Saturday, April 6, 2013

Floral Fabric Mission

As some of you may recall, last spring and summer I was sewing and then wearing dresses for the weddings I was attending. This spring, mid June to be more specific, I've got Tom's brother's wedding to attend and I hadn't originally planned to make or buy anything, but use a dress already in my closet - I already had two great candidates!

Then I saw this dress on Modcloth and fell in love with the fabric (and the dress was even made in the USA, yay!). I bought it right away, in two sizes - just in case! However, neither size fit, much to my dismay, and was not worth altering or adjusting myself. - Come to My Window Box Dress

Here's a close-up picture I took of the dress fabric before packing it up to send back to Modcloth. :(

Pretty floral rayon

It's 100% rayon, and is lightweight - probably rayon challis. The dressmaker brand is Everly. And... that's all of the information I've got.

Tom suggested, "why don't you just buy fabric like that and make your own?" To which I replied, "yeah, it's not that easy!"  And then promptly began searching the interwebs for similar teal/coral floral print rayon.

The closest match I came across was this cute '40s-vibe rayon from It's very cute, but not quite right...

Aqua Green Floral Challis

I even searched on Spoonflower to see if anyone else had created something at least similar, but I had no luck. So here's my question:

Where do designers get their cute fabric, and where can I get some?

It's a question I asked more frequently in my very early days of garment sewing, after trying to make what should have been a flowy blouse out of cute, but stiff, quilting cotton. After a while I was finding enough suitable fabrics I did like, and that felt clothing-worthy to me, that I kind of forgot about it. But now I'm really wondering where all of this secret, special, pretty dress and blouse fabric I see used to make so many adorable pieces of clothing for sale is hiding!

Do any of you feel this way too?

Have you happened upon any pretty, teal, flowery rayon I can buy to make the dress of my dreams?


  1. I'll keep an eye out for fabric for you... It's a beautiful dress

    Bundana @

  2. Yes! Actually, I was recently thinking about the fact that most of us start sewing so we can have clothing designed by us. Exactly what we want. But that doesn't really happen, does it? I can't make exactly what I want because sometimes I'm so uninspired by the choice of fabric that's available to me. I'll scour the Internet looking for that perfect print and never find what I'm looking for. A lot of the time I honestly feel like a walking Joann Fabrics ad and that makes me shy away from prints all together. Anyhow, that dress is very pretty. Here's hoping you find a good fabric "dupe" ;)

    1. Eeekk, I was just in JoAnn fabrics yesterday and all I could manage to find worth buying was a couple zippers, thread, and bias tape. All of the cute-ish fabric was either quilting cotton or a sort of cute print on super shiny, slippery synthetic. I found 1 cute cotton lawn in the Lisette line, but it was like 13 dollars a yard... and just not quiiiite cute enough! haha. I wish it was easier to find affordable, nice-looking, non-polyester (I'll do rayon any day!) fabric without losing my mind scouring the internet.

  3. Tell me about it... I've been hunting for some light-weight fabric in that pastel mint color I keep seeing in clothing stores, but can't find any anywhere (in stores or online). It can be so frustrating. I'll drop you a line if I find a print like that anywhere!

  4. I was going to say, I'm pretty sure that my local fabric store has a pattern if not exactly like this, then pretty darn close, BUT it is a quilting cotton. Could you make a print on Spoonflower to use?

  5. I have to say, I felt the same way when I started sewing in San Diego...then I moved to LA and thanks to the nearby fashion district, even the discount warehouses here have gorgeous bolt-ends of designer fabrics. I'm talking $3/yard or less. I know this doesn't solve any of your problems, but maybe a non-helpful answer is better than no answer at all? When do you need this dress by? If it's not too soon, I can be on the lookout next time I go!

    1. I need to sew it next month, so I won't ask you to scour all of LA to help me, but thanks!
      I might just break down and buy cute quilting cotton in a similar fabric, and just use it for a non-drapey dress. We'll see!

  6. I feel exactly the same way. I haven't been buying prints cos it's either the print is nice but I don't like the fabric quality or the fabric quality is lovely but I hat the print. It's even difficult to get the right colour in a plain fabric.
    Do clothing manufacturers get their own designs printed on their choice of fabrics or do they go to massive trade fairs and buy up all the good stuff ??
    Keep an open mind and I hope you find something lovely.


    Just came across this really cute fabric. It's Stenzo and I'm sure you would be able to find it in the US?

    Do you like it?

  8. OMG I'm so glad you posted this. I LOVE floral prints and I have been searching high and low for the perfect one. The closest one I've found so far is actually at Jo-Ann Fabrics. (It looks better in real life - the colors are great - and the swiss dot is really cute.) But it's a little too "tropical." Anyway, my point is that I have been obsessed with finding the perfect floral fabric for a couple of months now and I'm glad someone else is going through the same thing and can understand my angst.

  9. I love floral prints as well and I agree, they are so HARD to find! I've found that Vogue Fabrics has a better selection than most. Mostly polyester blends: I also look on Etsy, a good place to find vintage floral fabric. Hope this helps!

  10. Ooh I love a good fabric challenge. Here are some ideas:

    For that soft-vintage-ey fee:

    For the color palette:

    And just for fun:

    Just happened upon this cotton and the print reminded me of your post...

    1. Darn! There's only half a yard left for sale :-/


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