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.


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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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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