What fabric for 1950s dresses?

By on February 13, 2013

Stacey from Oregon wrote to me this week asking for some advice and I’m smart enough to know you guys are much smarter than me. Here’s her question:

I’m a home sewer and the secretary at my local elementary school would like me to sew her some fabulous 1950s style dresses made out of polished cotton or chintz in a floral pattern.

I found a few patterns that I can work with to create the look she wants (Butterick 5556, Butterick 5747 – both pictured), but I have been unsuccessful in finding fabric that is suitable – either it’s too heavy duty or meant for drapery.

Could I just make the dress out of a good cotton, and then take to a dry cleaners and have it extra starched?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

I have good luck finding fabric at my local thrift stores, but I don’t know if that would apply in Oregon…

How do you find your fabric? What advice would you give Stacey?

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