Hot! Sears Sucker: Fabrics from ’38

Sears-page It shouldn't come as any surprise that of all the items in the Sears Catalog archive on, I'm most enthralled by the dressmaking fabric they once offered for sale. Hundreds of pages of florals, plaids, Swiss dot, border prints, etc… that defined their eras. If you have access to these archives (by being a paying subscriber), the catalogs are a wonderful way to familiarize yourself with fabric dating. Or if you have any interested in creating your own fabric on digital fabric printing services, they serve as an awesome source of inspiration.

For your enjoyment, here are a few catalog pages from 1938.

A Salute to Rayon indeed!

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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. Please send this post to Joann Fabrics and tell them to get on the ball immediately. If the decade that had a depression and the start of a World War can have these fabrics, why can’t we?

  2. Wow – this is incredible! I love how bright the prints are – they remind me of Japanese fabric of today!

  3. I love the little girl denim jumper. I wish I had a pattern like that.

  4. Thank you so much for that link, I am in love!!

  5. Wow, how beautiful!
    I agree with Jill/laughbutnotloudly…these fabrics need to be recreated!
    Today you can’t find fabrics in any department store catalog, and even in a fabric store, you don’t have a selection like this. We need to revamp our fabric business/design in the US…Japan has much better fabric design than we do here.Why won’t someone take advantage of the “vintage revival” going on and reproduce vintage fabrics? I know all of us vintage sewing enthusiasts would really appreciate it!

  6. Those beautiful colors and patterns – drool! Where can I place my order? ;-)
    Thanks for sharing, this is a great inspiration.

  7. Oh wow–thank you so much for sharing these! It kills me how much variety seamstresses had back in the day for apparel fabrics, and how little we have today. I mean, we do have the benefit of being able to search the internet for fabric, but how many times have I come up empty-handed because I couldn’t find a good print in a natural (or rayon; which I prefer over poly) fabric?! Augh! lol.
    ♥ Casey | blog

  8. I agree! I’m surprised there isn’t a company out there printing vintage inspired prints on rayon or cotton voile. Or is there and I’m just missing it? Anyone want to go into business?