Sunday, 13 May 2012

New York and Fabric Shopping - Where should I go?

Start spreading the newwws,
I'm leaving todaaaaay .... well in three weeks actually ...

I'm heading to New York real soon and I need your help! For those of you that have visited before, where are the best 'seamstress' places to go?

Me in my Tessuti New York Cape

June 2nd is the day I fly out of Melbourne and after about a 20 our flight (Dear.God) I will be arriving in New York on ... June 2nd. No I'm not handy with a flux-capacitor, it's all thanks to the International date line.

My husband and I are jetting over as part of my prize for winning the wonderful 2011 Tessuti Awards of which my vocal chords have still not recovered (excessive screaming and hysterics will do that).

 My Entry in the Tessuti Awards - Click on the photos to see the full blog post

I am having daily fantasies about talking to squirrels in central park, eating slices of pizza the size of my face, wearing over-sized jerseys at Baseball games and pretending that the TV show 'How I met your mother' is real and that I'm bestys with Robin Scherbatsky.

The very first time I ever visited the U.S. was with my besty Lisa.

And this happened ...


Let's be honest, this photo just makes me want to go back STAT.
This guy was a singer of a heavy-metal band and had recently had his tongue surgically split to resemble a serpents tongue. His name? Lucifer? Darth Vader?

No.
Keith. I kid you not.

Some how this just makes him even more awesome.
Admittedly this was in Hollywood, where I swear to GOD every guy there was named Josh and was an actor. After being dropped off by a bus in a random spot in Hollywood and being convinced we would be murdered we ended up meeting some locals and having one of the best nights of our lives.

This also happened on that visit.


An "interpretive dancer" from New York, and his day job? A child physiologist. Seriously. I still cannot look at these photos without falling into hysterics.

Definitely the most exciting thing about this trip is the Mecca of fabric stores that I can devour. My credit cards have practically disintegrated in my wallet out of fear. I already have Mood on my list of 'must visit' and I've already packed a brown paper bag for when I start hyperventilating in the store.

And so now I need your help.
Locals or visitors of New York, where else is a 'must visit' for all things fabric, notions and fashion?
Or perhaps there's something unrelated to sewing that I simply must do! Let me know!

64 comments:

  1. I have no suggestions sorry but congratulations - what a fantastic prize and so well deserved you are completely inspiring!

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    1. Thank you Miriam, you're too kind!

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  2. enjoyed reading your post :) i'm so excited for you :)

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  3. I have two words for you: Purl Soho. Congratulations on the win! I have been to NY twice and it's my favourite place in the world (and I've travelled a lot). The scene is very different to LA though, much more cool. If you haven't organised accommodation then you should definitely look up apartments you can sub-let, cheaper than a hotel and you'll be in much cooler neighbourhoods than midtown. We stayed in the Lower East Side last time right near Union Square, quite a good place and slightly grungy but in a good way. If you like things a bit more upmarket but trendy then aim for Soho or Greenwich. I'm so jealous!! :-)

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    1. Wow, noted! Thanks for the tips Dolores!

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  4. No suggestions either - but I had a great laugh reading this post. BTW I'd rather have Lily as a bestie. I think Robin is a bit emotionally cold ;-)Have a blast!

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    1. Ha! Thanks Naomi, yes Robin is a bit 'unhinged' maybe I should rethink my choice. x

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  5. I'm not envious. At all. Not at all. Two times in NY last year and I could go back any minute... I would recommend Paron Fabrics (257 West 39th Street, Corner of 8th Ave). I went there both times, and came out with some really nice wool-silk fabrics. Unfortunately, the fabrics feel so exclusive that I haven't sewn anything up with them yet. I went into B&J Fabrics (525 7th Ave, 2nd Floor), but I got so overwhelmed by the huge selection of fabrics that I just turned on my heel and left...

    Have fun!! I'm sure you'll enjoy every second!

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    1. Awesome! I have added them to my list. Thanks so much!

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  6. I haven't been to NY since 1998, so I can't help you Julia. How about Googling fabric shops in the Big Apple. I am heading to Paris in 5 weeks and I have made up quite a good little fabric shop itinerary for the 5 days I will have there just by Googling. Mind you, if anyone is reading this and can give me some advice, I will be very grateful. How exciting for you!! My only piece of advice is:- GO WITH AN EMPTY SUITCASE!!! It is so easy to fill it in NY.

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    1. Lady, I'm pretty much ONLY going with empty suitcases! Can't wait!

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    2. Hey Marjorie - if you check back here, here's some great tips for Paris fabric stores from my Parisian friend - got to share the love! I had a blast there and most are in the same area:

      these are all located near the Anvers metro station (line 2)

      Marché Saint Pierre,
      2, rue Charles Nodier
      Paris 18ème
      www.marchesaintpierre.com/en

      they have LOADS of fabrics, all price ranges, man-made, natural

      Tissus Reine,
      3-5 place Saint Pierre
      Paris 18ème
      http://www.tissus-reine.com/ (website only in French)

      They have a great haberdashery in addition to the fabrics (they have a good selection of Liberty cotton)

      Paris Tissus
      15 rue Steinkerke
      Paris 18ème

      This place is more of the hit or miss kind, sometimes they have great things, sometimes they don't

      The last address is open only from monday to friday, it's a fantastic place. Note that t's not in the same area as the other 3.
      It's near the Voltaire metro station (line 9)

      Tissus de Gilles
      156 rue de la Roquette
      Paris 11ème
      http://www.degilles.com/Studio%20DeGilles/index.aspx

      this place is just fantastic, they have haute-couture fabrics, vintage yarns

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  7. I have never been but when anyone talks about fabric shops in a particular place I copy and paste, just in case I ever go there lol. Here is what I have copied. In the garment district Mood , Rosen and Chadick and Lace Star. MOOD Fabric, 225 W 37th St # 3
    New York, NY 10018, (212) 730-5003. The Garment District is located between Fifth and Ninth Avenues from 34th to 42nd Street.
    Sorry if a bit scatty, just copying what I have copied from various blogs/forums lol. Mood appears to be the daddy lol.

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    1. Cutting and pasting is an excellent idea! Thanks Ms. Sassy T :)

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  8. Ooo I forgot to say Congratulations!!!! Well deserved.

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  9. I'm not exactly a local yet (only been living here 9 months...) but my top recommendations would be: Paron, Mood, MJ Trimmings (huuuuuge store), and AK Fabrics. B&J Fabrics is pretty pricey, but they have a lot of amazing stuff. I've also heard great things about Metro Fabrics, but they're only open on the weekdays so I haven't been. Shopthegarmentdistrict.com is a great resource that should give you lots of good ideas. There are a ton of small shops on W 39th St between 7th & 8th, so I always start there.
    As for other things to do - go out for Japanese food in the East Village, get falafel at Mamoun's in the West Village ($2.50 for a sandwich!) and take it to Washington Square Park, and walk the Brooklyn Bridge and visit the park on the Brooklyn side of it.

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  10. Well of course you have to visit us here at Mood Fabrics! We will be heartbroken if you don't. We have the biggest and the best selection of designer fabrics at all price points, plus we are the fabric home of the TV series Project Runway. And we are the only store in the Garment District that has Swatch the dog, a very friendly terrier. You'll make our day if you stop by!

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    1. I totally agree I was there 2 weeks ago and loved it. I had it all planned out thanks to the burdastyle article and shop the garment district website. Pack light or an extra suitcase;)

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    2. Oh Meg@Mood Fabrics it's ridiculous how excited I am! I just finished watching season 9 of project runway so I feel like I know your store already!

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  11. First of all, congratulations! As others have suggested, Mood is definitely a good place to check out (but definitely be prepared for it to be really hot and stuff and chaotic inside). If you want a cute little place to go for lunch and want to get on board with America's obsession with peanut butter, you should consider checking out the Peanut Butter & Co. Sandwich Shop. It's at 240 Sullivan Street (ilovepeanutbutter.com)

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    1. AWESOME! I love peanutbutter and will definitely be checking this out. Thanks Beth :)

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  12. Hello,
    maybe this page is of any help for you:
    http://www.shopthegarmentdistrict.com/

    :-) Claudia

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    1. I think that's the blog Meg@Moods (before she worked there!!!) started and it's got maps and everything.

      My advice: bring almost no clothing, you need the luggage space, LOL!

      Also check the PR boards for the meet-ups. Have fun!

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    2. This is the blog Meg@Mood started before she got the job at Mood Fabrics. Very good resource.

      My advice: take good walking shoes and bring almost no clothing, you need the luggage space.

      Also check out the PR boards for the PR meet-up info.

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    3. Thanks ladies! I will definitely be bookmarking that webite x

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    4. I am Catherine Goldman and I manage the fabrics store De Gilles Tissus in Paris since 1984. I will be a pleasure for me to have your visit, and to show you all my treasure.
      But before you can meet the store on www.degilles.com and also on my blog
      degillestissus.blogspot.com
      I hope to see you soon in Paris.

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  13. I live 7 miles from Times Square on the other side of the Hudson River in New Jersey. We entertain out of towners all the time. My favorite thing to do is ride the Circle Line Cruise around the island of Manhattan. You get a great talking tour of the town from the water.

    The next thing I like to do is take one of those double decker bus rides to see the city from the street view.

    The is a thing called the New York City Pass which you buy for a certain number of days that allows you to pick and choose the sights you want to see.

    I would also visit the tkts booth if you want to see a Broadway show. If you go noonish on Wednesdays, you can see a matinee for half price.

    I agree with Mika. You should check out www.shopthegarmentdistrict.com . There is a list you can print out with all of the stores, addresses, phone numbers, and hours. The stores are all contained for the most part in a few city blocks. My experience is that stores have been coming and going lately. Old ones closing and new ones opening. I personally love walking around a discovering a new shop.

    Another free thing you can do is check out the museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). Last time I went there was an exhibit of American designers. I saw many iconic dresses I have read about. You would love it, I'm sure.

    Enjoy your trip - no matter how many days you are there, I know you will want to come back again!

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    1. Wow that's awesome! Thanks so much!

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  14. I don't have any fabric store suggestions for you as I've only been to the city a couple of times but I want to wish you best and safe travels. From looking your previous trips, you're going to have a blast!

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  15. I got back from NYC a couple of weeks ago...I did a lot of fabric shopping. My favorite place was Metro Textiles. I got a lot of fabric for around $5-$6 (USD) a yard. Not too shabby. Mood was nice too but pricey, it's great if you're looking for something specific. Visit this site for more info on which places to visit: http://www.shopthegarmentdistrict.com/

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    1. Noted. Thanks so much for your suggestion :)

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  16. Yay u r finally going!!! Ever since I started reading ur blog I been wondering when the prize trip would take place. Woo hoo! Excited for u Mrs Bobbin!!!! I've never been to NY but it was my child hood dream to live in Manhatten just like Stacy from Babysitters Club hahahha. Have a blast and can't wait to read a post about it. Will u be meeting any of your fans from NY??

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    1. Thanks Neeno! Hopefully I can meet some other sewers while I'm over there! How exciting :)

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  17. It has been 3yrs since my last trip to NYC but this guide is pretty spot on in regards to the shops / general area to walk around. The smaller shops have zero presence on the web so walking is key.

    http://www.burdastyle.com/blog/shop-the-garment-district-with-lindsay-t-sews

    Congrats on your win and I look forward to oogling over your fabric / notions haul.

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    1. That blog post was updated into a blog in itself: shopthegarmentdistrict.com .

      And yes, it's excellent.

      Check seriouseats.com or chowhound.com for food recs.

      Have fun!

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  18. DUDE. what the hell am i doing in LA?!!!!!!!!!!

    paron fabrics is a MUST. they're a smaller, happier, sanely priced mood, and gary & mike are the two sweetest men in the garment district. i believe they're at their new home now:
    257 West 39th st (bet. 7th 8th ave)

    and in a stroke of great luck chic fabrics is one the same block! chouk (not sure if i'm spelling his name right, but it's pronounced shook) is wonderful and it's a great "dodgy" fabric shop, with a WALL of silks at 7-11 buck a yard. and a big mess of sale fabric in the front.

    do not go into vogue fabrics on that block. those men are hella disgusting, and will try to rip you off. though i'm pretty sure you could take them.

    SIL threads is also awesome for zippers, thread & notions galore: http://silthreadinc.com/

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    1. Indeed lady, indeed.

      Thanks for the tips on the stores! I shall be frequenting them all.

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  19. DUDE. what the hell am i doing in LA?!!!!!!!!!!

    paron fabrics is a MUST. they're a smaller, happier, sanely priced mood, and gary & mike are the two sweetest men in the garment district. i believe they're at their new home now:
    257 West 39th st (bet. 7th 8th ave)

    and in a stroke of great luck chic fabrics is one the same block! chouk (not sure if i'm spelling his name right, but it's pronounced shook) is wonderful and it's a great "dodgy" fabric shop, with a WALL of silks at 7-11 buck a yard. and a big mess of sale fabric in the front.

    do not go into vogue fabrics on that block. those men are hella disgusting, and will try to rip you off. though i'm pretty sure you could take them.

    SIL threads is also awesome for zippers, thread & notions galore: http://silthreadinc.com/

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  20. Yes yes, I have to say Paron (they are in the new location on 39th St-- Mercedes who works there is so lovely and always discounts my purchase beyond the ticketed price) and Chic, too! Both completely amazing! Pacific Trimmings is really fun for ribbon, etc. ALSO, you should go to the Met-- there's a brand-new exhibit on Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada! I'm a New Yorker, so if you'd like to meet up for shopping or coffee, or if you have any logistical questions I might be able to answer, definitely email me: wildcatspow at gmail dot com. Yay! Have a great time!!

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    1. That'd be awesome! I'd love too! x

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  21. My favorites are Paron, B&j, ny elegant, mood and Chic fabrics. Full disclosure, I'm not really a bargain shopper. Chic has good deals on silk charmeuse. I also like Rosen and Chaddick which is not cheap but they have very high quality. Pacific trim is a Greg place for trims and zippers.

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  22. My favorites are Paron, B&j, ny elegant, mood and Chic fabrics. Full disclosure, I'm not really a bargain shopper. Chic has good deals on silk charmeuse. I also like Rosen and Chaddick which is not cheap but they have very high quality. Pacific trim is a Greg place for trims and zippers.

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  23. B&J! Have so much fun in the big apple.

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  24. Congrats! Check out Lindsay T's (aka Meg) guide to NY's fabric district. Meg is a sew-er and NY local who frequents the garment district probably weekly.
    http://www.shopthegarmentdistrict.com/

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  25. Don't forget to preorder/purchase additional baggage allowance for your flight - with the amount of fabric you are planning on purchasing - the last thing you want is to be slapped with excess baggage charges on your return journey at the airport!! Another way to get around it is to mail the fabric to your homeaddress, to avoid excess baggages too!! I had to do that when I went to the Netherlands and bought fabric wayyy over my baggage allowance!!

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  26. I'm going this weekend for a few days and am kinda stressing about how to squeeze in eating and site seeing with my non-stop fabric shopping. I can't flipping wait. Congrats on your winning trip and have a fab time!

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  27. You'll find everything you need to know at http://www.shopthegarmentdistrict.com/2010/11/breaking-news-six-steps-to-save-garment.html

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  28. Have a wonderful time in New York Julia and definitely take an empty suitcase! Your winning dress was deserving of the First Prize - it is so gorgeous. Hope you and your hubby enjoy every minute there!
    Lorraine
    xx

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  29. Thanks for askign this question, I am actually MOVING to NYC on June 1st! I was wondering the same thing, and planned on spending about a month just trolling the garment district :P

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  30. The link below is the one that the lovelies over at Pattern Review sent to the people attending their yearly shindig. It's in NYC this year.

    https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=205490461928848924461.0004bf8c82bd0257cadbe&msa=0&ll=40.756522,-73.9885&spn=0.012304,0.020943&iwloc=0004bf9a138a5d0c56c8c

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  31. That's so exciting, I'm sure you'll have an amazing time! I've only been to New York once, but one of the best things we did was go up the Rockefeller Centre, it was amazing!
    www.styleisalwaysfashionable.blogspot.com

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  32. Just got back from NY in April, check out the map at Lindsays' Shop the Garment District for full list of fabric stores. My picks are Parons (got less than $10/yd stuff last year) and Mood, great for wools in colours hard to source in Australia. Got my dd a "Mondo" purple/green oversized houndstooth wool for a coat, fused for a song at Quick Fuse (Elly and Igor are ex-Sydney). Also bought turquoise wool for a wiggle dress, broderie anglais... I went with a list and patterns in mind and bought almost everything on the list. Eric at Mood was very helpful. Eat macaroons at Macaron Cafe, quick lunches at Chef Yu or Cucina at Macy's. At a luggage store we bought a duffle bag that comes in it's own bag, it comes in 4 sizes and you can put your fabric in it and check it in if you don't want to buy another suitcase. yummy mummy

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  33. I totally agree that you should check out Paron (esp the annex!) and my personal favorite is Metro Textiles (265 W 37th St # 908) because it feels a lot less overwhelming than some of the really big places (like Mood). B&J has gorgeous fabrics (I think they have EVERYTHING) but A.K. Fabrics (257 West 39th Street near 8th Avenue) has some really great bargains. Conveniently, they're all near each other in the garment district so you can definitely hit quite a few!

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  34. Congrats Julia hope you have a great time and bring back lots goodies to show us in your creations. Looking forward to seeing what you get!

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  35. Ohhh that guys tongue makes me squeamish! My question is- could talk properly...? Sorry no advice for NY- thats still on my travel hitlist!

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  36. My daughter was part of the YA Teen Author event in NY for the past 3 years -- held before BookExpo America in June. She can't go this year. Anyway, she would return with 300 books from the event -- some she would ship home. The 2nd year instead of dragging empty suitcases from SB, CA, to NY, she ended up buying cheap suitcases in (but very sturdy) NY. It worked out great because she didn't have to lug the suitcases to NY. So my tip for you is to buy cheap suitcases in NY.

    Congratulations on you win -- I am sooooo envious of your sewing skills! I suffer from sewing envy -- I admit it openly!! Your garments are absolutely beautiful. Plus I love that your blog is so sewing inspiring. Love that you showcase not only your garments, but provide a window into the blogs of other passionate sewing ladies.

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  37. Hi Julia,
    Ta cape est magnifique! J'adore!
    Have a good evening!

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  38. Congrats on your prize -- the dress you entered reminds me of a beautiful champagne flute.

    Your readers have made wonderful suggestions that I'll keep for future reference, too. I especially appreciated the reminder of the FIT museum.

    Two of my favorite clothing-related NYC excursions are:

    Tender Buttons on East 62nd St --that's it, only buttons. But lovely, and museum-like, all organized in tiny drawers. I found some teeny turn-of-the-century button-shoe buttons there that I love and used on a little black sweater.

    http://tenderbuttons-nyc.com/

    And - there's a fun flea market every Sat & Sunday in a place called The Garage in the Chelsea neighborhood on 25th St between 5th and 6th Ave's. I bought some great brooches when I was there a couple of weeks ago, that made me think of you and your brooch give-away. Usually several vintage clothing and jewelry dealers show up there.

    Here's a description and map:
    http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile/7105068/new_york_ny/the_antiques_garage.html

    And if you want more rummaging, here's a list of other NYC flea markets:
    http://www.ny.com/shopping/flea/

    Can't wait to here/see what you discover.

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  39. I don't know where to go in NY but I just wanted to say that I would kill to be able to go to Tessuti fabrics again! I used to live in Sydney (now in Vancouver) and Tessuti was my favourite. They just have the most gorgeous fabrics around, I still have some Collette Dinnigan fabric left over that is too beautiful to waste so I'm hoarding it until I can go home and stock up again. :)
    Love your blog, just found it today and I'll be reading!

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  40. Hi Julia!

    I didn't think I would have much to add to this post, even though we were going to NYC, it would be a super quick trip, not sure if I would have time to even go to the garment district - but I did!

    Mood was great, I actually thought the prices were reasonable for the quality and the beautiful textures and colors everywhere led to the best kind of sensory overload - I suggest taking a break for coffee in Bryant park.

    I also loved M & J Trimming, got some awesome snaps and buttons there. All in all it was just great to walk around with so many fabric and notions stores everywhere, and the mood inside Mood is full of creativity and fellow sewers designing and shopping - so glad you get to go!

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