Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tour of Los Angeles' Fabric District

Earlier this week, our sewing teacher Regina kindly offered to take us on a tour of the fabric district in Los Angeles. GG and I jumped at the opportunity of course so bright and early on Tuesday we set out on our little excursion.

Before we left, we stopped by at Regina's where she fed us a quick breakfast of a healthy fruit smoothie and a slice of freshly baked banana nut bread. Both were absolutely delicious. We could smell the wonderful scent of the banana bread the minute we walked through the door.

Here's the smoothie queen, Regina.

She made us a banana mango smoothie complete with an umbrella garnish.

Here's her banana nut bread fresh from the oven.

It was delicious -- moist, not too sweet and had a bit of a crunchy top.

Shortly after breakfast, we were in Regina's car and on our way! Just a little bit about the fabric district -- it is located at around 9th street and Maple and is actually part of the Los Angeles Fashion District with Santee Alley just right around the corner. The largest textiles store in the area is Michael Levines and it also happens to be the most well known. You can find a map of the L.A. fashion district here

Regina brought us to Michael Levine's first to check out their selection but she did warn us that they would not be the cheapest. Upon entering Michael Levine's, GG and I immediately acted like kids in a candy store. They carry one of the largest fabric selections I have ever seen and I wanted to buy everything but I held back and only bought what I needed. 

GG with Regina at Michael Levine's.

Michael Levine's has a separate store for upholstery fabrics just across the street.

After Michael Levine's, we walked down 9th Street to hit up some of the smaller stores. Their fabrics weren't as nice as the ones we saw at Michael Levine's but GG and I were still able to purchase some plain cotton fabric at great prices.

This store sells $1.99 fabrics, most of which are cotton. This store attendant cuts our fabric by expertly snipping an inch of it then ripping the rest of it with her bare hands.

More fabric stores with rolls of fabric displayed right on the sidewalk.

All kinds of fabric are for sale there, including glittery disco/broadway type textiles with full of bling!

These textiles come pre-decorated, ready to be sewn into an outfit.

We also stopped by Home Fabrics where they specialize in upholstery fabric.

GG is mad for pillows so she could not contain her excitement in this store.

The have a huge selection of gorgeous textiles for upholstery and drapes. I'm sure GG will be back soon.

Almost two hours later, our tired feet called out for a break and our tummies growled, asking to be filled so we headed to Chinatown where we treated Regina to lunch at Full House Chinese Restaurant. 

Full House Restaurant on Hill Street

Our lunch selections comprising of shrimp fried rice, pepper steak,
chinese broccoli with oyster sauce and Peking duck.

Finally, here are some tips from Regina.

1. Go early! This is so you can get a good parking spot.
2. Wear comfortable shoes.
3. Bring a bag with wheels or a rolling shopper. That fabric can add up and weigh you down.
4. Bring cash as you can usually bargain with the smaller stores (not Michael Levine's)
5. Bring some bottled water to stay hydrated.

A big thank you to Regina for taking GG and I to the L.A. Fashion District. We had such a blast!

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