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1930s fashion fabric for dressmaking help.

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by cloudsofviolet, Oct 11, 2020.

  1. cloudsofviolet

    cloudsofviolet Registered Guest


    I am wanting to make a 1930s style jumpsuit / summer dress, in a lightweight paisley print.

    I have found some potential fabrics online and want to see if I could get some feedback as to accuracy of the fabric /print for a 1930s style repro dress /jumpsuit.

    Pics below. 1st pic is potential pattern, 2nd and 3rd are same fabric.

    I may make a dress as a backup plan with another fabric if the fabrics below/similar aren't historically accurate for 30s.

    Attached Files:

  2. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    Pretty fabrics but a cotton voile probably isn't strong enough to be worn as pants. The other images don't indicate the weave, so it's hard to know if they're suitable but a heavier weight of rayon or cotton would be good (voile is very light, good for blouses and dresses, but not pants).
  3. cloudsofviolet

    cloudsofviolet Registered Guest

    Thank you
    Thank you! I did not think that I still need to inquire. Do you know if a broadcloth or poplin would be likely too heavy for this pattern? I have another pattern that rec. Denim so I assume broadcloth would be okay as well.

    This pattern looked kinda drapey to me, I am not a sewer BTW, so my thoughts went to poplin.
  4. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    Broadcloth is much thicker, not as a thick as denim but definitely not drapey. Poplin is a good, mid-weight cotton and would be suitable.

    If you can visit a shop, it's much easier if you can feel the fabric and you could show the pattern to a sales assistant and ask for their advice. Buying fabric online can be tricky if you don't understand weaves and weights and choosing the wrong fabric makes all the difference. Does the pattern come with fabric recommendations? They're usually a good guide.
  5. The Vintage Vendeuse

    The Vintage Vendeuse Trade Member

    For drapiness, I think you may prefer a nice cool rayon.
    I look forward to seeing how it turns out!
  6. bycinbyhand

    bycinbyhand Trade Member

  7. Linn

    Linn Trade Member

    If I were making this dress, (not that I sew) I would look for a lightweight cotton print. It could also be a solid as shown in the pattern or a stripe or polka dot. I think the scale and color of the pattern is very important, and in my opinion none of the fabric options you showed look like 1930s prints - to me. The closest is the grey and green one but it doesn't say '30s to me. Rayon would drape well but it is not washable if that is important to you.

    I think you should do some searches for 1930s prints to see what was used. I also agree that it would be better if you could visit a fabric store so you could see the color, scale and weight of the material in person.

    I think the dress pattern is great - and I hope it works out for you!
  8. cloudsofviolet

    cloudsofviolet Registered Guest

    Thanks yeah. I am waiting to hear back from the seller as to suggested fabrics. But I'd be interested in a rayon if it works.

    I also found a discontinued liberty paisley that is very 30s and just what I want but I cannot find it anywhere. Anybody have suggestions as to where to look online?
  9. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    The thing about rayon is that the recipe was changed in the '50s to make it more robust. So while earlier rayons can be delicate (eg, crepes are dry clean only as they shrink when wet, the other weaves are weakened during laundering so can tear easily), post '50s rayons are machine washable. They're still not as strong as cottons but they're much stronger than they used to be. Something to keep in mind if you're buying vintage rayons.

    I love vintage rayons, they're quite beautiful.

    You're right about Liberty, they remake some of the older prints. For example, my local haberdasher sells a 2020 Liberty print that is a reissue of a '30s print. This would be lovely for your pattern and you could probably find a local supplier. It's called 'Betsy Berry Red/Blue - Liberty Tana Lawn™'

    mags_rags likes this.

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