Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Love Handmade and Plan to Visit NYC ? Fabric, Yarn, Ribbon and other Resources.

If you love making things, using beautiful fabrics, yarns, ribbons and findings then  New York City is probably the best resource in the US for all of those things!  I was recently asked by one of my bloggy friends at Charlotte and Stewart  to come up with a list of good places to visit on her trip to New York in April.

Contrary to my usual shtuff there will be few (if any) photos in this post.

In the Fabric District:
 Mood Fabrics  Beautiful Fabrics of all kinds.  Including over runs from Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein and the like.

B and J Fabrics Super organized and has EVERYTHING. They carry probably the whole Liberty line of fabric in every fabrication- corduroy, cotton,etc.  , Japanese printed cottons, metallic linen to name a few. This fits in the  "gotta go" category!

Steinlauf and Stoller This is the place to get all the tools you need to sew. All kinds of muslin, needles, pins, thread etc.

M+J Trimming The best button, ribbon and trim.

Hyman & Hendler Sons Around since the early 1900's . beautiful ribbon of all kinds.

Sil Thread   Every YKK zipper and tons of Clover notions.

Tinsel Trading Pretty sparkly place. Marthat Stewart loves it.

Mokuba All ribbon. Designed and produced by the Japanese. Nothing like it!

Kinokuniya If you love Japanese Craft Books the way I do this is the place to browse.  I love flipping through all of their perfectly executed and photographed craft and interior design books.  They also have wonderful Japanese Art and Office Supplies. 

Of course there are lots more stores in the Fashion District but these are the highlights and the first places I go .

As far as the rest of the City :

Purl in Soho    The best of the best.  Beautiful yarn, fabric, books, design- everything.  There are other yarn stores in the city but this is truly the BEST.

Now, in no particular order some other things you might enjoy:

Visit the FIT Gallery at  the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum. Always beautiful costumes and clothing.

If your interest is in toys the  Museum of the City of New York has a wonderful collection of antique toys. It's uptown but worth the trip.

On the Lower East Side I always send people to the Tenement Museum  (108 Orchard Street).   Docents take you through a guided tour of the museum explaining and showing how people lived at the turn of the Century in NYC.  They have a wonderful gift shop and  the tour is great for inspiration.  

After that, a trip to Economy Candy is lots of fun. The store is full to the rafters with candy, chocolate, nuts and chocolates.  (i'm a former candy/chocaholic and have the dental bills to prove it)  All the classics like Necco candy and Beemans gum are there.  and practically anything else you'd want.

   Next have lunch at Katz's Delicatessen.  ( Remember the  scene in the movie When Harry Met Sally) A real New York experience.  Just don't take the rudeness personally-- it's part of the fun. The corned beef is Excellent.

You can  also visit Belraf Fabrics. It's a bit messy but there are treasures to be found. Vintage fabric can be hidden in the stacks!

You should save time and room for one of these:
DONUTS from the Doughnut Plant  on Grand St in the same hood.   These are the real thing people!!  Flavors are incredible. My personal favorites are  the  creme brulee and the blackout donuts... and the square jelly donut and .....  Oh- and no transfats so go to town!!

photo from

I have yet to go but I hear the Brooklyn Flea Market is great.  Check out their blog.

If you can get to the High Line  you won't be disappointed:  Formerly the elevated rail that was scheduled for demolition. Read below and  check out the website to find out more. It is a good example of Grass Roots volunteers getting together to preserve the historical integrity of the city and it is now a beautifully designed park.

High Line History

  The High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan's largest industrial district. No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. Friends of the High Line, a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park.  *

* This last paragraph from the High Line website.

Lastly,  a couple good restaurants downtown:

Pulino's Pizzeria   - excellent  fancy pizza. new restaurant by Keith McNally, known for Pastis in the MeatPacking District and Balthazar's in Soho  (Downtown)

Prune Restaurant- check out the recent write-up in the NYTimes.  (lower east side )

inoteca -   excellent italian food and wine, hipster and loud but delicious!  (lower east side)

Cafe Habana- cuban sandwiches and spicy corn on the cob  (in NoLiTa)

So I'm blogged and linked out now. If you have any other places you could recommend please include them in your comments!   And I'm happy to answer any questions too.

ps. one more place to look is the Fashion Center Directory . Tons of resources there.

PSS.  Just thought I should finish with one of Johanna's dolls from Charlotte and Stewart  
So cute!!