Sunday, July 11, 2010

A tale of 1 fabric, 2 skirts

This is a story of Fabric Fail.  I bought this cool abstract print from an online retailer who will remain nameless because it's not their fault that this fabric didn't work out for me.  I washed and dried the fabric when I got it, and noticed that the black dye had bled out a little.  Because the print is so abstract, I figured - eh, annoying, but not the end of the world.

See?  The bleeding just looks like shadows and even though I know it's there it's really not that noticeable.  You can see it faintly a little to the right of my hand.

So I figured I would go ahead and sew a summer skirt with it.  This is the skirt I decided on, 111B from the April 2010 issue of Burdastyle.  I wasn't going to be put off by its "tall" designation.  I'm anything but tall, but I decided to trace the smallest size and adjust it.  My usually petite-ing (it's a word now!) is to take up a 1/2" between the waist and hips on Burda patterns, so because this pattern was intended for Amazons, I took it up a full inch between the waist and hips.

 Well.  That worked in theory.  I probably should have also taken a little width out of the back.  Looks good in the front...

It also looks all right from the back, but it it is way unflattering from the side.  I really thought that hanging this skirt in the closet for a few weeks would relax the fabric some, but I think the design was really never meant for someone of dimunitive size.

The second part of this story is where I still try to help this fabric redeem itself.  I used it for the pockets of this skirt, a tried-and-true pattern for me (110 from the September 2006 issue of Burda).  It has princess seams in the front and back, with small pleats at the high waist.  I made this in black pique two years ago and wore it death.  This is a size smaller (36) than my actual size (38), which sometimes works for petite-ing instead for of going through the hassle of adjusting the pattern.  This one is pastel blue, pique again.  I would love this skirt.... maybe you'll agree, looks good from the front:
The back (excuse my inability to dress myself, I must have left the bottom hook undone!):
And the pockets in the pleat front are great:

Speaking of the pockets, they bled onto the front of the skirt after washing! You can see what looks like gray smudges on the front of my skirt.  This makes me so mad, because I thought that all the bleeding was done after the first wash.

The moral of this story is: Don't trust anything that bleeds before being cut.  This fabric will be for muslins only from now on.


  1. Ugh, bleeding fabrics...I hate that. I will never understand how a producer can sell such a product. Don't they inspect them before sending them out of the factory???
    About the first skirt - May I suggest adding some elastic to the bottom hem and making it a bubble skirt? You already have some nice fulness. I think it could work fine. :-)

  2. Wow - you did try your best to work that out. I hate bleeding fabric.

  3. I agree with the other ladies, bleeding fabric is a major downer. I love the blue skirt. Will you be making it again? You could try to save this one. Maybe with some type of embellishment to cover the bleeding.

  4. Oh, that's too bad - the blue skirt is so cute!

  5. I've been using more expensive fabrics lately for precisely this reason. Buying cheap often equals buying twice.

  6. @Gail, I wish that the fabric had indeed been inexpensive! :( Even with a seller I was familiar with, I still ended up with a bad apple. It happens, even when the expected chances of quality are higher.

  7. How frustrating, I wonder if the blue skirt is fixable too, it does look very cute on you. I also like the first skirt on you too, you can get away with this kind of shape, especially with the slim top you have on.

  8. The first skirt looks great from the front, but you are right, a little crazy from the back. I know all too well what that's like...

    The turquoise skirt is lovely! That's so awful that the crappy fabric ruined it. After all that work. Ugh. :(

  9. awww. how sad! well at least you tried to make it work

  10. Tulip pleating is such a gamble. I always like the way it looks from the front but on a few things I've made in that style it is beyond maternity into, like, giant abdominal tumor, from the side. That said, I think your skirt is totally wearable, you just have to accept that it looks weird from the side but that most people will never look at you from the side.

  11. Bad fabric... booo! It needs to be punished for messing up your skirt! I think both look great on you though!