Working so close to the fashion district in NYC has been really helpful in encouraging my sewing creativity. New York has to be the best place to live for an aspiring seamstress. I have become a little obsessive about going to fabric stores after work and shopping for unique fabrics.
After doing some initial online research (yelp!), I found some great fabric stores in the city. For those of you looking to get started with sewing and live in NYC, I recommend going anywhere in the fashion district - if you go up and down 36th to 39th Street, between 7th and 8th Aves, you'll find a ton of small family run fabric and notion stores. My personal favorite fabric stores are on 39th Street and there are good notion stores on 38th...but I have no idea what their names are!
Some specific stores that I like:
Mood (located in the fashion district) is the mecca of fabric stores, made famous by Project Runway. Prepare to have a least an hour to shop here. Otherwise, it can be overwhelming. The fabric here can be high end, so it can get pricey.
P & S Fabrics in Chinatown has a wide selection of fabrics and yarns. There are also some smaller stores on Broadway down the street from P & S that can be hit or miss.
Purl Patchwork has beautiful printed fabrics. They bundle fat quarters of similarly colored fabric together, which are great for smaller beginner projects. They also have a great knitting store down the street from there (the original store).
Brooklyn General made me fantasize about quitting my job and starting my own fabric store. Really amazing and sizeable (for nyc) store with a whole wall full of fabrics, and the other side full of yarn. They have classes at the store and a work space with available sewing machines.
The City Quilter specializes in printed cotton fabrics for quilting. They have two huge walls filled with 3,000 bolts of different types of fabrics. You can take quilting classes that they offer on a rotating cycle each season.
So tell me - what's your favorite fabric store?