the blog

Field Trip to Michael Levine

by Carlyn Maw on February 27, 2014, no comments

Upholstery side of Michael Levine

View when just walking in to the upholstery side of Michael Levine

Yesterday I went to Michael Levine for the first time with my friend Cecily Keim.  Turns out it’s a compound, two store fronts right across the street from each other. One has upholstery fabrics, the other more clothing and notions oriented.  Walking through both buildings with Cecily served as an excellent survey class on fabrics.

Textures together

Amazing colors with still enough comforting gray for me.


Cork Fabric

Real cork!

In the upholstery section the employees have a knack for laying out the bolts in thought provoking combinations. I typically gravitate towards solids so I spent a lot of yesterday stupefied.

Although they have a section where fabric can be purchased by weight and a calendar of specials, I’ve read that Michael Levine’s is not the cheapest place to buy fabric in the 100 block megalopolis of textures that is the fashion district. For the fabric savvy who know what they want and how much a yard should cost, I don’t doubt it. That certainly doesn’t describe me, however, so I was glad for the edited introduction.

While Cecily was a font of useful information, my favorite tip was to not super stress what a fabric was theoretically best for and if I like one and can afford the experiment just try and learn from the experience.

I managed to get out of the area without buying anything, miracles of miracles. Cecily is kindly determined not to let that happen again and sent me home with three books she recommends to rustle up a concrete practice project idea.

 One-yard Wonders by by Patricia Hoskins and Rebecca Yaker.

 Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter.

 Teach Yourself Visually: Sewing by Debbie Colgrove (same publisher as Cecily’s book.)