Made by Me!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Where do you buy your fabric?

It was during my weekly date perusing the aisles of my local fabric shop that I started to think about where I normally purchase my fabrics and why. I have been looking for something lovely to make up my Simplicity trousers in and I came across a lovely nani iro double gauze fabric called colorful pocho in green and after a lot of pondering decided it had to be mine.
Now in an attempt to stop fabric hoarding and only buy things I am truly in love with I decided to go away and think about it a little while longer before committing as it was a whopping £22 per metre, so not something you want to buy and then regret later. It's during this process I decided to start  looking for it online, just to check whether anyone else had sewn something up in it so that I could confirm my belief that it would look wonderful as a pair of summer trousers. That's when I happened across it on sale on Etsy for half the price and from the other side of the world as well. Even with a potential customs charge its cheaper than buying it from down the road which is a bit messed up! Now its not as if I have never bought fabric online before, in fact I have done it a lot via EBay, Etsy and various fabric stores but here is the thing, I don't generally trust buying tactile things like fabric when I haven't seen it already. I have been stung by the promise of soft silks that turn out to be polyester and jerseys that are just awful to touch and a particular one that is a much sludgier, slimy green colour than it showed itself to be in the pictures. I hate having to send things back and am generally embarrassed to do so - don't ask me why when something isn't what it says it is I know I should! Anyway most of these purchases are stuck in my stash somewhere as I can't even bear to throw them out... you never know when they may come in useful! This means when I know I want something and I have touched it and know what its like I can happily buy it online - its not the only reason of course but its so much easier to buy with confidence when you have seen it in the flesh. I love buying cut price Liberty tana lawn from EBay as its a goldmine of great buys and Etsy has proven to be an interesting mix of fabrics I love as well. So long story short I placed my order and have 3 metres of this lovely stuff being shipped to me. It may not reach my greedy hands until later this month but at least it didn't break the bank.

But then the guilt sets in. I should have bought it at my local shop - and I do try and support local business as much as possible as its not just the fabrics you are buying but their expertise and guidance as well - but I just couldn't afford £66 when I could buy it for £33. Its simple maths. I felt like the kind of person that looks in Foyles to check out a book and then buys it on Amazon - and I don't like to do it. Seeing as a shop near my home has closed in the last year and you never know how well the smaller haberdasheries and fabric stores are doing we should all try and be a bit better shouldn't we. But sometimes its the state of my bank balance that makes the decision for me. I would still rather have the satisfaction of walking away with my purchase than waiting for ages for something to come through the post but I know I am not the only one who wants a bargain!

There are other reasons for buying on the internet of course. The variety is immense, you feel you have everything on your doorstep. Sometimes its just easier. I work all over London and I am just lucky to have somewhere near me at the moment to buy fabric but generally it requires a trip into the centre to my nearest shop and its just too much after a long day. So mostly I have to admit to searching the web on a lunch hour and with a quick click it can all be mine.

So where do you shop for your fabrics and why?

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