1930s Sew-along with Norma: Contrasting fabric for belt and buttons

New Experience:  Contrasting Solid Color Fabric with Prints

This is a very quick update on my progress with the dress for the 1930s Sew-along with Norma.  As with all my sewing projects it goes at a stop and start pace.  I let things develop as the process advances.  I find it more of an adventure and hope you do, too.

The solid green fabric cuttings came in this past Saturday.  I enjoyed playing with the them by wrapping them around the neckline or waistline of the dress form.  I also draped  a large piece of uncut fashion fabric used for the dress pm the form, too.  I then had to make a few hard choices.

First the green velour was too shiny and did not have the feeling of the 1930s to me.   It would never work as a trim or a belt because it stretched and curled a lot.  This left the darker green poly silk that drapes beautifully and sets off the print fabric very well.  After making the decision to use this fabric I then had to arrange the green fabric against the floral print in different ways.

If I used the solid color fabric as a trim for the neckline and sleeve, there would be a bit of overkill in using it for a belt, too.  The color is very strong and I believe the eye and the brain respond more favorably to having a bold color like this be focused in one place on the dress.  For this reason I decided I will use it for a self-fabric covered belt.  The fabric will also look very good when used for fabric covered buttons placed along the vertical sleeve dart.  It will bring attention to the fitted line from wrist to elbow in a pleasing way.

This means the beautiful vintage Czech glass buckle and buttons have to wait for another fabric and another project.  As pretty as they look when placed against a swatch of the print fabric, they get lost when used on the actual garment.

In the end this means all my work on the bias tape finish for the neckline and sleeve hem will barely be noticeable unless you see it up close in person.  But when I think how striking the solid green belt and buttons will be I’m ok with it.  The bias tape finish will still work out well with the rayon faille and since it is unusual it is a sign of custom dressmaking techniques at work.

I’m usually very conservative when it comes to selecting contrasting solids to go with prints so this marks a big step out of my usual comfort zone.  I’m glad the dress is continuing its “conversation” with me and letting me know what changes will further add to a successful execution.

The Green Poly Silk

This is the one I’m going with for now.  I plan to wait until the dress is finished before making a final decision.



The Green Stretch Velour

Although this stretchy fabric wouldn’t work for a belt I think it would make a beautiful sash.



If any readers have a preference for one or the other fabric, please let me know.  I’m still open as to the final choice of fabric and how it will be used.



10 thoughts on “1930s Sew-along with Norma: Contrasting fabric for belt and buttons

  1. I like the poly silk. It looks very pretty. Shame about the buttons and buckle but I am sure you will come up with another project for them.
    I have finished the velvet cloak (using some handmade ceramic buttons from my stash. I must get on with posting. ..

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  2. I like that phrase “free and easy”. It doesn’t pay to fight a trend that develops in the course of a project. I’ve found following the hints that the fabric or cut is telling us turns into a learning experience.


  3. Yes, I really like the poly silk, it seems to fit better with the overall look of the dress. I think the velvet will be too heavy looking, even if it isn’t heavier in weight, to the main fabric. I generally always leave button and belt choices until the garment is made up, it makes it easier to see how your choices would actually work.

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