Thursday, October 11, 2012
The highs and lows of ordering fabric online
Perhaps you live in the boonies like me. Don't get me wrong, I love where I live, but I'm at a real disadvantage when it comes to buying fabric. Basically I have two choices ; Wal-mart (ick) and JoAnn's (gag), both of which are about a 16 mile drive. Sorry, but it's just not worth the trip.
Luckily I get to NYC a few times a year for some fabric shopping, but even that can be discouraging and exhausting. I usually have something very specific in mind which can be like looking for a needle in the proverbial fabric haystack.
I've turned to the internet for fabric from time to time, usually with pretty good results. Still it's pretty much a crap shoot. Not being able to actually touch the fabric, coupled with being dependent on the accuracy of a photograph, really puts one at a disadvantage. But I'm a sucker for free shipping, so here are a few things that arrived yesterday. Postage free!
I've been wanting a "little flowers" shirt for awhile. I saw some gorgeous French fabrics during my one and only visit to Elliot Berman Textiles in NYC, but the $18 / Yd price scared me away. Of course I was reminded that Liberty is $35+ / yd. but it still seemed too extravagant. This is an Italian shirting that is every bit as nice in my opinion.
This is as close to a Liberty of London shirt as I'm ever going to come. I love the colors. Coral, gold, brown, gray, green. It's incredibly fine with a beautiful lustre to it.
Of course there's no Hello Kitty hidden in the design. But that's what you get at $35 / Yd vs. $4.45 / yd!
Next up is this raw silk plaid patchwork. I'll call this a partial disappointment. I appreciate all the labor that goes into making a fabric like this, but it looks like it got dragged across the sweatshop floor before being rolled onto the bolt. There are stray threads caught in the seams everywhere! I will be pulling and clipping threads for hours. In spite of all the flaws, I still think this will make a fun Spring jacket. It's just going to be more work than I planned on.
Oy! What a mess.
Lastly, this just belongs in the "What was I thinking" category. This was sold as a corduroy. It's ribbed, but there is hardly any pile to it. Its saving grace is that it was very inexpensive. My plan was to make my first pair of trousers with this, and I think I still will. I fully expect that they won't fit, so I'll wad them up and throw the whole mess out.
Please don't laugh! Yes, I really did buy this.
So there we have it ... the good, the bad and the ugly of buying fabrics online.