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?