Friday, June 09, 2017

I'm A Little Disappointed...

See, I've been avidly following Tee's sewing adventures on Instagram and her blog, Maggie Elaine. This month she's made some amazing pieces from Stylish Fabrics. When a 20% off discount showed up on Instagram this month, I thought let me try them out.

Now y'all know I'm an experienced internet fabric shopper. Because of that I have a few rules, one you must ship fast. I placed this order on Sunday, May 28th and it arrived yesterday...June 8th. Even with Memorial Day being a holiday on Monday the 29th, to me it should have arrived faster than it did. It's one of the things I think about when ordering from the West Coast. Maybe I'm spoiled because the other two West Coast fabric stores I order from usually get it to me within 5 days. 

Sigh...so I'm a little disappointed with how long it took. Cause you know the longer it takes for something to show up, the more anticipation is built up in your mind. The greater are the chances to be let down.

I think I've proven some knowledge, some skill, some would even say a superior skill at purchasing fabric online. However, I was disappointed with what arrived and since I'm writing this so close to it's arrival I don't know if the anticipation did me in or not.

Maybe it was the fact that I ordered a bunch of basics, cause y'all know that when you order basics it's a good thing. However, when they arrive they aren't earthshattering, rock your world type of fabrics, so maybe that was it...sigh. But, one fabric is supposed to be a denim and it has a polyester 70's feel to it...ummm no!


The other piece that I really wanted was a blue version of the lace Tee used to make this cardigan. It's nice but it looks more tealish IRL than the Robin's Egg Blue I was expecting. The other pieces were disappointing too.  Again I'm not sure if it's the anticipation of waiting for them or that they are as flat as they appear in person versus in photographs. Cause even looking at the photos I took of them, they look good...it's just that they don't look this way in real life.

The blue lace looks robin's egg blue here - ughhhh!

So I'm going to put them on the magic shelf in the fabric collection and let them sit. I'm sure in a couple of months when I stumble upon them again, I won't be half as disappointed as I am right now.

I hate writing this type of review but I won't be purchasing from this company again. I'm an instant gratification kinda girl and I like my fabrics to look and feel as they are described. I won't go so far as to say don't buy from them because look at the amazing garments Tee has made using their fabrics. Also, someone else may have had a better experience than I did. I could have just chosen the wrong pieces...sigh.

Anyway, the black "denim" will go in the donation pile and not on the shelf. I don't want it reproducing with some of my other fabrics and having mutant polyester babies. I will continue to admire the other garments that Tee makes and I will stay off internet fabric sites for a minute!

BTW, I have four hacked Concord Tees, two skirts and a Concord Tee Dress to share with you. Last weekend was a good sewing weekend...I just have to get everything photographed. That's what will be coming to the blog next!

...as always more later! 

42 comments:

  1. Not mutant polyester fabric babies!! lol!!!!!!! I'm sorry but that made me cackle!

    I often check out other sites but am relatively loyal to our first love, FM. I was happy with my Stylemaker purchases but they're a tiny bit on the pricier side for me for regular shopping.

    I've been wanting to try Cali fabrics. They have a lot of the same stuff FM has but if I recall correctly don't have incremental yardage and that is often a deal breaker. Unless it's a true basic, I don't like having too much excess of a fabric. I will buy from Fashion Fabrics Club/Denver every blue moon. I've quit Fabric dot com unless it's a designer, and then I go Amazon because Prime e.g. I've ordered Telio and Kaufman fabrics from Amazon.

    Too many bad reviews from Girl Charlee at their price point; though I don't really see anyone talking about them at all anymore.

    I admire some others but generally close out! FM has me all manner of spoiled. Plus their customer service is excellent

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I know when I pay Cali Fabrics via PayPal that the paypal address/account/whatever says FabricMart. So... maybe they are owned by the same people? I've had good luck with Cali.

      FYI Style Maker is different than Stylish Fabrics that this post is about.

      Fabric Mart is still the greatest...

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    3. I have also had bad luck with Girl Charlee, which is sad because nice knits are hard to find. I am reluctant to try anything from the West Coast because I don't want to pay the shipping. I have good luck with fabric.com when I stick to name brands like Telio. Shopping for fabric online can really be a crap shoot unless you go somewhere reliable like Fabric Mart or Gorgeous Fabrics.

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  2. I have long wondered how I end up with random weird fabrics I can't remember buying! :) So sorry you are disappointed with your fabric purchase. Thanks for telling us and sparing us the same fate. You may find renewed inspiration in time.

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  3. Sorry you are disappointed. That is never fun. But I do have some questions. Who do you shop from online (what are the 2 west coast fabric shops that you shop from) and do you shop from Mood? I am west coast and shop west coast but have shopped from Mood on the east coast and have been happy with the experience. I really want quality and have stopped shopping some sites because even though it can be a bit more expensive, I do not get pilling on ponte and items that don't last long and look "cheap". Thanks for your input.

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    1. I don't shop Mood online because I work two blocks from them in NYC and can pop in any time I want. Send me an email and I will talk about other West Coast sources.

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  4. Being disappointed with a fabric order (for me) is like ordering a great meal when I'm not hungry. Nothing will taste great and I will probably complain to the server. My stash is filled with 'disappointment' yardage, mostly purchased in my early sewing years when I was clueless about content and quality. I was on a sewing high and would get giddy when I ordered fabric. I had a bad case of fabric addiction. ***I'm currently in recovery*** I still get disappointments, but not as often. I usually call Customer Service--some stores will issue a refund without me having to return it and some want it back if I report the fabric is damaged. I don't know why we are hesitant to return fabric but not rtw clothing. Shipping costs maybe. I am considering buying fabric through Amazon Prime--free return shipping--no questions asked. Though when I scroll through the fabric on their website, the 'fabric recovery counselor' in my head tells me to 'walk away, just walk away...'.

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    1. As I reread my comment, I see I have missed your point. Sorry, for your experience with Stylish Fabrics. So many fabric vendors online now, it's hard to choose and most don't have customer comment section on their fabric selection. It would be really helpful. The mutating polyester is hilarious...

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    2. Robin - you can misread my posts anytime you want!!! So no problem...

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  5. May I ask a question? Why not send the "denim" back? I'm certainly not paying for something obviously misrepresented. I've had really good luck with a couple Etsy shops based in LA. Great priced knits and generous cuts. Almost every piece was cut 1 yard longer than I ordered. I got Kaufman knits for $1.00 a yard!!!!

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    1. Charlotte - you know until you said that I never even thought of returning it. I guess I should look into that.

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    2. I paid $70 this winter to send fabric back to Minerva Crafts for a refund, which was not financially sound... but I was SO MAD that the fabric didn't match their description, and I wanted them to know!

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    3. Wow. You were mad. But it's one thing if I just don't like it, it's another if it doesn't match the description. If they won't pay to ship it back or refund (every company I've ordered from has given me the refund), then I'd just dispute it with my credit card. I've never lost a dispute, credit cards provide great protections. Fabric Mart is also my go to, great customer service and always as described.

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    4. I agree that if a fabric is not 'as described' e.g. poly when it should be cotton, you should send it back. Also, if it is not of 'satisfactory quality' you might have a claim? I wrote a post on my blog a few months ago about returning fabric but it was looking at UK laws rather than US consumer laws so perhaps your laws are different, but worth exploring if you have time. (My post is here if you're interested: http://www.kestrelmakes.com/2017/03/have-you-ever-returned-fabric.html)

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  6. Online fabric buying...sigh. We are buying something SO dependent on "see and touch"...when we can do neither. I just figure that 10-20% of what I buy will be at best, meh; at worst, unusable. (Good thing I make lots of muslins - uses up that bad stuff.) On the other hand, I usually walk out of JoAnne's with NOTHING, so I'm grateful for the online options.

    Re: shipping - yes, it is an exercise in delayed gratification - emphasis on "delayed"! Here in Seattle, I wait ten days (!) for a Fabric Mart purchase to arrive. Still love FM to death, of course, as my stash can attest.

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  7. How awful to be so disappointed in a what is quite a haul of fabric here! My heart goes out to you. It's not only a waste of money but it's the disheartening part that is really terrible. I've been pretty fortunate with my fabric purchases except 2. One was from Etsy and the other was from ebay and I learned something :) Never buy a fabric online that isn't a "name brand" like Liberty of London, Art Gallery, Robert Kaufmann, Cotton & Steel etc especially from ebay or etsy! The ones I favour the most I have come to trust and order from them. I do have one place I order my Liberty from on ebay. She has a shop in the UK though and her fabric is always lovely. I don't know why fabric sellers online don't realize that selling online means they have to OVER deliver on your expectations not under deliver. Eventually they'll be out of business with these practices.

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  8. I have never heard of this store. I have purchased from Stylemaker Fabrics and like everything I bought. I have not had great success at FM, so maybe you could tell us how you go about getting great buys from them. Either way, it is always discouraging when you receive a fabric that was not what you expected. I agree, return it and let them know.

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    1. TinaC - I love Stylemaker Fabrics too. Talk about amazing customer service that's Michelle. I'm sorry you haven't had great success with Fabric Mart because they are my go to source. I don't know if it's that I have rules about certain fabrics I won't buy cause I won't sew, or if I just know them well enough now. It's not to say that every once in awhile I don't get a piece that wasn't what I intended but I add it to the donation pile that I send to the local school district costume department cause they can use anything!

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  9. Well mostly I"m just jealous that for you, 10 days counts as a long wait! Crossing borders, I often wait 2-4 weeks. Its' so frustrating!
    Sorry your fabric was disappointing - I"m glad you brought it up for discussion!

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    1. You need to come stay a few days with me. We can fabric shop in NYC, go to Joann's for patterns and head to Fabric Mart. Bring empty suitcases and we will fill them up. Then you won't have 2-4 week waits for a couple of months!

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    2. You have just described my bucket list/ dream trip. Can I tag along? lol

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    3. Gilian, where are you? If it's Canada, I would be willing to meet you in the middle of the Peace Bridge for a fabric delivery! Joking, cuz I think we would get in trouble for that.

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  10. Those mutant polyester fabric babies sound terrifying, lol! I'm sorry you were unhappy with your shopping experience. I've gone through that myself.

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  11. Thanks for the honest review of Stylish Fabrics. I've looked and almost bought a couple of times but haven't pulled the trigger. Sounds like it's a good thing!

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  12. Well that is seriously disappointing! If a fabric is not the fiber I purchased or defective in some way I'd ask to return it at their expense. I've only asked to return things a handful of times, but only one company has not let me return defective fabric (Hawthorne Threads - a seriously off grain and very expensive fabric, grrr!) and I will NEVER shop there again.

    I've put in 2 orders from Stylish Fabric so far and was impressed with the fabrics I got for the price. I bought the "Swiss Gauze Tetron Rayon Fabric" which looked similar to a rayon double gauze I felt at my local fabric store (so soft!) that they were selling for $15-$20/yard (can't remember exactly). It did feel just as nice and it was only $5 /yard, however the color was off from the website. I ended up deciding to keep it and dye it and then ordered more in another color. I also bought some brushed athletic wicking fabric that was also fantastic for the price. So it seems like they definitely have a problem photographing the colors to look acurate, but I think you can get some deals. Don't write them off completely... maybe try again in a year.

    Oh yeah, they also emailed me when one of my items was out of stock before shipping. I appreciated that - I hate it when companies just ship my order when things are out of stock without giving me to option to replace something.

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    1. JT - I'm glad to hear that someone has had a good experience with them and that it's not just me about the colors being a little off. I will use the fabrics (all except for that polyester twill masquerading as a denim) just not anytime soon. Time on the magic shelf will help me deal with my disappointment. *smile*

      Thanks again for letting us know that you had a good experience with them!

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  13. Hi Carolyn! I am sorry about your experience I too have a bit of anxiety when getting fabric from the west coast. I am really disappointed in one vendor who I visited last year and spent a whooping $400 plus in their store and now when I call them I rarely get a call back when I really need and want something. Its hard to resist them because their fabric is so so amazing. I do want to say once I ordered from Mood this heavy weight wool white fabric with a hint of gold metallic threads in it. When I received it I was crushed because it looked nothing like the photo. I sat on it a few weeks and wind up picking up an indie coat jacket pattern. I found some brown lining with hints of gold and a gold color leather cording along with some fur I got from NYC. I sewed up this jacket and wore it.. it is now the one piece I receive the absolute most compliments on and people willing to pay me on the spot for the jacket because it looks so unique. So I say mull over the fabric a bit you might find a use for it although it doesn't strike you at the moment.. :-)

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  14. Appreciate your candid review! Almost all of my fabric dollars are spent via online shopping and I too expect to receive a shipping notice the day after ordering so I can track my order. As an Amazon Prime member from the launch, I have general 2-day expectations that I need to tamper. In addition, I've started pushing myself to buy swatches of new arrivals and then wait for sales. There may be a time or two that I purchase immediately....must have so I take the risk. Definitely have my favorite sites and have joined swatch packs from Fabric Mart, Vogue Fabrics and Style Maker. Had my first purchase with Cali Fabrics last month...very pleased. I now need a slow day at work so I can FaceTime with Metro Textiles!

    Can't wait to see your makes from last weekend!

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  15. Thanks for the review of SF- I get most of my online fabric from FabricMart and have been thinking of "cheating" on them by ordering from SF - but I may just stick to my fav/go-to - FM. I have never been disappointed in what I get from FM and they are always having such great sales! Excuse me while I go check out what's on sale today!

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  16. Sorry you hear that this happened to you! You order and wait by the mail box, and finally when the fabric mail arrives, excitement builds, and only to turn in to utter disappointment....another disappointment sometimes the stock photo colors are off and aren't what they seem. I recently stopped using to online companies, for one my order got somehow lost in the mail and never arrived, and when you pay high shipping prices you expect speedy arrival. I contacted the owner via email and she made it sound like I was ripping her off over 3 yards of fabric, so she told me to wait, a couple of more weeks, and then I could file a claim. Well 2 weeks I saw my name all over FACEBOOK along with 3 other ladies on her site well she was making a big deal because our packages go lost in the mail, and she would make a claim with the postal service and she would make it up to us...long story short finally got my fabric, very disappointed in quality plus she DID NOT make it up to us, but mostly her moving it to facebook, after was not very sympathetic via email when I first . So she lost a customer, I maybe one customer, but all of us ones add up.

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  17. I have not heard of this fabric store , but will steer clear . I sent you an IG message for your west coast favs . I haven't had too many bad experiences online except Girl Charlee. Ordered several years ago & all pieces faded or pilled even after pre washing -of course after I took the time to make something .
    I too have been very happy with Mood & Stylemakers
    I always appreciate your honesty!

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  18. I can't even describe how much I hated the fabric I got at Girl Charlee. Bad texture, just felt cheap. I ordered from them once and never again. Fashion Fabric Club is hit or miss. But Fabric Mart will always have my heart.

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    1. Fabric Mart hurt me. That fabulous fabric will not stop shrinking. And that pants weight was waaaaay more lycra than stated. I just need to touch the goods.
      And it's always worth it to pay for priority ship; tracking number alone worth the price.

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  19. I appreciate your honest review. They do look "blah" in the photos and find your photography very good. I can feel your frustration.

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  20. All very helpful for me, as I have recently returned to sewing after a 20 year hiatus and am now trying to sort out where the best places are to buy fabric online. Maybe a future post on this? (Forgive me if you have already done this -- I am new to your blog too.)

    I appreciate all the inspiration in your posts. You have just about convinced me to sew dresses again - and I haven't worn a dress in years!


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    1. LWS - I have written several blog posts about online fabric stores and fabric shopping. You can check the "blog index" on the side, look for fabric, fabric shopping, and fabric stores. That should give you enough information. If not, ask another question and I will try to answer it.

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  21. It's too bad that you are not more excited about your online purchase. I haven't bought fabric online so I'm not sure how different they would look in person comparing to the photos online. Perhaps you can embellish the basics into something more dramatic in the future!

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    1. I'm sure I will get around to using them sooner or later. I just had some very high hopes for these pieces.

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  22. when I went to go look at the "Stylish Fabrics" website at first I could not even find any denim on the site... then when I did, it was only with a lot of digging that I found what the content was... most of what they are calling denim is 100% polyester. What they are calling cotton denim either has no fiber content listed or is "55% Cotton 29% Polyester 1% Spandex 16% Rayon", or "80%Cotton 19% Poly 1% Spandex"

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  23. An avid quilter, my online fabric shopping experience has included name brand, high quality cotton fabric from eQuilter, Missouri Star Quilt Co., Fabric.com, Craftsy, Sewing Party and a few Etsy sites. Have had terrific service, speedy deliveries and fabric always matched pictures and description. So I was shocked to read about your negative online fabric shopping snafu. What a bummer. I am fortunate to live an hour by car, not crow, from Mood, F&S, International Silks and Woolens, Michael Levine, and a myriad number of fabric jobbers near the garment district in downtown Los Angeles. I was just obsessing over 3 knit fabrics I saw this past week on Girl Charlee, and if it hadn't been 2 in the morning, I would have pulled the trigger and purchased. So glad my fabric angel whispered, wait, don't go there. . .Now that I've decided to take the knit sewing plunge and copy your success, I'll be sure to peruse the sites you love.

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