Shopping for Sparkles

Living in New York for ten years spoiled me for many things – delis on every corner, a $10 manicure, unlimited subway passes, subways that run 24-7, and of course, the shopping. I really didn’t fully understand the lament of my best friend, on how conservative DC is when it comes to shopping, but now that I’ve been in the area for two plus years, I get it. I really don’t want to look like every other shops at J.Crew-Gap-Banana Republic woman in the area! I like those stores too, but there is sartorially more to life than those places!

My $10 manicure, in dusty teal – I saw blue nails everywhere, so naturally I had to do it too!

Naturally, my recent trip to the Big Apple focused on shopping.  Uniqlo‘s Orla Kiely collection made me very happy, although I was disappointed in the fit of almost everything I tried on in Joe Fresh. Almost everything – I did get two tops.

But what I miss the most about shopping in New York is the Garment District, that lovely area full of fabric stores and trim shops. I dragged a friend to a few, hunting specifically for reflective fabric and trim.

We started in B & J Fabrics. I love this place, mostly for it’s huge collection of Liberty of London fabrics. If I could wear nothing but Liberty of London, I would – but I can’t afford it! Yikes, $37 a yard! Nope, not yet. I did find some reflective fabric, though, but only three options. I ended up getting a half-yard of the gold. It is $42 a yard, or I would have bought more. I have an idea of what to do with it, but it will be top secret for a while. It’s something for fall anyway, so I’m not in a huge rush to get that made.

Then we visited a few trim shops to find some more reflective grosgrain trim. Surprisingly, I didn’t see any reflective piping, but I did find the grosgrain.

In the first store, the color selection wasn’t exciting, and they were all $3.50 a yard.

They did carry a few different widths, which was a plus. But I couldn’t think of anything to do with orange or neon green reflective trim. Nothing I’d wear, anyway.

Then we went into a different store, and I hit the jackpot! A huge selection of really pretty colors, and only $1 a yard! Such a bargain! I got 3 yards each of my four favorite colors. J’adore!

In love with these colors!

So now I’m searching through the Vogue patterns website, trying to find something to do with these trims. The Cynthia Rowley dress pattern I loved isn’t available anymore, not online, but I will probably check in my local JoAnn Fabrics, anyway.

Cynthia Rowley dress pattern

There is always this super simple skirt pattern, which I can decorate with trim, like I did the first:

I do love making (and wearing) skirts in the summer.

I also found a great Donna Karan dress that would be good with reflective piping or trim, plus a few other patterns that are just cute and summery, although they don’t necessarily lend themselves to bike-friendly garments.

So I have something thinking to do! Thinking and designing. And now I wish I was back in New York to find some great fabrics.  Hm – next free weekend…?