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Seven Vintage Floral Fabrics For January Cheer

Seven Vintage Floral Fabrics for January Cheer

From a rare piece of 1950’s barkcloth to a 1970’s bright striped floral; Meet seven vintage fabrics that will instantly cheer up the January blues.

Each of these vintage fabrics brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart. After the fairy lights have been packed away, January needs an injection of colour. With our social lives taking a break, there is no better time to dust off the sewing machine and get making. I’m thinking a long sleeve shirt to wear with a favourite pair of jeans, a floaty skirt teamed with a chunky knit, a comfy cushion to cuddle on the sofa, a 1950’s style circle skirt to dance in (I’m starting Jive lessons next week!). What will you make?

A rare piece of 1950’s barkcloth, the red roses are the star of this beautiful vintage fabric. Highlighted with yellow miniature roses and bottle green leaves against a mid-grey background. The fabric drapes in soft folds thanks to its age, I should note that it is also fairly fragile. Perfect to make into something that is for show rather than a lot of wear and tear. Only one piece available (86 x 120cm).

Vintage fabric usually comes in small pieces. Handy when you want to be unique but not so helpful when a large circle skirt is what you have in mind. With a classic red rose, this print is similar in style to the above barkcloth except I have a massive 4 metres of it in stock! Yay! 130cm wide that is lots of fabric to get creative with. The style is 1950s but as it is over 1m wide it is probably a reproduction from the 1980’s. Made in France with a soft grey Dupion silk effect printed onto the base.

This 1970’s striped cotton goes with every vintage dress pattern in my collection. Made into a floaty maxi skirt, long sleeve dress or the most fabulous palazzo pants. Warm winter floral print with a red and ecru stripe, violet blue flowers and birds sat upon emerald green leaves. It is equally dapper for menswear, made into a shirt that will turn heads. 90cm wide, sold by the half metre there is 1.5m to play with.

Sometimes we don’t want a fabric to shout ‘look at me’. Something more subtle and classic is what is called for. This navy ditsy floral vintage fabric ticks those boxes. Super versatile in cotton poplin and over 3 metres available (89cm wide) the dressmaking and home furnishing possibilities are endless.

I’m not completely sure the large flower on this vintage fabric is an Amaryllis. With a bit of artistic license and a memory of my Nana Betty (who’s birthday is in Jan), I’m hoping it is close enough. A large bloom on a tall stem, Betty grew these impressive flowers from bulbs every January. A bright red cheer for an otherwise grey month. Sadly there is just under 1 metre square available of this fabric. A medium to heavy weight cotton, it would look amazing as a large cushion with a contrasting fabric on the back. Or a tote bag to brighten up the daily commute.

Oh so Pink! This graphic floral printed vintage fabric doesn’t shout ‘Winter floral’ at first look. There is something about the slightly off white colour of the base and the dusky pink of the leaves that conjures up images of winter snow. Very slightly brushed, the fabric is soft and warm to touch. On the product page I’ve styled it with a cosy cashmere sparkly cardigan to give it a luxury look.

Close your eyes and imagine you’re running across a wild meadow, each flower and grass vibrantly coloured purple, blue and yellow. All set against a fire red sky. That is how I picture this fabric – bright bright bright! Light to medium weight it has a lovely structure to it’s drape and a slight sheen to the vintage cotton. 91cm wide it is sold by the half metre (over 3m available) and in fat quarters if you only wanted to use it as a highlight.

Need some vintage style inspiration? Click here to view a Pinterest board I’ve created with Winter floral ideas.

I travel the country to source each individual piece of vintage fabric. Usually the vibrant prints catch my eye. As a dressmaker, I also look for fabrics that are versatile. It is more common to find large pieces of vintage fabrics that used to be curtains, so they are quite heavy weight and perfect for soft furnishings. It is more difficult to find light weight vintage fabrics suitable for dressmaking and tailoring. Five of the fabrics listed above would work brilliantly for fashion, accessories and light use soft furnishings. If you follow my blog you will know that I am passionate about sustainable fashion and preventing textile waste. Buying vintage fabrics helps to reduce the impact of fast fashion on the environment by reusing resources we already have. By giving them a new lease of life prevents these fabrics from being thrown away and adding to the textile waste problem.

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