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Mood fabrics

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I hope I'm doing this correctly. It's my first time to start a topic.

 

Has anyone been to Mood? I'm a non-sewer so I'm really ignorant about fabrics and such. It seems like a huge store but quite jumbled and unorganized.

 

Thoughts?

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I visited once several years ago. It's a large store, covers two (three??? can't remember) floors. You come out of the elevators into a small entry area, then into the store itself. The fabric is all on rolls, except the specialty stuff like leather. I spent an hour just browsing around. They do have it divided up by fabric type but you have to spend some time looking at all the rolls to really see what fabric they have. Prices were moderate to very expensive. I asked if Swatch was around; the employee yelled toward the front of the store asking if Swatch was still there and another employee yelled back that he had gone home for a nap. I was heartbroken. I bought some fabric just for the bag (kidding, I love to sew).

 

Since the designers go every week, they should be familiar with the store lay-out and even remember fabrics after a few trips. If I were a designer selected to go on the show, I'd spend a full day at the place prior to the show just getting familiar with the store and fabric choices.

 

Mood's FB page: https://www.facebook.com/mood.fabrics

Swatch's FB page: https://www.facebook.com/swatch.sauma?fref=ts

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The few fabric stores I've seen have the fabric on bolts (?). But more importantly, the bolts are upright--vertically stored instead of rolls lying atop one another like I see when the sew-testants are at Mood. That method of storing seems odd to me. Difficult to remove, plus difficult to see much of the fabric.

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That is exactly the problem with the Mood fabrics- you really do have to yank out the roll from the pile of rolls to get a good view of the fabric pattern as well as the feel of the fabric. If it is on the bottom of the pile or up high, you need the help of one of the employees, who really are nice about helping out the customers. For a regular customer, browsing and shopping on their own time, the set-up isn't too bad. I know sometimes they tell us the designers have 30 minutes or so to shop, and that is really too short a time for that store. Like I said, after a few trips they can start to rely on memory but I think part of the reason we see so many black dresses of the same fabric is because of the shopping time. It is interesting that fabric selection has been mentioned so many times this season and Tim specifically mentioned how the problems with the dresses start at Mood.

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Mood is a big one, but pretty much typical for NYC fabric stores (or at least they were when I was last there, which was a year before Project Runway debuted).  They were beloved by Parsons students because they were more reasonable about letting the kids take swatches (some places demanded you pay for swatches, or just refused outright) and it's obviously paid off big time--I'm sure Tim Gunn recommended them because all Parsons professors recommend them, and hence they have become the most famous & beloved fabric store in the city.  I remember the first time they went there in the first season of PR and I was like OMG I used to shop there! There's the guy with the grey braid!  

 

I bet it's got better turnaround than it did back then; some of the fabric would be pretty dusty in the corners where nobody went, like a creepy old library.  There was no sign back then (I don't know what it's like now), you just had to know where it was, and ride a rickety old elevator.  I want to say there was actually an elevator operator taking you up because it was one of those ancient elevators with a lever, but I might be mixing it up with somewhere else.  It was a great place for serendipitous discoveries, but I agree that I would not want to shop there quickly.  And every day was different, like those old TJ Maxx commercials: "Never, ever the same place twice!"  My first job in the fashion biz was working for a tailor in Brooklyn who made custom jeans for rich hipsters.  It was a great job but I only had it for a month because I forgot to add seam allowance to a pair of jeans I was cutting and since she'd bought the denim at Mood, there was no way to replace it.  So the customer got my head on a platter instead of her jeans.

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I visited Mood when I was in NYC in April. I didn't realize how hard it would be to find! You do go up there in a really cool old-fashioned elevator complete with operator cranking the lever. I didn't see Swatch in the store when I was there, but there are pictures of him all over the store. (Although when I was on my way over, I did see a guy walking a Boston Terrier with a jeweled collar about a block away, so I may well have spotted Swatch. I didn't go up and ask though. : ) )

 

They sell "Thank You Mood" T-shirts. Of course I bought one. 

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My best friend bought me a canvas Mood bag that I cherish. It's roomy and well-made and I use it for overnight trips and sometimes when I have a lot of junk to haul around for work.

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TudorQueen,

 

My mom's birthday is next month, so I'm going to order one of those tote bags for her....AWESOME idea!  We watch religiously, and discuss it over lunch every Friday.  

Thanks so much for the idea!

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Got the Mood Tote bag I ordered for my mom's birthday this month....It is AWESOME!  Really roomy & extremely well constructed.  I'm thrilled!  Since she's a reality show junkie like me, I'm also packing in the tote a Biggest loser coffee mug and a Top Chef apron....*LOL*

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So Mood has just the NYC and LA locations.  

 

Is there anything about it, besides Swatch, that makes it a unique store in terms of the kinds of fabrics and other products they have?  Do they have rare or expensive fabrics and notions or niche items for unusual projects?  Just curious what sets it apart from a chain fabric store.

 

Oh, and I totally want a "Thank you, Mood" apron and the Swatch shirt.

Edited by GreyBunny

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My very dear friend and I took a trip to NYC this past weekend, with the primary intent of seeing the Jeff Koons exhibit at the Whitney Museum (which, by the way, was incredible; NYC people, see it if you can before it closes on 10/19). However, being the rabid PR fans that we are, we incorporated a trip to Mood into our itinerary. Unfortunately, Swatch had the day off, but other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the visit. The only decent fabric store within a 10-mile radius of my house is a JoAnn Fabrics, so I was very happy to wander through three floors of fabrics, trim and notions whilst helping my traveling companion look for ascot fabric.

 

My takeaways:

 

- Given the prices per yard of some of the fabric we saw, I'm impressed with what the designers are able to do on a limited budget. $200 does not go very far.

- "Thank You Mood" swag was plentiful and not terribly expensive; I got an embroidered apron to match the Mood bag my son went out of his way to buy for me on a class trip to New York a few years ago. 

- The funniest thing I noticed was a small round table near the entrance, where a few very bored-looking men sat and played with their smartphones while their wives/girlfriends shopped.

 

After coming back home on Sunday, my friend and I watched the latest episode of PR online, and it was quite a thing to recognize parts of the store and some of the staff, including the guy with the long gray braid.

 

On the whole, it was a fun visit!

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I know many of us have been concerned about Swatch.  Mood posted a photo of him on Facebook a little while ago with the following comment:

Swatch Alert! He's got some seriously cool things to share with you all very soon so stay tuned!!

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I went to Mood NYC in May. It's just as everybody has described: old elevator, elevator operator, table and chairs for husbands, heavy fabric bolts, swag...

It is really tight and cramped in the store. Hats off to the cameramen for getting the shots that make the store look like the aisles are wider than they actually are.

The clientele: definitely two specific types: A) people who know what they're doing and B) people there to gawk at the store because of the show who have no clue about sewing.

My mom is a quilter, so my mission was to find her some cool fabric for a quilt. Her quilts are traditionally made out of cotton-based fabrics. I expected to find bolts of cotton fabric like at JoAnne's - no such luck. There was no 'normal' cotton fabric to be found. I'm not the most savvy when it comes to fabrics, but the fabric I saw was all 'fancier' stuff - silks, satins, leather, denim, wool, lycra and of course, everybody's favorite: neoprene. I bought her a yard of what I thought might be the closest thing to cotton that she could easily sew with.

The staff was really nice. They were everywhere, helping people with the bolts of fabric. They didn't seen fazed by the look-e-loos.

Swatch was there. I rolled a ball at him, to which he seemed less than interested. People were all over him.

If you go to NYC - go to Mood.

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