The fabric swatches previously ordered for the 1930s Sew-along are all pretty in their own way. But I’ve yet to find just the right one. The challis swatches are the right weight but their prints are too busy. This would cause the details of the dress to get lost. The pink crepe I had selected would be perfect for a lightweight suit but not a dress.
I plan to study vintage pattern envelope scans for styles similar to the one I’m working on. The fabric selections given there will be of great help. Advertisements from vintage magazines and newspapers also offer resources since many ads describe the fabrics used to create the fashions. It’s true that some of these fabrics are no longer available but I think research on the internet can help one find equivalents. Fabrics like rayon, silk, linen are still used today. I think even a blend of synthetic and these fibers would work well.
I’m finding the main challenge to be whether or not to go with a print. This is where advertisements from period publications are a big help. Sometimes pattern envelope illustrations only show solid colors for a garment because the purpose of the illustration is to show the garment details.
Here is the advertisement from the May 2, 1938 Chicago Tribune that got me to thinking along these lines. How do you shop for fabric when making a vintage or vintage inspired style? Please share your stories and any guidelines.
Sheer Femininity-Advertisement for Fashions at Carson Pirie Scott & Co.
May 2, 1938
Note: I find the names of two colors rather odd. Perhaps “copen” means Copenhagen blue? Could “luggage” be a shade of brown?
May 2, 1938