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May 4, 2016

Shopping For Bouclé + "I Underestimated This Fabric Store!"

Friends, I'm not formally participating in Me-Made May since I wear me-mades almost every day.

But since it is May, just for the record, today I wore my Liberty floral shirt and Plaid Burda raincoat (above).

Moving right along, my friend Marsha (below) was in town today from Kansas City, and on her to-do list was to purchase wool bouclé for a Susan Khalje video course she has purchased, The Classic French Jacket.  We had an early lunch and then went shopping.

It may sound strange, but I actually enjoy going fabric shopping for other people more than I enjoy it for myself.  I knew Mood had an excellent selection of bouclés, so that's where I suggested going.

But first let's back up: I got to the Garment District a little early, so I decided to pop into a fabric store I often make fun of, the chaotic, disorganized, eternally-going-out-of-business It's a Material World on 39th St.  Not having been there in many months, I'd forgotten just how fun this store is. There are many bargains to be had if you know fabric, and can tell your silk and cotton from your poly.  This was one of the stores I shopped at most when I first started sewing seven years ago (and it was going out of business then), and while there are fewer $2/yd. bargains to be had, they still have a tremendous selection of $5/yd. fabrics, including some lovely cotton prints.

Here's a sample of some things that caught my eye:

Cotton patchwork: perfect for summer sewing.

Linen print

Vintage-y cotton print - nice for a shirt or dress.

Fun cotton print in a very 70's palette.

Heavy wool knit with a somewhat random patchwork design.

This large-scale "kitsch-exotica" cotton print reminds me of vintage barkcloth

Quilted lining material with batting attached --you could use this on the outside too.

There are no words...

Cotton stretch sateen: would make some wild pants!

Delicate floral cotton, very Laura Mae!

Pure poly but I love the print.

As I was looking around it occurred to me that when It's a Material World is gone -- and it ain't gonna be around forever -- I'm going to miss it terribly.  It really offers a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.

Anyway, after lunch, Marsha and I headed over to Mood and -- I was so impressed -- Marsha chose her bouclé in roughly three minutes.  I mean, who's that decisive?  Her fabric choice (below) is gorgeous, and we also picked up silk charmeuse lining which will be quilted to the wool, evidently.

Next, we went looking for trim. Not having found exactly what she wanted at Mood or Pacific, we stumbled upon an amazing store that was new to me, East Coast Trimming.  Gorgeous stuff, beautifully displayed, and excellent service.

Next time you're in the Garment District, check out East Coast Trimming.  Inspiring, whether you buy anything or not (we didn't; decisive Marsha was uncharacteristically indecisive here, but she'll be back in a few months, hopefully with her nearly completed jacket, and can choose her trim then).

And that's it.  My second-to-last Ladies Tailoring class is tonight, so I must do some last-minute prep.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. For the most gorgeous trims, I suggest Mokuba.

  2. you know I suggest this everytime...Fabrics and Fabrics

  3. I love pretty much every fabric pictured. (hint, hint!)

    Except for the "there are no words" muppet fur, I should add.

    1. I think the "kitsch-exotica" print would look especially nice on on you. Perhaps a camp shirt or summer-weight bathrobe? :)

  4. Oooh! I like that wild cotton stretch sateen!

    1. Pants for me! (channeling my KKing pants fabric theme)
      The feathers are just killing me! Really could have used one, or a dozen this last weekend: Could have gotten the job if I had them!
      (pounds on monitor screen) Let Me In!

  5. The linen print is my favorite. It must be so great for you and your city that even a lesser fabric store is still filled with such great things.

    And Marsha is beautiful. What a lovely smile.

  6. Yes, lovely smile; can we see her jacket when it's completed? You could title that blog entry, "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!".

    Seeing as you know Senor King, and have a friend who is a Khalje-ite; one wonders how long before worlds collide - vis-a-vis you go to Baltimore for one of Susan's classes? Perhaps attending with your friend, the frequently mentioned on your blog, Laura Mae?

    Your universe of fabric choices is enviable (not that I am a jealous person), it's rather amazing you don't live in a stash.

  7. That store has evoked all the emotions in me, thankfully not all at the same time however. You know the same salesperson who is always there--he and I have a love/hate. One time he graciously brought me bolts of fabric to browse while I, 8 months pregnant, sat on a stool. On another occasion, he threw me out because I tried to negotiate the price of a navy 4-ply silk. Threw me out!!! But perhaps the most memorable occasion was when I left the most gorgeous grey mohair coating that was only $15/yd. I went back the very next day, and it was all gone. I am still crying over that fabric.

  8. oh janky store, how i love thee!

  9. The best trim for Marshas' bouclé is the selvedge. Someday I hope I can go back to NYC and shop in the Garment Distric.

  10. I love that patchwork fabric! Marsha may also want to check out M & J. They have lots of "Chanel-esque" trims.

  11. I saw a video a while back (perhaps you could find it on youtube if interested) about a Frenchwoman in the countryside somewhere who was one of the last of a dying breed. She made trims by hand for Chanel, taking threads of the boucle fabric and weaving them into a matching trim. It was wonderful to see them all over in various stages of creation in her workshop.

  12. I forgot how much I love that plaid coating. I need to find something like that to make outerwear for my husband.

  13. East Coast Trimmings...didn't they take on the stock of Hyman Hendler a couple of years back?

  14. We'd all love to see Marsha's jacket when she finishes it. I've seen those dvds about making chanel jackets and wondered whether they are worth it - it would be interesting to have the opinions of people who have tried them

  15. Oddly enough, I was at the same store yesterday and bought 7yds of fabric. Many of the other stores I've visited on this trip have been less than inspiring, but here I found two cotton sateens that want to be skirts and some shot silk in purple and orange which combination I've been searching for for a few years now. Last time I was here in NY (in 2014) I also got a few yards of grey wool over printed with silver flowers (from which I made a 1940s style suit) which is still there in the back of the store.


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