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Sourcing Supplies in NYC

August 26, 2010 in General

A few weeks ago I took an amazing trip to NYC. When you love fashion, design and sewing, NYC is the place to visit for all things creative. I just love walking the garment district and seeing the unlimited options in fabric, trims, beads, fur, notions and anything else you can think of. Of course I stopped at Mood and bought some beautiful rose tufted wool that I will be making a bolero out of this winter as well as some reversible jacquard for the bodice on some of my designs. One thing most sewers do not realize is that many of these stores will mail order creating access to supplies you may not otherwise obtain, and living in the Midwest I order almost all of my fabrics and supplies from companies in NYC. This trip was a great opportunity to see some people I do business with face to face.

You can look up  company info using online yellow pages, and one thing I recommend is developing a good relationship with your suppliers. Tell them about what kind of sewing you do and what type of fabrics you like to work with. Make sure to take the name of your sales rep and ask for that person each time you contact that company. If they learn to recognize who you are when you call, then they can better serve you by sending swatches and even special ordering certain fabrics for you.

Leather Suedes and Skins Store

Leather Suedes and Skins Store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could spend an entire trip in the garment district and never see everything, but another¬†opportunity I highly recommendis getting tickets for Behind the Emerald Curtain, a behind the scenes look at the musical “Wicked” (a version of The Wizard of Oz). Two of the actors take you literally behind the scenes and a huge part of the program is actually seeing many of the amazing costumes. This is so different then most Broadway plays and they have one of the highest if not the highest costume budget. If you sew or design¬†would¬†really appreciate this. Every fabric and trim for all of the costumes are custom made in Europe and they have their own line of fabrics and their own store for Wicked Fabrics. So anywhere in the world when a touring company needs a costume for an actor, they order fabrics from their own fabric store and have the costume made.¬† Of course, it is not available to the general public, but to see the detail was amazing.

Coat from Musical Wicked

Coat from Musical Wicked

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One other highlight of the trip was having the opportunity to tour Simplicity patterns and see how a pattern is taken from concept to completion. It is a complicated and detailed process. Patterns can only have so many pieces, can only weigh so much in the pattern envelope and they go through an extensive sample and testing phase before it even makes it to the customer. This was really exciting. As a pattern designer I even had the opportunity to present some of my design story boards. You just never know. I have an even greater appreciation of the entire process and it is very inspiring.

Touring Simplicity Patterns

Touring Simplicity Patterns

 

If you are planning a trip to NYC do a little research before you go so you get the most out of your time.

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