Saturday, June 22, 2013

Yesterday's themed Speakeasy tour - "The Hard Stuff"

Yesterday I led the first "themed" Speakeasy tour that wasn't solely dedicated to simply shopping, but education as well.  I had such a blast, and such a great, small group, that I really think I will want to plan more themed tours. The small group size really gave us lots of time to interact and feed off of each other's energy.

It also gave me ability to show some stores and explain "This is why you should go" to the group, what makes certain products superior, which stores allow price negotiation, and which don't, and other things everyone needs  to know!  We talked about the right threads, supplies, adhesives, closures, publications, great classes, and where to get and take them.  Participants took notes and gathered business cards, and got inspired!

I'm also pretty sure I caught a glimpse of another past Speakeasy participant as we walked along 39th Street! The street was too fast, busy and loud to stop, and I couldn't recall her name fast enough to say anything... if you're reading this now... did you see me?

The only downside...

I am really itching to RUN back and buy some of the absolutely fabulous things I saw!

If any of my participants are reading this now, talk me down from that incredible cream-colored lacy lace I drooled over in the upstairs, buzz-me-in place...?

The store owner told me to look up the gown made from this same leather in black, and I did... Wowza!  My dreams of it for me are completely different, but this is definitely a showstopper!

As a side note, I am also truly thankful that I had someone to split that huge corned beef on rye sandwich with at lunch! We had a great lunch, too, folks.

So: I need your opinions on future Speakeasy themes?  Please voice your opinion on these ideas in the comments section... pretty please?

  • Costumer, re-enactor, vintage, artist speakeasy
  • Delicate and dainty - lace, lingerie, soft dresses, nighties speakeasy
  • Bridal - all things concerning brides and bridesmaids (suitable for non-sewers, too)
  • Just coats
  • Kid stuff
What ideas would you love to explore on a themed speakeasy?

The next general shopping Speakeasy tour is scheduled for October 4, 2013.  If asked, I/we will do custom tours before that date.

Itinerary below: 

10AM - 1PM - 

Shopping (Will include several very special fabric and trimming stores with a wide variety of offerings suitable for many different purposes/types of garments.)


Lunch (included in your fee)

2PM - until end of business day

Armed with your "Secret Map" and your own interest in or desire to visit the many other stores you see or have learned about, you may visit more garment district stores if you wish, and give unique codes (that you'll get from me) to vendors who will give special assistance/discounts.

The cost of this guided, efficient tour is $75 per person. If you use this trip to shop and participate in what NYC has to offer, you will save at least as much as you are paying, and probably far more.

Wanna come? Click below the date you wish to attend, send payment, and the details on meeting time/place will be provided.

From outta town? If you need hotel and/or travel help, I will advise some of the BEST NYC secrets I know! Also, you can click on hotels above (this page - to your right) for the most standard and convenient choices. Payment is only accepted via PayPal (you do not need a Paypal account), credit or debit card. No cash, personal checks, or additional payments will be accepted on the day of the tour. The trip will involve a good amount of walking, so come prepared, and healthy.

Wanna come on October 4?  Reserve your spot below!

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At June 22, 2013 at 9:38 AM , Anonymous dawndorinda said...

Great ideas Mimi! How about swim? Rain, and high tech fabrics.

At June 22, 2013 at 10:01 AM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

Thanks, Dawn! i'm not sure if there's a big enough audience for swim... Is there? In the right combo with other water-related issues, it could probably work, though! Like sweat, swim, rain, surf, ski and outdoor projects?

At June 22, 2013 at 10:10 AM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

I'm seeing a title for it in my head... "To repel, resist, or respire... whether you swim, ski or schvitz"

At June 22, 2013 at 11:12 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

I'd love to do the tour from yesterday. Will you do it again? I enjoyed the time we spent last October and have been back to all the shops. What an insight! As far as that fabric from yesterday... I'd say go for it! You'll always remember what you let slip through your fingers. Keep up the great work!

At June 22, 2013 at 11:29 AM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

Well, there's nothing stopping me from repeating that one. I could always do another!

At June 22, 2013 at 3:30 PM , Anonymous QuiltB said...

Trims & ribbons & buttons

Sewing tools & notions & wardrobe supplies

Beads & chains & jewelry-making supplies

-- All those could be the focus for tours in TGD. NYC is the best place for stocking up on those things, which aren't easily found elsewhere in such great assortments. The shopping can be overwhelming for first-timers, but with a guide...

At June 22, 2013 at 4:16 PM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

Tools and notions would be a great tour with demos, don't you think? Like a big class, really. That could be awesome, if I can get the stores to allow or give in-store demos - ooooh.... Wait! I have a better idea for this!!!!! Omigoodness... I know what that tour needs to be! Lemme think on this, and I will absolutely offer it!

At June 22, 2013 at 7:42 PM , Anonymous QuiltB said...

Uh-oh, look out, she's up to something now! She's got a notion about notions! LOL

I've found stuff in NYC that either I didn't know existed or hadn't seen in ages....button calipers, buttonhole scissors, Velcro cleaners, conductive thread, and of course, that mystery iron-on stuff that's labeled in Japanese. I still haven't gotten brave enough to try that! I've also come home with great (cheap) wardrobe bags that we use constantly. Manhattan Wardrobe Supply alone is worth the trip. Then there's SIL, Panda..... And who knows what else is lurking behind counters that I haven't discovered yet. I'm still looking for a source for a really spiky needle-tipped tracing wheel, the kind that makes pinholes as you trace, not just a tracing paper mark.

Anyway, can't wait to see what you come up with! :)

At June 22, 2013 at 9:25 PM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

The wheel that does the perforations can be bought at Steinlauf & Stoller. And yes, now I'm hearing a Tony Orlando song in my head... Can you guess which one? Random thought about notions inspired it!

At June 22, 2013 at 11:26 PM , Anonymous QuiltB said...

Tie a Vintage French Jacquard Ribbon From Hyman Hendler Round the Ole Oak Tree?

At June 22, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous QuiltB said...

Thanks for the tracing wheel tip! Found it on the S&S's website: "Needle Point Tracer." No price given. Guess I'll call next week. That's what I was looking for! :)

At June 23, 2013 at 6:51 AM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

Whoops - I was thinking of the wrong artist. Apparently, the song in my head was by the Hues Corporation... "Rock the Boat" -

My musical memory is peculiar. Apparently, I was only 2 years old when this song came out!

At June 23, 2013 at 9:17 AM , Anonymous QuiltB said...

My musical memory is pretty sharp, especially from that year. I heard that song on the way home from my high school graduation! Ahhh, when disco & I were young... What happened to both of us? LOL!

Can't wait to see what the "I'd like to know where you got the notion" Speakeasy Tour will involve! :)

At June 23, 2013 at 10:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad to have missed "The Hard Stuff." I'd also be interested in soft stuff (lingerie and delicates), and a coats-only tour. I'm on the other coast, though, so have to plan well in advance, and probably won't be able to indulge as often as I'd prefer.

At June 23, 2013 at 11:49 PM , Blogger Elizabeth said...

I'd love a vintage/costumer/reenactor tour sometime later this summer - I've been to the district on my own a couple times but always find it hard to find natural fiber fabrics at a reasonable price (or find them in stores that don't have labels on the bolts)

At June 24, 2013 at 7:12 AM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

Great! I think this one would be particularly appealing, and I would need attendees' input for what things they are trying to find before leading one!

At June 24, 2013 at 7:13 AM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

Yes, it is best for travelers to know far in advance, so they can plan accordingly. I think I'll do another hard stuff in the fall. More than a few have told me they really wanted to do this one in particular.


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