Friday, June 22, 2012

Fabric Mart Review & Order

I thought I'd blog about my ongoing experience with Fabric Mart.  They have lots of great apparel fabric (a bit of quilting fabric but only a bit).  I get most apparel basics from, but Fabric Mart has designer and couture fabric such as Anna Sui, Marc Jacobs and the like.  They carry everything from leather to of high end buttons.  I've ordered quite of bit from them over the last couple of years & they've always gotten my orders right.

After realizing I'm no clothes making genius, I've become a hardcore bargain shopper until I'm more accomplished, and they always have some things on sale so I keep an eye on their website.

So some notable things about Fabric Mart I'd tell somebody who was like..."Oh please tell me about Fabric Mart."

Julie's Pick June Mailer
Julie's Picks Swatch Club - I tried finding reviews before I joined, but couldn't find much information, so I wanted to discuss this.  Basically they go purchase a limited amount of 30 or so fabrics.  They don't put pics up, these little samples are the only way to see them.
It's $50 for a year's membership & a $25 gift certificate to use.  ($ decreases as the year progresses but doesn't include the gift certificate)  You get a swatch mailing each month & the fabrics can only be purchased during that month.

I haven't found a lot of things that really intrigue me in these six months, partially because I'm not big on the Pantone colors of the season.  They have a good variety of fabrics in them though, and some pretty good prices too.  It's very nice to get to see and feel them first. 
On the bright side I've started sorting the little 2" squares into color groups, and am planning on trying to make a little quilt out of it once the year is done!

2 1/2 yards of pink beaded fabric
Mystery Bundles - they bundle at various times fabric, linings, zippers & misc (which is buttons, trim, elastic, hooks etc).  Sometimes they offer a free bundle with a purchase.  I will still get the zippers and misc, but I am done with the fabric bundles.    They're usually 10 yards/$15.  My bundles have run the gamut from  what seemed to be outdoor fabric (which they don't sell), stuf I'd seen in their super sale clearance for $1.99/yard, to formal wear stuff.  Overall it's been about 75% useless to me.  Probably be a better option if I had kids to make costumes for, or sewing buddies to swap fabric with.  I don't know what I'm going to do with that formal pink beaded yep, the mystery is fun, but when you can't even use the fabric for a muslin it makes it less valuable of a purchase.  Best items have been a couple of useful printed knits and two lovely pieces of silk, one red and one white with red polka dots.  If only red was my color!

latest mystery bundle
 This is why I'm going to stop with the bundles though - my last one included some green to yellow ombre chiffon, zebra striped "something" probably polyester that's a bit shiny and makes me wonder if it's waterproof, both dark blue and hot pink stretch velveteen (!!!) ...and some light blue embroidered fabric which I believe is tafetta.  Fabric identification isn't my forte if you can't tell!

Wondering if I dare to make some hot pink leggings...I could wear them for gardening!

 My apparel stash is uh...much more copious than my quilting stash so I don't shop unless I have a specific thing I want to make.  This month I ordered $50 of fabric so I could get a free bundle of 25 zippers (for zippered pouches galore).  They were having a really good sale so I resisted browsing anything but the sale sections and I stocked up on $1.99 and $2.99 fabrics, I was doing a self directed spring palette project with 10 items but got distracted by quilting.  I was able to get fabrics that will either be the muslin or the actual stuff for a couple of dresses on my list, some micro rib knit to make a tank top from, and some lace I'd been eying for awhile that I will save for some future use.  I even managed to score some $2 a yard denim to try my hand at my first pair of jeans.

Anyway, if you make or are interested in making apparel, I recommend checking out Fabric Mart.  They often have a couple of photos of each fabric that demonstrates both the print and the drape.  If you purchase $150 at once you become a permanent premium member and premium members almost always get one additional special sale in addition to the regular ongoing ones - a free bundle or X% off a certain type of fabric.

I'll also add that the fabrics from Julie's pick & bundles aren't ever included in sales.  Bundles come tied in a plastic bag but usually fabric isn't protected by plastic or anything inside the box, I always have to hope the UPS guy doesn't leave it exposed to rain on the porch.  Nevertheless I've been generally satisfied with most of my orders.   Phew that's a wordy post!

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