Monday, January 4, 2010

Shopping for Fabric

With the New Year comes planning, checking out the local events, when the markets are on, booking out weekends. And then there's the sewing.

This years birthday presants, a new baby's gifts, and outfits for the ever-growing kids. I like planning ahead, picking patterns, getting the fabric and then taking my time going through my to do list and not being rushed. I'm not much of a "buy things for the stash" person, with a lack of space and I never know how much to buy when I don't know what I'm making with it so end up with not enough or too much but not enough for something else.

I've been thinking of some new pillows and duvet cover for our bed and have fallen in love with the Moda's Rouenneries by French General. So last night I start planning, working out yards/metres, then looking for where to buy.

So the question, where to buy fabric from. Generally I sew because I can make something much nicer than I could buy for less than I would pay, but here in Australia I find fabric so so expensive:

8 yd of Rouenneries via US shop (US$82.87) AUD$93 inc. shipping
7 m of Rouenneries via local AUS shop AUD$231.71

So buying from the US including shipping is 60% cheaper for the exact same fabric. Wowsers. For $93 I would certainly make everything myself, but for $231 I don't think I would. That's not including the fabric for the other things on my to do list for this year which are probably another 8 yards/7 meters again.

So what would you do? Where do you buy your fabric when you are getting larger quantities of more than a meter here and there? Do you stick to Australian shops, which of course is the most ideal to support small Aussie businesses or do you keep your budget in mind and buy overseas.

If I spent more than twice for the same fabric at least I could sell tickets for the concert of watching hubby's brain explode when the credit card statement turned up. At least the ticket profits would make up some of the price difference?


willow and moo said...

For any American quilting fabric I usually go straight to the US. No matter how you do the numbers, it is always cheaper. I don't think it should cost twice as much to buy the fabric here.

I try support Australian sellers, but I'm not willing to pay that much more.

handmaiden said...

I buy alot of my fabric from Quilt at US$9 a yard......cant beat it....even with postage on top

Carla said...

If I'm just buying a metre or two just because with nothing in mind then I definitely support Australian sellers. If I need a lot of a particular fabric and its cheaper overseas then I'll buy overseas. I try to go for a happy medium between the two.

Shan said...

i buy both in oz and overseas depending on what i'm after but i find for designer fabrics you just can't beat the price in the us!

Jodie said...

Thankfully I haven't faced this problem yet as I've never had a project that big. For smaller quantities I always buy from an Aussie seller even though it does cost more. It just seems to sit better with me. For the amount you are looking at though I think I'd have to buy from the US.

Kate said...

Big projects I buy overseas. For smaller I try local and I do love to shop in person at quilt shops when I get to them.

Cass said...

I usually buy from both. I would love to support local shops first but realistically I just don't want to spend double or triple the price on fabric. I often try and time my local buying when sales are on

Anonymous said...

I try to buy my fabrics here in Germany, but most of the times I buy them in the US. It´s so much cheaper but the costs for the shipping are high. But I´don´t mind the shipping because I can save so much money. I love to buy at They have a wonderful choice of fabrics there.
Have a nice day!
Many greetings from the very snowy Germany!!

Leah (mummy made it) said...

Tonight I filled up an order with fat 1/4 shop and then wondered whether I should, not through guilt spending at the US but through guilt spending at all!!! I wish it was the same as the US prices but for me I just can't afford it when I want really nice designer stuff. In saying all that, if I buy from here Aus, I use Kelani, she is so generous and free post. It's tricky isn't it. Good question!

Quilary said...

Catherine at runs a co-op through her yahoo group to buy fabrics and other sewing items at discount prices. She's in Perth. I've been really happy with the fabrics, including widebacks that I've got from her. I don't know if it's as cheap as US though.