it's my perception that they don't carry anything that costs less than $50 a yard. Maybe it's the way the you browse for fabric by looking at "headers" hanging on a rack, rather than by pulling out bolts of fabric from shelves. I always feel a little self-conscious when I'm at B&J, like maybe I need to be carrying a more expensive-looking handbag or wear pricey and uncomfortable shoes.

But I'm on a quest to find ultra-soft cotton to make a nightgown, so last week I decided to see what B&J had to offer. I was happy to find the store has some excellent choices for me, particularly the Italian cotton shirtings (so soft!), but I was even more delighted to find how much I enjoyed shopping there. The store was hopping with customers, but I still was able to get the undivided attention of a young sales associate who swatched away for me and made excellent recommendations while we chatted about her infant son.

And my initial assessment that everything at B&J is too pricey is off-base. There are plenty of very decent fabrics under $20 a yard. B&J has one of the best selections of waterproof fabrics in the Garment District, most priced between $15 to $35 a yard. A raincoat is on my list of spring sewing projects, so I'll be back, and you should give this store another look too.

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At November 2, 2010 at 8:19 PM , Blogger Nancy K said...

Good review.

At November 2, 2010 at 10:06 PM , Blogger JoanneM said...

Wow and wow. What a great review. Thank you!

At November 3, 2010 at 3:29 PM , Blogger meredithp said...

I just picked up what I think will be an awesome raincoat pattern (Sewing Workshop Soho Coat--sample looked great in the store), so I'll be interested to hear what fabric you pick. I'll be purchasing from afar.

At November 3, 2010 at 4:16 PM , Anonymous Broderie Americaine said...

The last time I went to B & J, several months ago, they also had a great selection of cotton batik fabric for about $12 a yard.

And somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I think they have the best selection of Liberty of London Tana Lawn in the City. In addition to the cotton, they had some L of L jerseys and corduroy.

I always feel less overwhelmed there then at Mood, and I'm also a bit afraid of dogs, so the Mood mascot doesn't help.

At November 3, 2010 at 4:24 PM , Anonymous Broderie Americaine said...

Lindsay T:

With this new blog you should continue the "tour" series you started on the other one. Here are some suggestions:

Where to go in the Garment District or its environs* for

--Fabric and trim for a Chanel-style suit;
--High-quality tailoring supplies;
--Sew-in and fusible interfacing (The closing of Greenberg and Hammer creates a big vacuum);
--Sportswear fabric;
--Specialty work, e.g., pleating, embroidery.

*The GD officially ends around 34th Street. But obviously, there are useful stores below it and elsewhere.

At November 3, 2010 at 4:58 PM , Anonymous Sz said...

Maybe also include a note on whether they have a web site, or will ship to other parts of the country.

Some of us, alas, live in a garment sewing wasteland...

At November 3, 2010 at 6:38 PM , Blogger Wendy said...

Hi LindsayT
I love your blog and your garment district shopping guide was great when i visited NYC in september this year - keep the reviews coming - we dont have mant good fabric and notions stores left in Sydney :(
Wendy from Sydney Australia

At November 4, 2010 at 11:16 AM , Blogger Emory said...

Thanks for this review. I've only been to B&J once, when I was still fairly new to sewing. Everything was gorgeous but I definitely had the same feeling you used to - that B&J was too rich for my blood! Now that I'm more experienced I probably would be less intimidated by some of the prices, but it's great to be reminded that they do have some more affordable fabrics. You've changed my mind!

At November 13, 2010 at 5:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

B&J is a place to go once....just to say you've been. Prices I saw were too high for me, but I enjoyed looking.

Liberty prints can also be found at Purl Soho, BTW.

At August 18, 2015 at 9:03 PM , Blogger L.R. Shimer said...

Fabric.com carries lots of Liberty similar price after conversion to cost in London Also I find a lot of them at Brittex in San Francisco where I hail from


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