A Little Advice?

Today I got the Joann's package I've been waiting for - fabric for a 1920s dress.  On the plus side: nothing ended up being a huge mistake, too heavy or too light, a bad color or weird texture.  Here's the indigo blue twill cotton with a nice little geometric print that I intended for the dress:

And here's the soft rayon with an identical print (which I didn't actually realize was exactly the same - also, I thought it was paler) that was intended for an envelope chemise:

The problem: I like them both for dress fabric.  Obviously I'd have to check to make sure there's enough fabric in the rayon, but with the heat right now I'm leaning toward lightness.  At the same time, the weight of the twill means it will work better without a lining and, perhaps, hang better on my body.

Or.  If you remember my previous post on the subject - what if I were to use the twill for most of the dress, with the rayon (lined or backed, maybe just doubled) as the center front panel, the sash, sleeve borders, and perhaps as overlays to the gathered side gores, making it a bit reminiscent of this 1921 lovely:

NYPL 817486; search "women 1921" and you'll find a series of these
Edited to add: Here's a very rough mockup of what the dress could look like with a light blue center panel (ie, I flung it over my dress form).


  1. I do like that dress photo. I think you should make one for me! Maybe I lack vision, but could you make the major portion of the dress (from the photo, if that's the dress you intend to make) with the light fabric, and then the front of the bodice with white?

    1. In theory, but I don't have any white, I think. The photo isn't exactly what I'm aiming for - I've seen a few pattern drawings with those side panels that look like the curve up under the base skirt, and I have no idea what the deal is there - but, you know, the general look with a center panel and elbow-length sleeves and stuff at the sides of the skirt. But I like the dark fabric so much, I want to use it!

  2. A number of questions to consider (love the print, by the way!,)
    How stiff is the twill? That dress idea will look better with a fabric that drapes softly around the hips, and give you a better silhouette to boot. If the twill is a little too stiff, Id suggest washing it a couple of times in hot water.
    Which ever fabric you go with, if you want to do a white CF, see if you can pick up an old oversized linen napkin at a flea market--they drape beautifully (do need ironing, tho!).
    But all in all, if you can soften the twill, I think having the dark/pale fabrics together could look lovely--why not put a thin row of crocheted lace at the join on the sleeves, say, or at the edge of where the two fabrics meet down the front. Doesn't have to be lace, a thin bit of satin ribbon could work, too. I have a couple of old photos of my grandma in a dress from 1920 (America) somewhere, if I find them I'll scan them to you.
    Nancy N

    1. I worried at first that it might be more upholstery-weight, but it's actually quite light. I had to squint at it to make sure it really was twill.

      I'm glad you like the combination! There is some lace in the basement, I should paw through it and see what I've got. Thanks!

    2. Looks like those side panels are really just an open robe, even if the front of the dress is stitched to it?

  3. I like that idea a lot. Matching prints in different types and weights of material is really begging to be a two-fabric dress. You can always do the original design later with other fabric.


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