One of my favorite parts of sewing is fabric shopping and LA is really great for fabric shopping. I don’t know what I will do when I move out of LA. I live in Miracle Mile and there are two fabric stores that I can walk to. The first is Mood Fabrics (http://www.moodfabrics.com/), of Project Runway fame, only they go to Mood NY and obviously this one is the LA store. I have only been in Mood once and I have to say it was a mixed experience. The good is that they had tons of fabric of every imaginable type. There were so many bolts of beautiful fabrics (including this gorgeous pink and white checkered silk taffeta that I desperately wanted. The bad is that the store was super confusing for a beginner, none of the staff made any effort to help, and some of the people there were downright rude. If you aren’t familiar with fabric type/content or have a question about suitability of fabric for a project I just don’t think I could recommend Mood, because I know that personally I was overwhelmed in there. I am sure that I will make it back in there eventually, but I don’t feel like I am ready yet.
The other fabric store that I can walk to is The Fabric Store (http://www.thefabricstoreusa.com/). The Fabric Store is a New Zealand based store that specializes in New Zealand merino jersey, but carries many other apparel fabrics with a focus on natural fibres. The store isn’t huge like Mood, but it is a good size and I found that they had a nice variety of fabrics with fun patterns. Additionally the staff is friendly and helpful, which made shopping there a good experience.
Another fabric store that I like that is a bit further from me is Sew LA, located in Atwater Village. Sew LA is a small sewing store with a decent sized class space towards the back (I actually discovered Sew LA when I was searching for a sewing class). The store features fabrics and supplies from small companies and independent designers. The fabric selection isn’t huge, but what they have looks like it has been carefully selected. The selection was largely prints (but super cute ones featuring foxes, cat heads, oranges) and cottons, but they also had chambrays, knits, linens, etc. Their pattern selection was also right up my alley. The shop carried patterns from some great small companies like Sewaholic, Deer and Doe, Victory, and Made by Rae. The patterns also seems to be geared towards a young hip aesthetic. The staff was young, friendly and knowledgeable. The classes offered are for projects I am actually interested in (like the Washi dress, the Colette Laurel dress, etc), the class space is decently sized and nicely laid out, and I have really enjoyed the few classes I have taken there (I’m doing a dress class right now).
There are still a number of fabric stores in the area on my list that I want to check out and one of these days I hope to get up the courage to go to the fabric district in downtown LA, but I have to use up more of my fabric stash first!