Friday, October 25, 2019

Shop the..... Garment District???

Now, with some of the big fabrics stores closing,  I can hear the death knell ever amplified.  A fairly strict "no pictures" policy is being implemented at several stores, although the older, more established stores still allow it... But I can't decide... does it make my speakeasy tours more valuable... or less so?

On Friday, I led my "hand-holding" Speakeasy, leading some wonderful newbie sewers on a fantastic exploration of interesting fabric store in the district.  Consisting of some stores they would not have found on their own, and some they might have, the information. camaraderie and guidance shared on the trip made for a very inspirational journey indeed. By reducing the intimidation factor, and embracing the fantasy of what kinds of things could be made with the lovely things they found, gave me a beautifully warm feeling that sticks with me now as I write this post.

What I often forget, is how much the tour participants inspire me as well.  My purple-loving participant opened my eyes to some things that may not have caught my eye before (pssst.... the lavender-ish handkerchief linen at Grayline is just so beautiful), and the lovely finds my "non-shopper" participant found herself loaded down with at the end of the day made me giggle...

So, as I consider the future of the "Speakeasy", I wonder if the fact that the best stores are now harder to find, and some of the obvious street-level choices have ceased to exist, makes the whole prospect of a speakeasy more mysterious and intriguing?  I'd like to think so.  

On Saturday, I lead a private Speakeasy, with a focus primarily on interesting notions stores, a small bit of garment district history, some fun upholstery fabric sources, and advice for more places to find the unique items my ladies had in mind.  Lively conversation and beautiful weather made it more fun, and as always, it was great to explore the stores through the participants' eyes!

Without specifics for what led to these stores over the others, between the tow tours, I will tell you where we had the most fun:

Metro Textiles (moving)
Graylines Linen
Daytona Trimming
Pacific Trimming
NY Elegant (moved)
Fabrics & Fabrics (moving)

As always, I encourage you to come and explore for yourselves.  There is still a wonderland of beautiful stuff out there!


  1. I love most of those stores! Though I found nothing at Graylines last July, despite being in there twice. I was disappointed that they didn't have a nice selection of printed linens. It's nail biting watching what's happening, from a distance.

    1. Yes, and fabric prices will inevitably rise, too. I keep eyeing a beautiful (but not precious) fabric and thinking, "hmmm... If i buy this, I'm $140 in before i even buy lining, notions... Anything!" I dunno...


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.