Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Ordering from OS

I had a question from Suzy who asked me how long it takes for delivery to Australia, so I thought I would put the answer up as a blog in case there are others who are thinking about it.

The answer is... it all depends! I know that is a bit of a cop out - but let me explain. My experiences with ordering from OS - basically the USA - has been mixed but on the whole positive.

I can only speak from my experiences. The longest it has taken to get fabric has been 4.5 weeks and the shortest has been 5 days - yes 5 days all the way from the USofA. It seems to depend on what company you order from and how much you order.

I used to order a lot of fabric from DenverFabrics.com. I have read lots of bad reviews regarding the customer service from this company but I never had to contact them as all of my orders were filled correctly and I was impressed with the fabric I received. The reason I stopped ordering from them is the cost of shipping. Often a lot more than the cost the fabric itself. I worked it out and with the escalated shipping costs from this company you don't really end up saving much. And you don't know how much it is going to cost you in shipping until after it ships and they charge you. It takes approx a month for delivery from here.

I wanted to order from FabricMart.com - they have lots of lovely looking fabric - however the level of customer service I received when I made an enquiry about shipping left me cold so I struck them off the list.

I have had good experiences from fabric.com - both with queries and products. I find that if you put items into your cart and go to check out - change the country to Australia it will tell you how much the shipping costs will be and you can make your decision then. I tend to split my orders so that I pay $24 odd in shipping and I can usually get about 10 yards or so of fabric for this cost. When you go over 10 yards (or so - I guess it also depends on the weight of the fabric) the costs go up to around $70 odd. It will go up from there. Bottom line is - if you go even half a yard over the cut off weight the cost of shipping over doubles - so I just take things out of the cart until I get to the $24 shipping (I play around until I get it just right amount as the more fabric you order for your $24 shipping the more value for you). I have found it to take 5 days for these deliveries. NOTE - if you put less in your basket and the shipping costs go under this amount they send it a different way and it takes weeks to arrive.

Let's talk about patterns. Now Suzy - I don't know where you get your patterns from but sewingpatterns.com have cheap patterns and the shipping is reasonable - NOTE - it does take weeks to get here and if you order so many that it takes more than one envelope they split it and the second envelope can take even longer. I did get one order that went missing but the company resent it at no cost so I am happy with their service.

Remember - you do run the risk of not getting what you think you ordered, not receiving your order or having other problems and I have heard some shocking stories regarding customer service. You do run the risk - but for me the risk has paid off with some gorgeous fabric that is a lot cheaper than you can get here - I often order matching cotton as well as that is cheaper too. If the fabric you receive is not what you wanted - often the cost of returning for a refund is not worth it.

Hope this helps - does anyone what to share where they get cheap fabric?

I thought I would show you 6 of my favourite fabrics that haven't appeared on my blog yet. Do you have favourite fabrics that you can show on your blogs?

PS - I had to buy another storage crate to store my purchases (this makes 3 x 81 litre full to brim).. However when my family complained I just showed them the blogs of Shannon at Hungry Zombie Couture and Sewphisticated Lady and they shut up!


  1. Thats really interesting - Thankyou! I might have to go and stalk fabric.com, lol! I tend to get most of my fabrics from the Spotlight clearance table, occasionally you can get some real bargains - this week I got Melton 100% wool coating for $5metre down from $30 *drool*
    I actually only heard of SewingPatterns.com a few weeks ago and and put in a couple orders that turned up this week - i was very impressed, I bought on the $2.99 Simplicity sale and the postage was quite low, so it worked out to around $4 a pattern - even cheaper than buying on ebay/etsy.

  2. After seeing your fabric, I also took a look at fabric.com, but postage seems to be very high. First of all I put just 2 yards of fabric in my basket and it was about $15 postage. I added another 2 yards of a different fabric and it went up to $20 I wonder how you managed to get 10 yards for $24 as that might be worth it. Your fabrics look beautiful. Are you always pleased with the quality you get?

  3. I just tried putting a total of 10 yards of fabric in my basket and the postage went up to $30 ( to Greece) so I think I'll stick to European online shops.

  4. I'm in the USA sewingpatterns.com is just as slow for me placed an order almost 2 weeks ago still waiting. I've been curious about style arc patterns trying to figure shipping to the US.

  5. Your fabrics are beautiful and thank you so much for this information about the fabric companies. Since I'm from Canada, I have to watch the shipping costs too. I still have not ventured into buying fabrics online except Etsy so your information is very useful. I also admire how you are using apps. I use Publisher, and like it for storing ideas and designs and have been putting the pattern pieces for each of the Burda magazines I've been obsessively buying, (Burda seems to fit me so well) into Publisher and then into a PDF. Easier for me to scroll through that way than looking through the magazines.
    Sewing Hugs, Jean

  6. This is interesting! I really only buy quilting cottons from the US, mostly from eQuilter.com. I did buy soe lovely silk from fabrics.com but find their shipping ridiculous and their customer service reaponse to my queries about it hopeless. I also used to buy patterns from the Vogue/butterick/mcCalls websites but they put their shipping through the roof a couple of years ago. It's not acceptable as you can get at least 6 patterns into a GP envelope costing about 13.95. So will check out sewingpatterns.com :)

  7. thanks for the info about fabric.com . Dangerous information !I have never ordered fabric from OS but get quite jealous of all the lovely fabric that others buy . I have ordered patterns from sewingpatterns.com but in the end were no cheaper if I had just bought them on sale in Australia. However now the dollar is so favourable this would change. It took the patterns months to arrive as well - similar to your experience.


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