Vacation and the LA Garment District

A couple of weeks ago, our little family spent a week on a fabulous vacation visiting my in-laws in my husband’s childhood home. The Southern California coast is beautiful and I would move back in a heartbeat if not for the higher cost of living and extra income tax hit to my paycheck (no state income tax in Nevada). We had a lovely week spent relaxing, boating, shopping, and visiting some lifelong friends (both mine and hubby’s). I actually got to spend some wonderful time with a friend I haven’t seen in 20 (!!!) years.

It’s actually funny that my hubby and I spent the first 14 years of our lives living two small towns away from each other and, while we had a lot of mutual acquaintances, we never met until we had both moved more than 500 miles away. Here is a shot of the view from the hill in the little Southern California town I grew up in. If this valley looks familiar, it probably is. The town I grew up in was (and still is) a filming location for many television shows and movies. You can’t see it in this picture, but on a clear day (such as the day I took this photo), off to the right you can see the ocean and the Channel Islands.


I miss this view – there really isn’t anything in the world like a sunny Southern California day!

One of my biggest goals for this trip was to do something for ME and visit the LA Garment District. My sewing room is in order, my sewing machines are slowly back on the mend, and a promotion at work is on my horizon. I desperately want/need to make some new work clothes. My mother in law graciously offered to accompany me on the 90 minute trip to LA to visit Mood, Michael Levine, and FIDM. Next trip, I will have a better list of places to go – this was all I could come up with when she surprised me Wednesday night by suggesting we go Thursday morning.

First stop was Mood. I fully expected to be “wedding dress shopping” overwhelmed by this place and have a little meltdown right in the middle of the store, but I surprised myself with how overjoyed I was to simply be stepping foot in this place. The prices were a little out of my immediate budget for what I really wanted (can we say $65/yd wool/cashmere suiting?!?!), but I did find a gorgeous white cotton sateen stretch shirting. I snooped quite a few pieces that are available on and will be picking those up just as soon as I can (hopefully they will still be there by the time I can order!). I spent about an hour inside Mood just touching things. I could have spent the whole day in there, but my mother in law was pretty bored (she is a quilter and there was nothing there that interested her).


MOOD!!!! I got there just in time, apparently they closed for repairs not long after I got home.


White cotton sateen stretch shirting from Mood

Next stop was Michael Levine. I scooped up as much of their $5/yd jersey as I could hold and found some really pretty charcoal wool suiting (the photo below doesn’t really do the fabric justice). The jersey was super soft and in some gorgeous colors. I probably should have purchased some more spring-y colors as opposed to the more muted darker colors, but part of this mission was to make some replacements to some of the staples in my wardrobe and these really fit the bill for what I was looking for. There are a few that I was really afraid would not wash well, but for $5/yd I couldn’t really go wrong. I’ve already pre-washed all the jersey and none of what I purchased from Michael Levine showed any ill effect to the wash.


The aqua knit on the left has a slubby texture, not sure on the content on any of them – but you can’t beat $5/yard!


Charcoal wool suiting – it is really so beautiful in person

From Michael Levine we walked the mile to FIDM to check out their Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition. But first, we stopped in the scholarship store. Here, I scored two more pieces of jersey and a piece of denim for $1/yd and $2/yd, respectively. For $10, I walked out with over 8 yards of fabric! Unfortunately, one of the jersey pieces pilled a bit in the first wash, but 3 yards is enough to make some muslins. The denim will be used for some jeans for little man.

FIDM, it's a really pretty campus

FIDM, it’s a really pretty campus


My $10 (TOTAL!!) haul from the FIDM Scholarship Store. 2 1/2 yards of non-stretch denim and two 3 yard pieces of jersey.

Then we checked out the exhibit. It was fantastic! It was really amazing to see costumes from so many movies up close and personal. They have costumes from Star Trek: Into Darkness, Man of Steel, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Oz the Great and Powerful, and many more. We weren’t allowed to photograph any of the costumes, but the FIDM Museum blog has pictures of all the exhibits if you want to check it out!

We spent a few more days on the coast with the family before we headed home. I had one day off work left after we got back and spent it finishing the bands on my Trifecta Top. Here is the finished result. I liked it unfinished, but I like it even more now. This top will be relegated to a PJ/weekend top as it was a test piece and the fabric isn’t really something I would choose to wear in public on a regular basis.


I was also gifted this gorgeous piece of silk by my mother in law. I have a few ideas on what to make with this fabric, but I haven’t settled on the exact pattern yet.


I can’t wait to go back! But in the meantime, this trip has really given me some great inspiration on what I want to accomplish for my own personal sewing. My (new to me) Brother 6000D was finally complete in the shop a few days after our return, so I’ve already got a few projects underway that I will share soon!



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3 responses to “Vacation and the LA Garment District

  1. gmariesews

    thank you so much for stopping by my blog and commenting.
    Sounds like a fabulous family vacation. Love the new fabrics. But that stripy trifecta top – fabulous! Off to read more about you and follow along. 🙂 g

    • dietcouture

      Thank you for visiting me!! I’ve been following you for years and am always impressed by everything you make! Your work attire is similar to what I am working toward myself.

      • gmariesews

        I always forget I can see replies from wordpress this way. Thank you. I’m watching with great interest as you start making your basics.

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