Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Disaster (this time of the sewing kind rather than the natural)

I am not a follow the rules kind of sewer; sometimes I don't pre-wash my fabric, I don't like making muslins, I use the word sewer instead of sewist (badass, I know). This is why it's all the worse when I try and do everything right and it still doesn't work.
Let me start at the beginning. I saw the fabric in Spotlight and I had to have it. It was the perfect weight and print for a Spring coat. I knew the perfect pattern to use. Simplicity 1411. I wanted three-quarter set-in sleeves so I redrafted the pattern to have those. I made a muslin. I kept faithful notes of all the changes I made to the muslin. I pre-washed the fabric.
Everything came together perfectly until it came time to do the buttonholes. I noticed a tiny stain on the fabric so I put a little bit of stain remover on it, rinsed it off and then washed my almost finished coat. I have used this stain remover heaps of times, even using it on my precious vintage dresses and it's been fine.
When my coat dried the blue dye had run in several places all over the white dots. It's strange because it ran in places that were nowhere near where the original stain was.

It doesn't actually look that bad in these pictures but it's pretty noticeable in person.

So, now it sits on a hanger in my sewing room. It's too stained to bother finishing it but too pretty to just throw away.
Moral of the story: don't be seduced by cheap and pretty fabric from Spotlight.


  1. Well have you tried washing the coat again? Or simply soaking it in very cold water and rubbing the stains with a toothbrush? These techniques have worked many times for me! Don't give up on this one it looks so nice :(

  2. I had a piece of fabric that would bleed onto itself every time I washed it. I noticed it wasn't stained coming out of the washer, but after I had hung it up to dry. I put it in the dryer after washing it AGAIN and it was fine!

    That said, I just lost about 4 metres of cotton to fabric bleeding, but not a finished project :(

    We should probably get some of those dye catcher things for the wash? I keep thinking that's likely a good idea... And then still not doing it. Hmm.

  3. Thanks for the suggestions Cecili and Madelaine. I will definitely try them.
    I actually had to google what a dye catcher was because I've never heard of them. We probably don't have them in this little backwater country.

  4. Damn you Spotlight! I too have been affected by their sometimes shotty fabrics grr...

    Another suggestion would be to make a paste of Napi-San and some water and rub it into the circles. Then maybe sacrifice a needle to the sewing gods or something and hope it works so all of your hard work isn't wasted!

  5. oh it looks gorgeous, I dont really have any helpful suggestions, except dont shop at Spotlight, but that would be pot calling kettle because I do (well did) very occasionally still too. Hopefully one of the suggestions works!

  6. Reana Louise- I've pretty much vowed never to buy fabric at Spotlight again.
    I'll try your suggestion. Thanks

    Brumby- Thanks. Sometimes I go in there to get something else like thread and then I see a pretty fabric and I think well it's 100% cotton, how crap could it be and then it turns out like this. Lesson learnt. It's kind of hard finding good fabric that's cheap enough for my student budget though.

  7. Oh no. I also tend to cut corners on sewing projects, so I can feel your pain at having taking the time to do it all right and then have it ruined at the final hurdle. It does look terribly pretty from the photograph though, but I suppose that doesn't help. x

  8. You know I have at times put a bleach solution (watered down bleach ) on a small toothbrush or kids paint brush and brush near where you want it.. don't go near the edge of the spot as it will seep on it's own... leave it for a little bit and then wash in cold water. Labourious but works. I'd use this as a last resort ... or go to the dry cleaner and just check if they have any tips first!

  9. Louise- it makes me think cutting corners is the way to go. Thanks. I think it's almost worse that it's so pretty because I love it so much and it looks so good on but I can't wear it.

    Summer Flies- Thanks for the tip, I actually considered doing that but I wasn't sure if it would work and I was scared the bleach would seep onto the blue. I will try it if the other suggestions don't work.

  10. Bloody hell,where have I been?!
    First,I adore the Frida skirt!!!EEEK!
    2nd-I adore what you've done with those shoes! OMG!!!
    3rd-bummer about the fabric running.Poos.Love the colour,the spots,the style.I had feck ups,but like you,rarely follow the rules!!!

  11. you could dye it

  12. It doesn't necessary mean that fabric is crap when the colours bleed in the wash. I have heard that when you have multicoloured cotton fabrics you should wash them in 60 degrees of Celcius otherwise colours will bleed. If you wash cooler bleeding colour doesn't set back in, in 60 degrees it will set back and should not run when drying. And I think that dryer might actually do the same trick.
    I have never tested this myself, but that is what my teacher told me in the seamstress school.

    I know you got the fabric because of the print but you could try fixing it by getting light blue dye and dying it light blue so that polka dots would turn out lighter shade of blue than the background colour. That might cover the damage. It would be a shame to see this project go completely wasted.

  13. Oh no! Bad luck but it can still be saved.

  14. This would have been SUCH a lovely coat, too. :(

  15. Oh no! Sorry to hear that! maybe you could make yourself a quick project from a tried and tested pattern to help off-set the annoyance of having put all that effort in?

    Zoe xxx

  16. Oh NO! This is so sad! I hate when that happens. I think the silk Port Eilazebth I made recently, and which I only wash in luke warm water by hand (!), has also started running. Fortunately it's barely notiecable because the pattern is so busy. Maybe you can dye your coat completely in a really dark color. You won't have any pretty dots on it anymore but you could save all your work you put into the coat. Good luck! And don't despair, many happy, successful projects will soon follow...