I know there has been some radio silence on my end lately, but that is because I’ve been visiting my family in NJ the past week. They ever so conveniently live 14 miles from NYC so therefore I HAVE to go visit there while I’m here. And this trip is no exception!
A few months back, someone gave me free tickets to go on a tour of the Garment District through a company called “Seek“. I had no idea what to expect, but I figured I was planning on doing some major fabric shopping anyway, so why not attend? Growing up so close to the City, I never ever took any tour of any kind. So why the heck not now that I’m no longer an East Coast resident? I tell you what, after Tuesday I am TOTALLY into taking more tours! It was SO awesome!
I had two tickets, so I took my sister Lisa with me for fun. She has an interest in sewing and plans on immersing herself fully when she finds more time. (she already has QUITE the fabric stash!) We were supposed to meet the tour guide outside of FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) at 10am sharp. No easy feat for two girls who share 3 kids between them, traveling from New Jersey, lol! We missed the first train we planned on taking by the skin of our teeth and thought we would be late, but thank goodness made it EXACTLY on time.
Liz was our tour guide and she was AWESOME. Super friendly and open and immediately made Lisa and me feel at ease and excited. We had one other girl on the tour with us, who came from LA and was absolutely HILARIOUS. I was so happy to have such a small group of wonderful people! And we all had the same interests so there was not much time wasted for anyone who wasn’t interested in something the other one was.
We learned a LOT about the beginnings of the garment district and how things got brought over and by whom, how it deeply affected the women’s union and labor laws, the histories of big stores like Gimble’s Macy’s and Saks, and lots of other very interesting facts. Our guide went to school at FIT and she also talked about Parson’s School of Design. It was cool for me, since I *almost* went to FIT, but decided to go to beauty school instead at that time. I am happy to have gone down the path that I did, but this also made me wish maybe I had gone to school for sewing and design too! Especially since I do hair about 2% of the time now, and sewing has become my most passionate activity :)
We walked all around the area and went to a few amazing fabric shops, where I totally went overboard (and then when I got home I wished I had gone even MORE overboard!). Let me tell you, going back to Austin where apparel fabric is $10-$25 a yard vs. these shops where it was more $3-$7 a yard… Well let’s just say I hope what I bought this week will last until my next trip out here!! Our last stop to shop was Mood, where everything is more like the prices I am used to, so I bought nothing because it just seemed so much more expensive than the other shops.. Well, I bought some trims and zippers, but no fabric there.
The tour was supposed to be 2 hours, but ended up being probably over 3 hours since we were all having SUCH a great time! It seemed Liz, our tour guide was having just as much fun as we were so the time just slipped away quickly!
Anyways, I FULLY recommend doing one of these tours with Seek! I learned so much, got to see shops that I would never have known about, and just really had a fantastic time :)
By the way, these people have not asked me to endorse them in any way possible. Yes, the tour was free for me, but it wasn’t given to me by the company, it was given to me as a gift from someone else. As a matter of fact, like a ding dong, I never even told Liz I have a sewing blog. For some reason I always feel bashful about telling people about it. So my opinions are completely my own, I just wanted to shout off from the rooftops (or blog page) about what a great time we had :) I just wish I had taken more pictures! I never ever think of taking pictures!! Oh well.