Review: Spoonflower Fabrics

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spoonflowerfabrictestsSpoonflower provides a marketplace for emerging fabric designers to create textiles, decals, wallpaper, and wrapping paper. When a customer orders an item made from a specific pattern, the designer receives a small portion of the sale. Currently, Spoonflower offers 15 different fabrics and the aforementioned decals, wallpaper, and gift wrap. These items are only printed in the quantity requested when ordered, and the prices reflect this nature. I consider these fabrics premium due to the price. A yard of fabric can range in price from $17.50 for the basic combed cotton to $38 for silk crepe de chine. While the price can be prohibitive for many budgets, the range of fabric pattern options makes the site attractive.

For my test, I purchased a fat quarter of retropopsugar’s Skyrim design in basic combed cotton and a half yard of the Mass Effect icons made from Kona cotton. I, also, had a free sample of the faux suede in Paragon Polka.

Basic Combed Cotton: Cost: $17.50/yard; $10.50/fat quarter This fabric washes and presses easily. I didn’t lose any noticeable amounts of fabric in the wash. This fabric is very thin, but unlike other brands of combed cotton it still seemed to have some strength to it. The colors were a bit more muted than I expected, but overall still attractive. I made two items from my swatch. The first was a dice bag with external pocket. For the first work, I did interface the fabric to give it more strength. On the second item, a frame purse, I did not. While, the fabric is inclined to fray as soon as it is cut, it did adhere well (obviously as it is cotton) to interfacing eliminating that problem. I was, also, a bit concerned whether the pattern would be printed correctly on the grain. Happily, this was not an issue. However, due to the cost and flimsy nature of combed cotton, I will not be purchasing it again.

Kona Cotton: Cost: $18/yard; $11/fat quarter. If you’ve worked with Kona cotton before, then this fabric will offer no surprises. It washes and presses well and shrinkage was minimal. As with the combed cotton, I was worried about the pattern being printed on the grain line. My concerns were again unfounded. The colors of the print were vibrant and true. I made this fabric into a little zipper bag pairing it with the faux suede. It mixed well with the other fabric and sewed as one would expect a premium cotton to sew. The Kona is much better quality than the combed cotton, and due to this I would purchase this over the combed cotton every time. I will most likely be adding more of this to my fabric stores when I need something a bit more geek.

Faux Suede: Cost: $34/yard; $17.50/fat quarter.The directions said this fabric is washable, but I only steamed it due to time constraints. The fabric creases easily and definitely falls into the medium-weight category and is very soft. However, the pattern in this case printed slightly askew of the grain line. Correcting that did not make for happy fabric. Once cut slightly off-grain, the threads led quickly to fraying. While attractive, I am not sure I am happy with the price.I do own patterns that ask for a home dec weight fabric, and this would fit the bill, but I am just not sure I could part with the money for this particular fabric.

Spoonflower offers 12 other fabric choices and thousands of designs. I am fairly certain that whatever my geek and gamer heart desired I would be able to find. That alone makes this a great resource for geek crafts. I also like that I can order an 8×8 test swatch of any pattern and fabric offering for $5. I like the idea of not having to commit right away. I find their printing and shipping turn around to be very reasonable. For my original order of the Mass Effect icons and Skyrim fabric, I waited three weeks for printing, but received my fabric within 3 days of shipment. It took less time for the faux suede to print, probably because of the promotion, but due to my post office derping it took weeks for me to receive the fabric. That was definitely not a Spoonflower issue though. I think next time I order, I’ll try at least one other fabric type and more designers.

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Mass Effect Goodies

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It bears repeating that I am not a baker. I love cooking, but I hate baking. I am not sure what it is about baking that turns me off, but it could be the precise measuring involved. Or it could be the decorating part of pastry making that I abhor since my artistic talent does not lie in drawing or sculpting with icing. Or maybe, it’s the lack of counter space in my house.

However, I married a wonderful man who loves pastries ~ all kinds of pastries. If he didn’t sneak a pastry into the cart while grocery shopping, it generally means he is going to ask that I make him donuts that week. Thankfully, he generally sneaks his pastries into the cart.

But it’s his birthday tomorrow, and I always order him a cake. Usually, this cake has a comic book theme of some sort, and he loves it. I didn’t this year. Some madness took over my general good sense and said, “Racheal, you are going to make him cupcakes this year.” Now, the only other time I have made him a cake it was an utter disaster. Truly, it was a scary mess.

Not as neat and tidy as I would have liked, but better than I expected.

Not as neat and tidy as I would have liked, but better than I expected.

So this year, I decided to go with cupcakes. How hard can it be to ice some cupcakes? But our daughter wanted a theme; “we always have a theme,” she says. We kicked ideas around for while and finally settled on Mass Effect.

Despite the fact that neither of us have ever worked with fondant or sugar sheets or tried to draw anything with a pastry bag before, decorating the cupcakes went better than I expected. My icing skills are still bad, but her fondant and sugar sheet aren’t half bad.

The husband came home shortly after we finished decorating and wanted to eat them. I took that as a good sign. And they didn’t taste bad either. So we will call it a win.

Slow Progress

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This has been a slow week sewing wise for me. I have a stack of projects to work on, and I didn’t start or finish a single one. Early on in the week, I felt the call of the kitchen and have spent most of my time there.

Still, I can’t help but look at the fabric waiting to be transformed and sigh. Mostly because it is sitting on the ironing board and sewing table mocking my laziness. To be honest, I am not even sure what I am going to do with half of it, but I started the week thinking I would figure it out.

Here a small collection of the projects that weren’t this week. I figure the pressure of posting this on my blog will inspire me. And if not, perhaps, I will be motivated to put this stuff away and get new stuff out.

I know all about me, but does anyone else have this problem?