Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds

Fabrics for those that sew

Elaina

One Too Many
I got into an argument today looking at fabric had a conversation about Vogue 2885, and with reading the posts about Stop Staring and I thought I'd ask (and sorry if I duplicate again) do you guys use fabric that is vintage or at least was available in the era of your choice, or do you get fabric that you like?

I was looking at rayon crepes today, and debating between that and a tweed I particulary liked. An older woman asked me what I was looking for, and I replied "Oh I'm thinking of making this Vogue pattern." And waved it generally in her direction. This led to the fact that the pattern is an A-line skirt rather then the straight the picture suggests (which is a duh, if you look at the pic you can tell it's drape that makes it look like that, not the fact it's a straight skirt). If I make it in tweed, I'll use a different pattern.

So, long ways here, I'd thought I'd drop that out to you guys. In answer, I use whatever I want, as long as the drape produces the same result of the pattern, if that's what I want, and I'm not above changing things to produce a garment I want. Which makes me not really retro, but retro inspired. Like the 50's ankle pants. I HATE those, so they either are much longer then the pattern, or capris. Not period, but I love the fit. (Suits are something else entirely. If I make a suit, it's damn well going to be minding its P's and Q's, and as retro as I can make it.)

What about you guys?
 

glamgirl

New in Town
Messages
21
Location
Australia
Hi Elaina. I've just recently started sewing again after many years of, well, not sewing. I have found that there are so many fabrics now that wither have vintage type patterns or sometimes you can manage to pick up a vintage fabric for a good price. Personally, I use whatever I think is either vintage or vintage inspired to create my pieces. It's an individual thing. I'd say use whatever you like for the pattern. So long as, like you said, it hangs right at the end of it. That's just my five cents worth. :)
 

Nashoba

One Too Many
Messages
1,384
Location
Nasvhille, TN & Memphis, TN
Most of the time I use what i like. If it ends up being a little more retro-inspired than actual retro that's fine with me as long as the overall look I'm going for is met. I'm about to make that same pattern and I think i'm actually going to go with a wool crepe or gabardine but that's mainly because I found a gorgeous olive green in gabardine that I liked.
Nash
 

Lauren

Distinguished Service Award
Messages
5,060
Location
Sunny California
I try really hard to be all natural in my fabric choices- or a natural synthetic because I simply hate polyester and spandex! But if I'm in love with a fabric and it has those in it, I'll get it- especailly if it's for everyday wear. I guess that it depends on if it's for a vintage event or my everyday wardrobe- for everyday I'll be much more likely to bend the rules.

Oh, and invisible zippers are your best friend. So not period correct, but it gives such a nice finish to them that you just can't get with plackets and hooks and eyes. If I have a feeling my side seam is not going to be examined I'll throw one of those in a dress or skirt- especially if the fabric has a drape to it- so I don't get lumpy bumps on one hip.
 

BettyValentine

A-List Customer
Messages
332
Location
NYC
I'll use whatever strikes my fancy at the time. I love vintage fabrics and I hunt them down and treasure them and use them for some of my favorite projects, but I'm just as likely to use something totally not period if the mood strikes me. (I happened to have 20 yards of red and black stretch vinyl sitting around the house, so I used it with a pattern for an 1865 ball gown. I have no idea if/when I will ever wear it, but I really just wanted to do something huge and ridiculous.)

I tend to alternate between serious projects and absurdity. But I'm with Lauren and I'm absolutely married to invisible zippers. I don't like the look of closures. I know it's ridiculous, but I want everything to look as though it were kissed together by angels. I know it's not period, but it doesn't bother me, and I don't think I know a single other person who even knows its not period, so I'm going to keep serging my edges and putting in invisible closures wherever I can.

Also, I try not to talk to people at fabric stores. Everyone has their own idea of how things should be done, and a lot of fabric store people are terrible busybodies. (Last time I listened to a fabric store lady she talked me out of the prom dress I wanted to make because she said it was ugly. A month after my prom the same look was on the cover of Vogue.)

BV - Man, I'm seriously in the mood to sew something ridiculous today. I think I need to acquire some sparkly things. :D Or maybe I'll try to make a really big hat.
 

Elaina

One Too Many
:eek:fftopic:
BettyValentine said:
Also, I try not to talk to people at fabric stores. Everyone has their own idea of how things should be done, and a lot of fabric store people are terrible busybodies. (Last time I listened to a fabric store lady she talked me out of the prom dress I wanted to make because she said it was ugly. A month after my prom the same look was on the cover of Vogue.)

Yes, well, sometimes people force their opinions on you, which is usually the case with me.

I learned a long time ago (something to do with a fetish for dressing up like Wednesday Aadams dressing up like Stevie Nicks) I quit listening to people. The year I got married I wore teal, and used peach as an accent color. I had roughly 12 people tell me how awful that was. A month after I bought all that, teal and peach was the hot new color combination. I think you just have to develop selective hearing "What's that? Teal and peach do go together? Why thank you! I quite like it", people look at you strangely and then shake their heads. If it doesn't work out, you're the one spending the money in the end, not them.

Now, I made a prom dress out of some holographic junk. Silver lame`, holographic skulls and crossbones. When I bought 17 yards of this stuff (because it was a GWTW inspired southern belle dress) and masses and masses of silver tulle...the sales lady asked what it was for. "Prom dress", says I and for 45 minutes she tried to talk me out of it. The dress was not for me, not to my personal sense of style, but it was tastefully done and looked nice. I have enough taste that I quit caring what other people think. Have you seen what they consider tasteful? Like the woman trying to talk me out of a mint green wool plaid with sky blue, hot pink and pale lemon mixed in. Ugly material, yes. The end result was a fresh looking suit, that made a winter day seem less dreary, so it did what it was supposed to: be a pick me up when I didn't feel goo. To be honest, what I was doing was better then the apples and geese suiting she was choosing for a jumper.

Sorry for ranting...again...I just got home from the fabric store again where I was told my taste was bad, by some woman in faded, ill fitting slacks and a torn work shirt.
 

Rebecca D

One of the Regulars
Messages
190
Location
San Francisco
I can’t believe fabric store workers actually try to talk people out of buying things. What a bunch of nonsense!

Speaking of fabrics, I bought a few yards of what was sold to me as 1940s black rayon by an ebay seller, but it is most certainly NOT 1940s rayon. It’s very, very porous, very synthetic, kind of heavy and drape-y, and feels rough – not silky at all. My first thought was polyester, because it unravels (kind of in messy chunks), and feels gross, but it seems older than that because it has a big gold Union stamp on it (which I love).

Any ideas on what it could be?
 

Elaina

One Too Many
Fabric ladies: I live in the south, and they're old. I think that's what does it.

Your fabric, Rebecca D, sounds like some polyester put out in the 60's. I have a dress made in '62 that's 100% knitted polyester, that is as you've described, and the tag has a really faded out portion that read Union Something Something Mfg.
 

Elaina

One Too Many
This little old fabric lady was 72. I think that constitutes old.

Really, if you're stuck that you can wear only a few colors because the rest is tacky, then you ARE old. Even if it's in thought. I buy orange and get "oh my...you're not getting THIS are you?" I buy black and get told it's a nice fabric. Love it when I get asked what I'm making and I reply a skirt and I get the stop, droop of the fabric, looked at up and down, head cocked to the side and the "Oh...a skirt? Are you sure about that?" Then when I show up in it a few weeks later, they tell me how nice I look, where did I get that?
 

BegintheBeguine

My Mail is Forwarded Here
:D Orange is my favorite color. I buy 3 yards or so of several fabrics at a time to add to the pile. I might have to wait years before I decide what to make out of it, if anything. That's one reason I like sewing, no one can tell me what to do, and if I change my mind, who will know? There is a cute Halloween print I have my eyeball on at www.cottonsetc.com for a ? tablecloth? curtains? (click on products and scroll down a bit.)
 

Honey Doll

Practically Family
Messages
523
Location
Rochester, NY
Orange

I did bright orange roman shades against teal walls in my kids bathroom. The fabric purchase evoked a shudder at the cutting counter, but it really works!

As for my fabric choices, I generally go by drape, feel and print-- preferring natural content, but not necessarily limited by it. I have not done anything with vintage fabric-- haven't found a good source for it. I've been tempted to pick up some things on ebay, but then wonder just how knowledgable the seller is on the age of the product.

I recently ordered some dress weight wool from fashion fabrics online-- should have that by this weekend. They have wonderful looking things....but so hard to buy when you can't run it thru your fingers.

Honey Doll
 

Lady Day

I'll Lock Up
Bartender
Messages
9,087
Location
Crummy town, USA
Lauren Henline said:
I try really hard to be all natural in my fabric choices- or a natural synthetic because I simply hate polyester and spandex!


Me too! We totally need to sew together sometime!
I love fabric that breathes, so i tend to stick to cottons and such. I also like natural wools, silks eyc. I have some rayon, but I Hate any type of streach to my fabric. Most of the fabric I use is modern, generally with a vintage inspired pattern.

LD
 

Rebecca D

One of the Regulars
Messages
190
Location
San Francisco
Elaina said:
Fabric ladies: I live in the south, and they're old. I think that's what does it.

Your fabric, Rebecca D, sounds like some polyester put out in the 60's. I have a dress made in '62 that's 100% knitted polyester, that is as you've described, and the tag has a really faded out portion that read Union Something Something Mfg.

I hate getting ripped off on ebay :(
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
31,507
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
I terribly envy you gals who live near garment districts or other good sources of fabrics -- around here there's pretty much two sources: Wal Mart and JoAnn's. (Sure, there's eBay, but I'm even poorer than usual these days, so that option is pretty much out.) So I've got a pretty limited choice available, and I tend to have to settle for what I can find as opposed to what I'd really really like to have.

For the most part, I go with cottons -- percales, broadcloths, things like that. I much prefer 100 percent cotton, because it breathes better than blends, but if I see a print I can't resist in 50-50, I'll bite the bullet and try it out. Another major consideration for me is durability. My projects are mostly everyday clothes, and it really peeves me when something starts fraying before its time. I know I can't expect much for $2 a yard, but I do try to judge fabrics by feel before taking them to the cutting table, and I've gotten to where I can generally tell if something's going to last or not before buying. This is another reason I've steered away from actual vintage fabric -- I'd hate to make up something with a vintage piece, only to have it start popping holes on me...
 

Miss Marnie

New in Town
Messages
32
Location
Small Town Indiana
Bewitched

BegintheBeguine said:
:D Orange is my favorite color. I buy 3 yards or so of several fabrics at a time to add to the pile. I might have to wait years before I decide what to make out of it, if anything. That's one reason I like sewing, no one can tell me what to do, and if I change my mind, who will know? There is a cute Halloween print I have my eyeball on at www.cottonsetc.com for a ? tablecloth? curtains? (click on products and scroll down a bit.)

Ooooo cute! :) I think they'll make great curtains!
 

Forum statistics

Threads
102,916
Messages
2,921,202
Members
49,848
Latest member
Komander
Top