Hello!! I’m slowly recovering from the end of the school year and Addie’s birthday, coupled with returning from the most overwhelming and wonderful fabric shopping weekend ever! How are you? I finally got all of my bags from Fabric Weekend unpacked, my fabric mostly washed, and all of it stashed someplace other than on top of my sewing table. I have yet to cut into any of it, but I’m pretty happy just looking and petting! I’m excited to share some pictures and report on the weekend a bit while it’s still fresh. If you haven’t ever been shopping in the Los Angeles fabric district, maybe this will give you a few ideas or pointers should you go! I should also add that, although I carried my camera all the way to L.A., I didn’t pull it out a single time, so I have a lot of phone pics and they’re mostly all of fabric. But I swear I was with so many wonderful, talented ladies who share a love of fabric, sewing, and blogging. The social aspects of the weekend were completely incredible and inspiring!
We started off our weekend at FIDM – the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising – in downtown L.A. where we were treated to a tour of the campus. There were so many displays to look at and classrooms to drool over. I found myself plotting out how we could move to Southern California and I could go back to school for Fashion Design. Ahhh, it was so cool. We also popped in to the Scholarship Store on campus where I picked up some really fun fabric for $1-2/yard. Great start to the weekend!
After FIDM, we headed to Michael Levine, which is the heart of the fabric district, I think. The owner, Larry, gave us a spectacular tour of the warehouses and they.were.amazing. Floor to ceiling warehouse floors with aisles and aisles of fabric. Michael Levine also provided a lunch for us and fun goody bags – I felt so honored to be part of the whole experience. By the afternoon, I was totally wound up and ready to shop. I didn’t make a shopping list going in to the weekend, but I knew I was looking for three main things: a variety of knits so that I can gain more experience with knit garment-sewing, leather for who knows what, and good quality apparel fabric. I did the mad dash over to Michael Levine’s Loft for knits by the pound. At $2.50/pound, the fabric mostly comes out to about $1-2/yard and it’s a big loft of bins to dig through. I found a number of knits and also some fluffy stuff that I’ll use for party decor – tablecloths, backdrops, that sort of thing. I spent most of the rest of the afternoon in the main Michael Levine store. I bought some Liberty of London, silk, Heather Ross for Kokka cotton linen, some sweatshirt material, hand-dyed silk ribbon, the list goes on and on. Too much beautiful fabric in that store – things that I don’t have access in an actual store at home. It was amazing to see so many types of fabric in person, feel them, compare them. Awesome!
We also ran around to some of the smaller shops in the late afternoon. It was so exciting. Everything you could possibly want is available in the fabric district – buttons, ribbon, elastic, snaps, spikes, fabric of every kind, lace trims, EVERYTHING! I bought zippers for a quarter each and spikes for some unknown project of the future. As the shops closed, I felt like I hadn’t even scratched the surface of the fabric district.
The next day, we headed to MOOD. It was a beautiful store, and again, whatever your need might be, they had it there. I spent many wavering minutes at the large racks of leather – small hydes in every color were available and pretty affordable. How to choose??? I also focused on the silk department and then just wandered down the aisles. Fabric is just so beautiful, particularly when you can see one type of fabric in, like, 50 shades of pink. haha! The salespeople were super friendly, although they didn’t seem to get excited when we sang, “Thank you, Mood,” as we left. Do you think everyone says that?
I went with a few of the girls back to the fabric district that afternoon and was able to pick up some really inexpensive knits ($1-3/yard) from several of the stores – I really liked Angel Fabrics, got several things I’m pretty excited about from there. And then…
It was time for Girl’s Night Out, a quarterly event hosted by Jessica, The Sewing Rabbit. What a great event! Jess is just so amazing and committed – I could barely pack my clothes for the weekend and here Jess organized an entire dinner, complete with swag bags full of goodies, and such a good time for everyone to chat and laugh as the weekend came to an end.
I headed home with my (three) suitcases stuffed full of fabric and so many good memories. I’m so grateful to have been included. Here are some organized pictures of my haul from the weekend! I can’t wait to start playing with it all!
I want to say thank you to Andrea, Bev, and Justine, who put so much time into ensuring an amazing weekend for all of us non-locals. You girls are truly incredible! I’m also so thankful to the sponsors of the weekend, Michael Levine and Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store, in particular. It was a dream to see the behind the scenes at Michael Levine and have access to such a variety of gorgeous, quality fabrics. And it was also wonderful knowing that I didn’t have to haul every last sewing supply back from L.A. because I have Jo-Ann just down the hill from me at home and they have all the staples. I better get sewing now so that I can be ready for the next weekend dedicated to good friends and fabric shopping!!! Be sure to enter yesterday’s HUGE GIVEAWAY of fabric and a SERGER and I’ll leave you with my very favorite picture from the weekend…
Comments & Reviews
Jennifer@The Chronicles of Home says
Wow. This looks amazing!
What a wonderful time you all had. SO glad you could take time out for yourself to be with friends (with VERY similar interests), have fun, and shop!
That looks amazing! I don’t think there is enough time in the world to browse all that fabric.
Wow! I am planning a trip to the LA District inspired by all of you gals!! I love your pics! Any more suggestions about where to find soft quality knits, and quality apparel cotton and flannel, and that lace pic (where is that?) and quality ribbon? Can you really get good prices in all the stores? And always in need of things like elastic and buttons – any suggestions?
Thanks for the inspiration!
Hey Susannah! Michael Levine and Mood have a huge selection of quality knits and apparel fabrics. The lace pic was in Mood – dreamy, huh? Those larger stores have all the notions, too. So many of the little shops in the fabric district have elastic, buttons, trims. The prices are really cheap – I purchased elastic, zippers, and rivits from a place around the corner from Michael Levine called Gold Star Tools (I think!)
Thanks so much for all the advice, I am definitely taking it all! Thanks again for the inspiration!!
I happened to stumble across your blog and loved it. I saw where you went to a fabric district in LA. That is so awesome. I often want to make dresses/skirts and wish for nicer fabric than you get at the regular fabric stores. Is this a special event, where all these fabric stores are open up? Is this open to the public or just wholesale?
By the way, I absolutely love the pictures of your daughter in the plaid fabric dress where you were also describing how to take quality photos.
Thank you for all your sharing!
Hi Wendy, the shops in the L.A. fabric district are open to the public all the time. You can also find Michael Levine online – lowpricefabric.com – and they have all of their fabrics online. Our shopping trip wasn’t a special event, per say, it was just a group of sewing bloggers that all got together to shop for fabric at the same time. It was loads of fun! Fabric shopping usually is, though! 🙂
I am drooling over all that beautiful fabric!!!!
Simple Simon and Co says
Look at that leather!!!! Wowza!!!! Glad you all had so much fun!!!!
Three suitcases filled with fabric…I cannot wait to see what you will be making!
I’m so uber jealous of all of that loveliness. I can’t wait to see what you make.
Wow! It looks like you found lots of pretty fabric! I can’t wait to see what you make with all those goodies.
Maria – creativeneedleandthreads.blogspot.com
Ooooo you took such pretty pics!!! That trip looks like it was such a fun and amazing whirlwind.
How wonderful! *. * Here in Italy there is no place like this!
Ana from The Lost Apron says
Thank you so much for this incredible post. If I were only going to spend one day shopping in LA, what would your recommend is most worthy of your time? My daughter also wants to do the Cal Mart sample sale.
Hi Ana! If you have a whole day….I think you could do all of the fabric district (the three Michael Levine stores – regular, upholstery, Loft) are all on the same corner of one street) – everything is walking distance right there. If you really wanted to hit Mood, too, you could go there early in the morning and then drive to the district for your afternoon shopping. It really depends on what you’re looking for. Mood and Michael Levine offer a large selection of a variety of good quality fabrics. All the little shops have cheap, cheap knits and then all the notions and trims you could ever dream of.
I cannot even imagine what this trip would be like! So many great creative minds together combined with wonderful shopping. Heaven!!
kirstin @ kojo says
I love this recap so much, Stef. And am jealous (just a little)! 🙂
Everything is so gorgeous- can’t wait to see what you make!