Friday, February 19, 2010

Fabric shopping - Korean garment district

We made it to Dongdaemun today and I bought just a little bit :) of fabric and some buttons.

There is NOTHING like this in the US.  Both inside and outside the very large building you find many floors filled with stalls occupied by fabric vendors.  There are quite a few bolts of fabric and you can buy it by the yard, but most business seems to be done from swatches.  I saw several swatches I loved, but there were no bolts of it for sale.

The swatches are stapled together with multiple colorways for each print and labelled with pertinent info.  I get the sense you could go in and obtain all the samples that interest you, go back to your hotel to mull, then return to Dongdaemun and place an order.  Maybe a large order.

I saw so many different kinds of fabrics, from the tackiest poly glitter to the finest milled wools and specialty technical fabrics.  In addition- tons of super trendy stuff.  I saw mesh knits, up-to-the-minute prints (reminded me of garments you'd buy at H&M or Forever 21) and lots of novelty fabrics.  This is hard to descrie, but I saw fabrics with rows of ruffles, fabrics with random holes and some with multiple fabrics constructed to represent that deconstructed look.  Making sense?  Well, it looked like rock star /hipster trendy stuff.  And of course, there were tons of classic cottons, silks, linens, etc.

It doesn't take too long to figure out that, while overwhelming, it is quite organized. 
So, what did I buy?
I bought an ITY knit in a cute navy, pink and white print to make myself a dress.  I think I paid about $5.50 for this.
And we really had fun looking at sequin evening-wear fabric!  I am going to make a party dress for Laura out of this leopard sequin stuff:
I could not resist this black furry stuff with sequins on it.  It epitomizes the Korean aesthetic to me - it is glittery and feminine and busy.  I just love it!!  Laura is such an enabler.  She knew I loved it so she persuaded me to buy it.  I plan to sew a jacket.  She seems to think Howie would be happy to take me out to dinner someplace fancy so I can wear my glittery fur coat.  I love it!!

For both of these pieces I paid $87.  Insane!  This stuff is great quality.   And it will be fun to make a dress for Laura while she is home in March.  It will be pretty simple.

Maggie, if you are reading my blog, we NEED to figure out your prom dress!!! Think about it and email me.  I need to make room for all of my sewing muses!
OK, I am just on a short rest break at the hotel.  Laura has more places for me to see and I am ready to get back out there.

How about 'what I wore today'?  Every day I wear boots, leggings /tights, short skirts and a 3/4 length coat.  I fit right in with everyone else on the street.  And here's my take on leggings; they are the BEST THING EVER.  You can wear them with boots and good socks (like hiking socks from REI or LLBean).  Throw an extra pair of socks in your bag to switch mid-day, and I find I can walk comfortably til my tour guide gives out.  And layers- my knit hoodie coat with the hook 7 eye tape is getting lots of wear, too.

Like any big cosmopolitan city, people make an effort to look pulled together when they go out in public. 
Fun!!  I am loving Seoul.  I have learned to say thank you: Kahm-Sah-Hahm-Nee-Dah.
The language barrier is really not much of a problem.  Smile and say thank you a lot, and it's fine.
Are we having fun yet?  YES!!


  1. What fun - you've got some lovely pieces at great prices!

  2. Your fabrics are delicious. I'll be interested in seeing the fur/holey jacket.

  3. I give big kudos to your dd. Mine would not have been quite so patient!
    Loved the video and fabrics.

  4. What a treat. That is fabric heaven for sure.

  5. Awesome's great that your daughter is showing these fabric shops :)

  6. Wow that does look overwhelming, but great fun at the same time!

  7. I'll be interested in seeing the fur/holey jacket.
    party video


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