Monday, August 11, 2008

okay you win.

firstly, thank you all so much for the happy birthday wishes! i would add a grinning emoticon here if i knew how.

so here's the story. one hot day in downtown LA, i decided to take advantage of a long lunch break and frolic in the garment district. there's a 4 block radius of fabric shops there, surrounded by several streets straight out of the crackhouse scene in jungle fever. one wrong turn and you are truly in some kind of danger. i know this because i made about twenty wrong turns. luckily tank was the perfect disguise. 

i arrived safely, found the only unclaimed metered space (it was my birthday week, after all), and put my game face on. it was a busy saturday, with shop owners vying for attention. one particularly shady dude whispered as i walked past: "a dollar a yard. a dollar a yard." i pretended, in my best new yorker fashion, not to hear him, and casually fingered the bolts at the edge of the shop meant to lure you in for the more expensive stuff. i glanced inside, sure that i would be on my way quickly, and almost dropped dead on the spot. along the walls and down the middle of this tiny crowded shop were bolts and bolts of the Coolest. Fabrics. EVER. from behind me, that whisper again... only this time he added that most beautiful of words: Everything. my game face cracked. suddenly shady dude was positively russell crowe-ian. "a dollar a yard? i'd like... three... of this one..." i managed to stammer out. russell immediately offered me six yards for five dollars, and we were off to the races. i left the shop with a sack half my size for only 30 bucks of birthday money. i floated down the street, beaming at everyone like i was from kentucky and goin' to the fair. 

now, that might have been my downfall. i should have stopped there and grinned my way right back to tank, made some time to actually eat some food during my lunch break... but no, i pushed it. i walked into the biggest, prettiest corner store on the block, just to see, and was immediately accosted by a salesman. did i say my dollar-a-yard beau was shady? feh. THIS dude was shade-apalooza. he honed in on me & the mod silk print i was eyeing and pronounced it twelve dollars a yard. i politely declined. he brought the price down. i told him i had 23 bucks cash and two pennies. he badgered me to use a credit card. i said no. he badgered me to use the ATM. i said no. my elated mood wearing thin, i bade him farewell. he told me to give him the 23 bucks and he'd give me four yards. i twirled and handed him the cash. he told me to give him two more dollars. seriously? we ACTUALLY HAD A TUG OF WAR WITH MY MONEY. i'm not even lying. the new yorker in me finally came out and i left, with my money, amidst some shocked stares. it only took several seconds of walking with eight hundred glorious pounds of russell's fabric on my back to get me in a good mood again. 

i tore into it this weekend and made this!


and this!


and this!


and very soon i'll make lots more, what with my fancy new BWOF birthday subscription... THAT'S RIGHT! but more on that tomorrow. now it is wine-thirty, as sugar mama would say, and time to sign off. 'night!

18 comments:

  1. I can't even begin to tell you how jealous I am! If I ever make it to LA some day you are telling me where this shop is!!!!

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  2. Also insanely jealous. The only time I've ever found fabric at such prices, it was cheaply made knit polyester type stuff from the evil Wal-Mart! (And I snatched up the only two decent pieces in the place.)

    Lovely, lovely creations.

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  3. They're beautiful! Finding bargains is such a great feeling, especially with birthday money! Can't wait to see what you stitch up next.

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  4. Yes, bargains are the best. And congratulations for winning the second time! You make it sound like a thriller...

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  5. The fabrics inspired some truly fabulous creations! I feel like there should be runway music playing as I view these dresses!

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  6. great fabrics! and what a bargain! you beat me...
    just noticed the evolution of the fireplace on the right side. had a good laugh.

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  7. WOW!!! i can't believe that i live so close to the garment district but have never gone fabric shopping there. the social-phobe that i am, i'm always put off by the idea of crowds and aggressive salesmen. but these new duds of yours -- sooooo fabulous in every way!!! you're certainly on a roll! also, happy belated birthday. looks like you've definitely made the most of your special week. :)

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  8. A DOLLAR a yard? That sounds like heaven! I love your dresses; the fabric really goes perfectly with the styles. You are very talented!

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  9. Oh my goodness!!! What a deal!!! I must say, I'm so proud of you for leaving that one shop with your money - shady indeed. And the dresses... those are awesome.

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  10. NYC sends you a big round of applause! For the dresses AND for the at.ti.tude.

    I had a vo aud today for a new casting office (as I'm working with a new and glorious agent..hoorah) and I'll say only this:

    As I stood to be ushered in to the new space and meet a new person and attempted to seem less green than I felt, my foot caught on either the H&M bag my my feet (no, I don't need nor have money for new clothes, but I got a pair of jeans, two shirts, and a brand new wool coat for $55!!!) or on the 15 lb bag of kitty cat food I was lugging about (it was on sale for $10 off if I bought the 15 lb bag...well actually, the sale had expired, but i found, via a curious arm reach, the advertisement stuck to the shelf way behind several bags of food and claimed it was false advertising to have it misleadingly 'posted' in plain view), and went tumbling forward in a gracious swan dive directly into the arms of another v.o.er who lunged forward in just enough time to protect my head from the perfectly stained floor.

    And I thought...well, this is a story I should share.

    Ta-ta, my Kalkatroona inhabitant.

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  11. thank you everyone! i'm sort of frothing at the mouth to go back again. and i still have 2,000 yards to cut into and a three day weekend.... MWUAHAHAHAHA...

    (lauren, we may have been separated in kalkatroona at birth. big daddy, is there something i should know?)

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  12. Aw, you quoted me! I'm so flattered.

    Love that last dress especially! And I didn't tell you that I decided to attempt a BurdaStyle pattern because I saw your cute "dolla cotton" blouse there in your sidebar. I do think you have a knack for putting the right fabric with the right pattern. Me? I'm learning the hard way lately that vintage polyester blend sheets aren't so great for clothing...

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  13. "(lauren, we may have been separated in kalkatroona at birth. big daddy, is there something i should know?)"

    Oona, why do you think they call me Big Daddy? :D

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  14. Oh my gosh--this must be some kind of soap opera. BD you should be so embarrassed--
    those were two great stories Oona and Lauren!

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  15. You're absolutely right, Eileen. And I'm sure I would be embarrassed -- if only I knew how. ;)

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  16. Oh, HELLS NO!

    Just returned from a business trip to LA, where some friends took me to the fabric district with very short notice (all the times I've been to LA and never been to the fabric district?!?!). I only had $11 on me. I spent it all, but didn't quite get the yield you did.

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  17. i am sooooo jealous--I know this is an old post but I just discovered your blog so have been catching up. I live in montana. the m stands for middle of nowhere. when it comes to fabric I am beyond limited--unless you are up for a lovely calico??? I love this state--but shopping for fabric is a challenge and I very rarely find a deal... the walmart--40 miles away--removed there fabric department. I don't even have that. that I am actually ok with since I tend to turn into a psycho when I enter that store. I blame it on the lights and sounds and other shoppers.

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied if not always written!