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New York Garment District

sewcrazed | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I would like to make a trip to the garment district in New York for my birthday.  Which airport should I fly in to?  Where should I stay?  What are your favorite stores?  I have never been and this will probably my only trip.  I’d like to make the most of it. 


  1. AndreaSews | | #1

    I'm a native NY'er and go there sometimes to visit fam & friends.  All 3 airports, in my opinion are fine to use, depending on where you choose to stay.  La Guardia's probably closest to the garment district by cab.  But don't forget about Kennedy and (mindblock--what's the one in NJ??), depending onwhere you'd like to stay.  I travel w/ family so I like a suite-style hotel.  Most hotels in NY are either crummy airport hotels built up lonnnng ago or else high end luxury places for the theatre-goers.  Those don't work so well for us.  When we go, I like to stay at the Hilton Homewood Suites, which is in Jersey, right near the Lincoln Tunnel, so it's a quick drive into the city.  It's a better price range and only a couple of yrs old, so it's still nice inside and out.  The options are really endless though, and a lot depends on you level of comfort with cab fares and/or taking the subway--both an adventure, I guarantee!  I haven't shopped for fabric in NYC myself, but folks near me (DC area) who go on bus trips for this just can't stop raving about "Mood."  Check website.  And they tell me that in these NYC shops, haggling is worth a try, but don't even joke about it unless you're buying large amounts of yardage.  Happy Birthday!

    1. TJSEWS | | #3


      The airport in New Jersey is the Newark International Airport.

      1. AndreaSews | | #4

        Thanks!  I can't believe I forgot that!

    2. sewcrazed | | #5

      Thank you so much.  That makes me even more excited to go!

  2. TJSEWS | | #2

    I can't tell you where to stay or what airport to fly into but I can tell you which are the very best stores as I am very familiar with the garment district in NYC:

    For fabrics:

    Mood Designer Fabrics, 225 W. 37th Street - 212-730-5003.  This is the largest store with the biggest selection of fabrics in New York City.  They have just about every type of fabric you can imagine.  Have you ever watched Project Runway?  Anyway, Mood is the store the designers in that show go to for their fabrics.  It's definitely worth a visit.  It's in the 2nd or 3rd floor of an office building and 2 or 3 floors of fabric.  Just tell the elevator operator (the building still has those old elevators!) that you want to go to Mood Fabrics. 

    BJ Fabrics, 525 Seventh Ave, 2nd floor - 212-354-8150.  This store is on the corner of 7th and 37th (or 38th?) inside an office building.  It's on top of a Duane Reade pharmacy.  The store isn't anywhere near as large as Mood but they have a large selection of fabrics as well.  In fact, Threads often buys the fabrics they use in many of their articles from this store.

    NY Elegant Fabrics, 222 W. 40th Street, 212-302-4984/4980.  This store has a large selection of fabrics with a little bit less expensive fabrics.

    You will find fabric stores on all of the side streets.  Don't forget to look up as there are stores on the 2nd and 3rd floor of buildings.  On your way to the stores above, you will find more stores.  Some stores sell just silk or just lace (LACE Star, 215 W.40th Stret, 212-840-0555 - the lace is expensive but beautiful).  Other stores sell just stretch fabrics, on and on.  They are just too numerous to list.  I just told you of the big ones.

    For trims and buttons:

    M&J Trimming, 1008 Sixth Avenue, betwn 37th & 38th Sts. 212-391-6200.  HUGE selection of trims and the M&J button store is next door with a HUGE selection of buttons.

    Great Buttons, 1030 6th Avenue - 212-869-6811.  Very large selection of buttons. 

    On your way to  these stores, you will find lots of beading stores as well. 

    For Tailoring supplies:

    Greenberg & Hammer, 24 W. 57th St. 212-246-2835.  This store has tailoring supplies (shoulder pads, hair canvas, etc.)

    SIL Thread Inc., 257 W. 38th St. 212-997-8959.  Tons of thread in different plys, zippers, hangers, etc. 

    I gave you phone numbers so that you can call for store hours. 

    I hope the above is helpful.  HAVE FUN!!!


    1. sewcrazed | | #6

      Wow!  Thanks for putting so much time and effort into your response.  I am really excited to go now and I love Project Runway! I wish I had a sewing buddy to go.  My husband won't be much fun in the fabric stores.   saf

      1. AndreaSews | | #7

        Your husband might be lots of fun pursuing his very own interests in that wonderful city!  Send him packing with a peck on the cheek and plans to meet up at the South Street Seaport for a nice lunch before you go your own ways again for round 2.  Well, that's how I'd go about it anyway :)

        1. sewcrazed | | #8

          Will I feel safe to travel around by myself?  I am from small town/rural MI. 

          1. AndreaSews | | #9

            hmmm... that's subjective.  I could turn it on for myself, even though I'm not actually a city girl.  But I've done fine on my own in the city and even found it fun once I got the lay of the land.  You have to put on your imaginary callous, check maps _before_ you go, so you really know which way you want to go, and most important, walk like you have someplace to get to.  It's totally fine to ask people for directions, and you'll have a good sense about who to ask and who to just walk straight past.  Just like anywhere else in the world, most people are good down to their cores.  It's that wide-eyed look that is a giveaway that you feel vulnerable.

          2. mmem | | #10

            When my husband and I went to New York, we stayed at the Leo House which is on West 23rd Street very near the garment district. It's very reasonable and run by some Catholic organization; we were very happy. They don't have a web site but if you go to any travel site and look for hotels in NY, I'm sure it will be listed.

            Bon voyage!

          3. paulette | | #11

            When we stayed in NYC for a week 2 years ago this Spring we stayed at a Super8 on ( I think W47(between 6th and 5th) which was really pretty good for the money. Rooms were renovated and clean.They also gave you breakfast. ItThe building had formerly been a woman's residence hotel. At the time we were going to a memorial service up in Westchester County for my Dad and needed to book rooms for  not only my husband and myself but for our 2 children and spouses who were from out of state also. We just needed a place to sleep and didn't need the amenities of a more luxurious hotel. Anyway it was in June and we payed about $140 a night ( before tax)which was about as good a rate as I could find for something decent. Think I went originally onto http://www.cheaptickets.com The location was great because we could walk to many places or easily get a bus,subway or cab. Anyway the link is http://www.applecorehotels.com/apple-core-hotels/ . We flew into  La Guardia airport and took a shuttle bus from there to Grand Central Station which is on 42St between Lexington Av and 5th. From there you can grab a cab or even walk if need be. Another advantage is that it's a short walk to the theatre district. Now having said all that please just remember that this was 2 years ago and things do change!

            We've been in So.Florida almost 10 years now and I think what I miss the most are the fabrics stores in the New York area! I actually worked within walking distance of the garment district and just took for granted that that's how it should be. It really hit home today when I went into Joann's looking for seersucker or lightweight linen and all they were getting in was fleece! Either I start getting up to NY again or start buying online.

            Anyway, hope I helped somewhat.



          4. NancyT | | #12

            Hi. When will you be visiting NY and the Garment District?  I live just out of the city but pop in frequently to go to the area.  If you are uncomfortable on your own, and if the timing works, I could meet you somewhere and wander around the stores also.  I agree with the recommendations for stores by the way:  M&J Trimmings is amazing.  The other recommendation that I have seen elsewhere is to take a small wheeled suitcase to carry your purchases.  You might feel a little silly, but it is a lot easier if you buy a lot.  By the way, I am a 52 yr old married lady, ex-executive banker, recently retired.  Nancy

          5. sewcrazed | | #13

            Wow, what great people sewing enthusiasts are!  That is quite an offer to a complete stranger.  My birthday is in November.  I am not definite on the trips yet, but I appreciate the offer.  Thanks!

          6. mainestitcher | | #14

            A girlfriend and I went to the garment district three years ago. We had a ball. Be aware that many of the stores are not open on Saturday or Sunday. We found the people there very nice. Store owners, restaurant owners, stock boys, were tripping over themselves trying to talk to my attractive, curvatious friend. They were civil to me. In spite of the fact that most of them must have been used to making big sales, they were polite and cooperative with my friend and I who were just buying dribs and drabs of stuff that interested us. I went on a day trip with my Mom some months later, and the fellow who sold us our late lunch was closing up, and gave us dessert packaged for the ride home on the bus.

          7. sewcrazed | | #15

            Thanks for the post.  I'm getting more excited to go all of the time.

          8. NancyT | | #16

            The offers stands! :)  I love fabrics and I find it is always more fun to be creative in the process with someone else who also loves fabric.  We could meet for breakfast/brunch somewhere, and plan out the day.  You can also send me an email with your ideas about what you want and we can plan it in advance. And, when you want to be left alone again, just say so!  :)  Let me know a little in advance: the month is pretty open (except for Thanksgiving) but you know how calendars tend to fill up!  All the best and happy birthday.  Nancy

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