Crafty Shopping in NYCcomments (6) August 27th, 2008
New York City is one of the most creative places in the world and yet crafty Manhattanites often complain that they have no craft stores to shop in. While it’s true that we don’t have any of the one-stop-shopping, big-box stores, the city is filled with craft supplies of all kinds! You just have to know where to look and get used to a different kind of shopping.
Whether you are new to New York and feeling a little lost or a veteran city-dweller just looking for some new shopping destinations, here is a crafty shopping tour that will please everyone!
I like to start my day uptown and work my way down, so the Garment District is the first stop. Mood Fabrics is the official fabric
destination for Project Runway and one of my favorite fabric stores. Although you’re not going to find any
deals at Mood, you will find imported silks, hot-pink suede, and even
leftover yards of fabric from designer collections. After you’re done
shopping at Mood, you might want to wander around the rest of the
Garment District for things like notions, buttons, straps, and zippers. M & J Trimming is my personal fave. I wish I could take out a loan and blow it all on sew-on jewels, laces, ribbon, and appliqués. Any kind of trim you could ever possibly want or dream of is here in this well-organized slice of heaven. Right around the corner from M & J is Tinsel Trading. This is by far the most beautiful store in the Garment District and a favorite destination for the city's many prop stylists. A tour around the shop yields little red and white mushrooms, velvet millinery flowers, and giant gold tassels. Don't forget to stop by The Store Across the Street, which is, predictably, across the street and carries ribbons, paper, and Martha Stewart's lovely craft line.
About 10 blocks south of the Garment District, the Flower District resides on 28th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. While the south side of the street carries mostly live flowers and plants, the north side is lined with shops carrying ribbons, fake flowers, birch bark, shells, and all sorts of other fun stuff. Also in the neighborhood is City Quilter, a must-see for anyone who loves fabric and quilting.
Next, head downtown to Soho to visit Purl and Purl Patchwork. If you get there a little early (Purl doesn't open until noon) stop by Once upon a Tart next door for a delicious snack. Purl stocks the most beautiful and colorful yarns, while its sister store, Purl Patchwork, is filled from floor to ceiling with gorgeous fabrics. Don't be afraid to ask questions. I've always found everyone at both stores to be extremely knowledgeable and willing to help you with your new quilting project or talk you through a complicated knitting stitch. Soho is also a nice place to get lunch and rest your shopping-weary legs: My favorite lunch spot is Snack.
If you're after a bargain, walk east to Broadway and south to Canal Street. The streets below Canal on Broadway are a treasure trove of fabrics and supplies, but you have to be willing to really dig in. I am a big fan of New York Fabric Warehouse (also known, for some reason, as Long Island Fabrics). It's cash only, but with giant barrels of buttons for as little as five cents a piece, who's complaining? Pearl Paint, with its five floors of art supplies, is always worth a visit, but don't bother with its often-empty craft store on the next block. Instead, hit up P & S Fabrics, as close to a well-stocked craft-supply store as we can hope for here in New York. There are tons of other fabric stores on Broadway, so just walk around and be prepared for anything.