Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stripes and Deco, It's In The Details.

I thought I'd start out this post with fabric I bought a few months ago that is truly a work of art and will be very difficult to cut up, once I find the right project.  Here is why…

Isn't it grand fabric?  What makes this fabric remarkable is many things.  It's pre-war!  It's in amazing condition and it's deco silk.  I'm dating it to the early to mid-1930s due to advertising ads I've seen.  Isn't this just fascinating that this fabric could still remain as an uncut piece during the war years?  I'm quite sure this was a treasured piece of silk fabric.   The fabric really is quality.

Maybe I'll just play drape the dress form as this fabric really is a gem.  It has the label still attached and I was able to find an ad in an old newspaper advertising Empire Fabric.


Daytona Beach Newspaper Ad 1936.  I've also seen advertisements from 1934.  So, I'm dating this fabric to the early to mid-1930s.

PART II - The Wallis Project

Yes, dear readers, who I know are waiting in anticipation to see if I achieved my goal and found the striped fabric I sought:),  I found a beauty of a fabric.

In my next post, I'll show the remainder of my fabric purchases from Mood and B & J.    Although slightly off a mild tone (I was searching for light blue.), it is a magnificent soft green/blue silk striped fabric none the less.   This is where going into the city was well worth it.   I could not find what I wanted over the internet and I searched high and low.  You would think silk striped blue fabric would be easy to find.

Remember the dress from WE that I wrote about here?   I've been keeping an eye open for a similar pattern and fabric.   The Balenciaga designs on which this dress is inspired are just amazing.

I, honestly, have no idea how this dress might turn out as lining up stripes is very tricky and on top of this, it's silk fabric.  It may just be a frustrating event but it certainly is worth a try.

Can I say how worth it this silk fabric was?  This fabric was $16 a yard, a worthy purchase in my opinion.  It's pure silk and not cheapo quality like I tried to buy on ebay (see last image in post).  I bought what remained which was around 5 yards.   I think this will be a project that I tinker with in-between other projects. It is kind of a puzzle to get the stripes to line up.   It's going to be tricky to cut given the slippery nature and I don't think I'll be able to layer the cut to create the chevron panels.  I think each piece will have to be cut out individually but it will also have to be precise.  This is going to be tricky.   I have enjoyed the treasure hunt of being able to find a very similar fabric to this dress.

To refresh all of your memories, here is the lovely dress below and a link back to the post about it.  I originally first thought this dress was cotton but it's actually silk and I can see why silk would be so much more grand.


Fabric purchase with pattern inspiration.

Original Balenciaga 1938/39 dresses:

Isn't the play on horizontal and vertical lines amazing in this dress?  Pure art. Stunning.  It looks to have chevron type panels on the bottom then a line of vertical, then a line of horizontal.  I could look at this dress all day.  If anyone has seen one on a museum website in full color, please let me know.

Thought you might like to see an attempt at trying to find silk stripe fabric on ebay:P   Not even very usable. It wasn't worth sending it back as I bought it from an overseas vendor but you can see the cheap nature.  Won't do this again:)  Good thing is I bought the least amount I could to sample it.

It kind of makes me laugh to see even the stripes off in thickness.  It's really poor quality.  But, it makes me appreciate having the resource of fabric selection in NYC all the more.


  1. I wouldn't want to touch that gorgeous fabric either. I'd be too scared! Can't wait to see what you do with the stripey fabric - love those images of striped frocks.

  2. How lovely!! Good luck with the Wallis Simpson dress.

  3. Ual, very good. kiss


  4. Ohhhh! I am sooo excited for this project! And I know how difficult buying vintage inspired striped fabric can be!! So glad you found some! And I live your Empire State fabric!!

  5. This dress is going to be amazing! I would cut each pattern piece separately and i usually start with centre front pieces. I would use the cheap fabric to make a muslin. Thid way you can practice stripes and get used with sewing silk fabric :)

  6. I HAVE been waiting to see what became of this project...with baited breath! That fabric will drape and sit beautifully and I think it was definitely worth the money. You've done so well to find so many dresses with a similar look-it must have been quite a popular look for a while.
    It's so disappointing when you get something that is rubbish online. I bought a 'very good viontage condition' dress on etsy that was delivered 2 weeks ago with a stain on one sleeve and sunfading (in a distinct coat hanger line shape) on the other!
    Can't wait to see more....

    1. You know I don't want to appear obsessive, but I just can't help it with this dress and fabric:)

  7. What an elegant and tremendously lovely fabric. It instantly speaks to the era it hails from and would have me pondering it's usage (something truly special and memorable for sure) as well. I love that the original label was still attached. I'd venture to guess that must be rather rare in the vintage fabric world.

    ♥ Jessica

  8. I can't wait to see the Balenciaga-style dress! I bet you'll do a great job, and I can't wait to see it!!!

  9. Oh my!! So beautiful! I can't wait to see everything!! I know how you feel about that untouched fabric- I can barely bring myself to cut the tags off NOS!
    ~xoxo, CoriLynn