Friday, February 26, 2010

Adventures in Bargain Hunting, Part I

A while back, after talking with my FSIL about deals she scored for her wedding, which is six months before ours, she suggested that we go to the Los Angeles Fashion District to buy tablecloths.  She found a place there that would make tablecloths for 60" round tables for $10 apiece, including the cost of fabric.  Since my venue charges $10 a piece to rent white tablecloths, and everywhere else I researched charges at least that, if not more, to rent tablecloths, I jumped on this idea.  Early one Saturday morning, the Mister, his sister, her fiance, a dear friend of ours and I all grabbed some Starbucks and made our way into downtown L.A.   We left early to try to avoid this:

When we arrived at the District I was almost immediately overwhelmed.  It is SO BIG.  And every store looks like this:

So needless to say, you best be prepared to really dig to find what you're looking for.  After looking through some basic polyesters, the Mister and I came to the agreement that we wanted deep purple tablecloths and maybe some sage green napkins.  With all the selection in the Fashion District, I did not expect it to be so hard to find cheap, deep purple fabric!  Most of the purples we were brighter than what we were going for.  We were hoping for a deep, muted, almost eggplant, purple, and what we were finding was more bright plum.

The first place we went was the shop where the Mister's sister had bought her tablecloths.  We didn't see the color we were looking for, and moved on.  After searching for what seemed like forever, and getting into one very heated bargaining session with a vendor over some fabric we didn't even really want but he was trying to sell to us anyway, we FINALLY found some cheap fabric in the color we were looking for!  We were almost ready to buy, and then discovered that this shop, as well as most of the fabric shops in the District, only sell fabric...they don't sew the tablecloths for you.  Dang it!  So FSIL ran over to the shop where she bought her tablecloths to see how much they charge to just make the tablecloths if you bring the fabric in from elsewhere.  $7 per tablecloth.  Not bad, but our end cost would have been around $15 per tablecloth, not quite the deal I was looking for.

We decided to head back over to the original shop to give their fabrics the once over again. We told the owner our dilemma, and she said she didn't have the fabric we were looking for in stock, but she could order it and still make the tablecloths for us for $10.  Hallelujah!  She pulled out a swatch book and showed us what she could order.  I immediately saw what I thought was the exact shade of purple we saw at the previous store and was sold.  The Mister wasn't so sure that it was an exact match.  We debated going back to the previous store to buy a sample, but they had a 3 yard minimum purchase, and a) I didn't want to waste the money, and b) I was tired and didn't want to walk back. So the Mister acquiesced, and we bought our tablecloths and decided to throw in some napkins too at the last minute.  We were informed that they would be ready in several weeks, so we'd just have to wait to see how they looked.

... To Be Continued

(All images from Suzie's Cottage)

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