Wednesday, October 19, 2011

LA Mart- Crafty gals on the loose

Last weekend, one of my besties was in town for a few days, and she loves sewing and crafting as much ( if not more) than I do. For the past year, I have been talking up the LA textile mart to her, so when she and her family made it into my neck of the woods, I just HAD to go show her what it was all about.

Armed with a pocket full of cash, water bottles and the end of a toilet paper roll we headed south to LA...If I haven't already mentioned, toilets are few and far between at the mart..and when you do happen to find one, and pay a quarter to use it, they're often out of T.P. One of my recent trips down there found my sis-in-law and I resorting to fast food napkins from her glove-box as stand-in's. LOL

I should have known something was up when I got street level parking, AND, at 10:00 a.m. on a Saturday, I could still make a left turn onto the main street without hitting any pedestrians (The streets are usually packed..and crosswalks and streetlights are simply "suggestions" to pedestrians).

Store fronts were still closed up- struck me as odd, but we could have just arrived a bit too early? We went over Levine's..There are 3 Levine's shops ( Flagship, Loft, Home Dec)..They are among my favorites at the mart, although the fabric at the flagship store is not as cheap as other stores-the assortment is unmatched.. While shopping, I overheard someone say it was a Jewish Holiday---which explained--- that's why many stores were closed.

Anyways, we had a limited store selection because of the holiday, and I didn't get to show Liz all of my favorite places, but we did score some cool fabrics and trims for bargain prices. I think we both loved the Levine's Loft. There are boxes upon boxes of knit fabrics to dig through, and instead of charging by the yard, they weigh your cuts, and charge only $2.00/lb! SCORE!
( insider tip: the Levine's home dec store below the Loft has a CLEAN bathroom--with toilet paper!! It's at the back of the store, and unmarked..Oh Happy Day for this preggo bladder)

[Levine's Loft: $2/ lb. store]

Before leaving, we stopped in at one of my other favorite stores, where I've purchased fabric for my tote bags before. Over on one wall, Liz found a bunch of stretch lace and elastic for lingere. She had been looking for foldover elastic to try her hand at some swim diapers ( so crafty, that girl!), and they had it in an assortment of colors, for only 50 cents/yd. She was telling me about some headband she made from stretch elastic, and how easy of a project it was, so I bought myself 4 yds. of lingere elastic and brought them home for an evening project.

And she was right- they are OH-SO- EASY!

1yd of each elastic makes 2 adult headbands, and one toddler size.
  • Rule of thumb, measure around head, subtract 1 inch, and cut.
  • Sew ends together using straight stitch making an "x" marks the spot, or use zig zag back and forth a few times to secure ends.
  • Heat seal ends if they stick out at all
Check out Liz's blog, A crafty Bee for details on how to make no-slip headbands with ribbon for an even cuter look.

And while I am singing her praises...check out the Boy's first handmade gift! Liz made a block quilt, backed in minky, and a cute little striped sleep sack re-purposed from a surf shirt ( I forgot to take a photo of the sleep sack, but here's one she made on her blog, and another). I love that she has labels for all her blankets.

All in all, it was a fun trip to the mart, and we both felt like we came away with some super cool finds. I've got some shark print board short fabric to make the boy some swim-trunks with the pattern over at MADE, and some really cool black on black houndstooth material to make some fancy make-up brush rolls or tote bags with. Time to get sewing!

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