Snatching a remnant redo victory from the jaws of defeat

This remnant project would have been simple and stunning, had I not been suddenly seized by idiocy.

I found a pretty little remnant bundle at Joann Fabric. Having spied it wrapped in its packaging, I saw what I thought was a little length of that shirred-top summer sundress fabric, the kind that you’d whip up for a little girl. Like this dress:

shirred-top sundress

The remnant was labeled .806 yard at $21.99 of Fabr Damask Spectrum Meda 45.” (Don’t forget, that was the regular price; I got it on sale for 1/2 price as a remnant.) I tried to find this on the website but nothing similar came up. When I unrolled the remnant from its label, it was a floor-length ready-to-seam dress for an adult. All I had to do was sew the two raw edges together and add some straps, and it was an instant sundress. Even the hem was already finished! Whoop, whoop!

I jumped right in serging the back seam, only to discover within a minute that I accidentally let some of the fabric get caught underneath and it slipped up into the serger’s cutting blades and–horror of horrors!


I took occasion to pee and moan about it to my DH. As an engineer, he is always in the “can-do” mode; always alert to any possibilities of altering an existing design to make it adaptable to the circumstances. But in this instance, all he could do was drop his jaw in dismay.
Me: What could have been the easiest, quickest remnant re-do EVER, but noooo, I had to screw it all up.
DH: Doofus!

Luckily, I had just perused the latest issue of Sew News and read an article about darning. I have a darning stitch on my machine, so I brought it out and put it to work, using a piece of Sulky Soft and Sheer permanent stabilizer as a backing. The darning went well, and covered that jagged rip, but it was still rather noticeable right there on what Forest Gump would call the “butt-ox” area.

Darning step complete

I looked for an embroidery design that would cover it. This is what I ended up choosing, and after altering the colors, I decided I’d place 4 motifs on the dress. One would have been cute, like a little tattoo you might see on a surfer girl’s hip while at the beach. But I went with four. The motif is from Machine Embroidery on Difficult Materials by Deborah Jones.

Paisley embroidery motifs

I had the perfect color of double-fold poly/cotton bias tape to make straps, in an unopened package of Wright’s that was in my sewing desk when I inherited it from my grandmother. It is 65% Kodel and 35% cotton. I looked up Kodel and found that Eastman Chemical Company stopped producing it in the 1980’s. Why? Should I refrain from opening the package of bias tape because it may now be a priceless antique; a museum-worthy relic of the Age of Better Living Through Chemistry?

Where have all the Kodel fabrics gone?

a remnant project that narrowly escaped the jaws of defeat


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ethgran
    May 23, 2012 @ 09:20:33

    I did that boo-boo once on an alteration for a friend of a dress with a sheer fabric overlay. Duh. No snatching anything for the jaws of defeat that time. >,<


  2. JanF
    May 23, 2012 @ 09:33:50

    Good Save! Will you be pointing this out to folks when you wear the dress? It’s hard not to do so…


  3. Na Na
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 19:23:15

    Very creative way to save that dress.


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