Yesterday morning, I fell into the rabbit hole that is Rakuten: the most popular online shopping website from Japan, which finally has international shipping! WAHOO!!!! I quickly dragged half of Twitter along with me… and I thought I’d bring you all in too!
Rakuten is similar perhaps to Amazon or Etsy – it’s an umbrella website with lots of little shops selling different things.
The prices are all what you would pay in Japan, which is a heck of a lot cheaper than buying Japanese fabric through an international importer! For example, do you remember Zo Sew’s Ceylon dress last week that Colette reblogged? Well, the lovely lawn she used is $29/m at Tessuti, but it’s $13/m on Rakuten!
In general, Japanese fabric isn’t cheap… but it’s pretty reasonably priced. It’s always great quality, and they have things available that we’d never get in Canada! The Japanese *love* double gauze in the summers, so it’s readily available in absurdly cute prints and classic dots and stripes for about $10/m. Midweight cotton/linen blends are really popular too, and include really great double-sided prints (i.e. ginham on one side, polkadots on the other!)
Ready to go shopping? Here a few stores that I really liked looking through:
Cotton Plaza: Cute overload! Good prices, great prints, and lots of variety!
Hedeki: Specializing in dressmaking fabrics, including some gorgeous high-end European inports.
Nissenren-Kitaq: Echino and Nani Iro for Japanese prices… not a huge savings, but definitely cheaper!
Angelus: Liberty fat eight sets, and Liberty by the yard.
But wait! They sell way more than fabric! There is all kinds of stationary, including cheap washi tape and adorable magnets (I used to buy these as gifts all the time!). They also have wool roving for needlefelting and yarn!
Have fun! *Evil laugh*
After HOURS of window shopping, it really helped to have my colour palette in mind to winnow down the choices. In the end, here’s what I bought for summer sewing:
Koala Double Gauze in Coral for a top
Floral Gingham Seeksucker for a sundress
Royal Blue double Gauze for a top
Nautical Navy double gauze for, wait for it: Another top!
And because rules are made to be broken:
This is going to be a contrasting yoke for something!
As always, it’s the international shipping that can hurt… but I put a note to stores in my purchases asking for SAL shipping (a cheaper and slower shipping option), and guess what? My shipping for 6m of fabric from Cotton Plaza was ELEVEN DOLLARS!!!! AAAaaaaaaahhh! That’s even cheaper than shipping from another part of Canada! I’m trying so hard not to order more right away!
I’ll be sure to let you know how my orders turn out… and I’d love to hear from you if you buy anything! (Oh, and if you find another other stores to recommend, please leave a comment! :)