Research has located many fine fabrics I want for making vintage style nightgowns and robes. Also located are many excellent and detailed photographs of actual vintage garments, from which I’ll be able to make patterns and knock-offs. Naturally, because according to a friend I was apparently royalty in a past life (or at the very least, a Texas Land Baron’s Spoiled Wife…refer to Maureen O’Hara in “McLintock”), without any effort I was drawn to the most expensive and least available fabrics on the flamin’ PLANET. I found The Perfect Lace…at $800 a yard. The Perfect cotton lawn print (lawn is a soft and thin fabic) for $75 a yard. The robes I am wanting to make take 8-10 yards of fabric and 2 of lace. You do the math. More research is definitely involved. I now understand why couture clothing is so expensive. Terry told me of when he was working elsewhere, and some designer had them print small batches of specific prints, then they were required to destroy the print screens, and yes, it was a costly process. One of the designs I’ve worked on requires a large button, and I’d like to make a hand painted one. There is a local ceramics shop where you can go in and paint things, and they’ll glaze and fire them for you. Terry suggested that I go there and see if they’d make buttons I could paint. That would be cool, no? One of a kind hand made couture robe with a hand painted button? Yes, that would be nice.
I DID, however and happily, find washable cotton velvet for $6 a yard, and silk dupioni for less than $10. Dupioni is WONDERFUL stuff because not only is it SILK (and who doesn’t love that), it’s WASHABLE, and gets softer and lovelier with each washing, but it also comes in irridescent weaves- that is, the warp is one color (let’s say, light blue) and the weft is another (let’s say, silver) so depending on the angle you look at it, it could be light blue or silver, which is gorgeous. I can totally see a beautiful silk dupioni dressing gown with a handmade silver button (the ceramics place ALSO has silver clay, which is silver powder embedded in a clay matrix that burns away in the kiln, and the silver power fuses into a solid, leaving behind a solid silver whateveritis.)
Etsy and Ebay. Yeppers.
I cannot afford to make anything requiring 10 yards of $75 yard fabric. I can, however, manage 10 yards of free fabric, which I will not reveal my sources, but the fabrics are wonderful and fine and soft. There are several designs that do not require any lace at all, and if I sell them, I’ll turn the money around and start getting the cotton velvet and such, with an aim toward warmer styles for the upcoming winter. Maybe, ONE DAY, when my ship comes in and if I get a commission from someone willing to front the $2000 it would take to make it, I’ll be able to make the beautiful lace and cotton lawn set that fills my dreams. Until then, I’ll print out a picture of it and hang it on the wall.
I’ll also put some pictures up here for you to see, when I’m ready.