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Jun 16, 2017

Fabric Shopping with a Decisive Aussie!

Friends, as much as I like to fabric shop alone, I always have more fun shopping with others, even when I don't purchase anything.

It's just fun to be around other passionate fabric hoarders sewers!

You probably recognize Beccie (pronounced Becky) above, who writes the popular blog Sew Retro Rose, which I've been following about as long as I've been sewing.  Becky was in NYC this week from her native Australia, and I was delighted to be able to meet up with her today for a short-but-highly-productive stroll through the Garment District.

In addition to some old favorites, I introduced Beccie to a fabric store I'd visited for the first time only half an hour earlier.  It's called French Couture Fabrics, and it happens to be on the same block (37th Street) as both Mood Fabrics and Metro Textiles.  I'd heard about this place from some fellow students at FIT as well as on the Instagram feeds of many of my sewing buddies who participated in the most recent Pattern Review weekend here in NYC.  I don't often explore stores outside my circle of habitual haunts but it's always fun to discover new places -- and this place really is new: just one year old.

Their fabrics are French and many are from top designers like Givenchy and Sonia Rykiel.  Prices are good and the selection well-organized.  It's just one room but it's a HUGE room, and there's plenty to explore.  I'll be sure to add it to the list of stores we visit on MPB Day!

Sumptuous black wool boucle.
Lovely cotton shirting with a Moorish tile-inspired print.

Beccie had never been to Metro Textiles, so that was our next stop.  Like many of you, I love Metro Textiles even though for me it can be hit or miss.  Kashi has some amazing special occasion fabrics I never seem to have the special occasion to wear.  Case in point: this beautiful  metallic sequinned mesh.

And this elegantly embellished silk dupioni.

Don't even ask how they achieved this embellished effect.

I adore the two cotton prints below, one a polished cotton, the other a cotton voile but, alas, bought neither on this visit.  Beccie bought the gorgeous cotton eyelet you see her displaying in the top photo.

Kashi currently has gorgeous Italian cotton gingham shirting for just $8/yd -- less than half what I'd have to pay elsewhere, if I could even find gingham of this quality.  So silky.

Next we hit Mood Fabrics, where decisive Beccie made a beeline for the wool crepe.  So disciplined is she that she hardly looked at any other fabrics.  I, however, couldn't take my eyes off these two reversible woven wool coatings (below).  I may have to go back for those!

After Mood, I dropped Beccie off at Botani, where she wanted to purchase zippers.  They've recently expanded, taking over an adjacent space and offering much more fabric than before, in addition to their vast stock of zippers and trims.

I bid Beccie farewell and I returned home with nothing but memories.  But I do intend to revisit these stores again soon.  Gotta get me some of that gingham, for starters!

If you don't already follow her blog, do check Beccie out on Instagram,  Countless vintage treasures, adorable Schnauzers, and some fabulous Forties-inspired creations.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. I've already bought some of that gingham.

  2. Okay, Dude. Wish I hadn't seen it, but... that dupioni has my name written all over it! It must be mine!

  3. I've been following Beccie for a long time too. So much fun seeing her 40s style makes and she is very accomplished.

  4. I look at that sequined mesh too at Kashi's every time and I don't know what I'd do with it either. But it is calling to me.

    And I *love* FCC! I'm still thinking about buying some fabrics there that I "left behind" over PR weekend.

  5. Yes I follow her, lovely fabrics too. One day! Sam the Aussie

  6. I plan to start reading Beccie's blog. I too am a retro fan and, of course, am curious about the sewing scene where she lives. Do they still have real fabric stores, etc?

    1. She said Spotlight (which is like our Joanne Fabric) is the only one nearby.

  7. You have admirable restraint! Is the French fabric store on an upper floor? If so, what floor?

  8. I am so pi$$ed off! You have three fabric stores in one block???We used to have 5 or so fabric stores in our 3 or 4 suburbs of the Seattle area. We are now down to Joann's in a few places, as they have bought out or run out all the other ones. Then they stocked the stores with lousier fabric than before. Other than that it is online or a thrift shop such as Goodwill, where you have little choice.


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