new york crafter’s resources

With our first in-studio workshop just around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about fabric shopping and finding sewing inspiration in New York. I know all our workshop attendees will want to spend some time in the garment district to find themselves a textile souvenir or two, and I often hear from many of you asking about the best places to shop while you’re in town, so here’s a resource guide for you. Unless you’re coming for a week or more, you won’t hit all these places. But I’ve noted the neighborhood location of each store to help you plan, in case you’re not familiar with our city.

 

b-and-j-mood-boards

 

I haven’t listed any museums or the NY Public Library or any of the other amazing non-shopping places you must visit when you’re here. Perhaps I’ll save that for another blog post.

As an aside, as I was working on this post Jessica asked me to contribute a short list of my top favorites to the new issue of Stylo, which is out this week. You can find my tightly edited list in Issue 2 on the Stylo site.

 

Stylo Issue 2

 

So, without further ado, here we go!

Fabric Stores
B&J Fabrics
525 Seventh Avenue, between 37th and 38th Streets, 2nd floor (Enter the building through the lobby and take the elevators to the second floor. Yes, it’s an office building. Don’t be shy!) (garment center)
212-354-8150212-354-8150
Open Monday through Saturday
My favorite fabric shop in New York. Be sure to check out the inspiration walls, where the staff has collected tear sheets from fashion magazines and attached similar fabric swatches. B&J carries everything from luxury fabrics (unbelievable silks and embroidered, beaded fabrics) to basic cottons (in a plethora of colors). Also a fantastic selection of Liberty of London voiles. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and if you’re not ready to make a purchase the staff will be happy to cut swatches and give you ordering information for later.

Rosen and Chadick
561 Seventh Avenue, 2nd floor (garment center)
212-869-0142212-869-0142
Open Monday through Saturday
Rosen and Chadick has been in business for many years, and they have a great selection and good prices as well as a helpful and friendly staff. Great selection of men’s shirtings, and you never know what little goody you might stumble upon here. Be sure to check out the tie silks!

Gray Line Linen
260 West 39th Street (garment center)
212-391-4130212-391-4130
Open Monday through Saturday
All linen, all well-priced, and all beautiful.  While the staff isn’t terribly helpful, the prices are great and the selection can be really inspiring. The linen can be purchased in a variety of weights and colors, and the novelty fabrics are a lot of fun. This is where I get metallic-printed linen and inexpensive handkerchief linen.

New York Elegant Fabrics
222 West 40th Street (garment center)
212-302-4980212-302-4980
Open Monday through Saturday
I stopped going here for a while and had forgotten until recently that this store has a wide variety of fabrics. Terrific printed silks, crocheted lace, and many other beautiful pieces. Prices vary quite a bit, so you may find some bargains and some over-priced fabrics.

Elliot Berman Textiles
225 West 35th Street, 7th Floor (garment center)
800-609-6072800-609-6072
Elliot imports mostly European fabrics from high-end mills and designers. If you want the latest Chanel fabrics, this is where to look!

Butterfly Fabrics
237 West 35 Street, Store # 241 (garment center)
212-768-3940212-768-3940
Quite a few fabric shops in the garment district carry imported Indian silks. They’re a great source for silk dupioni in a wide variety of colors, as well as spectacular novelty silks. Butterfly Fabrics is an old habit of mine, but the other stores can be good resources as well. You’ll pass these shops on the street level. Don’t be afraid to go in and look around.

 

Ribbons and Trim
Tinsel Trading
828 Lexington Ave. (upper east size)
212-730-1030212-730-1030
This store has just moved to a completely different neighborhood, and I haven’t had a chance to visit yet. But it’s always held a treasure trove of trims, both new and vintage and lots of other fun things as well. Give yourself plenty  of time to browse, and ask questions since the history of the shop is fascinating. This is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.

Hyman Hendler
21 West 38th Street (garment center)
212-840-8393212-840-8393
Gorgeous ribbons, many vintage and European. Go to be inspired!

Mokuba
137 W. 38th Street (between Broadway and Seventh) (garment center)
212-869-8900212-869-8900
Open Monday through Friday
This is my favorite source for luxury ribbons, especially silk, mostly from Japan.

M&J Trimmings
1008 6th Avenue (between 37th and 38th) (garment center)
212-391-9072212-391-9072
Open Monday through Saturday
You’ve got to see this place. Multiple rooms carrying buttons, beads, ribbons, bag handles, you name it. You won’t believe your eyes. It’s a bit of a tourist attraction, but New Yorkers shop here too.

Tender Buttons
143 East 62nd Street (upper east side)
212-758-7004212-758-7004
Open Monday through Saturday
Like stepping back in time somewhere in Paris, this tiny shop stocks beautiful vintage and antique buttons. This is a great destination if you’re looking for a very special button for a particular project.

 

Notions
Steinlauf & Stoller
239 West 39th Street (garment center)
212-869-0321212-869-0321
Open Monday to Friday
This is my very favorite fashion/sewing-related shop in all of New York because it retains the look and feel of the old garment district. This is where sample rooms get their supplies: everything from straight pins to pattern paper to industrial pattern weights. Most of the stock is kept behind the counter, so you need to ask for specific items, but the staff is knowledgeable and helpful.

Pacific Trimming
218 West 38th Street (garment center)
212-279-9310212-279-9310
This is a good inexpensive resource for basic zippers, buttons, ribbons, and thread, as well as hardware for bags and belts.

 

Quilt Shops
Purl Patchwork
459 Broome Street (between Mercer and Greene Streets) (SoHo)
212-420-8798212-420-8798
Open seven days
Purl is a crafter’s destination. The front part of the shop is dedicated to yarn and knitting, but the back has all sorts of treasures, including a selection of fabrics and other craft supplies. This isn’t a quilt shop per se, and the selection is tightly edited, but you’ll find many beautiful things here.

The City Quilter
133 West 25th (between 6th and 7th Avenues) (Chelsea)
212-807-0390212-807-0390
Open Tuesday through Sunday (don’t go on Monday like I always seem to do).
A wide array of fabrics, all arranged by color. Definitely geared more toward quilters, but if you’re in search of a particular color for your quilting project you’ve got a lot to choose from.

 

Miscellaneous shopping
Kinokuniya
1073 Avenue of the Americas (near 40th Street, across from Bryant Park) (Midtown/Garment Center)
212-765-7766212-765-7766
Open seven days
Go for the selection of craft and office supplies (washi tape, bento boxes, interesting pens). Stay for the craft book and magazines.

ABC Carpet and Home
881 Broadway (at 19th Street)
212-473-3000212-473-3000
Open seven days
I love this store. Everything is merchandised beautifully, and you’ll find an exotic array of dishes, textiles, furniture and home accessories as well as an inspiring collection of clothing. Every floor is an adventure. The carpet store is just across the street and is not to be missed.

 

abc-carpet-and-homeimages from NYC loves NYC and John Robshaw

 

Anthropologie Rockefeller Center
50 Rockefeller Center (Midtown)
212-246-0386212-246-0386
Any Anthropologie store can be inspiring, but this particular store is a fantasy of beautiful displays and inspiring ideas. And the fact that it’s just across the street from Rockefeller Center doesn’t hurt.

What did I miss? Add your suggestions in the comments.

12 Comments

  1. Leah Z

    Perfect, I’m visiting New York next month! Thanks

  2. Thanks Liesl! I’m also heading to NYC in a couple of weeks and will need to be strategic with my shopping so that my husband doesn’t get too bored. This list is just what I need!

  3. Carol

    Purl has not been on Sullivan Street for a few years. They are on Broome Street.

    1. Carol, I forgot to change that! Thanks for pointing it out. Fixed now. And Darci, the Marimekko store is a great addition. Thanks!

  4. Darci

    What about the Marimekko store? They have wonderfully expensive cottons by the yard 😉

  5. Oh so dreamy!

  6. Alyson Ray

    I want to come to one of your workshops!!! Info on your site??!! Great info! Thank you!

  7. Stephanie

    I was at B&J last Friday and could not resist a cut of Liberty. Their overall fabric selection is just simply enormous and I feel like it would take days just to go through it all! Paradise!

  8. Anita T.

    This is precisely the list I wished I had had with me when we sailed from Jekyll island, GA to Cape Cod and stopped in NYC along the way a few years ago. Thank you for putting it together. Although I did not go to many of these places, I did find Purl and Tinsel Trading and enjoyed both very much.
    I am more of a quilter than sewist but love your blog. Thanks.
    Anita T.
    (The person who made that little box out of your brochure at Quilt Market a few years ago.)

  9. shae

    I love Purl Soho too, when I want to stop somewhere friendly and chill — Purl Patchwork was its old name. A great list, thanks, even though I live here, I haven’t been to all of these; I appreciate the condensed list!

  10. Rosemary

    Having some difficulty printing this list. The names and addresses don’t always print (although the individual links do work). Would love to plot these on a single map or two. Just visited Purl in Soho this past Monday. Would have loved to have included some others nearby.
    Did the visit the Garment district last fall and found Mood (did not buy anything there, but checked it off my list of places to visit) and M & J plus a couple of other trim shops.

  11. Thank you, I arrived last night for 4 days, this list is perfect!

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