Sunday, August 25, 2013

New York: 7th Ave Shopping Spree

I suppose if I hadn't lived in New York prior to this trip, I would have gone the traditional route of site-seeing must-haves. But I did live there and I didn't begin this trip with site-seeing because I am a die-hard fashionista and I couldn't wait to hit the stores......particularly the fabric and trim shops in New York's famed Seventh Avenue.....a.k.a......the Fashion District.

Lots of things had changed since I last set foot in that hustling bustling part of the city beginning with first stop: M&J Trimmings located on 1008 Sixth Avenue between 37-38th Street. This was always a source of fascination for me. Buttons, trims, ribbons, rhinestones, glitter and feathers in little boxes stacked from the floor up to the ceiling all crammed within the tight confines of a narrow, wee shop. Well....things are still chock-a-block from floor to ceiling, but the store has grown in size and now occupies four times the space I once knew. Double, triple OMG!!!! My first trip there left me so overwhelmed, I couldn't buy a thing! I think the key to success here, is having an idea of exactly what you have in mind to make. Otherwise, you can always shop online at
A small corner of M&J Trimmings. There is much, much more!

This is the bead and trimmings neighborhood which means you'll find nearby stores for ribbons, zippers, feathers, crystals, beads, chain, and jewelry making supplies.

I also enjoyed Toho Shoji New York at 990 Sixth Ave between 36-37th Streets for jewelry making supplies and findings as well as Pacific Trimmings at 218 W. 38th Street--another shop with floor to ceiling trims & ribbons as well as zippers of all sizes and colors. There are numerous other places of this sort in the same neighborhood. Be prepared to be overwhelmed!!!

While you head to the fabric shops be sure to look down at the ground from time to time. Seventh Avenue has its own "Walk of Fame." There are plaques embedded in the sidewalk with the names, sketches and design philosophies of famous men and women who have left a mark on the New York world of style.
Fabric junkies--get your fix here!!!!

The fabric stores in the district have changed as well. Many of my favorite shops of the past
were gone, replaced by others selling gaudy, cheesy fabrics. While this was a bit of a disappointment, it did make the few good ones really stand out.
Easy to lose your way around the store here!

Anyone within viewing distance of the hit cable show, Project Runway is familiar with the store "Mood Fabrics" situated at 225 W. 37th Street. Usually when a place has become so hyped up, I stay clear from it, fearing high prices and limited selection. In the case of Mood, I can honestly say, it is the BEST shop for fabric on Seventh Ave. The New York store does not have a street presence. You have to take the elevator to the third floor. However, when you arrive, you will have another mind-boggling of goods stacked from floor to ceiling---but this time---over THREE FLOORS!!!!! Quadruple OMG!!! Every imaginable fabric, color, print. The main floor has cottons, silks trims, books, notions; upstairs has woolens, knits, menswear's fabrics, downstairs has leather, suede and upholstery fabrics & accessories. You almost need to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to remember where you've seen something. The sales clerks will cut swatches for you and in the store, there is a 1/2 yard minimum. Prices were pretty decent (about what average fabrics stores charge). Again, I was overwhelmed and left with nothing on the first trip. I went back twice more before I could decide what to buy!!! Fortunately they, too, have a website where you can shop online at:
She could not pass this up at Elegant Fabrics.

Beaded appliques and trims at M&J trims

Lots of lace trim

Lots and lots and lots of trims...perfect for dolly!

Slightly smaller with only a single sales floor, is N.Y. Elegant Fabrics at 222 W. 40th Street. This store specializes in high end designer fabrics. It's a little pricey, but the fabrics are gorgeous. What was REALLY nice is that they have already pre-cut swatches. Though I was too intimidated to buy anything the first time in the store, I was able to collect swatches of fabrics I wanted to buy, take them back to my hotel to figure out what would look best on my girls. There is no online shopping here, but if you go to New York, this store is definitely worth visiting.

The store offered her a fidelity card which is also good for online shopping.

Reptile embossed leather remnants downstairs at Mood.

Gorgeous silk jersey will make slinky dresses for our girls.

Same thing with Peron fabrics (257 W. 39th Street)...the smallest of all the better fabric stores, thus easy to navigate. They've been in the neighborhood for years. The selection is not as grand as the other two shops. Nonetheless, what is there is high quality and worth stopping to look.

Had to drag this one out of the store clutching black tulle with sparkles!!!!

Hey folks....we're not finished yet. Next: we take you window shopping, so stay tuned!
After 20 kilometers of walking, her feet are sore!!!

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1 comment:

  1. Hard to imagine having all those shops to explore! Some people are so lucky to be able to walk into these stores anytime they need fabric or notions for their sewing projects. You sure did pick up some nice pieces and I'm looking forward to seeing the creations you make with them. I'm sure your girls are going to love wearing them :)


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