That Time I Found *Exactly* What I Wanted in the Garment District

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My girl’s trip to Santa Fe was cancelled at the last minute and I decided to go to NY for the day to see the Lauren Bacall exhibit at the Museum at FIT. I was in a chat with Karen and Claudine and they both came in to the City too.

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The exhibit is housed at FIT which also had two other excellent exhibits. One of St. Laurent and Halston’s influence on the 70s style and another on counterfeit and licensed copies in fashion.

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I never thought I’d be into 70s fashion. But, seeing this presentation definitely made me change my mind. I also wanted to fondle every t’ing.

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After seeing the exhibit, I’m totally motivated to make some simple knit shirt dresses. I actually had this in mind over the winter. But, now I see exactly what I want to do.

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Of course, I had to do a little fabric shopping. I bought two of the three things I was looking for and like four things I wasn’t!  But, the one that makes me *the* very happiest is this turquoise silk jersey from Mood.

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It’s 55 inches wide and the perfect color for me to copy this Michael Kors dress seen here on Beyonce. Do you want to jump up and cheer for me? Because, I get giddy just seeing this!!


I’ll be using the Hot Patterns Cosmopolitan pattern when I get around to making this up. But, I honestly squealed when I found this fabric!! It’s what I’ve been looking for a couple of years now.

And, guess who we found in the Garment District? Lauren of Lladybird! And, by found. I mean: Guess who I messaged on Twitter when I saw she was going to be in New York and asked if she wanted to meet and go shopping together?

IMG_20150319_152328385She is as petite and as southern as I thought she would be. And funny. And, a really specific fabric shopper. I should take lessons. I just start salivating and buy all the things. Also, I came home and told Jordan I wanted a nose ring. Well, I’d been telling him since I left my government job that I wanted a tongue ring and he was (horrified) ADAMANT that it was a terrible idea. I thought the nose ring would put the tongue ring into perspective. But, instead, he just reminded me that I’m ten years past either being acceptable. I’ll just have to stick with crazy colored nail polish as my silent protest of really being a pretty standard issue buppie. Who am I kidding? I almost passed out watching a friend get a belly ring in the 90s.

I feel I also need to explain these photos.


After I got home, from our last trip, I decided I was going to buy a Selfie Stick. Yes, I know. It’s RIDICULOUS. But, I hate asking people to take my photo when traveling. And, I personally hate looking at other people’s travel photos when they are just of buildings and not of them or of people. And, apparently, it’s rude to ask people to take multiple photos until you’re happy with the one they took. So, I got a selfie stick and thought it was time I used it in the wild. Everyone (but me) felt RIDICULOUS and somewhat horrified that we were using a selfie stick in the middle of Mood. We couldn’t stop laughing at how RIDICULOUS it all was. But, you know what? I got a good photo out of it. Selfie Sticks for Everyone!20150319-IMG_20150319_145221692 photo 20150319-IMG_20150319_145221692_zpscf776116.jpgI couldn’t get this starry blue and brown silk jersey off my mind. I think it would be perfect as one of those 70s style shirt dresses. I may have asked Lauren to look for it when she went back to Mood. And, I may have also called Mood and asked them to send me some. I bought a bunch of other stuff too that I’m too lazy to photograph. And, knowing me, they won’t get sewn until my retirement.

It was an exhausting but fun one day trip into New York. I really need to make myself do this more often.

And now, I leave you with some Mondrian from the Museum

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  1. It was great to see what the insides of Mood looks like (and OMG how did you get out with any money left at all?!?). It’s one of those places that Lladybird Lauren is always mentioning, with really specific fabric types like ‘French terry’ and ‘silk jersey’. None of these fabric exist in Australia, let alone in Perth. So I imagine what it would feel like, and keep trawling through piles of polyesters and nylons looking for some natural fabrics, and life goes on.

    I just learnt a new word: buppie. It really wasn’t what I thought it would be; I thought it would be like: buppie (n) business-hippie. Or something like that.

  2. If / when I ever thing about moving out of the US. I’m reminded how limited my access to fabric would be. Then, I resolve to never leave either coast. I would break into a sweat if I didn’t know I could have ready access to ALL THE FABRICS.

  3. Ok, you have just had and described a dream day to me! This looks like it was amazing! Question: do you know if DC is in daytrip range from NYC? My husband and I anticipate moving to DC in the summer for a few years and now I’m wondering if it would feasible to make frequent enough trips to NYC from there to check out all the dress/fashion exhibits that happen there while we’re in the US. And blow money in the garment district, too, of course ;o) DC and Baltimore seem pretty close on the map……..maybe I’ll come stalk you ;oP

    • Absolutely doable! The bus I take from Baltimore actually stops first in DC. And, if you buy ahead of time is under $40 round trip. The trick is them having a good exhibit in NY at the same time. I also try and look at what Philadelphia has at their museum, but they seem to exhibit less often :-/ Plus, if you just want to meet, there’s a commuter train that’s $7 each way between Baltimore and DC. Trena’s taken it a few times!

      On Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 8:43 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • Fantastic! Looks like NYC will be more accessible than I’d thought. I’ll definitely be looking to insinuate myself into any sewists trips/get togethers going on during my time in DC. Between the Costume Institute, the Museum at FIT and the Museum of the City of NY (which has a substantial historical dress collection, I believe) I think there’ll be at least a few exhibitions I’ll want to see over the three years we anticipate living down there – I’m as interested in seeing historical dress as modern/vintage. Thanks for the heads-up regarding Philadelphia, too! And I’d love to meet up sometime, I always need more sewing friends in my life, lol.

  4. Love this post! Last minute trip to NYC, meetup with some of my fav bloggers, MOOD, 70’s styles, and a selfie stick! Smiles all around.

  5. Did you know that they make that selfie stick with a tripod? Yes, it can be floor height or desk height. And how do I know that you ask? Because I own one. Yeap, how else am I going to get self portraits for Instagram!?! *LOL* Especially since my photographer went and had another baby! The silk jersey is awesome…so glad you had a good time and thanks for reminding me about the exhibit cause I need to go.

  6. So. Much. Fun! Maybe someday I’ll manage to get somewhere where there is both fabric and blogging buddies… 🙂

  7. haha you need to “MAKE” yourself do this more often. Do you REALLY need an excuse to go into the Garment District? As an Aussie, I day dream about it ALL THE TIME.

    I vote you get started on your Beyonce dress straight away. That way, if anything goes wrong, you know the fabric will still be in stock and it’ll save you some stress.

    • I know! It sounds like such a First World Problem. But, NYC (IMHO) is best on a weekday and that means taking a day off. Also, I find the garment district overwhelming at times. And NEVER plan. Like, I bought yards and yards of elastic for underwear — yet didn’t get the two colors I actually *need*.

      On Sat, Mar 21, 2015 at 4:20 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  8. That silk jersey dress is going to be A-MAAA-ZZZZING! I’ll be in NYC for a wedding this summer and I’m contemplating how to get an afternoon to get to the garment district for a whirlwind shopping trip. Hurray for having buddies around to shop with, too!! ANd yes, you NEED that star fabric.

  9. I’m a 70s child who loves the fashion of that decade. I particularly love Halston’s pieces. I would’ve loved to be at that show!

  10. I did actually squeal inside my heart when I read that you found exactly what you needed. Plus that pattern couldn’t be more of an exact match for the Beyonce dress. It’s going to be unreal.
    I think you could totally pull off an understated nose piercing. Though I don’t think I could handle it during allergy season. 😉

  11. That silk jersey looks FANTASTIC!!! Go make something awesome with it!

    You know…Pentax just made a new camera with a selfie function– if you tilt the screen out facing the front of the camera, one of the buttons that would be in a natural position to be a shutter button when you’re holding it like that *becomes* a shutter button. Please tell me I don’t need a new camera. Please tell me I don’t need a new camera.

  12. The silk jersey looks fabulous and must feel even better. That is going to be one fabulous dress! I had to laugh when I read your remark about almost passing out with your friend getting the belly ring – I did the exact same thing (also in the 90’s). Had to go sit on the floor with my head between my knees. Well, at least I provided some distraction from the pain :-).

  13. Your silk jersey is gorgeous.

    A few days ago, I looked at the varoused rating for buses from arlington/Bethesda to nyc. I just need the courage to hop on the bus alone and go. Maybe I’m afraid that I may get addicted to hopping on a bus to ny.

    For now, I visit g street weekly for their new $2.97/yd drop off.

  14. That Beyonce dress looks just like your style! The silk jersey will do it justice. I just saw a Selfie Stick in the store and thought how it was simultaneously absurd and practical–I HATE asking strangers to take pictures.

  15. Some seriously enabling going on here. Now I might be able to ignore the stunning silk jersey because there’s some glitzy stretch charmeuse on sale at my ‘hood fabric store. But that Starry Night fabric??? I might have to do what you’re the store. But now I want to make a Beyonce dress and I’m not even a fan.
    Btw, now that I’ve a friend in Philly, I could fly in for a visit and shopping. Gosh, I wish I could see that 70s fashion exhibit…I’m afraid the annual NYC visit is not going to happen this year……

  16. Miss C – is the Cosmopolitan pattern HotPatterns OOP? Think so. Not your fault, but now I need alt in print pattern. Ideas?

    • Off the top of my head… Maybe the Lady Skater dress with a wider sash? And YES!! Please!! Come to Philly! I’ll meet you there and we can go to an exhibit and do some shopping!

      On Sun, Mar 22, 2015 at 3:01 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  17. I went to FIT and they have rooms and rooms where they keep their collections and Lauren Bacall was one who was a generous benefactor to the school. When the curator pulled out some of her couture clothes for us to look at, I was amazed at how tiny she was! I shall have to try to make the exhibit quite soon. Thanks for the pics.

  18. 70s styles have had a bad reputation for such a long time. It wasn’t the styles that were bad — last time I could regularly buy clothes that I considered “pretty” was in the 1970s — it was the dad-blasted terrible terrible terrible polyester fabrication that was bad. Designers then still actually thought about designing clothing that was flattering to a female body; not designing beautiful clothing that only looks good on a hanger, then shaming female bodies for not living up to the dream of the dress. Or so it seems to me.

    We wore knit shirtdresses absolutely to death. They became so ubiquitous that we just got tired of looking at them. It’s more than high time to bring back such a useful, comfortable, flattering garment, and let the next generation of women enjoy the knit shirtdress.

  19. I’m so glad you hollered at me on Twitter because it was REALLY fun hanging out with you (and the selfie stick, haha)! Fabric shopping is the best when you have some peer pressure influence involved 😛 You should be happy to know that I did finally find that leopard print ponte I was seeking out. And I think you should totally get a nose ring! Jordan doesn’t even know what he’s talking about. Piercings and tattoos only get cooler the older you get 😉

  20. The star print is actually an African Wax (Ankara) pattern that has been in existence for a while – i.e since I was in grade school but more likely longer. It’s usually in yellow/red/orange, maybe blue. It’s almost like a plaid to us:) I would love to get my hands on a jersey version of it since wax print is regular cotton. There is fabric designer who has silk and chiffon versions.

    And the MK dress…can’t wait to see your take. Looks comfy but stylish

    • That is so interesting! I showed it to someone yesterday and she was telling me it looked really familiar. i just assumed she’d seen it in a designer garment. Good to know! Thank you for the background.

      On Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 3:52 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


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