When this cotton silk blend fabric popped up on Emma One Sock, I just knew it would make an awesome V2.0 of the Gap wrap dress. Online fabric buying is undoubtedly a leap of faith, even moreso when you consider the postage to Australia and the abysmal exchange rate of our South Pacific Peso. So let me tell you about my experience on finding a flaw in the fabric after it was cut.
The Gap Wrap Dress V2.0 maxi version is a hungry savage of a thing. The green linen version consumed a good portion of 3.5m of 140cm wide fabric with the back panel cut in 2 (CB seam) to tesselate the lay plan! This black silk/cotton broderie anglaise, needed to be cut with the grain running widthways to avoid sideways flowers – phew, I’d purchased 5yards (4.57m). More good luck than good management – note to self – buy more metreage of embroidered fabrics. This black fabric cost $102AUD not including postage. Purchased in the same lot was 4 yards of fine silk and together the postage was $43.42AUD. It’s only now that I have checked Paypal and bank statements that I realise the charge was $222.90AUD by EOS but I paid $248.65AUD via Paypal – which means that the exchange rate commision and whatever other charges from Paypal amount to a $25.75AUD premium on top of the quoted cost from EOS. Outwith the retailer’s control I understand, but all to say, the hidden costs of purchasing fabric internationally are huge and unpredictable. These costs make shopping at our local, Fabric Muse with their imported italian designer offerings, positively budget worthy!
So to get back to my fabric flaw issue… I cut out the garment on my black dining table and having not checked the fabric at time of purchase managed to locate the flaw just about centre back of the skirt. The dress is underlined so it’s not too attention seeking, my concern is that it will tear apart. Presumably I will need to sit in this dress so the CB is a stress point and as the threads are thin in that area and the hole is unsupported, it may well leave me red faced at some time.
I contacted EOS who were very apologetic and I do totally understand that they can only do their best, but, I now have a handmade garment for which I toiled numerous times, made a prototype (green linen) and now has a somewhat limited lifespan. Hopefully I’ll get sick of wearing it before it gives way. EOS offered a refund and considering how much I lose every time I pay exchange rates, I opted for the ‘credit note’ offered by them. But now, having calculated the postage at face value on that last transaction of $43.42 + $1 for handling (WTF), I may have been better off cutting my losses and taking the 50% refund of $43.45 USD offered, currently it is a credit note sitting on my EOS account. I note our exchange rate is particularly tragic today – so shopping will have to wait ‘cos I’ll be paying AUD for postage!
Anyhoo, there is a lot to consider when buying fabric from overseas not the least of which is what will be done in the case of a flaw, but primarily, is it really worth the hidden costs from Paypal and postage?
Nonetheless, this dress is a bloody winner in my books. Underlined in cotton batiste – but just the front bodice because broderie anglaise is like secret air conditioning in the back! Lined the skirt to above knee, so the dress is not too dense in the skirt section either. Big mistake not to have designed pockets in/on the skirt though, I may revisit that at some stage. In no lifetime have I ever managed to purchase such a beautifully conceived and executed dress and it does make me proud that after a patchy restart to my sewing career, I can now design and make a worthy garment. Worn with leopard print stilettos, I feel downright Sophia Loren to be frank.
These photos were initially imagined in a nearby graveyard on a dark and stormy day wearing a black veil, but we’re still in Summer, despite the calendar telling us it’s Autumn and clear blue skies do not a gothic picture make 😉 So it’s my Zelda as accessory yet again – black goes with just about everything!