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Postcard Novelty Print

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by Delaney52, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. Delaney52

    Delaney52 Registered Guest

    Hi! I'm wondering if anyone else has ever seen this particular postcard novelty print before or knows anything about it. It comprises a lovely midcentury dress I found. The dress itself has a metal Talon brand side zip, unfinished seams, and slanted pockets with triangular flaps. I suspect the buttons may not be original. I believe the fabric to be barkcloth (I'm not sure). Pictures are included.

    Thank you!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
  2. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix VFG Member


    That is very cute! Post card novelty prints with vintage appeal had a brief popularity again in the early 1990s, and your dress has some late 80s elements to it. But without seeing it in detail, I cannot tell if it is older than that.
  3. Delaney52

    Delaney52 Registered Guest

    Thank you ! The print was definitely my main reason for purchasing the dress! Would pictures of the construction be helpful for dating purposes?
  4. joules

    joules VFG Member

    Yes, additional photos would be helpful.
    No labels, right?
    It looks 80s to me, so far.
  5. Delaney52

    Delaney52 Registered Guest

    Hi Joules, thanks for your response! Here are some detail pictures of the seams, button hole, zipper, snaps in the shoulder seams (perhaps once had bra-strap holders?), and pockets (inner and outer view). This construction would usually, to me, be indicative of an older dress. If it is 80s, then it's a very convincing reproduction of an earlier piece! I hope these extra images will help!

    Attached Files:

  6. joules

    joules VFG Member

    Sure thing. Nice buttonholes!

    I still think it's more on the contemporary side, likely 80s.
    It doesn't look like barkcloth. More of a linen/cotton or some variation of synthetic blend. You may want to burn test for clues.

    In the 80s, it was popular to find styles like this, custom made in boutiques, with retro appeal. They would source materials that had a vintage look, like that cute fabric, or were vintage, like that metal zipper. Or, it could be the creation of a clever seamstress, etc.
    This is what I'm getting from your photos so far.

    Let's see what others reckon.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
  7. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix VFG Member

    I am still seeing late 80s to early 90s. Can you show us a close up of the buttons? The fabric is not barkcloth, but does look like a linen weave, although likely made of rayon or a blend. That "rayon looking like linen" material was very popular in the 80s and early 90s. The faux double breasted effect on the bodice, the wide portrait collar, and the dropped waist are all very indicative of that time as well. To have all 3 of those 80s elements on 1 dress, is a good clue that it is more recent than you had thought. I still have a postcard print, sheath dress from that time period, it was a novelty print that was briefly in style at the time. The snaps were probably for the removable shoulder pads, which the dress would almost certainly have had.
  8. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix VFG Member

    Cross posted with you Joules!
    joules likes this.
  9. joules

    joules VFG Member

    Yep, I'm with Barbara, and rayon is probably in there. It's all coming back to me now. :)
  10. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Alumni

    Delaney is the dress pinned back in the mannequin photos? If so could you show it without please? or if it was too small, flat on the floor, to better see the natural outline.
  11. Linn

    Linn Super Moderator Staff Member VFG Past President

    I've been following this thread and while I can certainly see why some members think it's '80's my initial reaction was mid-century 1950's. I think the fabric is a cotton blend. I think the snaps were for bra straps - not shoulder pads. Although it's certainly possible that a good seamstress might have copied a 1950's design in the '80's, and used a metal zipper, it looks in the first set of photos like the waist is really tiny on the dress. Perhaps you could measure the bust to waist ratio but it looks like it's at least 10" or more.

    Of course, I might be wrong - and it could be '80's. I think that's what Melanie is thinking when she's asking if it's pinned.

  12. Joji Furukawa

    Joji Furukawa Registered Guest

    I'm not an expert but on one of the postcards with writing on it I can see a date written there. To me the year number looks like 65 meaning 1965 but I'm not sure if that is actually a date or not. Also, the woman waterskiing looks a little more modern than 1950s in my opinion. Again I'm not an expert but these are just a few ideas from what i can see. It's really cute!
  13. Vinclothes

    Vinclothes Alumni +

    I am with Linn. At first glance I thought that is so much like the 2 piece green dress I had in the 1960's. I remember it because I had bought it in the cool Bay Area, and found it much too warm to wear in Sacramento. With the double breasted effect, facings and interfacings there were 6 layers across my chest! It was some kind of blend which added to the warmth. Also the buttons seem older. I am sure it has to be in hand to get a better idea of its possible age. Well made dresses by a skilled seamstress are really hard to date by photos alone.
  14. joules

    joules VFG Member

  15. Delaney52

    Delaney52 Registered Guest

    Hi! Yes, here are photos of the hem's underside and the dress laying flat on the floor. The dress measures 29" at the waist and 39" at the bust. I'm considering trying a burn test for fabric content, though I've not tried one before. Thanks!

    Attached Files:

  16. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth VFG Member Staff Member

    I'm with the earlier camp.
  17. joules

    joules VFG Member

    Thank you for the additional photos; the dress does not appear to be commercially made.

    I still feel that the fabric is a "newer" interpretation of a postcard print. It would be helpful to handle it in person, of course.
    On Lizzie's The Vintage Traveler blog, there is an older post of a late 40s postcard print dress, which I don't think anyone is saying this one is, but it's worth a look for comparison.

    Hope you'll try the burn test. You'll only need a tiny snip of fibers, and it's an interesting procedure, that may help determine more about the fabric.
  18. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix VFG Member

    Our guest, Joji, raised an interesting point. The woman on the water skies is wearing a more modern 2 piece bathing suit, strapless, not quite a bikini on the bottom but a scanty tiny top and certainly not something worn in the 1950s. This may be artist's license but it may be a clue that the print was designed much later than the 1950s.

    Certainly the snaps could be for bra straps, but those be found in current garments as well as vintage from any decade. Since the collar is wide, and the bra straps might show, the dressmaker likely put those in.

    It looks like Florida, with the citrus and the dog racing.
  19. Linn

    Linn Super Moderator Staff Member VFG Past President

    It's me - but for some reason I'm unable to enlarge the images enough to see the postcard with the two piece bathing suit. If there's a way, please let me know. Could someone cut and past an enlarged version please?

    Bikini's were invented in 1946 and there were lots of two piece suits in the 1950's - not as skimpy as in the '80's but there were plenty of two piece suits. Here's a 1950's photo:


    I can see flamingos, citrus, hibiscus, sailboats and other images that suggest Florida but I can't see the date or the water skier.
  20. blubirdboutique

    blubirdboutique Registered Guest

    It seems 50's to me, but for some reason those buttons are throwing me off.

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