Fabric.com Review Continued – Fabric Haul

My two boxes from Fabric.com arrived a while ago, so I can finally write the second part of this review! The first part was very negative and talked about my experiences with customer service, and the actual ordering process from Fabric.com. This will be a proper review of some of the products and surprisingly, it will be positive.

I made two orders from Fabric.com. Order one was placed on March second, shipped out on March fifth, and arrived on March Tenth. Order two was made on March fifth, shipped out on March tenth, and arrived on March twelfth. They have slow processing times, but the shipping was super speedy.

This is what my orders looked like – I got over thirty yards of material for a bit more then one hundred dollars.

I took advantage of some really amazing sales, unfortunately most of them are no longer available. I’m not sure if the low prices were a fluke, but now all of these are only 20% off instead of half price.

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My order arrived in two boxes – the first weighed thirteen pounds!

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The second one was only seven pounds, much less impressive, but my dog found it interesting.

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The fabric that originally tempted me into ordering was the cornhusk colored twill – well I originally ordered shantung, it was out of stock, had to reorder it in twill.

For some reason I thought this fabric would match some other material I had.  I’m not sure why I was so confident about that, since the photo on the site is much darker then the material I wanted it to match.

But I bought seven yards of it.

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And in person it looks like this.

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To be honest it looks nothing like the photo. It matches the name though – it’s a beige-y yellow that looks like a dried cornhusk. The material itself is a decent weight twill, with a really nice sheen to it.

(Though not as nice in texture as cotton sateen, it does look similar to it.)

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And by some miracle – it matches my other fabric perfectly!

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I bought five yards of the twill in pink too. I regretted this right after the order went through because I realized I would probably end up with a pile of pepto bismol like fabric (blush probably means hot pink by fabric.com standards).

I bought five yards – I figured it would make a nice early 1900’s dress, and if it was awful, I could use it to construct a giant ruffly petticoat.

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Like the cornhusk material, it’s very different in color then the online photos – but it’s really pretty too! It’s  not the peach color I had hoped it would be, but It’s a lovely cool toned light pink, which manages to look bright and cheery but not overwhelming.

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Again it has the twill texture and a nice sheen to it. After I took this out of the package I found myself regretting that I didn’t buy more.

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….

 I was kind of clueless what this would be like (it’s suggested to be used to make window sheers and lingerie) I thought it may be sheer like chiffon but I wasn’t sure. I purchased it mostly because I liked the color, it’s really different from the colors I usually go for, and more interesting then ivory.

(I always use ivory as an accent color, if you hadn’t noticed)

I bought three yards of this.

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It’s not sheer, at all. I’d describe the appearance as a double sided satin with a little less sheen. But it feels like silk – so soft and pretty.

DSC_5075The color is a little different, instead of being brown toned, it’s more of a greenish colored khaki. I really dislike the color, but it does feel and look really nice – sadly it will probably end up as lining material.

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Moving on to the final fabric from the “Crestmont” series. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect form this one either, but the color drew me in. It was cheap and in my favorite shade of dark red, so I really couldn’t say no.

I bought six yards of this.

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In real life it’s more of a brick red then I had expected. I’m slightly disappointed but I still like the color a lot. The fabric itself feels quite nubby and flimsy, like really cheap polyester suiting .

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The print adds texture but is still relatively subtle. The fabric really does feel awful, but I think I can make something pretty out of it anyway. I’m not sure what yet, but it will be used eventually.

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I snagged some white shantung which i’m really happy about. It’s such an easy fabric to work with and I love the weight of it (stiff but not heavy – amazing for full length dresses) and although it’s not the traditional material, I picked this up with a chemise a la reine in mind.

I got five yards.

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It’s the stiffest shantung i’ve ever felt, so I wouldn’t consider it “very lightweight” nor would I use this for bedding or regular apparel. But it does look very nice! It’s a bright white with a pretty, subtle sheen.

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The slub is obvious up close, but not very visible from far away. Nice if you are like me and don’t care for large slub, not so nice if you are looking for an accurate “dupe” for silk shantung.

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….

This fabric was the one that frustrated me the most out of the bunch, since I can’t use it for anything really.

I bought it because when I saw it I instantly thought of pirates – and i’m a sucker for pirates.

Luckily I only wasted money on one yard, though.

Untitled3334The problem with this fabric is that [unlike the photo shown]  the pattern is situated vertically instead of horizontally. I guess this makes sense if you are purchasing it for drapery, since then you can have the length longer then 54″ without having a seam. But I went off of the photo and assumed it would be oriented horizontally, so I could make a skirt from it.

That isn’t the case, so it won’t really work for a skirt unless I want it to be quite short. I do like the fabric print a lot. It looks aged, almost like a map, and the ships and still reminds me of something piratey.

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It looks almost like burlap, but it feels like a very heavy linen.

I think I will eventually make a (grumble) shorter skirt out of it. But for now it’s tucked away. I’ll pull it out on a rainy day when i’m fed up with all my other projects.

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And the cotton backing mentioned in the description.

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I saved my favorite for last! This fabric is one I bought with something very specific in mind, so I had higher expectations then I did with the rest of the materials.

I bought five yards.

Untitled333The fabric feels like regular linen and the print looks like  an oil painting.

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I don’t see much teal in it – it’s more like a true porcelain blue in my opinion, but I guess other people may feel differently. Either way I really love the print, color, and texture of this fabric.

A year ago I probably would have thought this fabric was hideous – funny how tastes change.

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So that was that! I’m happy with almost everything I got. As usual the photos aren’t very accurate to what you end up with, but this time around I wasn’t too bothered by the differences.

Make of this what you will – but in my experiences fabric quality varies a lot. The photos and product descriptions [usually] aren’t super accurate, so you can’t really be sure what you’re getting unless you buy a swatch first.

Customer service is pretty awful – there has always been something wrong with every order I have made, and the fabric.com staff has never done anything to help resolve the issues – even when they are responsible for them.

I’ve been really frustrated with them many times, and I bet I will be frustrated with them again in the future. Fabric.com is NOT the first place I go for material, it never will be, but I do enjoy taking advantage or the amazing sales they occasionally put out.

Sleeve post should be up tomorrow! Sorry for the delay, my brother and father have been home all week so its been a bit chaotic – I haven’t had my quiet time in the morning blog.

My (negative) experiences with Fabric.com

This is part one of a two part “review” of sorts on the website Fabric.com. This part isn’t even a review, it’s more of a rant talking about my dreadful experiences with this company, the dumb policies, and the terrible customer service. Part two will be an actual review of my most recent order (which hasn’t arrived yet) comparing product descriptions and photos to the actual material.

Warning – this is very long, and very negative.

As far as I can tell, this isn’t a company that cares at all about their customers. They don’t seem to make any effort to accurately describe the things they sell, and at least in my personal experience, complaints have been ignored rather then discussed and dealt with.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the site, Fabric.com is a website that sells fabric as well as notions, patterns, and even a few sewing machines. The website has a huge variety of fabrics that range from apparel, home decor, quilting, and upholstery. They have free shipping to the US if you order over $35, and I believe they ship worldwide.

Like with most stores, online or otherwise, the prices and quality vary a lot from product to product. In the case of Fabric.com the photos can be misleading, the descriptions aren’t very accurate, and you never really know what you’re going to get until it arrives.

The website is oddly designed and makes it difficult to view fabrics. The materials are sorted by designer – there is no “view all” option so finding something as simple as ‘white organza’ or ‘black jersey’ can be a challenge. You can use the search feature, but some of the items are oddly titled and won’t show up.

The “sort by price” feature isn’t very handy since it doesn’t take into account sale prices. A fabric that is regularly $20 but on sale for $5 will be listed with the $20+ materials instead of the $4.99-$9.99 ones, which makes it really tricky if you are browsing for items in a certain price range.  In addition to that, the website isn’t updated very often, even if an item is listed as “in stock : 340” units, they may be completely out.

But my main problem with this company stems with customer service, or the lack there of.

Experiences with Customer service: 

In my most recent order I snagged twenty seven yards of fabric for under ninety dollars. I was thrilled and really excited to get my new materials. I got an automated receipt emailed to me after ordering…but then forty eight hours passed and my order was still listed as “pending” on the site, which was my first hint that something was wrong.

Three days after making my order, I received an automated email saying one of my items was out of stock. I ordered seven yards of the material, and at the time I purchased it the website said over a hundred yards were in stock. rage I was really annoyed – I would say i’m fairly understanding things like this as long as i’m informed as soon as possible and they make an effort to solve the problem. Fabric.com does neither of those things.

And strangely, when I checked the website today the fabric was STILL listed as having 55 units in stock – this is over five days after I made my order that they couldn’t fulfill.

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  I replied requesting they ship the remaining pieces of my order, and for them to offer a coupon or voucher for my next order. Since they do not under ANY circumstances offer exchanges I had to make a separate order to replace the out of stock material, which would total $20 – meaning I have to pay shipping on it.

Twenty four hours later I received a shipping notice for my order. They didn’t reply to my email or request. My mother ended up calling them and they frankly stated that the policy is free shipping if you spend over $35, and under no circumstances would they change that.

I think that’s pretty terrible. It’s their fault I have to make a separate order, but they won’t even consider doing anything about the situation.

This seems especially bad compared to my recent experience with OnlineFabricStore.net. A few weeks ago I made a small order from them that they were unable to fulfill, and within twelve hours they called and sent me an email saying this:better For one thing, it isn’t an automated message, and each customer service staff member has a separate email so you are always dealing with the same person. I was informed quickly, and when I sent a reply asking about being refunded for the stock they couldn’t ship I received a reply within fifteen minutes.  My order was shipped out an hour later and they only charged me for seven yards as opposed to the seven and a half yards I received.

Good job OnlineFabricStore.net

Back to Fabric.com – Here are a few other experiences I’ve had with them.

Order #1:  My first ever order was in March of last year. I had just attended Katsucon and was looking to take on another big project. Fabric.com happened to be having a sale on taffeta, I don’t recall the price but I think it was around $2 a yard, and tulle was on sale too. I made a large order of over thirty yards of material that totaled $70. At the time I ordered twenty five yards of red taffeta, and on the website they listed over three hundred yards in stock. I received the typical conformation email/receipt. Then my order processed for three days before I received an automated email saying this: angurr I asked if they would even consider an exchange, since I could use pink taffeta instead or red. I was told no – I would have to make a separate order. By this point the sale was no longer on (since it took them so long to inform me) so I would have to pay full price. I told them to cancel the order and never received a response. Three days later the order was marked as “canceled” on the website. I sent them an email asking about how the refund details would work and, big surprise, I never got a response.

Order #2:  This was a much larger order! I made this right before new years so there were a lot of sales going on. This order was over a hundred dollars, and included almost thirty yards of material. The order was shipped quickly without any issues, but when it arrived there were some serious problems with a few of the materials.

The taffeta felt like it was better suited for a construction tarp then a dress, the jacquard listed as “medium weight” was thicker then heavy canvas and the chiffon that was labeled as “ivory” was actually orange AND stained. The image below shows two products labeled as “Ivory Chiffon” the top one is from Fabric.com and the lower one is from a shop in NYC.

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(on the bright side, it’s two tone, so it varies from orange to more orange)

I wrote them an email saying I was not happy with the chiffon – I included photos of the fabric which was clearly much darker then the photos they provided, as well as pictures of the stains. I received no response. I sent them a message through the customer support on the website and didn’t get a response. The fabric was still usable and had only cost $14 so I gave up attempting to contact them.

,,,

Reviews: 

Moving on to reviews! I decided to at least attempt to inform other people who might use the website that some of the materials aren’t the best. I have written several reviews for Fabric.com, a few were positive, but most of them were negative. All the reviews were within their guidelines. Though some of them were clearly negative, none of them were nasty or rude.

I pointed out that the fabrics were different then the photos/descriptions and that I wouldn’t recommend them for certain things. Strangely enough, all my Two star and below reviews have been declined and never posted to the website. My positive review, sent in at the same time, was accepted.

Conclusion:

As much as I hate to say it – I would order from this site again.  I only purchase from Fabric.com when the deals are too good to pass up – like when they have items marked down to clearance prices, some of which are 80% off. Despite all the frustrations with them, six yards of fabric for $10 is pretty irresistible.

In the end I have gotten  great deals through this website, i’ve gotten good fabric, and I have been happy with some of my purchases. But I’ve also had such frustrating experiences with what they call “customer service”. I’ve wasted money on fabrics that weren’t at all as described, I’ve had to pay extra shipping costs due to their negligence, and i’ve written realistic reviews about their products that have been deleted!

So I wouldn’t say “Do not under any circumstance order from this site” but I would suggest you keep all of this in mind if you are planning on purchasing their products. Especially if you want to make a large order of a single item, because if it arrives and isn’t what you want, there isn’t a chance in hell you will get your money back.

Thanks for reading…sorry for the bit of negativity but I really wanted to put this out there!

Tomorrow I will have another “The Making of” post up, followed by a “Stay Study” post on Monday!