Friday, June 7, 2013

M&J Trimming - A fresh look, and... a fresh perspective

I don't just wander into this store when out running errands.

Frankly, it is off my regularly beaten path, and I typically go to M&J Trimming when I have exhausted other options, because , in the past, I have generally found them to be the priciest of the options.  Sometimes arbitrarily so. I'm going to stop saying that now.

Address: 1008 Sixth Avenue (near W. 38th)
Phone: 1-800-9-MJTRIM
Store hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 7:00 pm; Saturday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm; Sunday 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Online store: M&J Trimming

Since then (kinda two days ago, actually), either I have grown up, or they have.  Not sure which, but when you need what they've got at M&J, go to M&J.

If we were talking face to face, I would have confidently said that with a neck swirl, an eye roll, a snap, and the word "Girl" drawled theatrically at the end.  (Those of you who know me, know I don't ever talk that way, and are probably getting a good giggle out of the idea of it right now.)

So, here's how to use M&J.

  • Don't go there for anything ordinary.  Get your thread, hooks and eyes, non-interesting zippers and standard supplies elsewhere, in a no-frills trim store.
  • If you like iron-on monograms, look at theirs.  They are awfully cool.
  • Look at the lace trims, the buttons, the zippers, and all things in the Swarovski family.
  • Look at the belt buckles.
  • More fashion and couture friendly than "craftsy" or "artsy". They clearly follow and respond to trends in fashion, and stock quality goods.

M&J Trimmings is a store that is bustling with creative energy, brightly lit, well-stocked, with lots of staffers to help you find what you need.  It is particularly well curated and visually appealing, with lots of fuel for creativity spread across the walls and in display cases.  No haggling, and they have a quality website, so you can shop online, too!


  1. I don't think M & J has changed. It's not inexpensive, but if I have a need, I prefer to go to a well-organized, well-edited store. Rooting through cheap-looking stuff that I'll never want to use just depresses me and wastes my time.

    1. Ha! Then this is the shopping equivalent of "It's not you, it's me", I guess... Anyway you slice it, still a great store!

  2. I was overwhelmed the first time I walked in there, and so was the lady standing next to me in front of the trim wall! But if it's your first time there, once you get over that reaction, let the shopping begin.

    I love how everything is grouped. If you want to stand & compare every white lace they have to every ecru lace, you barely have to move your feet.

    Prices are well marked on everything. You'll know immediately if you have great taste & pulled $60 a yard trim, ha ha! Then you look for the cheaper version of something similar, and you'll probably find it, because they have all price ranges.

    Now that they're putting UPC's on all cut pieces, checkout is a snap. Lunchtime is a little crowded, but if you go the last hour or so of the day, you can have the checkout to yourself.

    They have very nice imported brass calipers for measuring buttons or beads. I forget if I paid $6 or $9 for mine, but it wasn't bad for a tool that will last forever.

    Ask at the front counter for their *free* plastic laminated postcard with true-to-life button sizes given in mm, inches, and Linge. On the back are rhinestone sizes and a ruler. I use my chart so much that I keep it stuck to the cabinet door above my sewing machine. Get an extra chart or two for your sewing friends. And if you paper piece (quilt), the cards are a perfect sturdy edge for folding your pattern against. If they don't have the cards out on the front counter, ask. Sometimes you have to go back the next day, and they'll have a big stack there again.

    They have great jacquard ribbon, including some vintage (70's) looks.

    If you're trying to match ribbon to fabric or paper for party decor, they have every shade there is & every width.

    They have an impressive "fashion hardware" section.

    Home dec trim -- tons of it.

    Twill tapes -- I've found lots of unique ones @ M&J -- colors, stripes, etc.

    The button walls will make you swoon.

    They have the wedding boutique in the back now, too. And that big Troll Beads display. I was there once when they were having a bead "event"...not sure if it was a sale or what, but that section was hopping.

    If you want to look around the store before you go, go to Google Maps & put MJ Trimming in the search box. They've photo'ed the inside of the store & you can take a tour. It's like using Google Street View, but inside the store. You can just about make out your shopping list by zooming in on the displays. (I see those brass calipers still hanging above the Velcro...)

    1. A wealth of details for the uninitiated! Thanks, QuiltB!

  3. Ha - I wrote a book! Sorry, but this is how much I like going to that store. It's right across from where I stay while in NY, so it's like a second home.

  4. Oops, LIGNE button measurement....typo.

  5. Ah I'm liking this new perspective of yours Mimi. I love M&J. They have such a unique selection and such high quality trimmings too.

    Guess what... I thought I'd share with you that it's 15% off all of the magnificent buttons right now until August 31st, 2013. The coupon code is "BUTTON201". And here's the link if anyone wants to take a look at their variety of buttons:

    1. Thank you! I'll continue to share my growing pains with you all, as I experience them!


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