Monthly Archives: February 2019

Day 2 in the NY Garment District

As promised, I will continue showing pictures of the garment district in NY.  On day 2, after a delicious breakfast in the hotel, I headed to the garment district to visit the stores that were on my list.  I was bundled up warmly since the temperature was in the teens.  Well, I got about 1/2 mile from the hotel and my legs and bootie were freezing, so I ducked into Macy’s and found the lingerie department.  I purchased some Cuddle Duds long johns and put them on under my jeans to keep warm.  LOL!  That was exactly what was needed!!!  Back out into the freezing weather.

There are so many stores to see and such a variety of fabric available to buy, it’s almost overwhelming!!!  I enjoyed window shopping along the way.  I did duck into a few stores just because the fabrics looked interesting.  One of those stores was A & M, Ayazmoon Fabric Store.

They had LOTS of beautiful African Wax cottons in the front window and I immediately thought of one of our refugee women in the sewing school where I volunteer.  I thought I might make a purchase for her.  However, the instant I set foot into that store, the 2 men started in on me.  One of the men followed me through the entire store – walking just 3 feet behind me.  Grrr!!!!  What?  Did he think I was going to run out of the store with a bolt of fabric?  The fabrics were beautiful and the prices were good, but being watched and followed like that was very offensive to me and the verbal harassment to purchase something was equally bad.  I left without purchasing anything!  I would not recommend going there.

I found another store called Gray Line Linens.  This store was all linen fabric – every color, weight, weave that you can imagine!!!  Of course I had to make a purchase there!  I have a beautiful piece of blouse weight aqua chambray linen from this store!  I am thinking a tunic of sorts would be pretty.

There are stores that are so specific to particular things, like the store front that was just feathers and sequins.  I didn’t go in, but couldn’t resist taking a picture of the store front.

I also visited notion stores, including Pacific Trimmings and SIL Threads.  The amount of zippers and buttons in all of the different notion stores is unbelievable!!!  You really have to have something in mind when you shop.

Rows and rows of zippers in every different color and style.

You can find any kind of hardware for making purses, totes, etc. as well as every imaginable tool for pressing.

One of the stores with the most beautiful fabrics that were displayed so nicely was Elliot Berman.  They had gorgeous cottons for men’s shirts and every bolt had samples attached to it that could be taken.  They also carried beautiful wools for suiting.  I could have purchased LOTS there if I was short on fabric!

There was no shortage of trimmings to purchase in the various stores.  Floor to ceiling trims of every kind imaginable!!!

Another store with just as much to offer.

More zippers!!!

The buttons available at the various stores was incredible!!!  So, so many to choose from.  Look at the beautifully painted wooden buttons!!!

I did manage to find some pretty aqua, mother of pearl buttons that had to come home with me.

I am thrilled that I got to visit all these stores and look forward to the next time I’m in NY city!  I will go with a plan.

I managed to get back to my hotel room just before the snow started!

I was glad to be inside where it was warm!

Today the painters are supposed to return to finish up in my kitchen.  I’m ready to have this project finished and my kitchen supplies back in place.  I will be sewing something while they work!

I hope you have a wonderful day stitching something that you love.

Bringing A Dress Up to Date

Just a break from the NY shopping adventure.  😊  There’s extra blog posts while I am forced to be less busy.

Upon our return home, we had 2 of the granddaughter’s for the weekend while their folks were away.  The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed a nice time with the girls.  We were soaking up the sunshine!

Monday morning the painters arrived to work on our kitchen cabinets.  Needless to say, the kitchen is off limits for the moment – no cooking, which I don’t mind, but it is a bit inconvenient to have the entire kitchen taped up!  LOL!

At the end of the day, I did ask that the refrigerator be unwrapped and later that evening I had to bust into the microwave.  LOL!  But, progress is being made.

In the meantime, I’m keeping busy around the house – specifically in the sewing room.  However, with our gorgeous Carolina weather (72º and sunny today!), I am also taking advantage of some quality time in the back yard and relaxing with both hand sewing and reading.

While the girls were here, I took the opportunity to go through the closet and try on some of the samples as well as some of their Auntie “Lo’s” dresses.  This beautiful silk dress fit, but it had those HUGE 90’s style sleeves.  I love this dress, and someone should be able to wear it, so I decided to update the sleeves so that it was wearable.

This is the original dress with the HUGE sleeves.  LOL!  Yep – Auntie Lo wore it like this!

I removed the sleeves and bias band and recut the sleeves to something more in line with both traditional as well as what would be worn today.  Working with silk duping isn’t for the faint at heart – all that fraying!!!  However, I am very pleased with the updated version.  I removed LOTS of fullness as well as some of the height of the sleeve.  The new picture is more accurate colors.

This pattern was a favorite to make for our girls in the 80’s and 90’s.  It is the Little Sunday Dress for Big Girls.  What I love about the dress is that the back yoke wraps around to the front of the dress, allowing the pleats to stay closer together on the dress front without needing to add more fullness to the skirt widths.  Notice that there is no side seam under the arm, it is wrapped to the front.  The back also has dart options for a closer fit and you could also add a belt or sash, which I didn’t do either.

Another detail to point out, because I know I didn’t always remember to do this in my early smocking years – the back yoke should end at the same place as the smocking, so frequently adjustments were needed.  I chose to have the piping end at the center of the purple design, not at the bottom of the tiny wave as I thought that looked a bit odd.

For this special dress, I made a lace block and then cut the collar out of the lace and added the lace ruffle around the outside of the collar.  I love how it looks on this dress – it makes it so special without being too over the top.

The smocking plate is “Ashes of Roses” by Oliver Goodin.  She has beautiful smocking plates and I’ve done quite a few of them.  This is definitely a favorite of mine.  I chose to do silk ribbon flowers and leaves on this dress.  I cannot remember if the plate uses silk ribbon or something else, and I cannot get to it at the moment – kitchen construction.  Hahaha!!!

So, I’m feeling quite relaxed today, resting my leg (per dr. orders) and enjoying the weather and the sewing.

Don’t overlook some of the vintage patterns and plates – they frequently have some wonderful details that you certainly don’t seem to get in any of the big 4 pattern companies.

Just a little Easter inspiration for everyone!  We found enough dresses in the closet that I don’t really need to make anything for Easter for the girls.  But, that doesn’t mean that I won’t!

So, while the kitchen is off limits, I’ll enjoy some stitching.

What are you dreaming of for spring and Easter?

A Crazy Busy Week!!!

So, last week was just crazy busy, but a fun busy!!!  I headed up to NY City with hubby for a work event.  He worked and I shopped!!!  What a perfect combination.  LOL!  The time was short and the weather was stinking cold.

We got in Tuesday at around noon, had lunch and then checked into our lovely hotel.  He headed to work and I headed to the garment district.

My first stop was to the exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology.  It was a small exhibit, but the gowns on display were exquisite and the information about the gowns, fabrics and history was very interesting and well done.

Look at the beautifully draped skirt and bodice on this dress!  If I remember correctly, it was silk chiffon.

Of course I had to take a picture of the fabulous smocked bodice of this dress – just exquisite!

This pair of dresses were equally pretty.  The embroidery on the sheer cotton silver muslin was executed perfectly and done in silver filament thread and it was gorgeous.  I wish I’d been able to get a closer picture, but alas, that wasn’t allowed.  The gown next to it was a sheer cotton organdy.

I immediately thought of Kari Mecca and her embellishment techniques when I saw this dress.

I did manage to get a closer view of the embroidery at the waistband.  I wish I’d taken a notebook to write some of the details on these beautiful dresses!  The beaded embroidery was stunning and the embroidery at the waistline set it off beautifully.

This was a very unusual dress because of the very open weave of the fabric.  They referred to it as a “knit” because of that.  The fringe at the hem was part of the fabric and not something that was sewn on afterwards.  Very interesting.

This dress was another beauty and the description of it was all about the fabric details.  I was drooling over the lace!!!

Yet another gorgeous dress with beautifully draped bustle in the back and more gorgeous lace!!!

There were many more dresses and each had their own history of fabric, stitching techniques, etc.  I was thrilled to be in NY to see this exhibit!  I heard that the next exhibit will be even more fabulous than this one, so I am considering another visit later this year – hopefully when the weather is warmer!

From there, I headed to the fabric shopping.  Oh my!!!  I had some places selected that I just had to see, and then others that I just passed by and walked into.  It was like being a kid in a candy shop!!!

My first stop was Mood Fabrics.  Endless bolts of fabric to look at, touch and dream about!  There was everything from home dec to bridal to leather hides and everything in between!  It was so overwhelming that though I thought I took a picture, apparently I didn’t!  I walked through the bridal section/floor, but then headed to the cotton floor and I did have to take home one piece of fabric.  Isn’t this a fun piece of dotted Swiss fabric!  I don’t know what I’ll do with it yet, but it looks like a summer sundress  or top for one or 2 of the little girls to me!!!

I stopped in a few other stores and managed to snag one more piece of fabric before heading back to the hotel.  The hotel was about a mile from the garment district, so not a bad walk.  My second fabric purchase was from a shop on the 9th floor called Metro Textiles.  You have to already know about these places.  It is a pretty eyelet that I see as possibly the summer beach dresses for the girls.  It is cotton, eyelet and already has a wrinkled look to it, so no ironing required!  Perfect!  And it’s turquoise, so I LOVE that!

I also loved the color and weave of this lavender fabric, so bought enough of it to make a couple dresses as well.  The color is much prettier than my sideways pictures shows.  LOL!  All little girls love lavender, so I’m sure that this will be a hit.

After a short rest and a change of clothes, we headed to a little French restaurant nearby called Le Parisien Bistrot where we had dinner reservations.  It was a tiny restaurant with delicious food!!!  I would highly recommend it if you’re in the area.

All in all, day 1 was a great day with 2 happy purchases, dinner with hubby and on the way back to the hotel we stopped and got a nice bottle of wine to enjoy in our room.  Perfect day!

Stay tuned for day 2!!!

Kathy