whether you are a fashion designer, crafter or artist, michael levine, located in the fashion district in downtown LA, is a great source for materials, especially if you need large quantities or larger sized bolts of fabric. why i love this place:
- high-quality fabric, including brand name designers like amy butler, joel dewberry at good prices
- great prints and material
- lots of variety
- not too much digging required if you know what you're looking for
the designs seem to be from past seasons, but are still cute and much cheaper than buying from Purl. Nothing wrong with Purl, but if you're looking for a deal, this is a good place to start. It's also a better value than Joann's if you need a huge quantity of material. No coupon required. Apparently, they also have days where certain fabrics are further discounted. If you get their calendar, you can really save, but I don't go that often to keep track of it. It's a pretty good deal regardless. however, i'd be careful about non-fabric supplies (eg. polyfil) as i've found them to be not as competitively priced.
they have a parking lot across the street. i always spend more than $20, so there's no issue with validation, and the one hour limit is a good thing. who knows how much more fabric i'd be buying if i were left there for longer than that.
m&l fabrics is like the loehmann's of fabric stores. quality, name-brand fabrics from previous seasons at discount prices. you really can tell the difference (at least i can) from high quality fabric in the finished piece of clothing, home decor or other project, and even in how well it comes together in the sewing. we can't all win the lottery, so thank goodness for m&l. even though they may be from previous seasons, good textile designs are lasting. another plus with high quality fabrics.
this place is so big, i haven't even made it beyond the main room of discount fabrics. when you first enter, by the door are several aisles of more newer design fabrics. these run between $6.99-9.99/yd. as you branch out from those, they get cheaper. i found some great alexander henry fabric for $2.99/yd. yowza! you can find a variety of patterns, designs, fabric weights and fiber content. the hardest thing to do is taking it all in and whittling down your choices, although with their prices, you can afford to get quite a bit of fabric.
towards the back and in adjacent rooms are stacks of deeply discounted fabric. it's so dizzying, i don't even bother looking, but if you have the fortitude for bargain hunting, you could have yourself some fine deals at $1.99 and less/yd. i have to warn you that these are arranged for space economy and not user-friendliness. they are literally stacks. some people are more helpful than others here. you really have to be persistent. the other fabrics in general are nicer, and i can't deal with it to be that cheap.
there's also a decent selection of notions, most of which are 40% off. as for the service, it's pretty much self-service. you pick out your fabric and take it to the front where a line of women are ready to cut it for you. sure, some of them are a little stoic. would you be chipper if you were on your feet for eight hours in florescent lighting at a discount fabric store?
this is my first choice for affordable fabric.
i don't like to judge a book by it's cover, but damn, this joann's is shiny and new! spacious and filled with a huge selection of all things craft-related, it's a paradise, whether you sew, knit, or papercraft. they have rubber stamps galore, aisles of buttons, fabrics in every color, more scissors and cutting implements than you can imagine. walking in here is like walking into a target. you can't seem to escape without buying something.
i'm a bit of a yarn snob, but they actually have a decent selection of affordable yarn, which often goes on sale. if you're allergic to wool, there are plant fiber as well as acrylic alternatives. they even have an organic cotton. on top of that, if you're on their mailing list, you'll regularly get coupons. a ball winder and swift can be pretty pricey, but is a deal with 40% coupon. can't get that at any other yarn shop online or brick and mortar. they also have a pretty good selection of fiber-related magazines. the sales and discounts are really the best part.
oh, for those new to crafting, they offer classes. i haven't taken one myself, but they do them so often, it seems very convenient.
i come here for the beautiful selection of fabric, not yarn, although you can get some nice yarn as well. months ago, i was in new york, and visited their store. although this place is an easy to miss warehouse/office space and not as pretty as the shop, it rivals any local or online fabric shop save britex in san francisco. of course, i couldn't possibly compare it to the mecca of fabric stores. still, they have lots of impossible to find elsewhere japanese fabric as well as decorator-weight fabrics with contemporary designs, and it's not as overwhelming. they have amy butler, joel newberry, anna maria horner, to name a few.
there's a website--http://www.purlsoho.com/--and a blog--http://www.purlbee.com/--with free patterns (both knitting & sewing). the fabric is not cheap, but this is no chain craft store.
i first learned about this place when my knit group met here a couple times, then decided to take some sewing classes through long beach parks and recreation. the beginning and beyond beginning sewing classes are a great introduction whether you've never sewn before in your life or did so a long time ago, and are trying relearn some skills from home ec days. classes are project-based, so you'll learn skills and end up with something nice at the end.
susan slesinger, the instructor for those and many other classes, is passionate, knowledgeable and has a great process for helping you out. the classes have about 15-20 people, but you still feel like you're getting the help you need.
communities really make a place, and this mom and pop shop offers that and more for those who sew. there is a sewing club, creative cafe--which covers knitting, crochet and sewing be it home decor, clothing or quilting, and QESS- a group for quilting, embroidery, sewing. the clubs are about $60 a year, which includes snacks, activities and help/instruction from an experienced teacher as well as use of their dreamy berninas.
they have a great selection of professional sewing machines, including the venerable berninas and janomes. i haven't dropped the cash on one yet, but when and if i do, i would do it here. they offer warranty and repair services. there are free classes with the purchase of a machine on using your machine. they also have quality fabrics, not like the kind you get at the big discount stores, but brands that make getting fit with fewer problems easier as well as nice designs. if you take a class, materials are discounted 10%.
i heard the owners of M&L Fabrics, another discount fabric shop, also own Jenny's, although this shop is not nearly as big. this can be a good thing, if you don't have the time or wherewithall to be overwhelmed by choices. they have quality fabrics, unlike the big chain stores, at discounted prices, around $6.98/yd. you get what you pay for. we're talking robert kaufman, storybook, windham fabrics, alexander henry, brands that sell for $10-20 per yard at nice fabric shops. you can tell the difference in quality by the thickness and design. you can get away with using cheap fabric for quilts, but i would only use quality materials for clothing, since fit and construction is so important.
most of the fabric here is more in-season so not as discounted as at M&L, but still cheaper than at Purl and many fabric stores online. in a newer building, Jenny's is a little nicer than M&L, partly owing to not having the hard to peruse deep discount stacks of fabrics and displaying their bolts in a much more user-friendly fashion. they have a larger selection of buttons as well as patterns that are further discounted. service is about the same as M&L. i've never had any bad experiences.
granted this one still is not as nice or as big as the mega joann's in buena park, but they have benefited from a much needed remodeling. it's amazing what some new paint on the building's exterior and organized shelving will do for a store.
the previous setup had the cashier in a very strange place almost in the middle, and when there was a line, it was hard to tell where the end was. now, they have it in the front and wrapped around like the other store. the inventory has broadened outside of being merely sewing and fabric as it was before.
i don't think i've had any bad service experiences as others mentioned, although when i went recently, it was slow due to one of the cashiers not being familiar with how to operate the machine. i always end up getting sucked in when i go in one of these stores anyways, so it's not like i'm in any hurry. this store is most convenient to me, so unless i'm on a big shopping spree, this is where i would go for sewing supplies, and now more general craft supplies.
|mmm....burgers. vegetarian, grass-fed.||breakfast, lunch or dinner|
|the basics, and then some||lots of new resaurants speciaizing in latin cuisine while there are a number of mom & pops still to explore|
|some of the best vietnamese food in the country can be found in little saigon. here are some places i've discovered.||dessert anyone?|
|a budding photographer or professional new to the area, these are your options.||japanese small plates & pub grub|
|$$$ - it costs more. it better be good.||friendly places to eat if you're vegetarian|
Chicago, IL, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
April 2008Dinge, die ich mag
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