I'm sure there are exceptions to this rule, but in my experience I'll always regret using cheapo fabric — especially if I want, you know, to, like, actually wear the garment in question.
Today's Exhibit A is my leather patch leggings, which I sewed from McCall's 6404, a pattern I liked even though it had a wacky amount of ease built-in (I took them in to reduce wrinkling after this picture was shot):
But then I was riding the bus with my preschooler on a rainy day when I noticed little black specs all over her hands. "What have you been touching?!" I asked her, alarmed.
"Nothing!" she insisted. And that's when I noticed, it was all over my hands too! Looking around, it became clear that the culprit was my leather-patch leggings, the knees of which were shedding a layer of ...what? plastic? Ick!
So I threw them in my sewing bin, hoping something could be done to salvage them eventually. I loved the main fabric (a soft and lovely double knit) too much to toss them. But clearly the el cheapo pleather patches were not up to the task of actually being worn. Rage!
Luckily, I had just enough of the gray double-knit left to make knee patches (hurray for hoarding!). Unpicking all those seams last weekend was an unpleasant experience. In the middle of it, I was considering other hobbies. My sister-in-law just began log-rolling classes. That sounds fun.
Incidentally, that double-knit cost twice as much per yard as the faux leather. And when I re-did these leggings with knee patches made in the same fabric, I finally got what I paid for:
Not the best photo in the world (I suck at selfies!), but I'm very happy to now have a pair of very wearable leggings (though the back rise on this pattern is dangerously low for me; I have to wear a looooong top to keep my underpants under wraps when I bend over or sit down):
I like the subtlety on the seaming now. To anyone considering this pattern, I would suggest adding a few inches to the length (and the back rise if you have a round butt!), and sewing the smallest size you think woud fit you. There was so much excess in these after my initial pass at this pattern.
Is there any case in which cheap fabric doesn't come back to burn you? What's your biggest fabric fail?