Sunday, November 16, 2008

The story of the great knit dress and the cr*appy fabric

So two weeks ago my husband asked me if I thought we should attend his service awards banquet scheduled for Nov. 21. Um, let's see. Free dinner and a fun 60s theme casino night? YES! Of course we should go!

And right away I'm thinking "oh goodie, I can make myself a classy little 60s era cocktail dress". Until I mention it to hubby, who said "uh, no way. You don't know these guys. I don't want to have to hear about how my wife wore a costume". He didn't quite understand that I was planning a look that was reminiscent of the 60s, not one that could have placed me on the set of Mad Men.

We compromised. I wanted something dressy, after all, we rarely go anywhere that requires dressing up. He wanted me to look, well, hot. LOL, he's a guy after all. Glad to know that at my age he thinks I'm still capable of looking hot.

I decided on Butterick 5280, a muse mock-side wrap pattern. Only two yards of fabric and rated easy. See, I had about three hours free in my schedule to actually sew a dress for this event.

Was near a Hancock Fabric store recently so I picked up the pattern and some lovely royal blue stretch velvet that was on sale for only $6.49 a yard, which means the dress is only going to cost me 99 cents for the pattern and $12.99 for the fabric.

This afternoon I cut the dress out, being careful to have the nap running down on all pattern pieces and sewed it. Oh, about 2-1/2 hours of my time.

Only to realize that the fabric must have been stored on a bolt for quite some time as there are horizontal stripes on the dress spaced just about where the fabric would have been folded on the bolt.

Oh how I wish I would have noticed it when the fabric was being measured and cut. And oh how I wish the sales clerk would have noticed and it and pointed it out to me. I definitely wouldn't have wasted my money.

I'm guessing the fabric may have been old stock that was put into storage and pulled out again when in season. I noticed it when cutting out the dress, but kept hoping that perhaps it wouldn't be THAT noticeable when the dress was complete.

Um, wrong. See for yourself.

So now I have this great little dress (and it does look fabulous on!) that I can't wear because the stripes are tacky.

What to do, what to do. Try disguising the stripes by stamping on the velvet and making it appear it's part of the fabric design? Run to Joann's, which is only ten minutes away and hope they have some decent stretch velvet and resew? Or dig in my closet and look for something that would work and forget about sewing myself a new dress.

What would you do? Pin It


  1. I know nothing about doing it, but could you distress/crush it?

  2. Checked online for you if that's something you're interested in:
    If you can't wear it as it is, what do you have to lose?
    Good luck!

  3. Um, tell everyone it's a classy, subtle stripe?

  4. How upsetting - sorry no solutions!

  5. Ewwww, how annoying. That sort of stuff always happens to me when I get fabric at Joann's. I would try the distressing thing because, really, you have nothing to lose. It does look tacky with those stripes. It's too bad too because it's a great color. There is something on the Threads website too about distressing velvet.

  6. Oh no...and it looks so gorgeous! Did you try washing it?

  7. Oh, how disappointing. I agree maybe try distressing it or cut it off for a top and wear it with a black skirt.

  8. what about dying it, is that possible? I really don't know - that might be a dumb idea.

  9. I would consider this dress my muslin, and purchase fabric for another, buying without consideration of cost, knowing the dress fits and is gorgeous!

  10. I say try stamping it first. If it doesn't work then you can always find some stretch velvet and make another.

  11. emboss, stamp, stencil. That would mostly cover it and make a wow kind of dress. But you might not want to put that kind of work into a joann fabric dress. good luck!

  12. Sorry, I couldn't think of anything to help you. It is a beautiful dress and the fabric is gorgeous were it not for the stripes. Perhaps if it were some other type of fabric you could layer rows of ruffles to cover each stripe, kinda like a Spanish type dress.

  13. How frustrating! I've had more fabrics with a fade or permi-fold halfway across the length from storage (and of course I never see it until I've already cut out my pieces - you'd think I'd learn) but this is the first time I've seen a fade like yours. How annoying!

    I'd go to J's and get more fabric, probably the crushed panne, but that's partly because my local J's has a surprisingly good knit selection. Not great, but good. And I'm a sucker for their panne.

    Whatever you choose, the dress design looks fantastic for the party - very slightly mod and very sexy. :)

  14. Anonymous5:11 AM

    um, -cry? Then probably texture the heck out of it!

  15. What a bummer! The dress is gorgeous - other than those stupid stripes... Personally, I'd buy more fabric, but only because I have never embellished fabric with stamps or anything. I suppose you could try that first - if it doesn't work, you're not really out anything, are you? In any event, good luck! (It looks like your husband will get his wish!) ;)

  16. Have you tried steaming it? Does anyone you know have one of those steam washers? It might be enough to make a difference.

    At some point the attempts are going to take longer than resewing.

    I'd be tempted to find some more fabric and whip it up again!! If you can find a few hours.



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