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Behind the scenes at Mood Fabrics

  • Inspired Again


    For one of my last projects during my internship at Mood Fabrics, I was inspired to create a dress, pretty similar to the last one I made, for my birthday.  I was only able to create the bodice of the dress. I wanted to incorporate sleeves, trimming, and a super cool collar! Sadly, due to a time constraint, I wasn't able to finish it. Instead, I made a written blog post for that week, and a black velvet dress the following. Now I'm kinda stuck with the fabric I was using from two weeks ago. I was so uninspired to create anything. After a little time and thought, it came to me. Just because I didn't have a completed dress I wanted, that doesn't mean I didn't have a finished garment! My unfinished dress became a pretty cool long sleeveless blazer! This post will more so be focused on how to regain  inspiration for a project versus the actual tutorial for the garment. 

    Sometimes when creating a project, we run into certain obstacles that can easily turn us off from it completely! We either get busy and lose focus, don't really know what to add or remove, or just simply lose interest in the project altogether. It's just like having writer's block and never wanting to return to the story. Well how do you get it back? By stepping away, and coming back with an open mind.


    One of the best examples of coming back with new ideas from being uninspired is shown in the world of Sustainable fashion. Sustainable fashion, which is slowly on the rise, is the use of eco-friendly and recycled resources to help create entirely new projects! Take a quick trip to google and do a little research on this topic. Look for famous designers and trends in this fashion world. You may just get inspired again! =)


    If I would've continued to believe I had nothing to work with, I probably wouldn't have saw the blazer I basically had. All I had to do was create a few hems and...


    Fabric Used: 

    Theory Black Stretch Cotton Twill

    Vogue Easy Options Long Shirt Pattern


    Voila! A long sleeveless blazer created on accident! It's great for the remainder of Summer and can be a vital piece for the coming Fall. I folded and stitched down the shape of the collar and it created a really nice accent to the blazer. Again, unintentional!

    And then, I made this....


    Fabric Used:

    White Cotton Twill

    Coral Solid Satin

    Nothing too special. Thinking it could be used as a beach cover up or even a shawl for a formal gown. I just sewed two fabrics together, cut two armholes, and voila! What a collage, huh?

    Giving up is the easy part. Getting inspired is the challenge. Let us know what you get inspired to recreate or conjure up!

  • Tips for First-Time Visitors to Mood Fabrics NYC

    1150170_10153062082965147_962810202_n Do you have plans to visit our flagship NYC store for the first time? Sometimes the first trip to Mood Fabrics can be a little overwhelming, because you've probably never seen that much beautiful fabric in one place before. Just read the tips we've assembled here before you visit and you'll be shopping Mood like a savvy Project Runway designer. Our hours Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Closed January 1, July 4, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25. Our location 225 W. 37th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues), New York, NY 10018 Phone: 212-730-5003 Mood Fabrics is located at 225 W. 37th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues) in the Bricken Arcade building. Note that there is no sign on the street level as zoning prohibits this. Enter the Bricken Arcade lobby and take the elevator to the third floor. Mood occupies three floors in the building: • 3rd (main) floor: Silks, laces, brocades, velvets, cottons, jerseys, trims, buttons and notions. Cash registers and bag check-in are located on this floor. • 4th floor: Wools, suitings, coatings, tweeds, bouclés, wool knits, outerwear fabrics, linen, jerseys, spandex, faux furs • 2nd floor: Home décor fabrics, trims and notions; leather and fur. 1098463_10153062082220147_698080384_n Tips for visiting • Wondering when to visit? The store is less busy on weekday mornings between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are often a little quieter than the other days of the week. • Because some of our aisles are narrow and the store can get crowded at times, all backpacks, totes and packages must be checked in at the bag-check station at the front entrance. We think you’ll find that browsing for fabric is much easier when you aren’t burdened with extra bags. Avoid waiting in line by leaving backpacks and packages at home. Luggage, carry-on bags, and oversize backpacks are also not allowed in Mood and must be checked in at the bag-check station. • To protect the fabric from spills and stains, we ask that you not bring food and drink into Mood. • Mood’s main floor is accessible by wheelchair. Upon arriving at Mood, please notify the front desk if you need access to the second or fourth floor and we will arrange it for you. • Find a fabric in the store that you just love but perhaps aren’t ready to buy? When you do find a fabric you love, we recommend you buy it since we can’t guarantee it won’t sell out. Most of the fabrics carried in-store are designer closeout fabrics and cannot be reordered. Don’t let that beautiful fabric get away from you! • Mood carries a full line of notions, as well as buttons and trims, so you can find everything you need in one stop. We carry Vogue Patterns as well. • The minimum amount of fabric we will cut is ½ yard for fashion fabrics and 1 yard for home fabrics. Trims are 1 yard minimum. • Swatch, the Boston terrier who is Mood’s mascot and a star of Project Runway, is frequently in the store. He is a very mellow dog who loves people, especially children. But, if dogs are not your thing, just let us know when you arrive and Swatch will go to one of his spots where he is away from customers. 561612_10152234684505147_1200625212_n Swatching our fabrics: • If you see fabric you like and want a swatch, please ask one of our swatchers or team members to cut one for you. Customers are not allowed to cut their own swatches unless they have management permission. Swatchers have “I Swatch!” on their name badges. • For those customers or students who need to collect a large amount of swatches, we strongly recommend you plan on visiting between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. when the store is less busy. How to have a successful first visit to Mood Fabrics NYC: With three floors packed with fabric and more, there’s a lot to see! It can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. Here are two tips to turn you into a confident shopper the minute you step into our store: • Watch this brief video to get a quick overview of how to find us and what you’ll see once you get here. • Download this project shopping list and fill it out before you come. This will help you be an organized shopper-with-a-plan. There’s nothing worse than getting home and realizing you forgot something! Getting here: By mass transit: Take the subway or bus to Times Square, Herald Square, Penn Station or the Port Authority; Mood Fabrics is only a few short blocks away from each. By rail, take LIRR, NJTransit or Amtrak to Penn Station; Metro-North to Grand Central Station and then take the S subway shuttle to W. 42nd Street. By car: We strongly suggest you leave your car at home and take mass transit to Mood Fabrics. If you must drive, there are several parking garages within the immediate area. On-street parking is not usually available. We hope these tips help! See you soon.    
  • Four Reasons to Always Buy A Fabric Swatch First

    Ordering a swatch is the best way to ensure you'll be satisfied with your online fabric purchase.

    Want to guarantee you'll be 100 percent satisfied with your online fabric purchase? Always order a swatch first. We know, we know, sometimes you're in the moment and you just can't wait for a swatch. But here are four reasons why we think it pays to add this little step first: 1) Seeing Colors: Wouldn’t things be so simple if the colors displayed exactly the same way from desktop to mobile, and then to real life? We can’t see this happening anytime soon as there are just too many variations in monitor and mobile settings. Order a swatch when buying the exact color is paramount. 2) Describing Colors: Here at Mood we get into little mini discussions all the time about colors of fabric when we write product copy: “Would you say this fabric is a reddish brown or more of a brownish red?” Yeah, we actually talk about nuances like that. We hold each fabric to the window to observe the color in natural light, and we use the Pantone Fashion and Home Color Guide to help pinpoint an appropriate color name. But while we may call that yellow “banana cream,” you may say no way Mood, it’s daffodil. Everyone interprets color in his or her own unique way. Solution? Order a swatch and see for yourself. 3) Feeling texture: We do our best to tell you about a fabric’s texture through photos and descriptive copy, but sometimes you just have to feel it for yourself. What's soft to us might be scratchy to you, and vice versa. 4) Determining weight: Accurately describing a fabric’s weight is not as easy as you’d think. We do our best to tell you if we think a fabric is lightweight, medium-weight or heavyweight, but many fabrics straddle the line between lightweight and medium-weight, or medium-weight and heavyweight. A particular wool coating is lightweight, we say, but it may be medium-weight in your book. Worried a fabric may sell out before your swatch arrives? You can always call our customer service department to ask if that's a danger with the fabric you want. Do you swatch first? Or do you just cross your fingers, order and hope for the best? Tell us here!
  • Project Runway All Stars at Mood Fabrics: The Aftermath

    Last summer the producers of Project Runway All Stars approached us about filming an entire episode of the show at Mood Fabrics NYC. Everything but the runway and judging would be filmed at Mood, they told us. Even the models would get dressed at Mood.

    We thought about it for a split second, and of course we said yes. Though having the show here for more than just the usual fabric shopping scene meant a lot of rearranging of our retail space, we took a cue from Tim Gunn and made it work.

    What you see below is the aftermath of filming this episode at Mood, i.e., "When the Designers and Crew Left the Building." Project Runway All Stars filmed at Mood Fabrics.Project Runway All Stars filmed at Mood Fabrics.Cutting tables were stationed in two areas on our home floor. One work area was just outside of Mood's offices. I listened hard for the drama but didn't hear a peep from the designers the entire day they were here. I guess the first episode is too early for them to start in on the cattiness and iron throwing?Project Runway All Stars filmed at Mood Fabrics.Two aisles on the home floor became the sewing area. PRAS-sewing-machineHere's what their Brother industrial sewing machines look like, by the way. I want.Project Runway All Stars filmed at Mood Fabrics.Elena's work in progress. (I'd love to show more WIPs but we weren't allowed to photograph until the filming was over and the designers had left.) Project Runway All Stars filmed at Mood Fabrics.The makeup station was tucked away in a cramped corner of our home floor near our offices. Mentor Zanna Roberts Rassi was a good sport for putting up with the Mood employees who had to scoot by her as she was being made up, just so they could get into the office area. Project Runway All Stars filmed at Mood Fabrics.How about a little styling product with your matte jersey?Project Runway All Stars filmed at Mood Fabrics.The QVC shoe and accessories wall was located in our faux fur department. Next to fabric, shoes and handbags are my weaknesses, so I'd have been completely cool with this staying behind.Project Runway All Stars filmed at Mood Fabrics.Here's what it looked like after the filming ended. Think your sewing area is a mess? Take a look at this debris left behind and you'll feel better about your space!

    We loved playing host to Project Runway All Stars for this episode. It was a lot of work, but really worth it.

  • Swatch, Mood Mascot and Tim Gunn Protégé

    Tim Gunn has been tutoring our Swatch in how to be a Project Runway fashion mentor. Check out these images and let us know if you think Swatch could step in for Tim when he goes on vacation.

    Tim Gunn, Project Runway fashion mentor.Swatch, Mood Fabrics' mascot, is training to be the canine Tim Gunn.Tim Gunn, Project Runway fashion mentor.Swatch, Mood Fabrics' mascot, is in training to be the next Tim Gunn.Tim Gunn, Project Runway fashion mentor.

    Swatch, Mood Fabrics' mascot, is in training to be the canine Tim Gunn.

  • Mood Q&A Time: "Why Doesn't the Online Store Have the Same Fabrics as the NYC and LA Stores?"

    Mood Fabrics NYC

    Dear Mood: You drive me crazy. You post all these photos of great fabrics on Instagram but often they're only available at your brick-and-mortar stores. Which are nowhere near to me. Why can't I buy these same fabrics online at MoodFabrics.com? We get asked this question all the time by our customers. To answer it we need to first explain about the two types of fabrics Mood buys from its vendors and sources: reorderable and closeout. Reorderable means just that—when we've sold nearly all of the fabric (or trim) we can reorder more from the vendor. Reorderable fabrics can be found in both our stores and online. These tend to be staple fabrics in solid colors that never go out of style, like all kinds of silks, ponte knits, jerseys and more. Home decor fabrics usually are reorderable for periods of time. Closeout means the fabric or trim will not be reproduced again and is only available until the last inch is sold. The fabrics Mood buys from designers—including Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, Thakoon, Anna Sui, etc.—are generally always closeout fabrics. Once a closeout fabric is gone, it's gone for good.
    Closeout fabrics can also be found in both stores and online, but quantity plays an important part in which distribution channel gets what. To offer a fabric or trim at MoodFabrics.com we need to have enough quantity available a) to meet demand, because many more people can shop online than can come to Mood stores; and b) to cost-benefit out the many steps we go through to sell a product online: assign an item number, determine warehouse shelf space location, photograph it, write copy for it, cut swatches and assign a swatch bin location, price it, categorize it, etc.
    If there is not enough quantity of a fabric or trim to sell online, then it will go just to our two stores. When amounts are very limited we'll sell it only at our flagship NYC store. We get much of our designer fabrics from the NYC area, so it's cost-effective to bring them to the NYC store without having to get shipping involved. In a perfect world there would be always enough fabric to sell via all of our distribution channels, but Mood's situation isn't that dissimilar from other retailers with brick-and-mortar stores and online sites. Our customers who can shop online and in our stores know how lucky they are! •••••••• Future questions we hope to answer on Mood Q&A Time: How do I make a Mood board? • Why should I order a swatch? • What's the difference between double cloth and double face?, and more. Let us know here if you have questions you'd like answered.
  • Swatch, Mood Fabrics’ Mascot: 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

    Swatch mug-shot
    1. I live with my dad Eric and mom Marianne in NYC in their apartment. (Some people think I live at Mood 24/7; nope!)
    2. I have a microchip implanted in me just in case.
    3. My favorite toys are squeaky toys because they’re fun to rip to shreds.
    4. Don’t be surprised if you visit Mood on a rainy or snowy day and I’m not there. I hate rain and snow and I call in sick on those days.
    5. In the summertime, I like to float in the pool. Not swim, just float.
    6. I’m always flattered when customers want to take their pictures with me.
    7. I actually don’t mind when the Mood staff dresses me up in ridiculous outfits and makes me pose for photos. Even when they dress me like a girl.
    8. This past June I turned 6.
    9. I like to sleep under the covers.
    10. Filet mignon is my favorite food. I could eat it every day.
    11. Between noon and 3 p.m. I like to hang out in the staff lunchroom. I always volunteer to recycle any lunch leftovers.
    12. But my dad keeps telling the Mood employees to stop feeding me. He says I’m getting fat. I disagree.
    13. Speaking of being called fat, Season 11 Project Runway designers Michelle and Amanda are in the doghouse because they said I was chubby on national TV.
    14. Tim Gunn is my fashion mentor and friend in real life. Also, his face tastes good.
    15. My dream is to have a Project Runway spinoff show all about me.
    16. Hopefully the producers have forgotten that I ate a boom mic in Season 5.
    17. When I was a puppy, I chewed off all the buttons on the bottom shelf at Mood.
    18. My favorite spot to sleep at Mood is on the floor in Aisle 3, next to the silk shantung.
    19. I’m a friendly kind of guy, but if I sense a customer might be afraid of dogs I go sit behind the register.
    20. I can ride the elevator all by myself.
    21. I keep it under control when famous people visit the store and want to meet me. Hey, I understand what it’s like to be a celebrity.
    22. Mood employees fight over who gets to walk me. Aww, guys, I love you all!
    23. New York City’s dog parks are my favorite places to hang.
    24. I’ve lived in NYC since I was a young pup and I love this town. When I need a break from the hustle and bustle, though, I visit my grandparents on Long Island.
    25. North Shore Animal League is my favorite charity.
  • Behind the Scenes at Mood: Our Draped and Pinned Dressforms

    white-dresses The newest draped and pinned dressforms on display at Mood Fabrics NYC.
    Our customers love to ooh and ahh over Swatch, but you know what else at Mood NYC earns high marks? Our draped and pinned dressforms. Mood has had many talented in-house designers over the years, and our current designer/silk department team member is JC, a master of draping and pinning. JC, who is studying fashion design at FIT, follows the same process as most designers do when they're creating a garment or collection. Scroll down to see his process and more of his designs:
    Like most designers, he starts by sketching Like most designers, he starts by sketching
    Then he pulls fabric swatches to go with his designs. Then he pulls fabric swatches to go with his designs.
    JC cuts, drapes and pins on the dressforms. JC cuts, drapes and pins on the dressforms.
    And then stunning original designs result, like this jacket made from silk/wool mikado... And then stunning original designs result, like this jacket made from silk/wool mikado...
    brocade-gown ...and this gold brocade gown...
    ...and this ruched dress of poly satin... ...and this ruched dress of poly satin...
    ...and this outfit of lace and textured organza. ...and this outfit of lace and textured organza.
    JC makes it look so easy! Don't you wish you could drape like this? Would you be interested in a draping seminar at Mood NYC? Let us know here...