News & Reviews

Fabricate on Tour

If you keep to up to date with my exploits on social media you’ll know I’ve just come back from a not-so-relaxing holiday to New York, during which I visited some fabric havens in search of some new treasures!

Firstly, I paid a visit to Mood Designer Fabrics in the Garment District. The area is crammed with different fabric and haberdashery shops and you can basically find anything sewing-related you want there.

Mood is a bit of a Mecca for sewers from all around the World, as it is featured on Project Runway. You’ll be pleased to hear I managed to control myself and didn’t run through the store like a mad woman like they do on that programme but the term “kid in a candy store” was very appropriate!

All the fabrics are separated into their own sections over two floors and there are so many, you could easily spend hours in there. Unfortunately I had The Hubster with me, who tries his best to be interested but let’s face it, he’s more of a metal aficionado than cloth so I had to keep my visit more brief than I intended.

Therefore I went with a plan. You gotta have a plan! I wanted to hit the denims, knits and printed cottons as they are my main fabrics of interest but Oh. My. Lord. Shelves were just stacked full of rolls and rolls and rolls of gorgeous fabrics.

The denim I chose is a mediumweight and is printed with an acid yellow floral design, which is really unusual. It’s difficult to see the colour of the print in the photo, but here you go:

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The knits they had ranged in price; some were really cheap, however I’m a firm believer in that if you’re going to take the time to make something yourself, you want it to wash well and last a while so I refuse to buy cheap fabrics. I’m a sucker for a stripe, and I found this one which I thought would look great either as a dress or a bat wing cover-up.

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I finally headed over to the printed cottons. Oh, the oh so many printed cottons. They had a HUUUUUUGE Liberty collection, but I didn’t want to buy anything that was probably cheaper at home (they’ll have to pay duties on fabrics imported from the UK) so I went for some designs by US brand, Alexander Henry.

I’ve had my eye on this brand for a while now with a view to stocking it so this was a good opportunity to buy some fairly cheaply, given that the price obviously didn’t include any export duties. These were the two that really caught my eye! Who doesn’t love a cactus?!

Apart from the location of the store (Midtown really isn’t one of my fave New York neighbourhoods, given it’s uber busyness), I can’t fault this place! I’ve read some reviews that have given the staff a bad rap, but they couldn’t have been more helpful to everyone shopping at the same time as me. Next time I go I think I’ll plonk The Hubster in some kind of hostelry so I can really take my time there!

While we were in the Garment District, we visited the sewer’s equivalent to The Statue of Liberty, which is the Giant Needle and Button and The Garment Worker sculpture. This is what it’s meant to look like:

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And this is our experience of it:

Just our luck.

The other place I ventured to was Brooklyn Craft Company. It’s quite off the beaten track as from where we were staying in Wall Street, it took two trains for us to get to its location in up-and-coming Greenpoint. I’ve been there before but I didn’t come away with any fabric as they only had a very small selection when I was last there. What greets you on your arrival is this magnificent neon sign in the window:

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Don’t worry, residents of Roberttown Lane, I’m not getting any bright ideas!!! 🙂

I think the vibe of the store is very similar to Fabricate, as are the fabric types they sell. Like me, they love a bold print and have started stocking Cotton + Steel fabrics, which are also a brand I am looking to sell in the shop and wanted to have a closer look at.

Oh and look I did! O.M.G the colours and prints are IMMENSE! Melody Miller is one of the designers for Cotton + Steel and I was very drawn to her designs. I have to admit, I was torn between this one I chose featuring telephones as well as one with roller skates and one with pens! The colours on this one swung it for me and it was soon finding it’s way into my suitcase! (That sounds a bit like I shoplifted it, which I didn’t, I swear.)

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I also couldn’t resist this other Cotton + Steel print swimming with with tiny fluorescent pink hearts (the pop of colour got to me) and I also got this lovely Robert Kaufman knit, which I was keen on trying out as at the moment I only stock Kaufman cottons, so if the knit fabric turns out as lovely as the cottons, then I’ll probably look at getting a few of these as well.

21 yards of fabric later and I was done with my fabric shopping for this trip. Let me tell you, 21 yards of fabric turns out to be quite heavy in a suitcase so it’s a good job I didn’t go too overboard. Next time, I’ll leave the clothes at home.


Special thanks go to anyone who’s made it this far. Let me know if there’s anywhere I should check out next time I go on a fabric tour!

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