Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Find of the Week: Waterproof Trench Coat Cotton, $5.99/yd

You'll never know what deals you'll find at this store at 257 W. 39th Street.  Ignore the tacky signs at the storefront

Now why didn't fabric store Gate 232 have this trench coat cotton before I paid over $20 a yard at B&J Fabrics for my raincoat fabric?! $5.99 a yard is an amazing price to pay for this quality cotton fabric. I am no expert in determining levels of waterproofness or water resistantness, but it passed the Google-aided tests I administered on a swatch yesterday. (But you know what, at only $5.99 a yard you can't really hate me too much if this fabric doesn't keep you dry enough to your personal satisfaction.) Comes in light khaki and navy, and has a very sturdy hand perfect for three-season rain wear. Look for it in the middle of the store on the right-hand side.

That's the khaki trench coat cotton in the center.

I dropped water on a swatch and it sat like this on top of the fabric for an entire afternoon, until I got tired of the experiment. I was also unable to breathe through the swatch, which is a sign it is waterproof on both sides. Again, don't take my word for it, though; perform your own tests before you buy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Living Social Deal for Mood Fabrics Ends Today

Reader Arlette just alerted me to Living Social's coupon for Mood Fabrics: Pay $15 for $30 to spend on merchandise at Mood. Hurry, the offer ends today.

And don't forget to support the merchants of the Garment District on Small Business Saturday by shopping there on 11/26. Many stores are open on Saturdays and would welcome your patronage. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shop Small and Support the Garment District on 11/26

Forget Black Friday and think Small Business Saturday on November 26. Sponsored by American Express, the 2nd annual Small Business Saturday® is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. There are enough stores open in NYC's Garment District to make shopping here on Small Business Saturday worthwhile to you and the small businesses located here. These are some of the merchants I know are open on Saturdays, in no particular order:
  • Prime Fabrics (W. 35th)
  • Mood Fabrics (W. 37th)
  • Most of the stores on W. 39th
  • NY Elegant Fabrics (W. 40th)
  • Paron Fabrics (W. 40th)
  • Rosen & Chadick Fabrics (W. 40th)
  • B&J Fabrics (W. 38th at Seventh)
  • Spandex House (W. 38th)
  • Pacific Trimming and the other trim stores on W. 38th
  • SIL Thread and Panda Zipper on W. 38th
  • Daytona Braids and Trims (W. 39th)
  • M&J Trims (Sixth Ave. at W. 38th)
Now seriously, wouldn't you rather spend a morning shopping in New York City's historic Garment District than at the mall? When you're done you can walk over to Bryant Park for some hot chocolate and a visit to the holiday shops of Bryant Park (more small businesses needing your support). Make your plans today!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Make Your Own Winter Coat This Season

Fur Collar Trench by Boy by Band of Outsiders. Trench style wool coat with removable fur collar and self tie belt. $2,240 at La Garconne.

A winter coat is one of the most satisfying and cost-effective things you can sew for yourself: You can build it exactly to your specifications, and not skimp on linings like even some of the better RTW companies do. And you can save lots of money when you make your own coat, because even on sale winter coats are still pricey.

This season I am really taken with the above Boy by Band of Outsiders winter coat and am hankering to make one like it. First, I can repurpose a fur collar from an old coat that's been languishing in my closet. Second, how great is it that it has a quilted lining. Our NYC winters have been cold lately and this winter I'll be prepared with a quilted lining.

Lucky for us wool coatings abound in the Garment District. Shop around, trying W. 39th Street first for bargains before heading to standbys like Mood, B&J's, Paron's, Rosen & Chadick, Elliott Berman Textiles, Lace Star and NY Elegant. You can find quilted lining fabric at Mood, B&J's, A.K. Fabrics and NY Elegant. Now get sewing and finish that coat before the first snowflake falls in the tri-state region. (Oops, too late.)

Quilted fabrics at NY Elegant...

...and at Mood Fabrics.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Make Your Own Sequin Dress for the Holidays

DKNY Sequin Dress, $345, Bloomingdales

Sequins, sequins, sequins! Holiday Fashion 2011 is one big sparkly mess. You, you smart little sewist you, can whip up your own little one-of-a-kind sequin number for far less than you'd pay in the better stores. Just head over to NYC's Garment District, specifically the north side of W. 39th Street. Most of the stores there have loads of sparkly sequin fabric priced between $10 and $30 a yard; feel free to negotiate your way to a lower price with the sales staff. The stores I'd start with are G&R, Gate 232 (this store keeps changing owners and names; just look for lots of tacky signs in the window and on the street), and Logo. And if you have any tips for sewing sequin fabric, please comment here. I may be sewing my first sequin dress and I could use some help!

G&R Fabrics

G&R Fabrics