The Dudliest Dud Buy In The Kingdom Of Dudsville

So, the streak of bad luck continues. I bought this fabric a few weeks ago, in a sudden panic when the Minoru jacket sewalong was about to commence. I was kidding myself that I might actually be able to keep up in real time. Ha! I don’t know how Sewaholic does it. Not only is she, you know, making a jacket but she’s blogging incredibly detailed sewalong posts as well. I can barely get my arse out of bed in the morning!

Anyway, I’d seen a swatch of this lime green waxed cotton and thought it would be the perfect fashion fabric for a practical take on this jacket for cycling in. The warning bells should have started ringing when I phoned through my order and the lady on the other end said, ‘I’m intrigued. Can I ask what you’re going to use this for?’ Readers, when the person SELLING you the fabric says that she is INTRIGUED by your purchase you know that it’s time to run for the hills. I didn’t.

The fabric arrived. If I’d been concerned, it was that the lime green in all its three metres of glory would scare me. It didn’t, actually. I thought I’d be perfectly happy to wear it. But the waxed cotton… Eek. I really, really didn’t like it. It’s slightly greasy to the touch, creases badly, is wipe clean only (on a jacket for cycling? hello?) and is incredibly heavy. For means of comparison, I weighed it and compared to three metres of wool fabric:

Waxed cotton: 1806g

Wool fabric: 1072g

That’s a big difference. I tried to convince myself that the waxed cotton might be less, well, repulsive if I put it through the washing machine to get some of that darned wax out. I was going to impulsively throw three metres of the stuff in the machine, but my wise old ma suggested cutting a swatch and putting that in a wash. I’m glad she suggested this. The swatch came out still feeling greasy but now with nicely permanent crease marks washed into it.

I suppose I could make use of this abomination. I could make tote bags or those door stops filled with rice – or a tent! But, honestly, I don’t even want it in the house. I’m going to put it on Ebay and see if some other sucker can make use of it.

In the meantime, I’ve bought some camel wool/cashmere mix off Walthamstow market. Three metres came in at £17 and my hope is to use my recent silk acquisition (from the same stall) as the lining:

I am not going to think about how much money I wasted on that waxed cotton. I am not going to worry that my camel wool may be about to make me the most Boring Coloured Jacket In The World Ever. I am not going to angst that my ability to judge any shade or fabric has just totally imploded.

Everything is going to be fine. Just fine… Just … can someone pour me a drink now?

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33 Responses to The Dudliest Dud Buy In The Kingdom Of Dudsville

  1. ooobop! says:

    Dear Karen, the idea that you will ever make anything boring beggars belief! Though it has to be said, lime green waxed cotton…. we all have our funny moments!!!! 😉

  2. Lisa says:

    I think your camel version will be gorgeous ha ha !!

  3. Debi says:

    Wowza…that’s some heavy fabric! I think the camel version will look lovely! And who knows…I’ve definitely fallen head over heels in love with projects made with fabric (or a pattern) that wasn’t my first choice–you may be surprised!

  4. Jane says:

    Your camel wool version with silk lining is the RIGHT choice. There, just adding ice and lemon to the enormous drink I’ve just poured you!
    Rule a line under the lime green waxed cotton monstrosity, the less said about it the better….. other than, just reading your description of it gave me the creeps! x

  5. Tamsin W-P says:

    It happens to us all at some point – just look back at my ugly amnesty! And go and give your beautiful coat a stroke to remind you of a good choice. Your minoru jacket will look fab too, I’m sure.

  6. Hmmm I’m staging an internet intervention. I think you’ve gone a bit post coat ‘de-mob’ crazy. All that stress you wanted something fun, frivolous, cheap. Not going to work. You have tasted the high life (sewing speaking) and there ain’t no going back. I want you to put all those sub-quality fabrics away. Out of sight. I want a cover on the sewing machine for a few hours.I want you to breath deeply and stroke your lovely cashmere coat and say “I am a fantastic seamstress who deserves to use quality fabric at all time because I’M WORTH IT” (maybe whilst quaffing a G&T but please no spillage on the coat).
    Then I think you should consider treating yourself to something pricey for a small make, maybe with some embellishment (beading?! hand sewing has got to be relaxing right? I keep thinking I fancy doing that). Libertys new season is pretty hot:
    http://www.liberty.co.uk/fcp/product/Liberty/NEW-SEASON-FABRICS/Mistral-C-Tana-Lawn-Liberty-Art-Fabrics/71175

    ps. the wool sounds fab

  7. gingermakes says:

    Oy, I’m sorry! The great thing about this situation is that you figured out that the fabric is unsuitable (and perhaps unlikeable!) before you wasted hours of time making it into a garment! It’s the worst when you ignore your gut suspicions and end up spending tons of time and energy on something you’ll never wear. 🙁

  8. Dibs says:

    I just poured you some Disaronno on the Rocks…now gulp it down…feel better?

  9. Well. First of all, the camel will make a lovely jacket and the secret lining: gorgeous! But, that green. I wonder what, exactly, it is meant for. It looks quite harmless and lovely in the photo and I’m sure that’s why you bought it. And, really, we all have a ton of really bad fabric purchases. I got three yards of the most disgusting copper/orange twill just last month. Horrible.

    Your jacket will be beautiful and warm!

  10. Shivani says:

    The camel version will be amazing – love that silk that you chose for the lining. Hmmm, I’m going to have to hot-foot it down to Walthamstow Market v soon!

  11. Roobeedoo says:

    Um – is it just me or isn’t a cashmere/wool mix ever so slightly not-weatherproof? Is this still a biker jacket?
    Good luck on ebay – it would be funny if your readers had a bidding war for it! 😉

    • Yeah, my ideas have changed slightly. I can’t be arsed with all the waterproofing – it’s just too much of a faff for the state of mind I’m in. I have a North Face jacket for those occasions.

  12. prttynpnk says:

    I’m sorry about the green- I wonder if the sales person got off the phone and rang a special bell to let the company know they had sold some of it. Maybe you helped her win a trip for 4 to Hawaii…..

  13. KristenMakes says:

    Wow, that a heavy fabric! What a letdown! I have some camel-coloured non-waxed cotton I’m using, but I’m making it UN-boring with needlecord elbow patches and collar lining. Plus I’m lining the hood too, with a bright flannel. I don’t think that there is any colour that would produce a boring Minoru, the pattern is so fun as it is! Hope the bad luck streak ends soon!

  14. Kerry says:

    Interesting – I’ve been planning to make the Minoru in a waxed cotton too, but a more subdued dark green. I’ve bought a swatch to test before I dive in, as I’ve not sewn with anything like that before and I’m also not sure how I would cope with the waxy smell that gets on your hands and doesn’t go away! LIke you I was planning to do the sewalong, but am going to wait till I’ve finished my current projects – what patience!
    Good luck with your wool version – it’ll look very smart I’m sure.

    • I’m sure your waxed cotton is much better than mine. Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like this stuff – it’s nothing like Barbour. It’s like some alien fabric supplier landed from Pluto and decided to play sick jokes with Sewists.

  15. Hey, it looks like several of us are making the Minoru. I wonder if the world could stand a meet up of several Sewists all wearing the same jacket? Now, that would make a FABULOUS group photo! I think it would take me about five years to stop screaming with laughter.

  16. Kat says:

    I am also hopelessly behind on the sewalong, I agree that Tasia is some kind of superwoman! I was planning to waterproof my cotton canvas but in the end I decided against it…partly because I am lazy, and partly because it rains relatively little here in Leicester and if it ever is chucking it down, I have an actual waterproof jacket I wear! If I change my mind I can always buy some waterproofing spray at a later date.

    Ooh an I love your silk lining 🙂

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Ahhh, the online or over the phone fabric purchase mistake. Yes, I think we’ve all been there done that before. Don’t worry Karen, you are not alone. I love the lining and your boring cashmere fabric.

  18. Suze says:

    Wool is always better. Than pretty much anything, but I think you know this already. Am sure your wool version will be absolutely beautiful.

    If it helps, I’m having a bad sewing mojo week too – spent 4 1/2 hours cutting out a stripey dress today – haven’t even been near the lining yet – and I suspect it may turn out a big saggy mess due to the stretch in the fabric. Only one way to find out though!

  19. KC says:

    The camel will make a lovely Minoru. Maybe you can make an umbrella with the waxed cotton? Or possibly pass it on to Fehr Trade to patch something on her houseboat?

  20. Marie says:

    Oh dear Karen! What a nightmare for you, but I’m glad you’ve found an alternative and are moving onwards and upwards! I am so, so far behind with the sewalong….I’ll probably be unveiling my Minoru months after everyone else ;o)

  21. Clio says:

    Just a week or so ago I received some fabric that I ordered on-line, and it was so incredibly icky that I returned it. (blush. I’m still a little embarrassed at returning fabric.) I think it’s just part of the adventure of not shopping for fabric in person. Sometimes a fabric sounds better on paper (or laptop) than in person.

  22. Summerflies says:

    Ah, all motorcyclists would know waxed cotton as the old Belstaff jackets … the only option for waterproof wear (that would[sort of] protect you if you fell off) for motorcycling that wasn’t yellow plastic. It has all those properties you mentioned… waxy feeling and smell, heavy (as proven), creases tremendously and ends up having dirt stick to it. The old Belstaff’s were black coloured and of course motorcyclists didn’t care. Now there are so many fabulous fabrics and colours for a fashionable, stylish cycling jacket! Good luck.

  23. Carolyn says:

    Oh dear, and waxed cotton actually “sounds” perfect for a raincoat material. What a pity it turned out so heavy!
    It sounds a bit like the stuff Drizabone jackets are made of, they ARE waterproof, true, but they are uncomfortably stiff, weigh a tonne and so are almost impossible to wear for too long! I’m sure your camel version will be divine!

  24. Kelly says:

    I made the Amy Butler rain coat pattern in a vinyl coated cotton I bought off the internet, a darling print of aqua and white bicycles on gray. Wondered why the notions called for a teflon coated presser foot briefly and then disregarded that bit of advice. Wrong! It was a nightmare to sew! The presser foot stuck and skipped and dragged. (So that’s what the teflon presser foot was for!) I finally ended up wraping it in masking tape, which worked some. And everywhere I had to unpick anything on that vinyl – the needle left a perfect little line of holes in the fabric that don’t go away. In the end, I loved my rain coat, but it was almost not worth the fight!

  25. MrsC says:

    It’s begging to be made into huge soft sculpture pea pods with peas inside. Imagine what fun! Big green crocheted, stuffed peas and a pod with a long zip. Go on, jackets are so very dull! 😉

  26. Felicity from Down Under says:

    Green is my favourite colour, but it does sound as if that particular piece of green has little to recommend it. Bad luck. But think of all the fabric you’ve bought that was a winner. I still think you’re way in front.

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