Monday, October 18, 2010

Fabric suggestions

One of the most important factors in vintage pattern use is following the fabric suggestions on the back of the envelope.  I read an old blog post and the young lady asked for suggestions why her dress had not been a success. She had made this pattern (Simplicity 7796) out of a stretch jersey material.

If you read the back of the pattern  envelope, the pattern does call for jersey, but it was bonded jersey. This is a very different thing. In the sixties, I had an orange ensemble with a sleeveless dress like this and a matching trench coat. It was made out of a cotton knit bonded to a foam backing. This was a very heavy fabric. Plus the dress was lined and had tons of interfacing. The dress has to have a shape of its own for this pattern to work.

This pattern would be lovely in a light to medium weight wool, a bonded jersey or even a heavy cotton. With lots of interfacing. But a light stretchy material? Never!

I almost always follow the fabric recommendations on the back of a pattern. And even then I've had a project fail because the fabric wasn't right. The fabric has so much to do with the way the garment hangs and fits. I know that sometimes the fabric suggestions on an old pattern call for a fabric that no one these days has heard of. But you can always Google it!