The NYC Garment District

I’ve always lived close to the Garment District, but until I picked up sewing recently, I never had any reason to go there.  As I discover the best places to buy fabric and supplies, here’s a list of my favorites!

Check out Made in Midtown, an interactive web site about the history and importance of the NYC Garment District.

My Favorite Stores

  • B&J Fabrics
    Beautiful, well edited selection of fabric that is very organized.  Each roll of fabric also has a small piece that hangs on garment rack-type bars, so that all the fabric is easy to browse.  The space is big, airy, and well lit (rare in the Garment District!).  Here you’ll find particular brands like Liberty of London.  Only downside — the fabric is expensive!
  • City Sewing Machine Corporation
    I got the invisible zipper foot here that I couldn’t find anywhere else (besides eBay).  The prices seemed good, but I haven’t done a lot of shopping for presser feet so I don’t have much to compare.  The store is tiny and most of the merchandise is behind the counter or in the back room.
  • Mood
    Yes, this is the store featured on the television show, Project Runway.  If you need a particular fabric, you’ll probably find it here and at a decent price.  The prices are well marked and the fabric is organized by type.  Only downside, it can be hard to see the fabric rolls on the top of the shelves.
  • Panda International Trading – 247 W. 38th Street (b/w 7th & 8th Avenues)
    1000m spools of Gutermann thread for $2.50!
  • Paron/Paron Annex
    The store is much smaller than Mood, but they have a decent selection.  I find one of the sales people in particular a little pushy (I just want to browse the fabric in peace!), but I’ve found some cute fabrics there at good prices.  Keep in mind that the prices are negotiable!  You’ll never pay the marked price.  Paron is also famous for their Annex, a room full of fabrics marked at a 50% discount.  I’ve gotten lining there for $3/yard!
  • Sil Threads
    The cheapest place I’ve found so far to buy zippers and their selection is amazing.  Aisles and aisles of zippers from floor to ceiling!  And they’re cheap!  8″ invisible zippers are 50 cents and 22″ invisible zippers are 75 cents.  The only annoying thing is none of the prices are marked and some of the notions can be on the expensive side.  Besides the zippers, I love their thread snips, which are only $1.25 and work better than my $7 Fiskars snips!

Stores On My List to Check Out

  • Metro Textiles
  • Elliott Berman Textiles

Outside the Garment District

  • Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores – various locations
    Jo-Ann is a one stop shop for all your crafting needs.  The selection is generic and they don’t have the best fashion fabric selection, but you have to come here for the sales.  In the stores, I’ve gotten 99 cent McCall’s patterns and 50% off Dritz notions.  Online I’ve gotten 50% off Gutermann and Mettler thread.  Watch out for the annual April Daffodil Sale, which is especially good.  The non-super stores can be disappointing.  If you’re buying online, be sure to check out for coupon codes for free shipping.
  • Crate & Barrel Outlet at Woodbury Commons
    $4.95/yard Marimekko fabric in discontinued prints!  This fabric usually retails for over $30/yard.
  • Etsy
    Great place to buy supplies and be inspired.

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