Dating Fabric & History

Much of my love of sewing vintage is derived from imagining the history behind the fabrics, patterns and notions I use for my garments. Very rarely will I use a pattern and not imagine who used it before me, what they created and whatever happened to them. I absolutely love finding handwritten markings on the patterns or torn out pictures from catalogs tucked into the envelopes. 

That's the personal side I love. There's also the historical context that's also incredibly interesting to discover. When you find a piece of vintage fabric in a bin at an estate sale or a shop, there's not much to go by with regard to date and history. Educated guesses will help narrow down the era but unless you're a textile historian, you're pretty much guesstimating. 

Twiggy End of long preamble. 

All that in mind, you can imagine my excitement as I read this blog post and came upon this photo of Twiggy from a December 1967 issue of Bazaar. The fabric of Twiggy's dress is the exact same fabric I picked up two weekends ago at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse. While I'd probably be more excited if I saw a photo of an everyday woman wearing the fabric, this dating helps me give my clothes context. If I weighed 91 pounds (Twiggy's weight in 1967) and 31-22-32 (her measurements), I'd probably endeavor to create a replica dress. But given that my thigh is probably the only thing that would fit in that waistline, I'll stick to some 1967 sundress in a hearty 38 bust.


Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.

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  1. Nothing personal against Twiggy, but can I just say how much it disturbs me that a grown woman with the figure of a 10 year-old girl could ever be held up as an “ideal” in our society? That is unhealthy in sooo many ways. Don’t even get me started!
    On the other hand, how very cool to see a published fashion photo with your vintage fabric in it!!