Vintage Fabric Advice – what to make?

by LadyD on November 27, 2012 · 15 comments

in 1960s,1970s,Vintage Sewing


I have been given the fabric above. Believe its 60s or 70s (thanks Mrs Bee for that identification).

Now it looks like I have about 2 metres and a bit but it seems quite narrow (I’ll measure it properly tonight).

I’d like to make something from the era it came from to wear. Can anyone suggest what I could do. A skirt or a short shift dress sprung to mind. But would something like a blouse or a waistcoat work? Its not lightweight and I have no idea of the fabric content. But it drapes ok. I wonder if its a blend?

Any advice or suggestions appreciated.

Late addition: Measured it its 35inches wide but I have about 3 metres of it. So maybe enough for a dress?


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I've always hand sewn but never created garments until recently. I love the retro/vintage style. Its so much more stylish and flattering than modern stuff. For my dancing escapades and folk music For sewing, craft and general blog

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

made with hugs and kisses November 27, 2012 at 12:34 pm

what lovely fabric – very summery! I’d be inclined to go for a cute little summer dress with a tightly gathered skirt, but I’m a dress-a-holic :D
look forward to seeing what you create xxx


LadyD November 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I’ve yet to make a vintage (as opposed to regency) dress. I’m a skirt a holic. lol!


LucyLovesYa November 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Lovely! If it’s narrow then maybe you will have enough just for a skirt? Or.. you could make a vanity case? Can’t wait to see the outcome… x


LadyD November 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm

looks like its 35″ wide and 3 metres in length. Don’t know if I alter existing pattern to not be cut on the fold it might work for a dress.


EmSewCrazy November 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm

My quick and dirty trick for making a dress is to cut the bodice pieces, even up the edges and divide the fabric that is left into two rectangles. I then pleat or gather them to the bodice for a fullish skirt look.
You should have enough for a shift dress, though which would look amazing and be easy to accessorize with belts and jewelry. Some shift dress patterns have a second color as sleeve and hem bands which would be a way to stretch this fabric!


LadyD November 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Do you think its better to go fitted or for a more loose style?


EmSewCrazy November 28, 2012 at 11:53 am

I think that depends on your figure or more specifically what you enjoy wearing and feel good in.
Here’s a more fitted one:
Or a classy fitted one:
Or something like this:


A.J.A. November 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm

I think a shift would be great!


LadyD November 28, 2012 at 4:15 am

Thanks. :)


empireroom November 27, 2012 at 11:03 pm

I have a really cute dress at work in a very similar fabric that I made for Cloudstreet (an epic Aussie play set in the 40′s-70′s), I can’t find the pattern though.
It’s a straight shift, with some gathering around the neck & I bound the neckline, armhole & hem in a contrast fabric.
The fabric was a mid weight cotton & it look fab.
If I can find the pattern I’ll post it to the Pinterest board.


empireroom November 27, 2012 at 11:06 pm

I found a similar pattern & posted it here


LadyD November 28, 2012 at 4:14 am

I have simplicity 2059 in my stash
which looks like a similar construction.


LadyD November 28, 2012 at 4:55 am

So a bit like this?
(this has a belt to show my waist….when I don’t show it I look 2 sizes bigger. lol!)


EmSewCrazy November 28, 2012 at 11:54 am

Just saw this! That looks super cute when you see it as a drawing! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!


LadyD November 29, 2012 at 4:16 am

Thanks. :)
Made start on this last night. Very quick to tun up even by hand. Just got to cut the bias binding and add it and hem.
I’m just debating on the sleeves as the neckline has turned out quite low. And I’d be inclined to wear a top underneath.


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