October 6, 2011

What To Do When A Fabric Store Does You Wrong!

I know, I know.... it's been a while... I do have lots of excuses... but then again... this is my blog and I guess I get to it when I get to it!  LoL

I was reading a new to me blog today and the writer mentioned that she had bought a cute cut of material that was a knit. This piece was cut really badly. So much so,  that she couldn't get the short sleeves out of it to make the  shirt she had planned on making! She ended up making a sleeveless top which is fine.... she made "lemonade"! Good for her!  But, there are a few things that we can do to prevent this from happening. I have worked for one of the big chain fabric stores and believe me when I say..... They Want Your Business! So let's see what we can do!
#1 When you are buying fabric in store; (no matter what kind) watch how they cut the fabric! If you are a quilter some stores will tear the cottons for you to guarantee that your cut will be straight! Some stores won't do this at all. But, if you are buying a quilt backing that is one of the 72" or larger size....(especially a cotton)  ask them to tear it for sure... otherwise ask them (b/4 they cut) if they will take it back if you find when you get home that it is not even! This way you have what you want, not some material that they are just trying to get rid of! And believe me when I tell you that I worked with some people that didn't care how they cut fabric and we got back stuff that just could not be used for the purpose they bought it due to this lack of care!
#2  If the fabric you are buying is a stretch/knit/lycra etc.... ask the cutter to show you how it lines up.... if they aren't willing to show you that is a problem..... bring it to the attention of the manager! You are the one that has to take it home to use it and if it's lined up wrong..... it's a waist of your money and time if you can't even it up enough to be able to get your pieces out. Pattern companies usually account for extra material so their should be more than enough if your following the patterns guidelines....
#3 The fabric company's want your business.... and believe me when I say that if they are reputable, they will make things right! Cause they know that if they don't..... they will loose you as a customer and possibly any body else you decide to tell about the problem you had. So... this being said, talk to the manager or supervisor if you have a problem with a how a fabric you bought was cut. Remember though... if your loosing your temper that isn't going to win a whole lot of points... as they say "You get more flies with honey than vinegar".  Most companies will try hard to fix the problem.
#4 Try to be flexible!  For example; when one of my daughters was planning her wedding, she wanted white tulle draped high on wires with white lights etc.... and we estimated we needed around 250 yards of the tulle!
O.K. I went to one of the local chain stores..... asking if I could use my 50% off coupon and after they told me yes, they proceeded to call several other stores and got me the amount I needed. Now, of course I wasn't going to be able to get it all in one piece.... but I did have options; I asked that a) could I please not have a bunch of bolts with lots of leftover pieces on them..... b) and then I asked them to not give me anything less than a ten yard piece. c) also since they didn't have what I needed in stock, and I wasn't really special ordering.... that I not have to pay any shipping!  They worked with me and I got what I wanted and what I needed and only ended up paying 50 cents a yard. I can't tell you how beautiful it turned out...
#5 If you are doing a large order for something like say a wedding dress, brides maid dresses, etc.... and you need lots of the same  material... check on the bolts to see if the dye lot numbers are the same... checking again, b/4 you leave the store is going to end with a lot less headache! I've made a lot of wedding dresses and if the bride/brides mom  have me go with them it's a lot less hassle to handle it b/4 rather than finding a problem after they have bought everything and it's not what they thought!  This goes for decorator fabric's too
if you need lots and a store needs to find it at another store match up all of the fabric's b/4 you pay... you don't want to end up with something that doesn't match! Ask the person your ordering with if you have to pay b/4 you receive it. Most places may need you to pay first, but then if it doesn't match.... they will refund your money....
#6 As I mentioned I've made a good deal of wedding dresses... and in the process I've come across material that the brides (1 or 2 of my 3 daughters being a couple of them) liked soooo much they had to have and they weren't really the width that was called for on the pattern back!  So; what to do? Do you piece? Or what would you do? Well, mostly it depends on how much of a difference there is in the material and pattern. If I have to piece a large train most times it's smart to take your main/or middle of the back area cut it out and then add to the sides of this piece.... matching any where it may need to match up. There are times that I have pieced the trains of wedding dresses....  not even the bride noticed!  I will tell the brides mom before I cut it out to show her what it will look like if I have to piece.... and I can't think of one case where it was at all noticeable that I was told not to make it that way! But you need to take those types of things into consideration before you cut out a dress that has such a wide train. Lots of other times, if the pattern calls for maybe 60" wide fabric and you have maybe 58", it's just not that big of deal to put a bit of a fold into your pattern piece (in the area lower than the hip line... you don't want to mess with sizing)  to make the dress back/front/train to allow that bit of a saving. Honestly no one ever missed it! And depending on the fabric, like for example a Dull Satin.... sometimes you can cut your pieces out running 1 piece up and the other down! On a good quality Dull Satin, there isn't a difference in the sheen and so it can save a lot of money by cutting that way!
#7 If your buying on line.... b/4 you make a purchase from an on-line store, check to see what kind of return policy they have! Nothing like getting a great deal on something that just isn't all that great!

Alright..... go.... hunt for fabric....... may your search be fruitful! And remember any purchases you make will be helping out the economy! LoL...... enjoy!

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