I have an annual project of replacing the fabric in our director chairs on the back verandah. These don't last very well in the sub-tropics, and I have been on the lookout for some suitable replacement fabric for my annual nod to Home Dec. sewing.
See what I did ? The fabric is 2 metres of hessian jute, at about $10 per metre, with the pattern machine embroidered on top of the woven hessian. I have not seen anything like this before, so it was rather tempting, and hopefully hessian will last outdoors no worse than cotton canvas, which I have used previously. No one at my house likes sitting on sweaty polyester canvas at $35 per metre upwards. Unfortunately, I had a bit of a problem with the construction. It wasn't the high fray rate - this was nicely tamed with overlocking and 2 packets of bias binding at 50c each from a previous bargain purchase. I knew I would use it up someday. The covers have a pocket in each side of the seat, containing a plastic rod that slides into a groove along the edge of the chair frame.
The embroidered hessian fabric was too bulky to slide into the groove, so my first chair looked a little peculiar and quite useless.
After a nice soothing cup of tea, I decided to remove the embroidery from the edges of the new cover. Half an hour of unpicking and 4 rows of secure zig-zagging per cover later, the covers squeezed into the grooves.
This level of work reassures me that the other pieces of fabric I bought in this transaction are mere rewards for my efforts,
I bought 3 rayon knits (all thin, but quite good recovery - the most costly printed one at $8.95 per metre ran in the (cold, gentle machine) wash and now has a pleasant pink background)
The other purchases were a floral jacquard denim and a jacquard shirting cotton. The shirting cotton is lovely, but I wasn't completely thrilled with the denim when it arrived, thinking it looked a bit cheap (well it was - $5.95 per metre), but fortunately for me, the embellished bands of the denim shrunk in the (warm, gentle machine) wash giving an excellent seersucker effect that I think will look great in an unironed skirt, just right for Spring and Summer, so my washing revelations have all been positive despite the shrinkage.
Internet fabric purchases are always a bit of a surprise, as drape and texture don't show at all well on a computer monitor, but living in rural Australia, I am very pleased to have another fabric source that I don't need to buy a plane ticket to access.