Fabric Friday Review: Hey Sew Sister

Hello everyone and welcome back to Fabric Friday! This week we are talking about a wonderful new start-up that I’ve wanted to visit for ages, Hey Sew Sister. As part of my birthday celebrations I did a fabric haul and tried to purchase from a few indie shops on my wish-list of which Hey Sew Sister is one. Firstly can I just say that I love the name, I love a sewing pun and I really like what they’ve done with it the branding. The pink and green creates a distinctive brand with a pleasing degree of subtlety and although the range of fabrics is understandably limited, I was really impressed by their stock and particularly the quality and sustainability of the fabrics.

Hey Sew Sister

  • Online Shop / Physical Shop / Both
  • Web Link: https://heysewsister.co.uk
  • Core Purpose: Dressmaking Fabrics
  • Units of Sale for Fabric: 1/2 metre 

My first purchase from Hey Sew Sister comprised a metre and a half of black floral cotton, the design and colour way was so gorgeous I just couldn’t resist! Also the cotton is OEKO-TEX standard and GOTS certified which I thought was excellent. The fabric descriptions are excellent if a little short but I really like how they provide suggestions for the sorts of garments that would work well with the fabric. The selection of fabrics on offer is small but well curated to offer a wide range of fabric types from basic cottons up to sports/technical fabric with a nice range of woven and stretch fabrics with a few well-known statement fabrics. I really like the range of patterns and I think its great how many of the fabrics are sustainably sourced even if this does add to the price. Hey Sew Sister is mid-range in terms of cost but still accessible to beginners if you are looking for more simple fabrics. The cotton I bought was £6 per half-metre which is about average for the shop as a whole. There are some stunning gingham fabrics that are cheaper and the technical fabrics are of course a little more expensive. I would really recommend their gingham selection if you’re looking to make something floaty for the summer. Personally I’ve got my eye on the mustard yellow double gauze with birds on it as I love yellow and I’m looking to make a yellow Lotta for Endometriosis Awareness Month in March.

In terms of ease of purchase and delivery, my customer journey was easy and stress-free. I found payment and ordering very easy. Delivery cost £3.10 which is about standard, particularly at the moment, and it was shipped very soon after I placed my order. One thing that really endeared me to Hey Sew Sister was the packing on delivery. I loved the little hand-written note on their card, I absolutely loved the woven brand badge and the fabric swatches and the packaging was made of recycled paper. As I had bought it as a birthday present to myself I was very impressed with how like a present it felt when I opened it.

The website is very simple and looks very chic, my only issue is the lack of sub menus and ability to filter by fabric type. When you enter the ‘Shop’ section of the website you are provided a simple menu which is great as it allows you to choose remnants or patterns etc but I would really like to be able to filter by fabric type or even just a stretch / woven division. I understand that these issues, particularly sub-menu differentiation, will most likely be solved as the business grows but as someone who browses a lot of fabrics on my phone and looks for specific fabric types I found it frustrating having to scroll through one big catalogue page with no ability to reorder or filter.

Rating

  • Range of Fabrics – 7/10
  • Cost – 6/10
  • Delivery (Speed / Cost) – 9/10
  • Ease of Use – 6/10
  • Ease of Payment – 8/10

Overall Score: 7.2/10

Despite some small frustrations on the website I was really impressed with the quality of my fabric, the speed of delivery and the personal touch. I enjoyed my experience with Hey Sew Sister and will definitely be shopping with them in future. I’m looking forward to seeing how they grow and develop this year!

Fabric Friday Reviews: The Sewist Fabric Shop

Happy Friday everyone! What a week it has been; ups, downs and everything in between but here we are another friday and of course another Fabric Friday review. This week we are talking about The Sewist Fabric Shop a lovely little online fabric boutique with a gorgeous selection that I got the chance to explore this week. I was led here as part of my quest to find affordable McElroy fabrics and I was not disappointed in what I found!

The Sewist Fabric Shop

The Sewist Fabric Shop is run by the lovely Han and demonstrates a small but wide ranging selection of high quality dressmaking fabrics. While choice is still slightly limited, effort has been put in to make sure there are still a range of woven and knit fabrics available and I like the way the colours have been chosen what feels like seasonally. The shop right now exhibits a beautiful autumn palette and going through the knit section just makes me want to buy sweatshirting and make something cosy! Most of the fabrics are plain which is quite refreshing to see as most shops focus on patterns but it would be nice to see one or two feature fabrics. That being said new fabrics are added regularly and the beautiful Lady McElroy fabric I bought is patterned so it may be the selection I’m looking at on the site currently is plainer. and the fabrics themselves are sold by the half metre, priced on the medium to high end of the scale with a minimum of £8 per metre up to £14/15 per metre.

Delivery was a little on the slow side however we are still in a pandemic so it doesn’t bother me too much. The packaging was lovely, my fabric came carefully folded in a large letter sized cardboard box, wrapped in tissue with a branded card. No handwritten note but a nice branded card with their shop and social media details and I do like that my fabric came with a label attached explaining the length and fabric qualities etc. The website is good, very user friendly and I love the ability to filter and reorder the fabrics on the subpages. Equally I like the presence of the fabric types underneath the woven/knit subdivision, its a nice piece of user-friendly design. The one thing that frustrated me somewhat as I speed bought my fabric on my phone is that I had to create an account rather than having the option to check out as a guest. That ia little thing but I don’t like having to create an account because its just another password to forget and reset however it didn’t mar my purchasing experience and its nice being able to look back on exactly what you ordered!

Rating

  • Range of Fabrics – 6/10
  • Cost – 7/10
  • Delivery (Speed / Cost) – 7/10
  • Ease of Use – 8/10
  • Ease of Payment – 6/10

Overall Score: 6.8/10

The Sewist Fabric Shop is a wonderful new discovery from me and honestly its earned a spot on my list just for having such good selection of high quality plain fabrics, something I often struggle to find! The purchasing experience was positive and I know Han is constantly making improvements and adjustments to the site which I love to see because it demonstrates a level of care and attention to the actual customer journey as well as the stock. I’m thoroughly looking forward to buying from here again, now to plan something cosy I can make with that sweatshirting…

My First Instagram Fabric Swap

Hello everybody and Happy Friday! The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that two weeks ago, for the first time since I started this blog, there was no fabric shop review last week! Last week I featured the wonderful Sewing At Number 51 so go check that out that blog post if you’re interested. In fact two weeks ago I wanted to write about my experiences taking part in my very first instagram fabric swap however all the fabric hadn’t arrived and then I got quite ridiculously busy so today you join me for a slightly different Fabric Friday!

I want to start by saying that this was an incredibly fun community experience that I am really glad I took part in however I will freely admit initially I had no idea what was going on or how to get involved. This blog post therefore will be half review of my experiences and half guide to beginner instagram sewers who want to get involved in the next one. I’m not sure how regular they are, this one was part of the #sewyourselfsustainable challenge with New Craft House but I’m sure there are quite a few across the year. So, what did I swap and what did I get?

Fabrics I Swapped:

  • Navy Gingham (1m)
  • Red Floral Cotton (>1m)
  • Navy Star Cotton (>2m)
  • Black Floral Cotton (>1m)

Sadly no one claimed my fluffy monster fabric but if anyone wants it you’re more than welcome! its incredibly long but only about 40cm wide so not ideal but still very much available.

Fabrics I Received:

  • Green Stretch Velvet
  • Peach Viscose Jersey
  • Rust Triple Crepe
  • Navy Textured Jersey

The swap was a wonderful experience, it was so lovely to connect with other makers and take part in a big community event. Normally I am too shy or unprepared to take part in these however now I actually have fabric stash and whats more its growing rapidly so I thought it was a great time to take part. It was wonderful to be able to swap out enormous remnants from where I’d just bought too much fabric for one make or I just couldn’t think how to use. There isn’t the pressure of having to take money or pay., it was just a nice swap event plus I got some fabrics I’ve always wanted to work with but didn’t have the financial confidence in my sewing skills to buy.

So to finish off I wanted to share my top tips for taking part in fabric swaps.

  1. If There’s A Hashtag Follow It! – This helps straight away. Not only does it mean you can keep up to date with whats going on, it also massively increases the range of makers and accounts you can find and interact with. More accounts means more fabric options!
  2. Don’t Be Scared To Get Involved – Most people will post fabrics on their grid and some people will talk through them properly on their story. Don’t be scared to respond to a story or comment on the grid post and ask if fabrics are still available. When I started I knew there was a swapping element but I didn’t know how to introduce it into conversation because I have a British awkwardness that knows no bounds. So if you’re nervous just say something along the following, ‘Is that *insert fabric here* still free? I’ve put my fabrics up so let me know if there is anything you would like to swap.’ Something along those lines. The reason I put a literal sentence is because there are some wonderful but rather shy makers out there who wanted to get involved so if you’re nervous thats how you start the conversation!
  3. Get Your Remnants Ready First – This is a key step. Before you start looking at all the gorgeous fabrics that people want to swap, get all of your fabric out and I mean ALL, and figure out what you’re going to use, what you have plans for and what you just aren’t going to use. One of the big sources for my remnants was fabric from early makes because stupidly I actually followed the instructions and bought the amount of the fabric the pattern suggested. *Spoiler Alert* I always need about half a metre less than the fabric tells me is absolutely compulsory. Maybe I’m good at laying pattern pieces and maybe I’m just short.
  4. Plan What You’re Going To Post In – This sounds silly but normally these happen over the weekend and most people post on the Monday and Tuesday so just remember than once you have successfully swapped your fabrics you will need two things; 1. the address of the person your posting and 2. something to put your fabric in. You ideally want this to be pretty cost neutral apart from the cost of posting itself so have a hunt around for envelopes or if you’re starting to plan now save the post bags your fabric is sent in originally as they are ideal.
  5. Don’t Go Crazy – This is just a little reminder that you aren’t buying fabric here you are swapping so presumably you will get the same number of fabrics as you have swapped so remember you can’t have everything! Be discerning, pick fabrics you can’t normally access or want to work with, a lot of people actually specify fabrics they are interested in in their grid post. Just remember, have a great time, take part and don’t go mad!