My birthday is this week, so we did something I’ve been wanting to do for a while: raid the fabric shops of Manhattan’s Garment District!
Like many cities, NYC has a lot of neighborhoods with distinct specialties. A little bit south of Times Square is the Garment District, where most of the fashion industry is located. Not ALL of it, but quite a lot so the stores in the area cater to it. TONS of massive fabric bazaar type stores where you basically have a room filled with rolls of fabric, like so:
I’ve been really hankering for some interesting fabrics. Interesting textures, colors, etc. Most of the ones I have I’ve already used, and while I like the “Cosplay by Yaya” fabrics that have been showing up at Joannes, I’ve noticed that they are replacing some of the weirder selections that I used to find. I like weird sh*t. I find it inspiring.
Also, I’ve been searching every damn fabric store across three states as well as the internet to get my hands on some brown vinyl/pleather. You’d think that would be easy to find, with all the steampunk fashion out there, but nope! All the brown stuff is fake suede, or weathered leather. I want nice, supple, brown calfskin type fake leather. I figured if there was ONE place I’d find it, it would be NYC. And I did, but only after like, the 8th store.
The other awesome thing to be easily found in the garment district and not so much anywhere else, is TRIM!
Ok, sure, you can actually find tons of trim in any fabric store. But how much of that trim is doll-scale friendly? Not so much! WHOLE STORES with nothing but spools of trim. Ribbon, lace, cord. OMG. I came out of this store with a very small bag, but it was a very small bag full of yard and yards and yards of tiny goodness!
The drawback is that most of the fabrics in these stores, while great for runway haute couture and wedding gowns…not so great for casuals, or doll clothes. But that’s OK, I still found a few gems, and I look forward to using them in upcoming designs. And if I need more… I can always go back 😉
If you want to see more fabric store pics, I uploaded a whole bunch into a Flickr Album