Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A very quiet day in New York City

The memory of September 11, 2001 casts a heavy, somber shadow over the city, and today, it seems that the Manhattan crowd is uncharacteristically slow and light.  Because I have significant projects to attend to, and things I must get done, I headed into the garment district to run some errands.

First off, while muslin shopping, I actually remembered to ask IF and WHERE you can get pinking shears sharpened.  The answer to "if" is yes, and it doesn't matter what brand or size.  They will do any pair for you at Steinlauf and Stoller.

Next, I bought petersham ribbon for a waistband at Pacific Trimming.  What is Petersham, and why should you care?  The picot (scalloped) edge means it will curve and conform to your body, making it ideal for stabilizing waistlines of curved-waist things (or other curved areas of your garments).  Washable and dry cleanable, it has very little shrinkage, and holds its color.  Therefore, perfect for some of those garment problems you want to solve or things you want to make. This purchase is for my personal wardrobe.  I have steadily lost weight over the years, which made a pair of washed linen pants I love to wear too big in the waist.  Now they just look too baggy in general. Since I don't have any more of that fabric, I will reduce the waist and hips, and just remove the current elasticized band, making them a slimmer, smoother, closer fit, which is more appropriate for my body (and fashion) these days.

Then I went swatching for brocade at New York Elegant, got distracted by the new goods being delivered, and the general explosion of bolts of fabric the hubbub created, as they moved things around, and found lots that had nothing to do with what I was looking for, while singing along to Gotye on the sound system.  Then I found my center, took a deep breath, and went back to my intended task.  Boy, do they have some gorgeous stuff.  Truly gaspworthy right now. I scanned the fabrics I found, but the scanner just can't convey the magic.  Think cotton velvet.  Then think metallic cotton corduroy, too.  Then think soft, pink cashmere...  I found all but the metallic corduroy on the second floor... And, no, I shouldn't be buying any of it before sewing what I've got.  Thanks for pointing that out, Partypoopers.  A girl can dream, can't she?

Below, is a fabric I found that is a faux fur that has a wonderful, almost holographic, metallic feather attitude. So cool and unexpected.  Like some sort of fantasy bird/lion's mane.  Don't know if this video can convey it, but Ill try.

Leather Impact requires you to buzz the bell to get into the store. There may also be an uncomfortably long pause before they let you in. Don't be intimidated by it.  No one will give you a hard sell, the third degree, or any kind of "sell" or inquisition at all, it seems. Inside, I went there to get what I need for my furniture project, and got distracted by this stuff...  The staff is not a particularly friendly bunch, but they do have some great trims!

Large pieces of patchworked leather and suede dangle from the ceiling.

Material World has taken down the "We're Closing" signs. Not a mention of them closing now... anywhere. I was there swatching for a client, but didn't find anything that would work.  Lotsa pretty things I would personally love to buy, though.

Paron had some AWESOME prices today.  While singing along (probably a bit too loudly) with the Eagles' "Witchy Woman" on the sound system, I saw LOTS and LOTS of beautiful fabrics with 50% off tags dangling from them, including a pretty perfect brocade for a client. And, truth be told,  the full prices were so low, they kinda looked like 50% has been taken off already... but I'm not complaining!

Also, a couple of new stores have sprung up recently, and I haven't visited them yet, but we'll save that for another day.  I am tired and hungry...  I was done by noon.  Efficient, or what?


  1. I am a stickler for correct terms for notions and in my line of work, botanical names for plants so that you get what you intended to get, and petersham is one of those that people don't always get. I was showing how I'd made a my waistband facing out of petersham at a Kenneth King fit clinic and the woman said, oh grosgrain, and I said no it's petersham and she said it's the same thing. Grr. All petersham is grosgrain but not all grosgrain is petersham! I wish that Pacific Trimmings would actually label it correctly instead of just calling it rayon grosgrain. BTW, awhile back I bought cotton rayon blend petersham from Judith Milliner online and it shrinks unbelievably.When I turned the steam on it to start shaping it shrank up visible before my eyes leaving me with a piece too short to use.

    1. Well, some of these stores aren't big on terminology, so knowing the name is often not as helpful as knowing how to describe it, when shopping in the garment district, I'm afraid. While I understand what you mean, I am constantly amazed at just how much I don't know... I think I will just be an eternal learner...

  2. You've convinced me.-- I must hit some fabric stores tomorrow!

  3. I once had some shears sharpened at Steinlauf and Stoller because Westphal was in the middle of moving. I thought they did a fine job.

    I've since been told by a professional that Gingher shears and scissors should be sent back to Gingher for sharpening.

    1. I've had my Ginghers sharpened at Steinlauf with no problem at all. A perfect job.


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