I’ve mentioned before that I sometimes buy pre-loved fabric from Trade-me, a New Zealand version if Ebay. Usually these are fabrics that people have bought with good intentions, but not got into the whole sewing thing or are clearing out an elderly relative’s sewing room. It is a little pot luck. You buy the fabric from a photo, and someone else’s opinion of the fabric. Sometimes it turns out to be stuff that can only be used for muslins, but there are also bargains to be had (remember the $1 stash?)
Often the seller knows nothing about the fabric. I have bought quite a bit this way recently, so I pulled them all out with an old ashtray and a lighter and set about identifying, pre-washing and gimping the fabrics.
This pale bluey-grey was listed as “possibly cotton” and “I can’t be bothered to measure it”. The description didn’t really sell the fabric so I ended up getting the whole roll for $1.50!
The burn test revealed that it was probably a cotton-linen mix, and a tape measure counted 18 metres of it! This will make a few lovely shirts (not just for me) but I’ll probably end up putting at least half of it back on Trade me with better photos and a better description. I just can’t see 18 metres of blue-grey in my wardrobe.
From the same seller, and at the same price, was 8 metres of beige drill. It’s a revolting colour, with an almost paper-like stiffness. Before writing this one off for muslins, I’ll try dying some of it black (It appears to be a natural fibre)and see if I can create a jeans candidate fabric. If it doesn’t work it was still cheaper than calico.
From a great out fit in Morningside I got 3 metres of this black spotted fabric for $3. I can see this Burda dress,
or maybe a shirt, or maybe both.
This one is a poly-cotton, and will probably be an embellished sweatshirt.
This one is 100% synthetic, but I love the colours and have numerous brown skirts so can definitely see this in my wardrobe as a top.
And this green stripe has been screaming “Summer Pants” at me since it arrived.
I’ve pre-washed everything…
…which has left me with a VERY large pile of ironing…
…but some great ideas for my next few projects.
What are other people’s experiences buying pre-loved fabric? Am I the only one who does it?