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Conversational Threads

New York City

lindak | Posted in General Discussion on

Hello Gatherings!

I’ve just spent the day adjusting a crotch curve and cutting out another two pairs of pants for my unbelievable adventure – an around the world trip! Our first time overseas.

We will be in New York from  18 June 2009  to   25 June 2009   . I have the old Threads lift out of all the fabric shops in New York pdf’d into the computer. My husband plotted  Parsons and Mood Fabric on a map  – we are such Project Runway fans that I think even my husband will go come with me!

One thing that would be fantastic to do is a sewing class.  Has any one got any information or ideas?

From here in Western Australia I drool over the Threads Magazine. There is nothing like it here. Oops, sorry, there is one Australian magazine, but the quality of information just doesn’t compare. I read Threads front to back, including the adverts! I notice all the delicious sewing classes and wonder if it would be possible to make that week in New York even more memorable?

Looking forward to any information.




Perth Western Australia










  1. sewslow67 | | #1

    Hi Linda:  I Googled a search for you and came up with this link:  I hope it helps you find something wonderful.  http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=sewing+classes+in+New+York+City&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

    Good luck, and enjoy your trip.  Please let us all know how it all turned out and what wonderful things you saw and learned while in New York. 

    1. lindak | | #2

      Thankyou very much for your information. I'll have a look!

      Apart from all other things, when I think of the US I think of sewing! Here in Western Australia sewing has been on the decline for many years. I hardly know anyone that sews garments, although, to be fair there is a sewing guild or two that I have yet to join. Resources are the main issue. There are few textile shops - when there used to be a large range. The central city no longer sells fabric - you have to drive around the suburbs. The larger ones seem to specialise in discount fabrics. Hams - a pressing ham - do you think I can purchase one? Perhaps at an industry wholesaler, but at a dress shop - not that I can find!

      I've reasoned it's to do with the weather. Our winters are mild so there's no excuse to stay indoors! There is talk that the recession will change things somewhat, but while you can still buy garments for about the same price it costs to make, and you can't find the fabric anyway, I think I'll be remaining a lonesome beast!



      1. sewslow67 | | #3

        I don't know if your trip will include the west coast of the states, but if it does, I think you might find shopping for fabric in Portland, OR to be a real treat.  I lived there for years and got spoiled, and they have even more fabric stores now.  I have Canadian friends (where I live now) who love going to Portland ...just for the fabric, buttons, trims etc. shopping. 

        Take a look at a recent Threads, where they featured Portland as a fabric mecca.  It is also the home of Palmer and Pletch ...the sewing diva's who have all kinds of classes there and have written a lot of great books.  If at all possible, it would be a real treat for you to include this city in your trip for the restaurants, too.  They have great places to eat and some terrific night clubs if you enjoy jazz.  It also has a terrific zoo and magnificient rose gardens that over-look the city, and much more.  Clearly, I love it there.

        Anyway, it's just a thought.

        1. lindak | | #5

          Dear Sewslow67

          Thanks so much for that information on Portland - it sounds like my kind of place! good Jazz and Good sewing - couldn't get much better! We will only be in NY for 7 days and then LA for 3. They are the final two cities after many weeks in Europe, before we return to Australia via Sydney.  Unfortunately Portland doesn't make the list - but I'll put it on the lotto list!



      2. MargieT | | #23

        We have just got back from 2 weeks in WA and loved it. The weather is great and the beaches were lovely. We even were impressed with your public transport system [compared to Melbourne]. We found the Knitwit shop but I was disappointed. I thought it would be something special but I found the shop to be crowded and it was difficult to find what I was looking for. However, I still managed to spend nearly $70.
        You were talking about hams. I bought mine in Lincraft and I have also seen them in Spotlight. If you want other pressing equipment which is Australian made have a look at Judis Studio. The website is:
        Have a great time in New York and please go to Mood Fabrics for me and spend lots of money. I'm green with envy!

        1. lindak | | #26

          Hi Marg

          yes, the weather and beaches are some of our best features, although I'm surprised by your comment on the public transport. We hold your Melbourne system in awe!

          I have looked in Spotlight, albeit briefly and of the 2 Lincraft shops still open, none is close, although I live in what we call  a 'near-city' suburb ( as opposed to an "inner-city" suburb). The closest shop to me is Textile Traders, which alhtough has good staff and good range of fabric, it is inconsistent, as it is in reality a 'clearance' store. The accessories are packaged and are a very small range.

          Thanks for the email address - I will check it out.

          I thought that fabric shopping in Melbourne would be pretty good? Wasn't there a Pattern Review shopping trip in Melbourne? I'm not sure if Sydney or Melbourne has the larger garment industry but I though both were reasonably significant?

          I had a joke the other day with a friend - I'll go to Mood ala Project Runway and give myself 30 minutes to find what I want, run like crazy and have my husband at the checkout reminding me of time remaining, Tim Gunn style!

          I've managed, since starting this thread, to sew two pairs of (stretch)pants which fit reasonably well, and another pair of non stretch with an elastic waist (two rows of 2.5cm). I have learnt a lot about wong ( Kathleen at Fashion Incubator),crotch curves ,crotch lengths, and fly inserts - surrounded by every Threads article I could find spread all over the room. Sometimes the information conflicted, but with a drafting background ( architectural) I worked my way around the articles and found "truth" in all of them . I have to say that Karen Howland was my favourite  - her information makes "sense"(It's such a pity she doesn't contribute anymore). Joyce Murphy had some great tips and the fly insert video by Sandra Betzina was fantastic.

          Thanks to Threads, I think I'll look okay!






  2. Josefly | | #4

    A 'round-the-world trip. How exciting! I hope it will be wonderful for you. I would suggest that, to supplement the list published in the Threads article, you do an advanced search of the items posted here in this discussion group, searching on "New York City fabric shopping" and you'll find several discussions, maybe some good referrals that don't appear on the list. I just did a search myself, to verify, and there are some postings from 2008. Don't miss the shops that specialize in buttons, trims, etc.Surely you'll find a ham!

    1. lindak | | #6

      Dear Josefly

       thanks for that - I will spend tomorrow's lunch time searching as you suggested.

      A whole shop full of trims and button is beyond  my imagination! I can't wait.  I do recall we once had a button shop here in Perth, of about 6 square metres total60square ft) , if that, but it didn't last for long!

      If anything I'll have to wait for Sydney for the ham ( or two). I don't feel like lugging them across the Pacific! My aunt in Sydney was a patternmaker in the grament industry so, although retired, I think we might make use of some her old wholeslae contacts! Nice day out methinks! Husband can go watch Aussie Rules ( our football)  or something....




      1. Josefly | | #7

        You know, somewhere online there are patterns available for hams and rolls. They seem simple enough to sew, but the purchased ones are stuffed so tightly, so they're very firm. I'm not sure what's used - sawdust?

        1. lindak | | #8

          Thanks Josefly

           that sure beats the cardboard roll with a bit  fleecy taped onto it! The best I could do with limited time - but it works!

          I hope I retire in time to enjoy sewing to it's fullest...




        2. CarolynRuth | | #41

          I made a ham many years ago.  Yes, it is stuffed with sawdust.

          1. Josefly | | #42

            Did you have a pattern for the ham you made, or did you just "wing it?" I have one I purchased, but would like to make a seam roll. Did you use wool and cotton to cover the ham?

  3. GailAnn | | #9

    Hope you have a wonderful time!  Gail

  4. Tatsy | | #10


    That sounds like a fabulous adventure. If you're going to be in NYC, by all means add a trip to the Fashion Institute of Technology to your list of must-do's. They have a wonderful fashion museum that opens at noon and contains a terrific display. Even my husband was interested in the showing we saw in 2006. I'm not sure of the address, but it was very easy to get to and we were staying out in Newark.


    1. lindak | | #12

      Dear Tatsy

      thanks for that tip

      I'll find it and put it onto the Google Map.


      Linda K

    2. lindak | | #13

      Hey Tatsy

       I just found it - 3 blocks from where we are staying!


      Will definitley visit!





      1. Tatsy | | #15


        I don't know that much about NYC, but I do know that we walked up and down that area in the daytime and felt perfectly safe. I was amazed at how low the food prices were. We ate breakfast in a little storefront cafe for the same or less than we could at home. Hope you have a wonderful trip.


        1. lindak | | #20

          Thankyou Tatsy!

          1. Ceeayche | | #40

            Enjoy your trip!

  5. zuwena | | #11

    FIT is located at Seventh Avenue and 27th Street.  They sometimes have one day classes but I am not sure of the schedule for the summer months but I will check and let you know if I see something. There are also several dressmaker supply houses in the same area of the fabric stores where you can probably get a ham and related pieces.  I'll check some addresses for you.  Z

    1. lindak | | #14

      Thanks Zuwena for your offer of help.

      "On the ground' information is always better quality than information over the net.


      Have we serendipitously found our accomodation near the garment district??? WE are between Chelsea and Flatiron - near Madison Park. I hope no one draws a deep breath when I write the location. It's one of the difficult things about travelling and booking accommodation . We have done as much research as we can, but one never knows until you get to the actual building what the neighbourhood is REALLY like!!


      "Live dangerously" is not one of my mottos - unless it applies to overlocking too fast!







  6. sewslow67 | | #16

    I just noticed that there is an 8-page spread about where to go and what to see for sewing enthusiasts in New York City, called: "City Safari:  Hunting for fabric in the Big Apple".  The article is in the latest (February-March issue) of Vogue Patterns magazine.  It's got a lot of interesting information in it that I thought you might be interested in seeing.  Enjoy!

    1. lindak | | #17

      thankyou so much!!


      1. lindak | | #18
        1. Tatsy | | #21


          I must have just skimmed through your original post because I missed the fact that you'll be in LA for three days. There are so many things to do there that you may not have time for a sewing trip, but the garment district is huge. However, it's on the edge of a not-so-savory neighborhood so get good directions from locals before you go. I've only been once and have no head for directions, so I can't help there either.

          What other things do you plan to do in LA? Where are you staying? Are you interested in art? The Norton Simon is fantastic. Rodeo Drive is a kick and they're used to tourists. Universal Studios tour is a great way to get a bit of a taste of the movie industry. The NBC tour is quicker and quieter without the rides. There's lots of great foods. The restaurant at LAX is not outrageously expensive and it's like something out of the Jetsons.

          Whatever you do, I'm sure you'll have a great trip.


          1. lindak | | #24

            HI Tatsy

            I have been delayed while doing lots of planning and staying late at work to try and wrap things up there....

            LA was interesting for us. We decided to stop over becuse the flight from NY to Sydney is pretty long, so why not get off the plane in LA and stay a few days? WE also have a relative in San Diego - could we meet up? Well the interesting thing is that it appears to be very much a car city. ( Not unlike Perth, WEstern Australia, mind you!) To see the three things that we targetted for LA - being Disneyland, Santa Monica and Rodeo Drive type shopping - we felt we needed a car,and were confused as to the most central place to stay. After much deliberation we are staying  Hollywood, will take a shuttle to Disneyland, will meet up with the relatives at Santa Monica and then walk around the Hollywood shoppign strip on the last day.

            All great!

            I will check out Norton Simon, and  the tip on NBC is welcomed.






          2. Tatsy | | #27

            Linda k,

            That sounds like a good plan. You really don't want to drive in LA if you can avoid it. Despite the vast freeway system, traffic often slows to a crawl. The shuttle to Disneyland is a very good idea.

            Staying in Hollywood can be fine, but be aware that if you get off the main routes you can be in some iffy territory. The main tourist areas are safe, but like any other once glamorous place, some of the older sections are seedy. My husband has stayed at the Roosevelt Hotel and highly recommends it. it's right in the hottest part of Hollywood and has a great restaurant. The rooms may be pricey--he was there on business and wasn't paying the bill. I believe there is a bus or trolley to Santa Monica. Rodeo Drive is a nice stroll.

            When will you be in LA? I live about 150 miles north, but it's not out of the question to go down for the day, especially now that I've retired.


          3. lindak | | #30

            Hi Tatsy

            thanks for you email.

            We have booked a hotel in West Hollywood near the Kodak Theatre. It has good reviews on Trip Advisor...

            We'll be in LA from 25th to 28th June. The 26th is the day for Disneyland, and the 27th will be at Santa Monica waterfront with family from San Diego. 28th is for shopping and hanging out before we leave for Sydney  that night.




          4. Tatsy | | #31

            Linda K,

            I'll see if I can make it down for lunch on the 28th. I'd hate to interfere with family time when you're coming all that distance. An outing to LA is always fun.


          5. lindak | | #32

            HI Tatsy

            That will be great.

            We shall meet in LA!





        2. jennys | | #28

          Dear Linda,
          I am in Melbourne ( vic ) and we do pretty well for fabric shops and notions etc. But, have you tried mail order - I've used punch with judy, and they stock a huge range of things, including hams etc( I am not associated with them ). They have a good web catalogue. It might be helpful, jenny s

          1. lindak | | #29

            HI Jenny

             thanks for the tip.

            I have heard of them, but have not seriously chased them up.

            I've also seen them at  the annual craft fair here, but I haven't been for two years, so I will look out for them next time.


            Great to hear from Aussies!



      2. sewslow67 | | #19

        You are most welcome.  I pray you have a safe and wonderful trip.  Enjoy, enjoy!!  And let us hear back about your experience when you return.  We can all live vicariously!  ;-)

  7. organdy | | #22

    you will so enjoy your visit to the Garment District - the array of gorgeous fabric, buttons and trim is astounding! Vogue Patterns Feb/Mar 09 issue has a NYC safari: fabric special, be sure to check it out -
    B&J, 7th @ 40th, 2nd floor (beautiful fabric - think total outfit inc. interlinings etc.); Grayline Linen (all wgts, all colors); Spandex House (stretch velvet and stretch denim); Lace Star (in color waves); M & J Buttons and Trimmings; and the Fashion Institute of Technology - always a fun visit if you want inspiration.
    have a great time in the city-(although i live north in MA, i'm a native new yorker) - it's the top of the world - have a ball -

    1. lindak | | #25

      Dear  Organdy

       thanks for your information and enocuragment!

      I will chase up the Vouge magazine this week - I'm not sure how recent the mags on our shelves are here.


      I feell that my intuition that NY is a place to be for sewing enthusiasts is correct!




  8. Ceeayche | | #33

    Have a wonderful time on your trip!  My grandmother took an around the world trip about thirty years ago when I was still a child.  I still have the doll she brought from France the lace collar and cuffs she brought from Belgim and post cards from all over.  Interestingly she was not allowed to leave the ship in Austrailia due to her race!  My how times have changed.

    1. lindak | | #35

      Hi Ceeaychelle"thanks for you best wishes.

      I am sorry to hear about your grandmothers problems in Australia. Our shameful White Australia Policy was finally gotten rid of in 1973, with parts of it being progressively relaxed from  the 1950s. 


      Aren't dolls so special? I still have mine and I'm nearly 50! Packed away of course. 



      We are currently in London  and have seen one fabric shop! I amm surprised to see one at all becuase we are quite central and it is very urban. It was a lovely shop with the most beautiful mens suiting fabrics....very much to drool over!

      I have seen some lovely fashion but nothing that says "new trend" yet. Although at the airport whilst waiting for the others from their toilet break, I noticed a number of people who had landed ,given their language, form Germany. Most of the men wore very narrow trousers and no break in the length. I thought the first chap had his trousers cut too short - btu then  I saw the trend appear....all business suits.(7am at Heathrow).


      i have blisters, am tired but here's to a new day in London...




      1. sewslow67 | | #37

        >>>Aren't dolls so special? I still have mine and I'm nearly 50! Packed away of course. <<<

        In case you are not aware ( I was not, unfortunately) that, when you store dolls, old or otherwise, they must be wrapped in cloth and tissue, and never use plastic.  Actually, there is some special kind of tissue/paper if you prefer paper to cloths.

        I had my grandmother's doll from the 1800's and was so thrilled to have her.  My plan was to put her under one of those large, glass domes so she could be displayed in my living room.   I thought I was being so careful by wrapping her in very thin plastic and putting her in my cedar chest.  I couldn't have been more mistaken.  When I took her out (not sure how many years later), she literally disintegrated in my hands.  I was shocked ...and broken hearted.  I just feel awful about it. 

        I've always loved dolls too, and still have two of my favorite from my childhood, and all the clothes that my mother so lovingly knit (in tiny little stitches) for them.  Each has her own, wonderful wardroom.  Thankfully, they are all still "in tact" ...but I am saddened about not having my grandmothers doll.  She had been in perfect condition before being stored.

        Anyway, I would sure hate for that to happen to anyone else.

        1. lindak | | #38

          hi sewslow

          many thanks for the tip.

          I know that most of my dolls are fine. they were in a cqrdboard box for ages, then in the last fe years they have been in plastic box - I'lll check them again when I get home.

          One of the dolls d id  deteriorate. The plastic is weeping. I did some research and it is a particulart type of plastic. I think I have toget rid of her this time. perhaps a funereral ritual will help me let go!




          1. sewslow67 | | #39

            I'm so sorry about your doll; yes, perhaps a memorial service for her would be the best way to say good bye.

            I contacted a friend who owns an antique shop who is so very knowledgeable about antique care, and she said to never, never store anything of value in any kind of plastic for any length of time at all; ever.  Natural fiber fabrics, for example, can deteriorate over time as well. 

            This was a shocker to me, as I've had some of my most precious fabrics stored in those plastic boxes for several years now, thinking that would keep them from being infested with moths and other little beasts.  I will have to get another cedar chest for them soon, until I get the rest of the fabric made up.  I've asked DH if he would please build a cedar closet for me (as if he doesn't have enough projects to do already!)  giggle  Sounds like most of us on this board, huh ...with all our long lists of projects.

            Good luck with your doll storage, whatever you do.  And if you discover more information, do please share it.  Thanks.

  9. User avater
    aznlily95 | | #34

    Here's a YELP review:


    Oh! While you're in New York, I recommend going to NY Faric Warehouse in Broadway. The adress is 406 Broadway Ny New York 10013. And while you're there, you can go have fun in Chinatown, TriBeCa, Soho, Little Italy and Broadway. Have fun in NY!


    1. lindak | | #36

      Hi "lily"?

      thanks for the information. I will try and add that address to my maps.

      The sewing class looks good too, thankyou. .


      I noticed that here in london is a wonderful museum called the V&A(Victoria and Albert) with a great hat exhibition and the whole museum is dedicted to arts and style aand fashion.....mmm might change my to do list!






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