Friday, March 14, 2014

Siesta - Once Removed

You know that fabric siesta I'm on? Um, it's on a siesta.

I appear to have purchased a bunch of new fabrics but, I assure you, they have already been tagged for new projects.

To wit:

3 yards of Stretch Twill in Navy - Brushed on one side

1.75 yards of Rayon Jersey in Dark Salmon (like a cerise)

This wool suiting in taupe, with 10% stretch, is gone now - so the photo was removed from the webside (hence this tiny little image)... I bought 3 yards.

I got these at Fabrications Online, that vendor I learned about from Andrea and Gail, and I have to say I am even more impressed after this shopping experience than I was the last time I purchased from Fabrications. As you know, I'm not a discount fabric shopper. These fabrics are very well-priced for their quality. At regular price, the wool suiting was $18.00/yard. (Locally, or via other online vendors, I'd pay more like 25 bucks/yard for the same fabric.) The rayon jersey was $12.00/yard, regular price (that's the going amount) and the stretch twill was also $12.00/yard , regular price. I would pay, locally, $14.00/yard for the twill.

Why didn't I buy local? Well, the last 2 times I have bought local suiting fabric in TO, I've been disappointed in the way it responded to tailoring. I can buy excellent product locally, but it will cost me upwards of $35 bucks a yard, and I'm trying to keep things less pricey than that. Rayon jersey is hit and miss in our garment district. I can find it, but not necessarily in a solid colour that I like having the quality I expect. And the twill, which I can find here, was frankly an impulse purchase. I just added it into the batch, in the hopes that it will be a new bottom-weight fabric I can use in the future. Next time I shop local, I'll be sourcing the 10% stretch, bottom-weight fabrics that work in lieu of denim. (That's my new thing.)

Before buying, I called the shop because I was concerned about ensuring the degree of stretch in the pants fabrics - specifically the suiting (as I will also make a jacket from it). While chatting I learned about the rayons, about coding on the website (so that I can navigate it better going forward), about various other fabrics that might be of interest... I was blown away by the client service.

But what makes this an even nicer experience, above and beyond good fabric and good service, is that the shipping is a flat 20 bucks to Canada, by USPS, no matter the size of the order or its dollar amount. Oh - and you can order in fractions of yards so you're not committed to, 2 yards, let's say, if you only need 1.25 yards. That goes a long way to keep the price in check...

The wool is slated for the next attempt at the Janet Jacket. If it works, I'll use the extra to make a skirt or pants to complete a spring suit. The rayon is to make my next attempt at the Issy Top. I bought 1.75 yards as this top takes about 1.5 yards - I only have 1 yard cuts of rayon jersey in my stash right now so buying more was necessary. And the twill is a bottom-weight fabric to make another pair of Claudia pants, the most recent Bengaline version being entirely nasty in both size and feel. Since I already have a "denim" pair (albeit rayon denim), and my other denim has no stretch, I need a new fabric with which to experiment.

I did try to shop my stash before I purchased. I didn't have what was required to continue working with my most recent patterns - those I spent effort "perfecting" fit-wise, or continue to spend time improving.

Really, though, after this next batch of new sewn items, I'm going to have to work with some pre-purchased fabrics in the stash. They have projects attached to them too, after all...

So, today's questions: What do you think of my latest fabrics? Have you shopped Fabrications online (or in store) and, if yes, what was your experience? How much are you willing to pay for online shipping of fabric - regardless of where you live? What are the fabrics you find hardest to source (either online or in shop)? Let's talk!

12 comments:

  1. VERY nice choices! I'm kind of in love with that rayon jersey - such a great color!

    I'll tell you what: if I weren't on this Stash Diet, I would be dropping all kinds of dough at Fabrications. Having been in the store and spent hours touching just about every single piece of fabric, I know that the quality is fantastic. And for similar fabrics here in Chicago, I'd be spending quite a bit more than Fabrications charges, and then have to pay our hefty sales tax on top of that!

    And like you, I love that Fabrications allows you to buy the amount you actually need. I think part of the reason my stash and scrap boxes are overflowing is because of all those purchases I've made from websites that only sell in full yards.

    And as you said - the customer service is unsurpassed. I've been toying with the idea of "visiting my family" (who live 20 miles from the store) so I can put my Stash Diet Travel Allowance into effect. So evil!

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    1. You should get the jersey! I bet it's going to be awesome. You can see it to decide for yourself on your visit... I was so impressed with the fabrics Andrea showed me, and then with the fabrics I bought a while ago. I'm optimistic that these will be just as excellent.

      The idea that you can buy the amount you need is pivotal. Some online vendors, especially the boutique kind, don't want to cut into fractions of yards. I get it - it's more difficult. It can result in ends of bolts that are challenging to sell. But it makes a huge difference to the buyer. If I'd had to get full yards I'd either have underbought (and God help me if I had an issue with the pattern or if the piece came with a small error I couldn't work around). Or too much, resulting in stash I don't need (and often can't repurpose) plus another 20 bucks in costs.

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  2. Yay for new fabrics. And for great customer service. It makes such a nice change.

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    1. I know! But really. Now I've got to use up some of this fabric before I buy again :-)

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  3. I am continuously amazed that the viscose/nylon/spandex stretch bengaline is unheard of in the United States (at least for consumers). I've only been able to find the nasty polyester kind. I also find it very difficult to get high quality bramaking and lingerie supplies here in the States. Sometimes it really feels like the land of quilting cottons, ITY, and polar fleece…

    The difficulty of sourcing is why my stash is overflowing. When you see something for a good price, especially in a color you particularly favor, you have to just jump on it because chances are it won't be available for long.

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    1. It is totally surprising to me. When my StyleArc order of Bengaline arrived, I was amazed to find that I'd never touched a fabric that feels anything like it. It really is different. And niche. And lots of people love it for its fit.

      The bra supplies are a torment to find in North America. We have Bra-Makers Supply, practically around the corner (a couple of hours drive away). But I don't drive. So I get my items shipped and the shipping is ridiculous - and I live practically in the same urban centre??? Not only that, while Bra Makers does some things very well, if expensively, and while it's consistent - some of the offerings suck. The wires, for example.

      I hear you about buying a whack of something when you find it! That's why I restocked that rayon denim 3 times?! If only I'd just bitten the bullet and bought 8 yards, all in one go, it would have been much more cost effective. Mind you, I didn't know how I was going to like it until it all unfolded, so to speak.

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    2. You know why Bramaker's Supply is so expensive? They not only charge a premium for their goods and shipping but they also charge a HANDLING fee. And it isn't a nominal flat fee either, it goes up with your order amount. I go out of my way to avoid ordering from them because I dislike the feeling of being hosed.

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    3. I knew about the handling - but I didn't realize it goes up with the order amount... I do feel ripped off by that vendor but I also can see the benefit of having continuous access to certain textiles - such as the non-stretch cup fabric in knowable colours that coordinate with the straps, band fabric and other notions. I would not use them for lace or wires or most of the things they offer - those can be bought many places at better prices (and often better quality). But the strong fabric - de rigeur for larger cup sizes, really is a boon. Note: Still hasn't produced a bra, for me, that actually provides adequate support. But that's because of inadequate wires and other materials, IMO.

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  4. You know siestas are just naps, they don't last forever. ;)

    Solid colours in fabulous fabrics are never a bad purchase. Besides, you are no where near SABLE so a little siesta from the siesta is fine.

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    1. So true! I'm going to steal that phrase...

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  5. So glad your order arrived and you love it. I want to take a look at that stretch twill. Did it get to you fast, or have I really been away from blogging for ages and only just noticed?

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    1. It arrived in 3 business days - via USPS. Practically as fast as the UPS order arrived - but without the additional 40 bucks in S&H.

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