Monday, June 11, 2012

Smug up-cycled pillow cluster

I promised I'd post my "smug up-cycled pillow cluster" for my sister.  The title comes from this website, and I feel there is just enough smugness in this compilation to reference it.

The story behind these fabrics is a good learning lesson for anyone who buys fabric off the Internet. I saw the tartan fabric and instantly thought, "Rupert bear trousers" - as you do. When I asked the seller what the composition was she said, "I don't know, but it has some wool in it."  It was cheap, so I took a risk. When it arrived it was immediately obvious that it was upholstery fabric.

So I made them in to cushion covers for our reading pillows. I just used whatever we had on hand to fasten the back closures - a heavy zipper applied externally and a button flap.

The new couch cushions though, were 'internet buying lesson'  in BOLD and CAPITALS.

I saw the fabric, liked it, and put an auto bid on. Several days later, I noticed that the description had changed to include evidence of damage. Was that added later or was it always there and I was too quick to put in a bid to read properly? I didn't know, and that worried me, because obviously I wasn't paying enough attention.

Then when the fabric arrived it had sun fade and 3 hems. Yes, not only was it heavily damaged it had also been heavily used - a salient fact the seller failed to mention.

She offered to refund, but I would have lost half the value in return postage so declined - better to have something to show for it. I made these cushions and they are nice. They won't last - the fabric has several small wear and tear holes that can only get bigger.

My experiences have not put me off buying vintage fabric from the Internet - after all, it is the only place to buy it these days. However, I've developed a little protocol:

1) always read the description carefully
2) ask for verification of fabric if in doubt- has the seller done a burn test?
3) work out in advance what the fabric is worth to me, and never exceed that price in the auction
4) place auto-bids only a day or two before the auction closes, to allow for "updates" from the seller
5) accept that the fabric will be different from what I expected and be prepared to change project.

Overall, I'm really happy with way I selvaged these dud purchases. Do you have any sour Internet fabric purchases? Do share.