LA fabric fandango!

Although I do still have some makes to blog, after spending the afternoon today in the Los Angeles Fashion District buying loads of fabric, I just had to share immediately! Apologies for the lousy lighting and iPhone picture, but it’s the only camera I have down here. You’ll have to wait for true color representation until these fabrics reappear as garments…

I started at Michael Levine Loft, which is the super discount, by-the-pound, random-piles-of-fabric room at the biggest downtown fabric store. It’s like my Crazy Fabric Store in Solvang on steroids. Boxes and boxes and piles and piles of fabric… I ended up with about four and a half pounds of fabric – a grand total of $12 for almost 10 yards, not bad! Across the top, there are two lightweight sweater knits for winter cowl tops, a nice cotton jersey for a long sleeve t-shirt, a weird stretch woven that has a brown and black textured weave for a pencil skirt, and almost 5 yards of green polka-dot poly chiffon – I know, it’ll be a bear to work with, but it’ll make such a fun summer dress, and since it weighs almost nothing I got the whole piece.

With the time remaining on my parking meter I ran across the street to the main Michael Levine store, where I got the two pieces on the bottom left for more than twice as much as all the Loft fabric… but they’re really nice. The stripe (it’s actually white and navy) is a viscose/spandex and has a wonderful weight and drape, and the rust solid is a ponte knit (it’s a color I’ve been on the hunt for for months). Both will become winter dresses I think.

Finally, I drove up a few blocks to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where there is a secret gem of a fabric source in their Scholarship Store. Companies and others donate clothes and fabric to the store, where it’s sold at a discount to fund student scholarships. And though there was just a short wall of bolts, there was some really nice stuff. From the bottom right, there’s a orange-red cotton/spandex jersey, a brown polka-dot cotton jersey (both for cozy winter tees), and a wonderful turquoise jersey that feels just like a knit used to make super expensive RTW athletic wear (think lululemon) – all for a dollar a yard! Also at FIDM I found my favorite piece of the day, the gray geometric. It feels like a silk charmeuse, but it didn’t wrinkle in the couple hours it was crumpled in the bag, so it may be poly – I’ll have to burn it to be sure. But whatever it is, I love the print and it’ll make a gorgeous blouse.

After all that I was starving, so I headed over to Baco Mercat, a new restaurant downtown where a colleague of mine tends bar, where I had a fabulous meal and an amazing cocktail. And downtown is already (very creatively) decorated for the holidays:

So that was my downtown LA day! Los Angeles gets a bad rep sometimes, but it’s actually pretty cool (aside from the driving and parking, of course – I used like $8 in change for meters today). It would have been more fun running around in all that fabric with some cohorts, though. Thanks to Cindy at Cation Designs for clueing me in to these fab resources, although she couldn’t join me today. Any other LA sewists out there? Perhaps a post-holiday LA meetup is in order? Though I don’t know that my stash can take it… less buying more sewing from now on!

  1. Becky said:

    Wow, what great buys! I have some of those fabric to make lulumon stuff, but it is simmering in my stash. I’m thinking yoga pants. Love your choices, can’t wait to see your makes!

  2. Myra said:

    Great fabrics! I am so envious and can’t wait until I can travel to LA so I can visit the fabric district too! I would love to see what becomes of these gorgeous fabrics!

  3. I’m in LA! Have you left already? Would certainly be up for a meet up, either shopping or just food and chatting about sewing. I love that turquoise jersey, it sounds exactly like what I’ve been looking for – was there much of it? I might have to make a trip this weekend and see if there’s any left.

    • aleah said:

      I’m working here through the rest of this week, til 6 every day so past most fabric store hours… unless you know a late-night spot 😉 I’m up for just chatting though – email me! aleah42 at gmail And there was a whole bolt of that jersey at FIDM!

  4. A lovely collection of fabrics there! can’t wait to see what you create with them!

  5. So glad you found such awesome stuff! I’ve got a dinner tonight with one of my husband’s businessy people (ick!), but maybe we can hang out on Thursday? Have you been to SAS Fabrics?

    • aleah said:

      Aah, that sounds awesome, but I’m working til 6 every day and I bet it’ll be closed! Know any open-late type fabric stores?

  6. Wow…awesome finds! I especially love the charmeuse print. Can’t wait to see what you do with it all!

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