That, right there, folks, is a picture of the coveted Mood bag. This crumpled, flight-experienced bag is MY Mood bag. For seamstresses and Project Runway fans alike, carrying this bag and knowing there's something fabulous inside brings a sense of pride, prestige and happiness. You, the magical Mood bag carrier hold your head a little higher, strut a little sleeker, and feel a whole lot more awesome. Because you, yes you, bought something at Mood.
Well, that right there is my highest praise for Mood Fashion in NYC. I was surprisingly underwhelmed. Or do I mean overwhelmed? I don't... I don't even know.
I jumped with glee upon realizing our hotel was less than a 5 minute walk from Mood. YES! I navigated over to Yelp to make sure I could identify the building (and not look like a lost tourist opening random doors), completely excited to fulfill a bucket list item, a dream, a fantasy. Mood, Baby. I was going to Mood.
But wait!! Yelp had some glaringly negative reviews? What?! No way. Imbeciles! Barbarians! This is MOOD. This. Will. Be. Awesome. Grab that credit card, leave the baby and husband behind, and let's DO THIS.
I set out. Excited. Ready. My heart pounded faster as I approached people carrying those beautiful black bags. Hooray!
MOOD! On that sign! On the door! It says MOOD! I swung that door open and stepped inside to... a home fabrics place? Wait, what? I didn't look well enough at the Yelp pictures. This is NOT the Mood from TV. This is... what is this?
The side shoot off of Mood is for home fabrics. And let me tell you what it is:
After grabbing a bunch of fantastic textures for my quiet books, and petting (yes, you get to pet a lot of those fabrics since they are all kinds of crazy) every fabric on display, I thought to myself,
"Self, this is an amazing and inspiring place. And it's not even the real deal!"
And then as I was thinking these things and wishing I had brought a bag to stash my swatches in, I found my way to the real deal. The elevator doors opened and I saw...
It was a jumbled mess of all sorts of fabrics, calling me in. Mood, you Siren. If you insist...
Only upon stepping fully into the store do you realize the happy little welcome sign hanging from the ceiling is beckoning you into chaos. Chaos!
There was floor-to-ceiling fabric, notions, ribbons, laces, sparkly things, buttons, and more fabric covering every square milimeter of the store, leaving only aisles juuuust wide enough to allow the massive rolls of fabrics to be pulled out - by you - and hauled around, dodging the people who otherwise fill the aisles. People were everywhere, fabric bolts and rolls everywhere... I sadly put away my phone. Pictures would be really difficult here without being a stalker. Apparently I shouldn't have come on a Friday afternoon. This is really busy. Already, I was overwhelmed, despite the helpful little ceiling signs labeling sections.
Well, I thought, let's start on one side and loop around... Lace. Let's start with lace. Oh, I wonder if they have tatting! For those unaware, I can make poor man's lace, called tatting, and I've always been curious to see if I could find it in a store somewhere. If there is a somewhere that sells it, it could be Mood, right? I mean, look at all those laces!
I started hefting around fabric tubes, stretching on my tippy toes to see the top layers, and crouching down to catch the bottom ones, receiving and giving bruises as we customers elbowed each other. Within 5 minutes, I was exhausted and concluded there was no tatting in this section - after all, this would be the lace fabrics. Not the trims. Duh. *Later I do search through the trims for tatting. Nada.
I turn my attention to... good heavens. People everywhere, fabric everywhere. What on Earth am I going to... the list! Right! I have a list of what I want! I shall start with the first thing on the list: patterned jersey knit for a maxi dress.
Just then a hurried staff member glanced at me and said, "Hey! Nice to see you!"
"Oh, you too!" Whaaat? Either my fame far precedes me, or I look like someone else he knows.
I walk three steps and decide this is futile. I shout at an employee, "Jersey knits?" to which he curtly responds, "downstairs, far wall." Sheesh. He obviously doesn't know I'm famous. What, what? DOWNSTAIRS? Aaaahhhh.
You can do this.
My wits re-girded about me, I traipse downstairs, bumping and jabbing and clinging to my little shopping basket. Far wall. OK. Wait, there's no jersey knits here! Dang. Must be the other far wall.
Indeed. It was the other far wall.
Apparently jersey knits aren't on other people's lists, so I grabbed my phone and took a few pictures to show you the massive scale of this tiny place. Yes, massive, tiny place...
...in which I found NO suitable jersey for my vision of a dress for myself. Oh no! Mood doesn't have it! Well, I need a Mood bag. I have to find something to buy. Let's dig again. After another10 minutes battling with the rolls, getting smacked in the back of the head with fabric, and being greeted by another employee (who do they think I am??), I give up. Boo. Next on the list? Shirt fabric for my husband. The list reads:
I spent 30 minutes shuffling through the massive selection of shirt fabrics, and was not overly impressed. The black was easy enough to find, the red continues to be impossible, and the white was elusive and I ended up going back and forth between 4 different ones, determined to get SOMETHING. Ugh. This one. Fine. I hauled it over to the counter, waited for forever to get it cut, and crossed my fingers it's enough fabric for a shirt because I of course didn't check. Oops.
Feeling slightly less anxious, now that I will have a mood bag, I checked the list again and saw materials for a skirt for me, a dress for Victoria, a fun cotton for Victoria Jean, and "something just for fun" for myself.
I'll shorten my narrative at this point, and tell you I was disappointed on all fronts. I either couldn't find it, or what I wanted wasn't there, or I was looking in the wrong place, misguided by the employees. Had I wanted any silk chiffon, I'm sure I would have found it. I didn't know so much silk chiffon exists in the world...
I ended up 3 hours later in the top corner section of the store looking at scuba fabric, remembering that one season in Project Runway when that person did all those things with scuba fabric, and maybe I could... No. Amanda, you really have no need for scuba fabric for no reason. You have no idea how to sew scuba fabric.
Somehow a beautiful blue spandex ended up in my basket, because there was NO WAY I was going to leave NYC having been to Mood with nothing but upholstery swatches and blazee shirt fabrics for someone else. The color is gorgeous, and the drape should be lovely. Plus, I don't have to hem it... It will do. For me, my Mood fabric.
At the checkout, after waiting, I asked the cashier if this was a particularly busy day, and she responded, "Oh, no! This is really slow! I wish all days were like this!" She was the only friendly employee I came across. At least her happiness distracted me momentarily from the expense of these fabrics I wasn't even that thrilled about. Sheesh. Pricey, pricey!
I can understand why someone who had to shop in the store on a timeline for the show would just get something close enough to what he/she wanted and paint it or alter it or something. It's just impossible to find anything specific.
So, in conclusion, I will summarize in a bullet list. Sorry, dear husband and all other concise-minded people. He would prefer I'd have started with the bullet list. No, actually, he would have preferred I only write the bullet list and skip this whole story thing. Well, in case you are more the bullet-list-type, here you go. Mood in bullets:
...But at least I got to walk for less than 5 minutes carrying that Mood bag, with my head held high.
I know, I know. You've been itching to hear from me. What exactly was Victoria Jean doing during this period of radio silence? Can there possibly be an excuse good enough to neglect the blog? Perhaps...
You see, I was traveling! And SHOPPING! And turning green with envy at my mom's Bernina... but let's focus on the SHOPPING!
This is good for you guys. by mid-August, I will have replenished my supplies at the cheapest rates for the best quality I can find, which means shipping things in and hauling massive (and slightly overweight) suitcases around multiple continents. Just for you.
OK, not just for you. Because I'm pretty obsessed with fabric. You got me, I'm one of "those" people. I just. need. more. Actually, it's not like an addiction that renders withdrawls, it's more like an obsession to avoid non-buyers remorse. You know, the regret you'll always have for the rest of your life because you didn't buy that one thing that you thought you didn't need but really, you will need therapy to get through the grieving process of your loss when you realize just how much you DID need that thing.
Some fabrics are that thing for me. I mean, anything can be that thing. I will always regret not buying Tanzanite on a cruise ship 3 years ago. That's another thing. When I was in Italy a decade ago, I only bought one set of fancy tire air cap thingies for my beloved car, and I should have gotten two. Another thing. But we are talking fabric here.
In fact, this is all the fabric I brought back with me from my trip to the US. And this doesn't include the felt for my wretchedly taxing quiet book project. I'll rant about that sometime else.
There are times when you just can't pass up that fabric. You have no idea what you'll do with it, but you must have it. These are those for this trip (plus my clingy cat, who's very happy we're home):
So don't worry, I will rest easy knowing I did in fact purchase my favorite fabrics. I know, you were really concerned.
And now that I have returned to the desert, fresh goodies through customs, and new research in my head, I'm ready. For what? TO WORK. OK, first I have to clean my desk. And fix my sewing machine. But guys, I have so many ideas! I just can't wait to tell you all about the future of Victoria Jean!
I know. There's an order to all things. Well, while I continue to get my ducks in order (I have a whole raft of ducks to organize before they can take off and soar as a flock), I'll provide you with some reviews of my 2 main stops for fabric this trip.
Coming soon: Click on the links for in-depth reviews if it catches your fancy.
Please enjoy these while I tackle the organizational nightmare that is my workspace as I struggle to accommodate my newest additions, and will someone just give me a Bernina, please? Thanks.
I love herbs & spices, cats, low brass instruments, international relations, culture, traveling, writing, and most of all, my family.