1930s Sew-along with Norma: Fabric swatches on order

Greetings to all readers and participants in the 1930s Sew-along with Norma.

My project is now reaching the stage where it’s time to consider fabrics, notions and threads. I’ve ordered swatches from the Fashion Fabrics Club because they have fabrics within my budget. I also like the thread matching service. I can also call them if I need help selecting a coordinating or contrasting color.

I think rayon challis or rayon faille might work. But I need to look and feel the swatches to get a better idea. Since there will be a lot of hand sewing involved I think I can handle these rayon fabrics. Here are the screen shots from The Fashion Fabric Club site. Please click on the caption with the fabric’s name to open the screen at the FFC site for complete details.

I want to avoid polyester since that was not a 1930s fabric. It would be lovely to sew with natural fibers but always the budget is the thing that determines my selection.

Ivory/Black Challis

White/Yellow Miniature Floral Challis

White/Red Floral Rayon Faille

Salmon/Orange Dot Rayon

Peach Rayon Faille

I’m not sure of what machine and hand-sewing thread was best used for rayon and faille in the 1930s.  I have my concerns about using mercerized cotton even though it might be true to the time period.  It does not have any give and in comparison I think poly-cotton thread is more flexible and a better choice.  The dress will be pulled over the head and closed with a snap placket on the side.  Poly-cotton thread will, based on my own experience, meet the demands made on the fabric.

Where I’m going to be true to the period is in using a rayon seam tape rather than the flexi-lace tape used today.

If I select one of the prints I will use a solid color fabric for the self-binding on the neckline and the bow ties on the bodice and sleeves.  There are many colors in the florals to choose from and I think black would look very smart with the ivory/black challis.  I’m not sure how the long sleeve will hang in challis, though.  So any readers who have sewn with challis, rayon or faille please share your experiences and recommendations with me.  Fabric selection is not always my strong point.


4 thoughts on “1930s Sew-along with Norma: Fabric swatches on order

    • I still can’t make up my mind. I’ve ordered a few more. The only problem I see is that right after the center front the skirt starts to go bias and full bias on the side seam. This means the pattern will not be straight. I’m not sure how that will look so I think playing with the swatches will help. If I decide on a solid color for the dress the bows will be in one of the print fabrics.

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