Yes, the fabric of our lives. Those commercial jingles are catchy, my favorite is the one with Zoey Deschanel. Shes an actress in lots of good movies, my favorite being the Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy. Sort of a cult classic and hilarious yet odd. Anyhow..shes also a singer. But anyway the point is, I love cotton. I love all the cute novelty prints and the fact that its machine washable. I just hate the dry cleaners, I mean nothing against them, its just I barely have time to wash my clothes let alone drop them off to pay someone else to do it. I rarely sew in any other fabric but cotton, for that fact and the because its easy to sew in.
So this weekend I started early on Friday, setting out to shop for a long list of supplies since I am now taking on this partnership with a new boutique and I'm just seriously ready to stop horsing around and get down to business. I stopped first at the fabric district in downtown LA, but was (for the second time) mostly disappointed. There's tons of stores that have $1 a yd signs out front but none of those fabrics are the cute novelty cottons I am looking for. Plus its really overwhelming. I thought this being my second time around I had mentally prepared myself much better and even made a list but it didnt help me wade the sea of fabrics and trims. Navigating the fabric district is not for the faint of heart.
You need a good pair of shoes, cash money, a water bottle (gotta stay hydrated) and your best bargain face. I got a 50/50 vibe with the shops there. They either practically run you down to sell u something, or wont give you the time of day if they don't feel your going to spend a lot of moolah. I feel as though I am putting them out to have to ask the price of things. And generally before they tell you the price they always ask you how much you want first. Like Im gonna be like oh gimme the whole bolt. Hey Im not there yet. I have found that the more unorganized the store is, the CHEAPER it is. You do have to work harder to find some good stuff but its worth a little effort to save more $$.
My favorite store is on San Julian just after u turn the corner from ninth. Its across from a parking lot. On google maps it shows as 868 San Julian St. I don't know the name of it, just that they have awesome deals on trim. 4 yards for a dollar on most flat trims. I got a huge handful of zippers assorted sizes and types for $3. I also got a 144 yd bolt of 1/8 inch elastic for $5, and 1/4 wide for $10. That was pretty much where I spent my money for that day. I left early out of frustration. I guess if I had asked around I would have found more of the things I needed, but I also had other things I had to do that day. I plan to head back later this next week with my business partner.
One thing I did do this visit was stop into Michael Levine as I didnt go in there the last trip. Well don't really expect any "wholesale" deals out of this place. They may as well be jo-anns but with a bigger selection. Well I was just being really cheap. I dont typically pay more than $5 a yard for fabric anyway. They do have lots of great fabrics at $5 a yard but I was being really really cheap. :) So today, I woke up excited and made the trek down to OC to visit my favorite fabric store M & L fabrics. If they opened a store in downtown LA they would make a killing. Im sure they do anyway, but these guys put other fabric stores to shame. And it brings me back around to the subject at the start of my post-cotton.
M&L has a huge selection of fabrics, and the store is WELL organized. They have the best selection of designer prints by Kaufman, Henry and Miller. Im not just talking 6 bolts each I mean a whole row thats two bolts deep. I believe the deal with them is that all those fabrics are past season. Probably overstock or what hasnt sold at other stores that they clearanced out. Havent put my finger on it yet but someday I will find out the secret! Because the best part of M&L is the flat folds. I cant even count how many rows of flat folds there are! One thing I was a little disappointed on was that they have raised the price since my last trip (probably over a year ago) from $1.69 a yd to $1.98.
But still even at that price there are some super steals! Again you have to WORK to get those deals. And really have a LOT of time to spend. I was there at least 3 hours this time around and my boyfriend was growing impatient. If you get good at digging through the stacks of flat folds you can find LOTS of Kaufman prints. I have yet to find and Henry or Miller :( But today was especially lucky, I found a lot of good prints. And I even found some Beatles fabric, that previously I had bought at wal mart and they dont carry it anymore. So now I have all this fabric I better get off this blog and start sewing or I will just be sitting under mountains of fabric.