26 Jan 2010


I went fabric shopping yesterday. I shouldn't have, but I did anyway.

But I realised that I've actually run out of scrap fabrics to use for mock ups, so I thought I'd try to find some cheap, evil fabric now when the January sales are still ongoing.

The Booty

The reddish, cotton-blend (I think) was what I bought for that purpose. When I checked out, I even realised that it was 50% off the sale price, meaning I bought it for 12.5 SEK= 1.8USD=1.1GBP=1.25EURO per metre. I might go back for more...

The white cotton was also kinda planned, for my regency stays, whenever I feel courageous and wise enough to start on them.

The striped fabric was the impulse buy, but it called out to me the instant I saw it.

It was buried in a huge pile of remnants sold by the kilo (including a fabric featuring Siberian Huskys - and lots of it!) and my first instinct was: "ZOMG striped regency gown!!!11".

When I examined it more closely, I noticed that it was designed by Judie Rothermel and "inspired by the Old Sturbridge Village collection".

I knew I had been to the Old Sturbridge Village site and looked at costumes from their collection and it convinced me even more that I should buy this fabric. As I obviously did!

Now, I suppose this isn't a replica of a historic fabric (since it says "inspired by" rather than "replicated from" or something) and that's all cool, but since my knowledge about printed, historic cottons is limited at its best, I would like to know if this pattern would be appropriate for a regency gown at all? In my head, it's already a long-sleeved day dress...

I googled the fabric and found it for sale at ReproductionFabric.com among other places, and they had placed it in their 1865-1900 category, which wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear.

Any thoughts, you clever, well-informed people?

By the way, I went to the Old Sturbridge Village site to see if I could find the object which this fabric was inspired by. I failed, but spent a while flipping through a scrapbook with fabric samples from the 1820's (scroll down for more). Amazing how modern many of those prints look!


  1. Du ser ut att ha hittat dig en rejäl hög med bra tyger. Lycka till med att skapa något av dem också!

    Jag har faktiskt varit på jakt efter tyger idag jag med, men förutom IKEA och Furulunds (som är rätt dyra) finns det inte mycket till utbud här i Västerås. Så jag har hittat tyg till klänningsrocken (anglaise med polonaise-kjol), men inte till den undre kjolen. *Sucka.* Jag känner att jag blir lite irriterad! Utvägen är väl att försöka leta i grannstäder då...

  2. Fabric sale! Please don´t tell me the name of the store... :-)

  3. Don't worry - only Ohlssons and they didn't have much exciting, as usual :)

  4. I love the striped one! And though i'm far from a Regency expert, I'd say it would suit very well!

  5. I think it will work for Regency. It's very pretty.

  6. Oh, the striped one is lovely. If there were any in black/white with a little pink in it I would lust after it even more ;)
    I envy people that look good in brown,my complexion works best with cold colors :)
    I'm not an experto n regency either but I thought "Jane Austen" when I saw the picture

  7. Hi! I love your blog, it's great! I've been looking for one of these. I love 18th century, the history, the costumes, everything. Thank you for the fantastic blog you have. Oh, my blog it's in spanish, but I'll try to put some things in english, I love english language. I like poetry and all those things, I love old centuries. Well I hope you pass and see my blog. Bye bye.

  8. Reproduction Fabrics.com are very reliable when it comes to dating fabric. Although it is a later design I think it will be fine for Regency. After all it could have been copied in the mid 19th century from an earlier design. This fabric has been produced for quilting purposes and Antique Quilts are a mine of information when it comes to what ladies were wearing as all the bits left over from dressmaking were put into quilts.

  9. I think it will work well for a late Regency dress - pattern, scale, and colorway are all reasonable - but I recommend that you turn it the other way up! Regency prints usually have the floral/leaf/etc. motifs standing upright, as if growing out of the ground. Even when they're not botanical they tend to point upward.

  10. Thank you Jessamyn, I love your site :)

    Note taken on the fabric placement! Good to know.

    Unfortunately, I wanted this fabric to work for ca 1810... :/ I may have to make other plans though.

  11. Look what I just came across - justification for this type of print for the period: http://www.vintagetextile.com/new_page_494.htm

    The mustard color and the jaunty sprig angles point to an 1820-or-later date, but I think that the drab colorway and more regimented sprig placement of your fabric help make it more suitable for earlier use. In other words, I think you could get away with it.

    There are so relatively few extant everyday print dresses from this period! But I'll be keeping an eye peeled.

  12. Ooh - that's such a lovely dress!

    Thank you for your help and research - I would love to turn this fabric into a dress (especially since I found another remnant piece of it the other thay, which widens the possibilities a great bit!) - well, after, or if, I make a working pair of stays!

  13. I interned at Old Sturbridge Village last summer and got to visit Collections there a couple of times, and talked with the curator about how the "inspired by the collection" fabrics work. Apparently, she sends the textile company images of expanses of fabric, either from bolts or garments (such as dresses) and they choose designs to reproduce.

    I gather that sometimes they change the scale, or change the design slightly, often the design will be offered in multiple colorways, and all of the new materials are high-quality quilting cotton, whereas the original textiles may have been different weights and fibers. For instance, there's a lovely large-scale yellow floral print that's copied pretty exactly from an early 1830s-modified-in-the-late-1830s gown, but the same print is also offered in at least two other colorways - so they're not as fully documented.

    Old Sturbridge Village's collection almost entirely consists of items from around 1790-1840. It would be extremely strange for them to have something from post 1865, and also I think I might have seen an original dress in the collection there in that material, either regency or romantic, though I can't be certain. if you want more information, you might be able to contact the Village directly and ask for the contact information for the curator. She's very nice!