Sunday, 23 December 2012

Buying from the States

Yesterday was a tough day for me.

It was the 7th anniversary of my mum passing away.

Every year the anniversary has got easier to bear, but I miss her everyday and I know that will never go. I generally just try to get through the day. Her picture is on our side board with pictures of the boys and on the 22nd we add red flowers - her favourite colour.

She is a part of our lives everyday and the boys know that they are maths geniuses like her. They know that she is with them through their fantastic mathematical minds....

So I woke up yesterday dreading the day... it is so painful.... but actually it turned out ok...

Mini and I were walking into town when the postie stopped me and asked if I wanted a parcel from the States.... let me think about it...YES!

It was my bundles of fabric from Fabric Worm. When they announced 30% off everything in the sale section I knew there were some bundles I wanted so I went straight there and bought the 2 bundles.... very naughty I know, but I just needed them in my life!

I get asked all the time about buying fabric in the States, the postage charges and Customs, so I thought I would post my thoughts on the whole process..

Initially I had been reluctant to even think about getting fabric from across the Atlantic, I mean it's a long way, the postage seemed generally very expensive and what happens if the Tax man stops the package?

I have now ordered quite a lot, and signed up for a monthly club with Fat Quarter Shop, and I can honestly say it is worth it.


When I was looking around for advice I asked Katy from I'm a Ginger Monkey who does order a lot from various shops in North America. She suggested that 'loading the envelope' is the best way to go. So for the flat rate of $17.00 you can get around $100 worth of fabric in

This is what I have been doing. So if my Bloggers Bundle is coming and I have seen some other fabric from Fat Quarter Shop I like/need I get it sent the same envelope - cuts down on postage cost loads!

The fastest I have received a package has been 5 days - some British shops have taken longer than that.... the slowest has been 1.5 weeks for the bundle that arrived yesterday - again I have waited that long for fabric from UK sellers!


The range of fabrics you can get in the States is amazing, fabric ranges that just don't make it over the pond. Complete ranges of fabric that we just don't get.

Don't get me wrong I have my favourite UK shops that I will always support, but sometimes you just want to add to your stash with fabrics you can't get here....


The prices of fabric are generally cheaper and it seems to be the postage that puts most UK fabric addicts off. This is where 'loading the envelope' comes in. This latest bundle of fabric cost me £2.40 including postage for each fat quarter! They were on sale and there are 23 of them, but that is a pretty hard price to beat.

Even for none sale fabrics the prices are amazing!


This is people biggest fear I think.

The solution is buying in bulk.... The customs charge is around £17.00, which seems a lot, but take my bundle this week: 23 bundles means if it was charged each FQ would rise to £3.13, which is still an amazing price!

Not everything is stopped and you can tell it has been stopped because they generally seem to hold onto the post for 3/4 weeks.

I hope this helps!

If you are interested in buying from the States and don't know where to start check out I'm a Ginger Monkey on Saturdays. Katy does a fantastic round up of discounts, new ranges and fabulous fabric from lots of shops in the States.


  1. I always look enviously at the US prices!! but I've ordered twice and both times I got stung for customs - neither parcel was anywhere near $100 so now I'm very cautious!

  2. Hi! I have been stung 3 times in the last 3 years. Sorry you have been stung. x