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Burda Turtleneck & A Gripe

January 20th, 2012

This fall I fell in love with a cotton/poly/spandex stretch cord I saw at JoAnn.  I wanted to make leggings from the fabric, but the wales run from selvedge to selvedge, and that just didn’t seem like a good idea.  When I needed another top, though, I immediately thought of this material.  I bought it and made another turtleneck from BurdaStyle’s 09/2010 issue, pattern number 121:

It’s soft and comfortable, with a little bit of texture for interest, and made up perfectly.

However.  The clerk at JoAnn and I spent a lot of time trying to find an undamaged yard-and-a-half on the bolt.  Both ends were crushed so badly that the pile had no recovery.  At the open end, there were several random spots which were similarly damaged.  We did find enough (theoretically) undamaged fabric so that I could go home with my yardage.

Then I did the pre-wash, and look what I took out of the dryer:

Nice, huh?  That’s an exceptionally nasty fade line along the fold.

I was able to use it anyway, by cutting the sleeves on the crosswise grain; for this size, and with this amount of stretch, it didn’t matter.  But I’m annoyed, once again, by JoAnn’s real lack of quality control.  Sure, I could have taken it back — and I would have if I hadn’t been able to make it work — but this kind of quality control really shouldn’t be the consumer’s job.  This fabric was full retail, not a “bargain” piece, or heavily discounted.  And this is just the sort of nasty surprise you don’t want to discover, a year later, in your stash.

Also, I’m heartbroken.  My local JoAnn has several more colors, but somehow I don’t think I’ll be risking buying any.  But I wish I could.

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  1. Shams
    January 20th, 2012 at 21:05 | #1

    Wow, that must be one stretchy stretch cord! The stretch cords I have couldn’t be used for a top. That top looks great! Too bad you couldn’t find enough decent yardage to make a few more.

    • January 21st, 2012 at 20:32 | #2

      It’s both light and stretchy, Shams, perfect for tops. I can’t find anything else like it, either. I’d like a half-dozen tops from this stuff, but it looks as if there’s just no way.

  2. January 21st, 2012 at 13:03 | #3

    It’s not just JoAnns…I had a terrible problem with my recent jacket fabric.

  3. January 21st, 2012 at 13:04 | #4

    oops, hit Submit too soon, that is a perfect fabric for a classy looking turtleneck 🙂

    • January 21st, 2012 at 20:29 | #5

      The fabric looks great, and is soooo comfortable, Mary. That I can’t buy more makes me crazy!

  4. January 22nd, 2012 at 07:42 | #6

    I went to JoJo’s twice this week and have felt up that very fabric both times. It is SO soft and feels nice. I wasn’t sure what to do with the wales running the “wrong” way, though!!

    • January 23rd, 2012 at 17:30 | #7

      Well, the wrong-way wales definitely work for a top, Kyle, and they are so subtle that it doesn’t look like stripes emphasizing “around” the torso. You might test the stretch and see if crosswise cutting could work for a specific project. The “hand” really is nice.

  5. January 22nd, 2012 at 08:43 | #8

    (meant to add, but I like how your turtleneck turned out!)

  6. January 27th, 2012 at 14:07 | #9

    Yes, I’ve been dreaming of the camel colored one for a big droopy pullover top. I have an inspiration photo on Pinterest. I’m still going to get it eventually. Perhaps you just got the one bad bolt. It seems that if you just eagle-eye the fabric before buying (and yes, you shouldn’t have to do that) it still works up great, right?

    • January 27th, 2012 at 20:14 | #10

      I only discovered the flaw AFTER I washed the fabric, lsa. I wondered how I had missed it, and went back to the store to find out. If you KNEW it was there, it was possible to see the barely-lighter line along the fold — but it is so subtle, that I had to really look for it, even though I knew it was there. Yes, the fabric worked up fine, BUT I had to avoid the fold line when cutting, since washing it made it VERY obvious.

      On the good news front, a different JoAnn store had one unaffected bolt of the gray, along with one with the flaw. I haven’t found the defect in the purple, hot pink, black, or the small piece of camel I saw, so those colors may be OK. Just check the fold line carefully, and maybe take it to a window so you can see it in goo light. By the way, my closest store has two bolts with the defect still for sale, even though I’ve pointed it out. Yes, it is really, really nice fabric — but buyer beware!

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