Disappointed

Edited July 13, 2009

I wanted to let everyone know that I heard from Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics about my post. She generously resolved this issue, and explained the cost of the swatches to me. In case anyone else has misunderstood, the cost of the swatch covers the shipping. I also wanted to make clear that I love the knit prints that I received.

Although the knits were too sheer for the dresses I wanted to make, they are a great weight for chemo hats, so I think it will be put to that purpose. The cardigan Sewingsue suggested is a great idea if anyone else has sheer knit.


I received my fabric orders from Gorgeous Fabrics and Fabric.com today. I am very disappointed with some of the fabrics I received from Gorgeous Fabrics. They did not live up to the descriptions given on the web site.

This is the description given of the fabric shown on the left.

Oh. My. Goodness! Can I tell you how much I adore this gorgeous jersey? It’s lightweight, but not see-through, and it is perfect for tops, dresses or loungewear (mmm, jammies)! It will work up beautifully into a dress with New Look 6823. Or make a great top using Onion Empire Top. You’ll look like a goddess!

Not see-through? Dress-weight? I would not even wear this for a nightgown. I can see the color of my skin through this fabric.

This is the description of the fabric on the right.

I love this jersey! It’s a fantastic shade that will work perfectly for fall! It will work up beautifully into a dress with New Look 6823. Or make a great wardrobe with Vogue 8462. Perfect!

I would not make this fabric into a dress, but a wardrobe! No way you would see me in see-through pants.

I am telling you this because Gorgeous Fabrics does not accept returns. I know that many of you have had great experiences with Gorgeous Fabrics, but I will not order from them again unless I get a swatch. The descriptions are not accurate.

On the other hand, the fabric I received from Fabric.com was exactly as described, half the price, has free shipping and returns.

Does anyone have any ideas on what to do with this sheer fabric? Both are knit and I have 4 yards of each.

Window Shopping

I went to a high-end mall last night. The anchor stores are Nordstoms and Neiman Marcus. First I have to say I love trying on clothes at expensive stores. I wear clothes two sizes smaller than at the chain stores. Great for the ego! I have the same fit issues no matter what the cost, but it would bother me more to spend $200 for a dress and still have to remake it. Sorry there are no pictures…cameras were not welcomed.

I am never going to follow trends again. I haven’t felt good in my clothes since the 1960’s. Now that the retro styles are back, suddenly I look good in clothes again, in spite of the fact that I weight 100 pounds more than I did in the 60’s. I feel like I wasted half my life in ugly clothes. Never again!

I went to the mall to look at construction and fabric used. I felt a silk/wool for the first time. It will be great for Florida winters. I also saw a beautiful silk jersey print on a DVF wrap dress. The front edge of the wrap dress was finished with self-fabric binding. I was surprised how many of the sundresses were lined with batiste…..and all the sundresses were lined. All the unlined jackets had Hong Kong finishes, and the lined jackets had piping in the seam between the facing and lining. Seams were pressed open and serge finished on dresses and blouses. Invisible zippers were used on everything. They basicly just used good construction techniques with really great fabric.

I was amazed at the difference good fabric made in the way a garment looks on the body. Things that I thought I couldn’t wear looked great because of the drape of the fabric. I have been very frugal with my clothing for years, but it was not a good plan. I am definitely going to change my fabric buying habits.

Here are some of the changes I am planning to make as a result of this experience.
1. Buy only good fabric. The expense is worth it.
2. Make more things with princess seams.
3. Make a-line and straight skirts.
4. Make things with a fitted waistline.
5. Make a gathered skirt out of voile and move the gathers to the center, sides almost flat.
6. Make things out of a mid-weight linen fabric. It drapes but has enough body to keep things hidden I don’t want to show.
7. Marry a rich man so that I have the money to buy all that expensive fabric.

I Broke My Fabric Fast

I haven’t bought any fabric all year, except for lining and a gift. This has been fine for working out muslins and making things out of wovens, but the knits in my stash were terrible. I have been looking locally, but I haven’t found anything that I liked in colors that look good on me. Today I finally got to the point that I couldn’t stand it any longer and I went totally crazy.

It all started with this beautiful poly knit from Gorgeous Fabrics. I think I fell in love with the print because of the colors, they fit well into my fall wardrobe direction and I will be able to wear it year-round here in Florida. I ended up ordering 5 different knits, 17 yards total all in colors that I know will look good on me. Thank you Gorgeous Fabrics for the Pantone colors. Then I went over to Fabric.com and ordered 7.5 yards of rayon blend knits. Although I love Fabric.com’s free shipping, colors are a real guessing game without swatches, so I hope what I ordered will work. If not, I am sure I can find someone I know that will look good in the colors.

I am so excited. I now have 7 new fabrics that will really help move my wardrobe into current trends.

Building a Fabric Stash 2

The fabric that we buy should reflect our personal style and our lifestyle needs. If we are stashing fabric, we are buying for the future, so we need to think ahead. A college student should buy for work, a newlywed should think about children, a middle-age person should think about retirement. I have not found that my style has changed that much as I have gotten older, I have just had to add a tailored garment to the mix and avoid extremes of any quirky style, but the fabrics I loved when I was young still find their way into my wardrobe.

Too often we stash for where we are now, but we are all getting older, and typically, wider. Buy a little more fabric than you need right now if you are young. There is a good chance you are going to gain a few pounds as you age. You are also likely to want a little more coverage as you get older, so buy enough for sleeves, and enough length for a longer skirt. As I mentioned in my last post, most women want better fabrics as they get older, so in your 30’s start buying only the best fabric, and use up what you bought when you were younger.

Women’s Wardrobe by Kim Johnson Gross and Jeff Stone discusses how fabric gives personality to a garment. The authors give the example of a plain white cotton t-shirt vs a silk tee covered with sequins. The authors have broken down fabrics into categories that I think will be useful to someone just learning about fabrics. Although their list is open to discussion, it got me thinking.

I highly recommend this book for its slightly different twist to thinking about one’s wardrobe.

Day
Wool
Synthetic blends
Denim
Cotton
Silk
Linen
Knits
Corduroy
Flannel
Gabardine
Matte jersey
Seersucker
Leather
Suede
Tweed
Night
Satin
Silk
Sequins
Beading
Chiffon
Taffeta
Brocade
Moire
Organza
Lace
Lame
Velvet
Casual
Cotton knits
Denim
Fleece
Stretch fabrics
Synthetics
Tweed
Cotton flannel
Corduroy
Business
Worsted wool
Tropical wool
Wool crepe
Fine cotton
Silk
Synthetic blends
Travel
Synthetics
Microfibers
Wool
Classic
Wool
Cotton
Linen
Silk
Cashmere
Velvet
Progressive
Synthetic blends
Metallics
Vinyl
Seasonless
Rayon
Viscose
Lycra
Wool Gauze
Cotton
Tropical Wool
Silk
Cotton
Denim
Microfibers
Synthetics blended with natural fibers
Winter
Wool and wool blends
silk
Heavy knits
Flannel
Cashmere
Velvet
Corduroy
Fleece
Fur
Leather
Mohair
Tweeds
Chenille
Suede
Summer
Rayon
Cotton
Linen
Tropical wools
Light knits
Seersucker
Cotton pique
Ramie
Terry cloth
Super Masculine
Broadcloth
Chino
Corduroy
Flannel
Gabardine
Wool tweeds
Super Feminine
Angora
Brocade
Chenille
Chiffon
Crinkled silk or cotton
Damsk
Eyelet
Organza
Silk
Satin
Velvet
Sequins
Lame
Voile
Lace
Sexy
Sheer Fabrics
Lace
Satin
Silk Jersey
Clingy Knits
Angora
Breathable
Natural Fiber Fabrics
Fleece
Wicking Fabrics
Non-Breathable
Nylon
Mylar
Quick Dry
Synthetics

Building A Fabric Stash

There has been a discussion recently at Stitcher’s Guild on fabric collecting. I have made some mistakes that I shared there, but thought it would be a good topic for the blog.

When I was teaching, I spent summers working at fabric stores. In 30 years, I built up a huge stash of fabric. I am very grateful for that fabric now that my income is limited, but I did not spend my money wisely, and I do not want you to make the same mistakes. So here are my tips.

If you are going to buy fabric for later use, buy only the best fabric in your favorite neutral colors. As you get older, you will want better fabrics. Neutrals will always work, no matter what the trends.

Limit the number of prints that you purchase. I have found prints go in and out of style. The big graphic prints that are popular now may look very dated a few years from now.

If you move around a lot, remember the regional differences in fabrics. I have wool that I will never use here in Florida, but it moved with me the farther south I moved. Fabric has always been used to pad fragile items when moving, so it always moves with me.

Do not buy more than you can store in the available space. I ended up renting a storage shed for my fabric at one point in my life. That is too much fabric!

Establish a system of organization from your first piece of fabric. If you put it on your computer, make sure to update regularly and back it up.

The fabrics that I wouldn’t wear now get used for muslins, but I do wish now I hadn’t bought so much, or had been more selective in what I purchased.

Not Again!

I have been playing with muslins and they just are not working out. Too big. I tried on the jacket and skirt that I was planning to build my wardrobe around, and they are too big. I am going to have to dig out some smaller clothes and see what I can wear now.

I learned something about measurements. Even if you are not loosing weight, if you start exercising, you have to take frequent measurements, because the measurements do change much faster than one might anticipate.

Color Trends

I discovered a new site today that I think will really help those of us who sew plan ahead. It is Fashion Trendsetter.

Every season I go to the mall and try to determine what colors and styles are the must haves for that season. This site shows the popular colors months in advance. Having this information in advance will really help me plan for the coming season, as I usually start my sewing several months before clothes appear in the stores. They list the Pantone colors so I won’t have to try to figure out the colors that are not always accurately reflected on my computer screen. I was really surprised that the colors for fall are very soft.

In their review of upcoming styles for Fall 2009 they say clothes are going to be oversized with leggings and big shoulders. Maybe I shouldn’t get rid of those 1980’s patterns!