Saturday, January 8, 2011

Los Angeles Loot

Behold me bounty...

This is actually about half of what was filling the trunk of the car!

As I mentioned yesterday, the hubby and I took off for a day of adventure with Chris and Cindy in a not-so-nice part of Los Angeles known as the "Garment District".  Little Mr. Rowan kept his grandma Sandy company back at the condo in Anaheim. 

I had never been to this part of the city and I was blown away.  I'm sorry that I didn't take photos of the area, but I was waaaay too busy drooling over the miles of FABRIC!  There were blocks after blocks of stores selling fabric, textiles, and notions.  I was amazed!  

We knew over a year ago that we would be taking a day to go fabric shopping so I had really been stashing money away just for this jaunt.  Many of you know we do Renaissance Faires so we had several outfits in mind that we would be shopping for.  We've also made plans to attend the Dickens Fair in San Francisco next Christmas and need to create Victorian clothes for that.  So we had a list and a plan.  The moment we saw the abundance of gorgeous fabrics and the miniscule prices, the plan flew out the window! 

We bought a bit over 100 yards of fabric and several hundred yards of trim.  Even with all of these purchases - I still came in $120 under my $400 budget that I had allotted and scrimped for.  I spent $280 total.  Mr. MoonCat figured out that we would have spend at least $2000 retail for the fabric and notions that we bought.  The other day I found one of our new wools online at a sale price of $25/yard  I was proud of myself because I had talked the guy in L.A. down to $6/yard from his price of $25.

We're talking BARGAINS people!  On wool and silk among others.  Most of the sellers were very motivated to make my day and my dear Cindy helped me get my feet wet in the art of haggling.  We found an awesome place called "The Loft" above Michael Levine's.  The fabrics were $2.00 PER POUND!  I found several 250 yard rolls of trim there as well for $5.00 each!  

The boys had to make a couple trips back to the car as Cindy & I did a great job of filling up our little shopping cart thing we'd brought to pull around behind us.  They didn't complain (much) as half of what we bought is for their Faire garb as well as ours AND they discovered the famous "Junkyard Dogs".  I think they both ate 3 of them!

Junkyard Dogs are sold by the street vendors and are unbelievable!  They are bacon-wrapped hot dogs with all the fixings including fresh avocado, cheese, and sour cream.  So the boys got their food fix and "cheerfully" carted around our purchases AND acted as bodyguards.  It is not an especially safe area and we did come across a few crazy people down there, but we did our shopping and headed back to the condo.

So enough with all of the blah blah me some goodies.....

This wool tartan will end up as a Great Kilt for the hubby and an arasaid for me
(Chris & Cindy chose the same tartan for theirs so we'll all match!)

The heavy brown will make a doublet for the hubby and a long Pirate coat for each of us!
The plaid and cream cottons are stash fabrics.  (All at $2.00/lb)

The coral and white gauze are for chemises and blouses for me.
The bottom two are actually both sides of one fabric.  For a Faire skirt and apron.

The pretty black/gray fabric is for a fancy underskirt for me and sleeves for one of his shirts.  The top fabric is a light green linen and the righthand fabric is a greenish velvet.

Unfortunately, this picture's color is off. 
The light wool fabric is actually a darkish sage green with black threads. 
(The fabrics in the photo directly above this one coordinate with this fabric.) 
Hubby and I both really liked this one so he'll get a doublet and I'll get a gown from it.

At $2.00/lb, these cottons are for the stash closet.  Though Mr. MoonCat wants the bright striped fabric for his Halloween costume this year.

My Irish Bog dress will be made out of this light and lovely wool!  Yay me!
Two more lovelies for the stash at $2.00/lb

This was probably one of my favorite finds of the day and my first purchase there.
It's a blue-green peacockish silk that changes colors as the light hits it.  I found the trim at a completely different store later on.  This will be incorporated into a Victorian gown for the Dickens Faire for me and we may use some of to accent the hubby's attire ~ the silk not the trim :)
A lovely cotton that was also $2.00/lb.  It's 9 yards & I think it ended up costing about $2.50 for the whole piece!  (Yes, I seem to have been on a turquoise blue kick that day!)

The wool tartan will be a skirt for me and the coordinating turquoise gauze will be the chemise to go with it.  These were found at different stores too!

These notions were all found at The Loft.  The two big spools are 250 yards each for $5.00.  The other carded trims ended up being around 7 cents a yard! 

So that was what we came home with after a day of bargain hunting.  We're talking about making it a yearly trek down there as we'd like to really build up our garb closet for doing Faires.  I can't wait to get sewing now that the holidays are behind us.  Only problem is what you saw in the very first photo.  That is my sewing room/office and THAT is my sewing table under all of those bags and boxes.  It'll take me days to get to it!


  1. Very jealous! I've been wanting to visit the fabric district for awhile now. Need to start planning my way there. =)

  2. I had been hearing about it for years and we just never made the trip. It was a blast and since I'm a fabricaholic it's a good thing that its about a 5 hour drive from home :)

    One of the things we figured out quickly was that the more yards you buy the lower the price goes. That was why we got such a great deal on our wools. Between Cindy & I we bought almost 50 yards at the one store. He definitely wanted to work with us :)

    I think going as a group is the way to do it!

  3. Awesome finds! So jealous. Post pics of the finished pieces when they are ready. :)

  4. WOWZA!! you guys pirated away some good booty! I love fabric, but not for the reasons you do. I had no clue that you and Mr. MoonCat dressed up for ren faire's and such. Do you make your own patterns etc? I find this whole subject fascinating!! Why are there no photos of you all in any of the garb here on the blog? I know I am not alone in saying, I'd sure love to see them!

    Congrats on your great pillage!!


  5. Thanks ladies!

    I'm sure you've noticed that I don't put many pictures of myself on here. (I like being BEHIND the lens..) But I will dig up some of the ones of us in garb. The hubby has a lot more variations as he did it for years before we met. My lack of outfits was one of the main reasons for our shopping spree.

    Thanks for oohing & ahhing over me loot!


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