Wednesday 17 April 2013

New York, New York

Top of the Rock

So I am unfortunately back from NYC. I had the most amazing week and it was so difficult to tear myself away from the city to go to the airport Saturday afternoon. But what did make it slightly easier was taking some beautiful fabrics back home with me!

I did of course shop the garment district, and I did of course do that on more than one occasion! In fact the first time I went I only made it to Mood and I was so overwhelmed with the vast and beautiful selection I left empty handed, resolved to return with a better plan of what I was ideally looking for. Because they have EVERYTHING. You NYC and LA seamstresses are so lucky. I can't think of a single UK fabric store, in reality or even online, that comes close to comparing to the size and variety of choice.
Garment District Information Booth

BUT a little Mood birdie told me that soon us London ladies may be feeling pretty lucky too. This is mega exciting news (which could possibly be news that everyone already knows about and I've somehow unexplainably missed, so apologies if so!). MOOD HAVE PLANS FOR A LONDON BRANCH!!! Yes, you read that right. One of the lovely cutters in Mood NYC (I hope they bring staff too because they are all so nice and helpful in there!) told me that 'London is our next stop'. They have apparently been planning this for at least a year and have found the building they like in Soho, but the wonderful beings that are London estate/letting agents are making things difficult and slowing things up. So I have no idea how long this may be away but I'm guessing some time, which is probably a good thing as my bank balance needs some time to recover from this trip!

Me in Mood!!!

I had prepared myself for Mood to be on the pricey side compared to the cheap stuff I usually buy (£1 a metre in Walthamstow market yes!), they do deal in designer fabrics after all, but I was actually really pleasantly surprised. I didn't pick up a single bolt which the price tag made me drop it in horror, in fact I found most of the prices to be very reasonable for the quality of the fabric. I LOVED the fact that all the bolts are labelled with their fibre content, price and more often than not, designer by the way. It made me feel so much more comfortable browsing.

So what did I buy you may ask? Well here's my fairly modest Mood haul.

It might not seem like a lot, but I wanted to choose some beautiful fabrics for specific projects while I was here rather than just buying whatever caught my eye and was cheap. Plus I was trying to be very honest with myself about how big my stash already is and how much sewing I actually get done compared to the plans in my head!

The gorgeous teal cotton sateen on the left I bought to make an Elisalex dress for my boyfriend's brother's wedding in May. Fingers crossed I think it will be a great weight for the Elisalex and I just love the glow the sateen has, especially in this colour. Next up I bought a couple of yards of some black Thakoon rayon crepe for $10 a yard. It's sooo soft and drapey, gorgeous! This is for a project I'm working on at the minute so hopefully you'll see that looking very different very soon! Lastly, my one impulse buy. I've got no idea as yet what I'm going to use this for but I couldn't resist. It's a gauzey cotton and silk blend and again feels SO good! It's just the type of pattern I go for, soft, random and not too wild.

I did um and ah over some beautiful Marc Jacobs polka dot linen. However I could only see it in the pink colour-way and I'm not that much of a pink girl, plus it would have pushed me WAY over my fabric shopping budget for the trip (not that I wasn't already over anyway!). I've since realised it is the exact same fabric Lauren used to make her gorgeous Miette, and that slightly makes me wish I had bought it (I want to be twinsies with her!) but too late for that now!

I couldn't get a great picture of this, it's got much more colour to it in reality
As for the rest of the garment district I had a good mooch round and a peek into various shops, but my stand out favourites were Parons and Pacific Trimmings. Parons was just filled with really beautiful and at the same time really useful fabrics, and again was labelled up gorgeously. But my favourite bit about Parons was the 50% off reduction section at the back! It was there that I found the stunning mint green Christian Dior silk and rayon blend above left. It looks and acts a bit like linen but doesn't wrinkle. Win! And it was only $10.50 a yard! Plus it looks gorgeous paired with the patterned voile I got in Mood above. I also bought the matching rayon blend lining you see above for $3 a yard. I'm not sure on this colour on me against my face so am tempted to use it for a skirt or maybe even trousers...eek. But then again the weight and drape of it would make a gorgeous simple fitted dress. Any ideas or pattern suggestions would be most welcome, I've got 2 yards!

I think I walked around Pacific Trimmings with my mouth hanging open the whole time. For a place which just deals in trims and other teeny tiny things this place is huge! I can't imagine that you'd ever not find what you need in there. I was very restrained and only bought myself two rolls of stay tape, one black, one white, as this is the one thing that I really struggle to find here in the UK.

Empire State Building from near Union Square

I don't think I could ever get bored of this beautiful city. My sister and I have somehow managed to come back with a list of things we'd like to do next time. There will definitely be a next time.

The Flatiron Building from Madison Square Park

I don't want to bore you all with a hundred non sewing related stories and photos of my trip so I'm just going to give you a few of my highlights. We were super lucky with the weather, only one rainy day (involving a very cold and soggy Yankee game!) and Monday-Wednesday the temperatures got into the 80s with clear sunshine. Another thing that made it all the more difficult to leave!

Walking across Brooklyn Bridge

Beautiful Central Park

Walking the Highline Park

Greenwich Village (stopping for a cupcake at the Magnolia Bakery)

Anyway, enough daydreaming and reminiscing, I've got a Mad Men Challenge garment to be getting on with!


  1. I'm ridiculously envious of your lovely trip...but absolutely hyperventilating at the thought of Mood coming to London.
    Thank you, Mood!
    I'm wondering if it is going to be near the other fabric shops on Berwick Street.
    Eep! Tooooooo exciting for a Wednesday morning!

  2. I know! I had to ask the lovely man to repeat himself, I was in disbelief!

  3. Oh, I'm so glad that you had such a nice time! I was thinking of you on those two really lovely days-- so glad you were here for such lovely weather!

    I didn't know that Mood was opening up a London outpost-- that's SO exciting!

  4. Mood in LONDON?! Oh please let it be true....
    Looks like you had an awesome trip too!

  5. Yay, you were in Mood, too! Yes, I heard a whisper of a London store. Can't come soon enough... Lovely to see you today, even if it was only waving across a restaurant.

    1. Lovely to see you too! Sorry we didn't get to chat, it all passed by much too quickly in a blur of waving across restaurants and fabric stores!

  6. so bummed to miss you!! maybe i'll have to meet you at london's mood :))

    1. Meeting you in Mood in London sounds like just about my perfect day out!
      Gutted I didn't get to meet you there but there'll definitely be a return trip so next time, and there'll have to be cocktails involved!


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