Monday, June 27, 2011

Ripped off at the fabric store!

These green dresses were really nice to work with.  They're made of a linen rayon blend and I was able to get zippers to match perfectly!  These turned out to be a huge headache when I was making them because I got ripped off at the fabric store.  I ordered 16 yards of fabric which took over two weeks to get to the store.  When I finally went to pick it up it turned out they didn't have enough employees working and it was busy.  My fabric was in two bolts which were labeled 8yds each.  The employee refused to count the fabric for me insisting it was all there!  There were a ton of people in line and I really didn't want to be that "annoying customer" so I backed off and assumed she was right.  As soon as I got home I pre-washed the fabric without counting the yardage (in hindsight that was a really stupid thing to do).  A few days later I cut all of my dresses and ended up being short by about 6 yards.  This usually wouldn't have been such a huge deal but all of the dresses were supposed to be in the same color for one order.  The problem is that fabric is usually dyed in lots and it's impossible to guarantee an exact color match between each lot.  The difference in color is not very noticeable.  But if you make eight dresses for a wedding - once you line them all up in the sunlight you will notice the color difference and a camera really likes picking up those differences.

At this time I realized I only had a few days to complete the order and I didn't have the fabric.  I went back to the fabric store hoping their in stock fabric would match mine.  As soon as I got there I put my swatch up against theirs and it didn't match.  I panicked thinking about having to either re-order all of the fabric and re-make the dresses I'd already started, or having to tell my customer the dresses wouldn't match, or have to refund her entire order - but all of a sudden I noticed a sealed bolt on the bottom of the shelf.  I pulled it out and it was a perfect match!  The worse part is that is was exactly the six yards I was missing - I am sure that was my bolt!  I went to the fabric counter and it was the same woman I dealt with the first time.  Of course she didn't remember me and refused to acknowledge she might have undersold me on fabric.  This mistake cost me a lot of money and stress.    I'm pretty shy and insisting someone count my fabric is a high anxiety situation I would typically avoid.  But after this lesson I am going to have to get over my  "there's other people in line behind me" anxiety and be a little more aggressive.


  1. whenever I make a mistake that costs me money I think of it as the cost of learning. I am sure you will never make that mistake again!

  2. Good way of putting it! You're totally right