Are you looking to check out the Los Angeles Garment District but not sure where to start?
As some of you may know, I have been sewing for as long as I can remember… when I was seven, I started taking sewing classes and have since continued the craft. Over the past 22 years, the number of fabric stores in my town has dwindled down to only one, Joann’s Crafts, and while Joann’s is good for your basic crafting needs, their fabric selection caters to just that—crafters. The selection consists of mostly large bolts of fleece fabric for blankets and basic calico prints for quilters; not quite what you want for design projects or unique things. When I was in high school, I started going to the Los Angeles Garment District in downtown LA for fabrics as an alternative. Luckily for me, my aunt was a fashion designer and was able to point me in the right direction as far as vendors go.
Micheal Levine’s I will usually buy what I know I can’t find anywhere else at Micheal Levine’s, like the printed woven fabrics for quilts, and then go next door for the batting and across the street for the backing of the quilt. There is a store on the corner of Maple and 9th that has a great selection of cozy chenilles and faux fur-type fabrics.
The Los Angeles Garment District stretches from 8th to 16th streets and Santee to Central, but if you park near Micheal Levine’s you can walk to most all of the vendors you will need. You can really only do so much before you get burnt out. I suggest checking out Blue Moon Fabrics as well as some of the other vendors on 9th.
The Garment District is good for more than fabric, too! If you are looking for clothes, knockoffs, or basically anything clothing-related at a discount, check out Santee Alley, which has an entrance on 10th between Maple and Santee streets. Brace yourself if you plan on going in the Alley; it’s worth checking out, just keep your bag closed and don’t expect a luxury shopping experience. It’s often crowded, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Another great place I love to go to is Maple Crafts, which is right next door to the upholstery branch of Micheal Levine’s. If you are throwing a shower or a party, it’s the BEST place to go to. You can find paper lanterns and ribbons in every color. Some of the stuff is a bit much, but I have found some really good finds at Maple Crafts and suggest checking it out if you’re in the area.
I hope this little breakdown of the Los Angeles Garment District is useful! It can be an amazing place but also a bit overwhelming if you are not too sure where to go. When in doubt, start at Micheal Levine’s!