Reise and Allison adore the Michael Levine fabric stores in the Los Angeles downtown fabric district. The main store has the best selection of zippers, notions, threads and patterns, and a deep inventory of all kinds of fabrics, including Liberty of London cottons.
Across the street is the Michael Levine store featuring home décor fabrics – and its “Loft” (it used to be on the second floor), where it sells bolt-ends of clothing fabric for $3 a pound.
Many of the remnants on rolls or piled in boxes are good-sized, as in four or five yards of fabric. Plenty for a dress or coat. Or, in Reise’s case, for a shawl. She swooned over a ribbed printed lightweight wool knit that was 70 inches wide, and thought it would make a perfect long shawl. The Loft is self-serve, so we measured out 3 yards, cut and weighed it. It weighed 2 pounds, so our total, with tax, was $6.69. A Michael Levine employee estimated that the fabric was probably at least $15 a yard when it was sold across the street.
Reise liked the unfinished look of the selvedges, so Allison just turned the two raw edges under and stitched them down, so they wouldn’t ravel when washed.
And, just like that, a bargain shawl.