Tuesday, May 20, 2014

fashion district

I've been wanting to make the trek downtown to the fashion district since I started sewing over five years ago. It's really only a twenty minute drive, barring no traffic, but it just seems really far away. 

I dropped this guy off at school…

…met my mom at home and armed with caffeine and some serious air conditioning for the ridiculous heat wave Los Angeles has been experiencing, we headed downtown. The traffic wasn't so bad, but we were witnesses to a crazy car accident and ended up having to call 911, but I digress. 

Once downtown we drove around til we found the least expensive park-all-day lot (which ended up being $4.00 - a steal from the $20.00+ price I read about online.)

Our first stop was Michael Levine on 920 Maple Ave. So, there are two different stores, both under the umbrella of Michael Levine. The first is their regular store that has an amazing selection of fabric and tools and patterns, but the prices are pretty standard. (they have one of the few public restrooms down there that costs a quarter to use.)

I loved this laminate! It was $30.00 a yard, so I passed on purchasing it. 

But across the street is the discount bargain bin version of Michael Levine. Here is where they bring all of their extra fabric both scrap sized and by the yard. They dump it all in these huge bins and you have to search through them to find what you want or what you don't even know you want until you find it and then it feels like Christmas. 

I scored all of this great jersey material as well as ribbing. 

I've already made a muscle tee for Mr. P. no pattern necessary. 

It was the hottest day of the year (103 when we were downtown) so the heat of the loft and the searching through bins made us work quickly. 

Then we walked about six blocks to the FIDM student scholarship store

(FIDM = Fashion Institute of Design and Marketing) Here, students donate their gently used, designer brand clothing that is for sale at a bargain price. I bought a funky pair of short for $4.00. In the back of the store, they have bolts of fabric at a steal!

I got this yard of pleather for $1.00!!!

yards of this art deco stretch fabric for $2.00

 And two yards of this incredibly soft, textured navy blue fabric for $2.00! 

A variety of buttons….

We walked the grounds of FIDM, impressed by their campus. We loved this fountain (probably because at this point we were dehydrated and starving.)

Walking back to the action at the garment district, we discovered a Brazillian restaurant called The Wooden Spoon. It was pretty good! My mom had plantains and beans and rice and I went for the house specialty, the Brazillian chicken pot pie. 

Back on Maple, we walked through a few more stores. Unless you have something specific you're looking for, it can be overwhelming to see so much fabric! Just bolts and bolts spilling onto the street:

My last purchase was some burlap - my favorite choice for wrapping paper. I paid $4.00 for four yards. 

I would definitely go back - especially around Halloween Costume making time and I'd love to peruse those Michael Levine bargain bins the next time I need jersey. 

By the way, this was my car's temperature read after leaving it parked in the sun for a few hours…..crazy!! Can you read it? It says 109 degrees!

And if you're interested in reading more about the different fabric stores, the blog Made has a great and thorough blog post on the subject. Read it here! 


  1. Ooh, I love getting fabric downtown! Let's go together next time! And have you eaten at Grand Central Market? That's really fun, too.


  2. Yes! As soon as I go through this stash, I'll let you know!!! I have not eaten at Grand Central Market!

  3. You can definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.