Fashion & Fabric District – Downtown LA
Buying fabric in Canada can be limiting at times. Very few stores and very few different products. When Bryce and I decided we’d take a small vacation in October I wanted to visit either New York City or Los Angeles (yes, both have fashion/fabric districts). Together we decided on LA – neither one of us had ever been there before, the flights from Edmonton were 3 hours (not like the red-eyes we’d be taking to New York City), and well, the weather was beautiful. Below you’ll find me hunting for fabric…all in one afternoon.
The streets are lined like this for blocks.
FIDM (a well know design school, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and Project Runway, LA, season 6 was filmed there) is a scholarship store that is open to the public. Scholarship store? It’s a non-profit store that gives students jobs and from the sale of all merchandise and fabric, they give the students scholarships to the school.
The best part – the back wall is full of fabric – most for $1 a yard (basically a meter) What?! A dollar?! I got knits, terry cloth, lining, and so much more all for $52 (that’s 52 yards of fabric!!)
What to choose, what to choose…..get it all Ali!
2nd stop of the day…the Loft – 917 Maple Ave. The rest of the stores are in the same few blocks – we street parked (although there are many lots) and kept feeding the meter (watch out, though – they mark your tires!)
$2.50 a pound? hmmm – Okay!
I had to hunt…but so worth it. The cardboard boxes are filled with odds & ends of fabric, but don’t be fooled, some are more than a yard long. Also, along the walls they have large rolls of fabric all divided by colour. I purchased 12.5 pounds, so with tax around $45 and it filled 4 bags the size of the large Fabricland ones! Score!
Michael Levine – the go to shop for everything (even a 25 cent bathroom break). (the photo below is of their home decor store across the street from their main location – 920 Maple Ave).
Designer fabric? Yes! Chiffon? Yes! Serger thread, 4 for $1? Yes! I need a serger…
They ship to Canada, too! Bonus.
Want a bargain? Haggle? True textile buying experience? Visit the places below!
Santee Ally – very hectic, noisy and full of hustlers trying to sell you things. Fun? Depends on your mood. If you’ve never been, visit for a few blocks.
Overall, a fabulous way to spend an afternoon carrying bags full of fabric…good thing I brought an extra suitcase or two!
How did I know where to go? Much help of the internet! Special thanks so Kathi Rank of PatternReview.com for her in-depth article on the LA Fashion district and also to Dana from danamadeit.com who’s favourite stores are many of the ones mentioned above.