Since cheap fabric was such a popular topic with y'all, I thought I'd follow up with a few things I've made with cheap fabric...
But first, I can't believe I forgot:
Another cheap fabric PRO: Bragging rights.
Because when someone says "oh, I LOVE your skirt/dress/trousers/culottes/sequined jumpsuit", what could be more fun than saying:
- "Oh this? I got it at the thrift store for $2."
- Except maybe "Oh this? I made it."
- Or better yet: "Oh this? I made it with some $2 fabric from the thrift store."
Some things I have made with cheap fabric:
- A $2/yard polka dot poly skirt (Simplicity 5914), from Fulton Fabrics in Brooklyn. Made it in 2005, still wear often. Super fast, super fun (photo at top of post).
- A superfast and satisfying $3/yard spiral knit print from Sew-Fisticated Discount Fabrics in Boston poly maternity skirt from a non-maternity pattern (Kwik Sew 3513). Wore it to oblivion while pregnant and postpartum, but it's way too big now (and rather pilly):
- A $1.50/yard full gingham self-drafted maternity skirt. Obviously unwearable at the present time. (And yes, I am pale as a corpse, but I'm cool with that.)
I was not struck down by any sewing deities as a result. They weren't the nicest things I've ever made... but they weren't the un-nicest, either. And I think full-ish skirts are generally a better bet with cheap un-breathable fabrics since they don't cling to your skin as much as tops.
More lovely cheap fabrics in my stash (not featured in the previous post)
Soft 100% cotton purple 70s-style floral apparel fabric, $2.99/yard. (Sew-Fisticated Discount Fabrics)
- African-style cotton wax prints, $1.99/yard (Sew-Fisticated again). No idea if these were made in the Netherlands or West Africa or China, but they're really soft and seem to be of good quality--I think the fishies will make a lovely simple sundress for my daughter, and the leaves/floral could be a Bombshell dress for me. (See also post and discussion at Miss Celie's Pants, "The curious history of 'tribal' prints.")
- $1/yard stretch cotton sateen from ridiculous Fabric Mart Fabrics online sale in 2010 (shown in hand, see also "In Defense of Orange"):
- $2/yard iridescent purple poly/cotton shirting from "It's a Material World" (257 W. 39th St.).
- $3/yard super-soft lightweight turquoise cotton/lycra blend from Modeani (was across the street from "It's a Material World", but gone now, I think).
- $3/yard B&W polka dot ombre-effect poly matte jersey (Sew-fisticated. Again!):
And finally... a few cautionary words of sad warning on...
The perils of sewing with cheap fabric:
So, remember how I said the discount Denver Fabrics wool-blend navy jersey in my color-blocked Sew Grateful Skirt was tissue-thin?
Yeah, well, the second time I wore my skirt--even with a slip--the thinnest spots began turning into runs, like the kind you get in cheap nylon stockings.
This makes me incredibly sad, but I'm not sure whether darning is even worth it, the fabric is so thin in places. I don't know how I could really reinforce it without taking the whole thing apart, either. SUCH a bummer, because I love the look of it!
Sometimes, you get what you pay for.
So, let's hear your bragging--what's the cheapest thing you've made--and still gotten compliments on?