Fabric Friday: Fabric I (really!) Regret Buying

I’m not sure if Fabric Fridays are going to become a permanent thing – but I really like the idea of it. I’m a nosy person and I really enjoy seeing other peoples fabric stashes – so I thought some of you may be interested in seeing my own. I figured this would be a huge flop when I tried it out last week, but people on tumblr seemed to like the idea of it so I’m bringing it to wordpress too!

It’s a bit different from my regular posts but I think it’s a good way to end a week on a lighthearted note.

For those wondering what a Fabric Friday post is – well, each week (on a Friday, obviously) I will pick a theme and a few materials I own that fit into that theme. Then I will write a bit about how I came to own the fabrics and my feelings towards them.

I’m totally open to opinions about this – whether you like it, hate it, think it should be left on tumblr, etc. I won’t get offended!


Fabric Friday: Fabric I Regret Buying

In the last few years i’ve become really good at justifying my need for material, even the super impractical ones. I’m someone who gets inspired by fabric – usually I buy material then design a dress to go with it, instead of the other way around. It’s kind of backwards, but it works for me.

Because of this I don’t mind having large quantities of material laying around, even if i’m not quite sure what to make with them, I figure they will get used eventually.

Well, most of the time that’s how I feel.

But there are a few exceptions. I own several fabrics that make me cringe when I look at them.

And these are some of those fabrics.

To start it off here is some heavily sequined satin material, paired with some teal foil dot, four way stretch spandex.

I must say I still think the sequined material is pretty, but it’s not the type of thing I will ever use in any of my projects. It might make a pretty, slinky dress – but a single yard of it weighs a good three pounds because it’s so heavily decorated. It would be terrible to work with since it’s more plastic then it is fabric, and I don’t even want to think about what it would do to my nice sewing scissors!

Foil dot spandex has a place in this world, but it doesn’t below in my collection. What on earth would I ever do with this? Can you imagine a fancy, full length Renaissance gown made from teal spandex? The horror.


The fabric I cannot believe I purchased (and adored at one point) is…this. I loved it so much I bought it in two colors, too! And now I can’t even look at it because it blinds me with it’s insane sparkle and tackiness.

I can’t even describe this fabric, it feels like AstroTurf that stretches in four directions and it sparkles like a disco ball on steroids. I’m not even sure why fabric in this texture even exists – I don’t understand what you could do with it, or if you can even sew it.


I’m glad to say I don’t regret any of my recent fabric purchases. All the materials in this post were purchased on my first even trip to the NYC Garment District, back when I didn’t sew. I was more interested in sparkly things then anything functional.

Now i’m the person at Joanns that I used to scoff at – the one who buys the most boring fabrics in the store.


I’d rather be boring then have a closet filled with fabrics like the ones above – so i’m very glad my tastes have changed!

My question for you guys is: Do you have any fabrics you regret buying? That one material that makes you angry when you look at it because it’s so useless? Or haunts you at night because you can’t figure out why on earth you ever bought it?

Thanks for reading!

15 thoughts on “Fabric Friday: Fabric I (really!) Regret Buying

  1. Tania says:

    Haha I love this post! I have so much fabric buying regret. Usually it’s things I buy online. The absolute worst was some clearance “linen-look”. I’ve bought linen looks before, and they can be quite a nice wrinkle-less alternative. This one was not, though! It’s completely plastic feeling and looking. I made a top from some of it and threw it out because it felt like wearing a plastic bag!

  2. twirldesigns says:

    I love this. 🙂 I have a lightweight knit that has flowers on it that is printed in 70’s colors. The Orange alone is scary…. I think it will end up being used to muslin some patterns.

  3. Mary says:

    I think these fabrics will be good for dance costumes, since most dance costumes require stretchy, shiny, sparkly material. you’re much more focused on historical costumes which doesn’t require overly flashy sparkles.

  4. Sachi says:

    Since most of the fabric I buy I already have a definite plan this doesn’t happen to me with fabric. Yarn–as I’m a knitting junkie as well–on the other hand just is much too portable and inexpensive. I have a bunch of yarn I regret buying.

  5. opusanglicanum says:

    ebay it and buy something useful. I found four metres of striped dupion (perfect for victorian, which I dont do) in my stast tidy a few years ago, I remember I’d bought it cos it was stupidly cheap and I think I may even have made a slight profit on it

  6. cheyenek says:

    Hmm, I may have to join in on this fabric Friday idea! I LOVE looking into other people’s fabric stashes, too, so you’re definitely not alone!
    Honestly, I have to say that your pink and purple AstroTurf-esque fabric is making me itch, just imagining what the texture must feel like! I’ve seen similar fabric in Joann’s before and I just cannot imagine the use for it! 😮
    The blue fabrics are pretty, though I can see that they’d probably be hard to use, unless you suddenly decided that you HAD to have a dance outfit!

  7. Sunshine says:

    Actually, I have a use for the teal sequined fabric, if you would be willing to part with it… Could you let me know if I could buy it from you? It’s perfect for a dress I’m making!

  8. Birgit says:

    If I had read your post last Friday when it came out, I probably would have offered to buy the teal sequins for my 5 year old’s Elsa Halloween costume bodice, but I found some cool sequin trim at JoAnns on Saturday that I will hand sew on after the dress is constructed. I don’t want to know what all that plastic would do to my sewing machine needles/how many needles I would need for a small bodice.

  9. Tangles & Tiaras says:

    LoL ….I had this fun fur …yup I said it. It was suppose to be used for a volunteer crafting project with a class that never transpired the teacher was not very organized….anyway I had this fun fur for well over a year ….the local church was doing a musical of Dr Suess donated the whole lot to thir costume dept. Better them then me I figured….well I was too curious if they actually used it and paid to see it …sure enough little 5 yr old jungle animals in crazy fun fur … Made me laugh

  10. MalteseLizzieMcGee says:

    The astro turf material looks like it should become a set of leg warmers. I really can’t think of any other use for it.
    Fabric I regret buying: Some very shiny slipper velvet-like material with a large ugly floral print on it. I thought it would make a nice Gothic Lolita skirt – what was I thinking?
    Until recently, I regretted buying some satin with a strange Kimono inspired print. It looked like the designer had tried to incorporate 5 different patterns. It’s pretty but I had no idea what to make with it. I ended up making a Flapper inspired dress, but I still have a lot of that material left.

  11. Cecília Freitas says:

    I think that i regret buying a weird plasticky fabric that was supposed to be for a dance dress (it’s a golden colorblock fabric and i loved it 5 years ago) and now it sits on my rejected fabric box. I quit dancing sometime ago and used a 50cm strip of it (material was about 2.4x3m originally) for a bright gold outfit that a dancer friend needed… if you ask me it looks horribly tacky and i wouldn’t be found dead on it but oh well… we dancers are weird people with weird tastes

    I actually love that teal spandex… i have a corset like project for a dance costume that it would look perfect on 🙂

    On weird fabric things that i regret buying i also count a sequined bright pink plastic square of an odd fabric i can’t name much less use…

  12. Nicole Walker says:

    I am sure you’ve parted with the blue fabric by now, but if not, you should consider a mermaid inspired costume! You could do scales out of the sequin material, rather than a full tail, to reduce overall weight? Just a thought. I’ve just found your site tonight and am in love with your work!!

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