Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year! - The January 2 Speakeasy Tour

Since there are no Speakeasies planned for the near future (as I work on the uber-project, the Grandest Speakeasy EVER, scheduled for this spring), I want to share some details from yesterday's event.  After yesterday's trip,  I remain really creatively inspired, and excited to share some of the things we discovered along our journey yesterday!

And a big special THANK YOU to Cindy, who helped lead the group, and offered her always brilliant, friendly, expert advice and encouragement to the group! I truly adore her, and have known her forever...

It amazes me every time, but I am often as inspired by my tour participants as they are inspired by the fabulous things we see in the stores, and yesterday was truly no exception...

Exhibit A:

One of the tour participants was really jazzed by a photo of a very expensive "glove clutch" she had seen.  Inspired by the idea, but intimidated by what could be a complicated labor-intensive project, I thought about ... (I have tried desperately to make great gloves in the past) I stumbled upon these in an internet search (link to original below)...  I adore this bag!

Perrin Paris glove clutches

Note: If I were to use this idea as a springboard for my own, I would go to Leather, Suede, Skins for the leather, Botani or Pacific for the hardware and such, and Joann fabrics (online or in person) for what I have found to be the best stabilizing materials for the bags I make (The fusible interfacing used for lampshades, and plastic mesh - I fuse the interfacing to a stiff muslin to make the structural inner layer of my bags.)

Exhibit B:

Let's say you make quilts, as two of yesterday's participants do.  Where to go in the garment district certainly isn't obvious, but there are many places that have lovely, creative offerings for quilters.  Now, there are some obvious spots to visit; Mood and City Quilter among them, but I must say that Rosen and Chadick, Chic Fabrics and NY Elegant had some awesome cottons suitable for quilting, too!

Exhibit C:

You can find silk gazar, like the fabric used to create this Oscar de la Renta Gown  in rich colors at Fabrics & Fabrics

What if you love bold colors and textures?  One of our participants was such a delightful enthusiast of very bold oranges, purples and greens -- she found plush velvets and wonderful prints that were so exciting! There are some stores with gasp-worthy colors, panel prints, and textures right now.  Check the display window of NY Elegant, and you'll see what I mean!  Paron, Fabrics and Fabrics, and Rosen and Chadick all had delightful offerings in these categories as well!

Exhibit C:

And seriously, shop with a rolling suitcase.  Or you'll learn the hard way... That's how the pros do it... am I right???  And, when you get home, you say to anyone who has a problem with the amount of fabric you bought.... "You should have seen what the rest of them bought!!!!  FAR more than I did!!!!" (giggle...)

If you are longing to go fabric shopping or browsing, here are some must-sees for you right now:

  • Check out the fabulous chunky cut & sew sweater knit at Paron Fabrics(immediately!)
  • Look at the fabric panels on the long wall of Fabrics & Fabrics
  • Check out the double-faced wool (green/charcoal) at Rosen & Chadick
  • Check out the special panels hanging on the rack near the counter at NY Elegant
  • Check put the great houndstooth wools at Chic Fabrics
  • Check out the variety of unique zippers, pulls, buttons and other notions at Botani
  • Check out the novelty button offerings and hot fix crystals at Joyce

Happy New Year, and enjoy your creative adventures, whatever they may be!


  1. Happy New Year!

    Chunky cut and sew sweater knit? SWOON!

    But I want to know where the "Death by Pastrami" post is! It's in my blog roll but not actually posted. :)

  2. Hi Kyle!!! I was scheduling postes I wrote in a post writing frenzy, since I don't want to bombard everyone with the three million posts I've written recently, and "Death by Pastrami" is one of them! I accidentally clicked "publish" instead of schedule, but it needs a few tweaks to go live! I have so much to say and tell, I think it is better to space it out! Death by Pastrami is a new book by an author/garment district veteran I interviewed a while back. I can't wait to read it!


I welcome and encourage your comments. Please note that I do reserve the right to delete any comment I deem inappropriate for any reason whatsoever without consent.