MPB is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!



Dec 3, 2012

Monday Fabric Shopping + Celebrity Sightings!



What an exciting day I had today, readers!

First I had a date with awesomely-talented sewing blogger Claudine for a brief trot through the Garment District.  Claudine not only sewed her exotic-looking jacket herself, but also dyed and hand-embellished it.  I forgot to ask about the pants but I'm sure they're not from GAP!



I met Claudine at Pacific Trim and we hit Mood next, where she picked up a gorgeous wool fabric with a somewhat psychedelic weave.  I hope Claudine doesn't mind my sharing it with you --  I love it.





Did you know Mood has a canine mascot?  I didn't.  Here he is -- some of him anyway.



After Mood, we grabbed a light lunch at a nearby Pret A Manger, and then ambled over to C&C Button (230 West 38th), where Claudine picked up leather toggle closures.



On the sidewalk outside, who did we run into but a real live sewing celebrity!  Can you name him?



We actually used the Garment Center (now called The Fashion Center) information kiosk (Seventh Ave. & 39th St.)  for the very first time.  I was dubious when Claudine asked for places that sold silk tulle and the guy responded, "How do you spell tulle?" but when you think about it, it's forgivable.  He was able to locate a place Claudine had read about but whose name she couldn't remember (with ample help from Claudine), but I didn't get the sense that this person ever shops in The Fashion Center himself.  More rant: while he was searching on Claudine's behalf, someone came in looking for a place to buy a zipper, a plain old zipper. He was going to do a computer search for her -- and I'm like, "you need a zipper, go to Sil Thread, it's literally AROUND THE CORNER."

Then again, I wouldn't want to sit in a kiosk all day and I doubt Nancy K would either.  I picked up a great brochure they give away free there, the "New York Sewing Resource Guide," that lists hundreds of fabric stores, notion stores, and many other business that support the fashion industry, with a well-designed map on the reverse.  Be sure to pick one up if you're ever there.  (Adjacent to the big needle/button statue.)  Why the guy didn't just hand one to the zipper woman -- which lists Sil Thread, among other stores, in the Notions category, I'll never know.  It's like, there's a computer there so it must. be. used.

After reading Shop the Garment District this morning, I decided I must visit Elliott Berman (225 West 35th St., 7th Floor), where I had only been once before, for just a few minutes last Spring. Claudine had a train to catch but decided she'd come too.  There I met the lovely and gracious Eugenia, who couldn't have been more helpful.  They were actually decorating for the Pattern Review anniversary event there on Wednesday, December 12, from 6:30 - 8:30 pm.  (It's open to all. I'm going, are you?)

Eugenia is very passionate -- and knowledgeable -- about the fabric she sells.

Floor-to-ceiling delights at Elliott Berman.

Claudine inspects viscose knits.

Friends, this place has such gorgeous things.  I'm not an impulse fabric shopper (thank goodness) but everywhere I looked, something wonderful caught my eye.  Look at these sumptuous sweater knits:





A stunning silk print:



I saw cottons the likes of which I'd never seen before.  This double-faced weave glows like a hologram in person, but I decided it was too resort-y.



I fell in love with this large French-woven plaid but feared it might be too bold.





Finally I spied a cotton polka-dot with a random digital-type pattern -- also French, I believe.



They had it in both red and black, so I bought two yards of the red and half a yard of the black.  I'm going to make myself a shirt with contrast inside collar and cuffs.  (Actually, what do you think of the idea of one black sleeve?)  I am SO excited about this fabric -- a quirky take on a classic.  At $14/yd, I think this is the most expensive fabric I've ever purchased, but hey, it's Christmas.  I will be back to Elliott Berman, which is -- mercy -- only ten blocks from my apartment.



I can't wait to get started on my shirt and I hope you'll follow along too.  No treadles this time, though guess what: I corrected the stitch issue.  It either had to do with a dirty tension assembly (I dismantled it and wiped it clean), lint in the bobbin area (I delinted it) or replacing the cheap plastic bobbin with a metal one.  I also did some oiling underneath the machine, which probably didn't address the stitch issue but made the machine run quieter.  I'm relieved.

And that, readers, was my exciting celebrity-filled, fabric-filled day.

Onward ho!



37 comments:

  1. Um, that would be Mr. King, no? And do you meet him everywhere?? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, I recognize Kenneth King! I took classes from him when he lived in SF. You and Claudine had a great day visiting all of these place I hope to visit one day. Oh, I have that same red polka dot fabric, purchased from Emma One Sock. It is fabulous! Thanks for the report!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kenneth King! *swoon* Looks like you had a wonderful day!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's Kenneth King! Fabulous. And the dog at Mood is apparently named "Swatch" - at least that's what Tim Gunn calls him on Project Runway. Oh how I wish I lived on the east coast! I need some good fabric shopping.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Elliott Berman is way expensive but they have beautiful fabric. I bought a rayon knit there woven in France to make a Jalie cardigan and it was the most expensive fabric I'd ever bought at $19 a yard - It also turned into my favorite thing I've ever made and I sew most of my clothes. I LOVE Elliott Berman :)
    Teri

    ReplyDelete
  6. My guess is Kenneth King too! I'm so jealous!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oooh, I am jealous at all the beautiful fabrics you showed us. I don't think I'd be able to handle everything catching my eye like that. I would probably get overwhelmed and pass on getting anything.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I know I know! The celebrity's name is Peter Lappin! ;-D

    I have to admit, I'm so happy that you're actually purchasing some really nice fabric occasionally - I got hooked when I started back in on sewing 3 years ago, and I've never looked back :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I miss Kenneth!
    ...used do spent time in his studio when he lived in San Francisco, and we both taught at The Sewing Workshop.
    He's doing well in New York...and is a major talent!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like to see you make shirts. I think you should make another shirt every time you find yourself at a loss. Now the expensive fabric siren call seems to be working on you, I look forward to your showcasing of great fabric in a well made shirt.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hm. Kenneth King's jacket... Ouch!

    ReplyDelete
  12. My it was a warm day yesterday. Look at your both in your little Spring coats! I'm taking Kenneth King's copy your have jeans Craftsy class right now (though I was stalled by Christmas-ornament-and-gift-making.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've also experienced Eliott Berman sticker shock and lived to regret it. I passed on a great border print linen and a French floral cotton. In hindsight they would have been worth the splurge. Not sure when I'll get back there, but I'll go with a different mindset. Can't wait to see your next shirt.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I always feel envious when you do the shopping posts, Peter! Although, my sewing machine and I would probably end up living in a refridgerator box somewhere if I had all that gorgeous fabric so close by...it would be too much temptation. I can just see me sitting on a street corner, with my machine, and stacks of beautiful fabric, and a cardboard sign that says "will sew for food"...!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great shopping!! I look forward to seeing the shirt of the red and black polka dots. That looks like the fabulous Kenneth King I saw him on the subway last year in October I did not say hi and Im still kicking myself for that.

    ReplyDelete
  16. You and Senor King in the same place at the same time - dreams do come true!

    Yesterday was like an all-star episode of "Peter's World".

    You need to get out more often so the rest of us can live.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Just visited Claudine's blog - she is creative royalty!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I would have swooned all over Kenneth King like he was Idris Alba or Taye Diggs. I 'met' him at PR Weekend in Philly and he seemed like the type who wouldn't mind just a little swooning.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love the online options for fabric. But, I would kill to have notions options around me like there are in New York.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks so much for meeting me yesterday! It was great fun. I think my favorite part was running into Kenneth King and Georgine.

    I'm so glad you splurged on something! Have fun sewing it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am glad you went for the better fabric, too! You won't regret it!

    ReplyDelete
  22. OH! Is the PR thing this Wednesday? I thought it was next week - the 12th? Am I wrong? I was planning on going, too.

    I'm amazed that there wasn't some kind of gravitational shift with so much sewing talent in one place! What an exciting day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear -- you're correct: it's the 12th. I will change it in the post. Thank you!!!

      Delete
  23. That is the silk of my dreams! I must have it!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Jealous over here in San Diego!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm envious too not to have access to all the notions in your neighborhood! I have lots of fabric stores here in the Bay Area, but $19/yard...expensive....???? I just coveted some wool for a Guy LaRoche suit at Britex, until I saw it was on sale (!) for $40/yard! Even in the less expensive stores out here, $19 is average.
    Can't wait to see what you do with the shirt. One black sleeve would be so Marcy Tilton!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. but Marcy would add foil and stamp it...
      (grin)

      Delete
  26. I love Elliot Berman and almost always find something I want to buy. I like your choices and thanks for the gratuitous mention.
    To bad it was too warm for Kenneth to wear his new jacket which he wore to our last class last Saturday. It's made from gorgeous Pendleton wool. It's a simple jacket but his details are so fabulous it was a treat to see.

    ReplyDelete
  27. A almost had a heart attack when you showed that French plaid!
    I refashioned a dress last year from that exact same fabric which gave me so much trouble... I thought the fabric was from the 80's.
    http://www.carmencitab.com/2011/06/refashion-woes.html

    ReplyDelete
  28. I've taken classes with Kenneth King in NY. He teaches at Sew Right and at FIT in New York and has given some lectures at Mood.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I don't see any great distinction in sewing with cheap fabrics if you know how to sew. The cost of your time and labor more than justify seeking out beautiful fabrics.

    Wait -- didn't you sew a shirt with Liberty of London ("Rea" or "Hera" or "Caesar" was the pattern, as I recall)? I guess someone must have given it to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes, that was a gift from reader Grace. It was Liberty Tana Lawn "Pelagia."

      Delete
  30. Barb aka WoodencanoeDecember 5, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    "Kenneth D. King" I'm doing his online Re-engineering Jeanius class. He is a great teacher. He's a linear thinker, uses as few words as needed, and really suits my style of learning. Thank goodness I'm doing it online as he goes pretty fast. That way I can watch and listen again.

    ReplyDelete
  31. You feared the plaid was too bold?
    Um, this blog does have the word "Boldness" right in the title. I think the plaid would work for you, it's no more bold than your flowery sheet shirts.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Is it Kenneth King from Fashion Institute???

    ReplyDelete
  33. Yes-That is Kenneth D. King! Fab teacher from SF! I was fortunate to take classes from him at La Canada. His work is impeccable, and creative. He's a lovely person too.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Wow, TWO "sewing celebs" together in the SAME pic!

    I guess Claudine sorta qualifies as a "celebrity", but unlike you or KK I haven't seen her in a magazine or on the Threads website...i do subscribe to her blog. I signed on just before she started making that jacket, so I recognize it. Love the colour combination!

    You MUST go to the Threads website and take a look at the FABULOUS pink leather Western -style vintage jacket KK picked up in Toronto; while not a fan of pink leather, I will concede the jacket is AMAZING and the Mexican leatherwork is BREATHTAKING.

    And I agree with Vintagegal that if i were to live in NY I'd probably end up in a refridge box right next to her with stacks of fabric everywhere! It's bad enough being in proximity to Toronto and Queen St. fabrics without the temptation that NY would bring!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails