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Monday, May 20, 2013

Trip to Mood Fabrics Los Angeles

Everyone talks about Mood Fabrics like a sewist's mecca.  I decided to make the trek out from Phoenix.  I had to see it for myself in a way that online shopping just doesn't compare.  It is only a 5 and 1/2 hour drive from Phoenix and it was a little detour from our vacation to Laguna Beach.  And look at this place!
 I was accompanied by some non-sewing friends.  The survived and tried really hard to hide their total and complete lack of interest.  Bless their hearts.  They love me enough to go with me - yay for me!
  This was, by far, the most fabric I have ever seen in one place.  It was HUGE.  Rolls and rolls and rolls.
So very many buttons. Seriously, if you can't find a button that will work here, it may not exist.

 I was trying to find some vintage-looking flowered fabric for the retro patterns I have lined up to sew, but I was disappointed by two things: One is that one of the employees was so rude I almost left right then and there.  I know you are a fabric mecca and I have also come to understand that I am not good enough for you, but shouldn't you still answer a question and help me?

Luckily, I didn't give up and the next two employees were very helpful.  However, there was no cotton flowered vintage-looking fabric.  I am not sure where people are getting it.  I did manage to find two things I like, though.
This border print is a silk blend and I LOVE it.  It made the whole trip worth it.  I got an insane (for me) 7 yards.  It was 16.00 a yard.  Which I am aware is not really that pricey for some nice apparel fabric, however it is the most I have ever paid for any fabric.  I usually end up finding things in thrift stores or going to discount places for fabric that isn't usually over 2.00 a yard.  But this border print was just too pretty.  This was actually a low-end price for the store.  I was wandering in a more expensive section and saw some lovely stuff for 40-100 dollars a yard. I high-tailed it for the cheaper section quickly, just in case I fell in love with something.

 I also picked up three yards of this flowered cotton/lycra blend for 12.00 a yard.  It isn't the vintage-looking floral I was hoping for, but I have a nice skirt planned.  Or maybe the skirt of a dress and attach a white bodice to it.  I will sooooo be making a muslin as not to waste a bit of it. 

The trip to mecca left me wondering - am I just being cheap when sewing?   I just can't imagine buying a fabric at 60.00 a yard and getting the 5 yards needed for the retro dresses I like.  It would make sewing a hobby I can't afford.  What do other sewists regularly spend on fabric?    Are these prices sticker-shock inducing for you, too?


  1. I can't wait to go there. I dream of having one of those bags you are sporting. I am green with envy every time I see one on TV. But one day am going to have one. Yes Sir. Your fabric looks fab, you will feel like a queen in it, because you know you will be wearing expensive fabric.

    1. You are just over the pond from New York. You should totally go! I am now officially afraid to cut into the fabric, though. It is in a box and I am currently just taking it out and admiring it daily.

  2. Love the blog revamp. Very sophisticated.

    1. Thanks! A little Photo Shop on a photo of me and I played with the CSS a little.

  3. Ohh. Good question. I love your border-print silk-blend fabric. I'd say $16 is more than I'd spend on a cotton, but it doesn't seem so steep for the silk. I tend to think Mood is over-priced for many things too. My cynical side says it's just because it's been slapped with a specific designer's name, not necessarily that the fabric is that much better than something without a name (kind of like how a Disney t-shirt is three times the price it was before Mickey's face was put on it). If it's just a pretty print that I'm looking for, I'll start with the cheaper options (such as or fashion fabrics club) and if I don't find what I'm looking for, gradually move toward more expensive options. I'm more likely to go with the pricier options if I'm looking for something really specific, but even then $60/yard would be way more than I'd want to pay, and I don't think I'd be making up a full-skirted dress from it.

    1. I have never purchased fabric online. I think I just needed to feel the fabric, the stretchiness, and see the weave. Now, I am a little more familiar with the names of the different fabrics, maybe I should start. I checked out and I see the same blue flowered fabric I bought at Mood for 5.95 a yard. At Mood I paid 12.00 a yard. Hmmmm...
      By the way, I wandered over to your blog and now I am following you on Bloglovin. Love your dresses!

  4. Hi from Mood! So glad you made the trip and found some fabric to make it worthwhile. We are very sorry to hear about the interaction with a rude employee. That is upsetting to us as we try very hard to ensure that all of our customers have a positive experience at Mood from the moment they walk in the door. Glad to hear the other two employees were a better representation of Mood.

    As far as Mood being overpriced goes... We feel that for the quality of fabric we provide, our prices are actually quite reasonable. The vast majority of our fabrics are priced at less than $20 a yard. Sure, seeing prices of $50+/yd on some of the designer fabrics might cause a little bit of sticker shock for some people. But consider this example to see how sewing with some of the pricier designer fabrics can be a bargain:

    Mood recently acquired some fabric from a top-tier couture designer. We are selling a beautiful silk panel fabric by this designer for $70 per panel; you would need 2-3 panels for a dress or jacket. In the stores RIGHT NOW, not on sale yet it's that new, is a stunning coat by this designer from this panel silk. Cost? $7,900. You could make your own coat for a mere fraction of that!

    I could go on and on with other examples, but the best way to prove my point about how reasonable Mood is when you consider the cost of our fabric to the level of fabric quality, is to comparison-shop Mood's fabrics against other fabric stores. We're confident you'll agree that the value part of the equation is on Mood's side.

    Sorry for the long comment! Hoping we see you again soon. —Meg at Mood


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