Exploring

The Best Place To Get Cheap Fabric 

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I survived the first week of back to school. Barely. And with all the typing I’m doing, plus my kitchen painting and staining and screwing and unscrewing cabinet doors, my hands and wrists have had a flare up and now I’m stuck in a brace. If I’m not careful, it will be two braces. Anyone have problems with their hands? I tested negative for tendinitis and carpal tunnel, but I have fibromyalgia so I’m chalking my wrist pain up to that.

Anyway, back to my adventure today. If you’ve never been to the garment district in downtown Los Angeles, you are missing out. It’s quite the experience.  It’s not really a place to brag about because it’s filthy and there are a lot of homeless drugged out people on the streets. You may just have to step over them while they lay in the middle of the sidewalk, but they don’t actually bother you.  It sounds scary, but it’s not.

But what’s really awesome are the blocks of wholesale fabric stores, clothes stores, flower markets and toy shops. If you are looking for specific fabrics or patterns, or even characters, Downtown LA most likely has it. Years ago, when I got engaged, all the fabric for my wedding party and reception was bought in LA.

( here’s my picture of a picture. I’m so old that my wedding pictures are film.) 

 I had a luau themed reception, so we went to a store that sells a warehouse full of Hawaiian prints and it was cheaper than any place you’d have to order it. And most of these rolls of fabric are 60 inches so you get a lot for your money’s worth. My wedding dress fabric came from there as well. My aunt sewed my dress for me. I think all in all, my dress cost less than two hundred dollars in supplies and it was a labor of love from my most amazing aunt.

So any time I need fabric for something, I plan a Saturday morning trip. I never go without my mother. She is an aggressive assertive driver and she remembers where the best (paid) parking is, and who has the best deals. Some of these stores are a dollar a yard for some fabrics!

Today mom and I had a mother daughter outing to get some fabric for her house. She’s repainting her living room and dining room and is switching up the decor. We found some fabric for curtains and a table cloth and she got a giant rug for the living room for $35! What a deal!

While we were there, I decided to pick up some flannel prints to make the kids pj pants for Christmas eve. I make pants and I buy a coordinating long sleeve shirt and wrap it up as their Christmas eve gift to open. They love the tradition and it’s fun to see their faces light up at the prints I picked out for them.

Another tradition we have is after all the shopping is done, and we’re heading home, we stop at the street truck and buy a bacon wrapped hit dog with onions and peppers. The smells from these trucks are so good and the taste of the hot dogs do not disappoint. I think the hot dogs are the highlight of the trip every time. 

If you are a person who loves fabric and makes things out of it, or just wants to experience the nitty gritty of downtown LA, I highly recommend going to the garment district.

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