Sew For Victory – finding your fabric

February 12, 2013

Finding fabric that’s appropriate for your 1940’s garment is probably easier than you might think! Especially when you consider how many fabrics they had available in the 40’s that we still have available today.

Here’s a list of some of the fabrics you would have been able to buy in the 1940’s:
Rayon (rayon silk, rayon taffeta, rayon jersey knit etc), Cotton, Broadcloth, Lawn, Voile, Dotted Swiss, Poplin, Pique, Batiste, Chambray, Linen, Seersucker, Wool, Corduroy, Flannel, Denim, and more!

So what fabric didn’t they have?! Well, Polyester. Definitely no polyester or “plastic-y” fabrics available for home sewing in the 40’s! However, if you find a polyester blend that you think is perfect for recreating your 40’s look, I won’t tell anyone 😉

What kinds of prints?
You’ll be safe with most stripes, polkadots, plaids, solids, gingham, and certain prints.

I mentioned before that almost every cotton print that Denyse Schmidt has come out with (especially her collections for Jo-Ann Fabrics) is 40’s inspired! Mood Fabrics has a great selection of Rayon blend knits and wovens, and I also recommend and Hawthorne Threads for selection and service.

(**Revised Addition- Thank you Kristine of Kitsch N Sink for this reminding me of this site for vintage fabrics!**)

And now for some inspiration!











(all photos from Sears, Roebuck and Co 1941 Spring Catalog via

Awesome stuff, huh? Now if we could only find fabric for $0.19 a yard still! Haha! Even though fabric prices have gone way up, we can still be thrifty and Make Do And Mend! Download that Jo-Ann’s Coupon App for your smart phone, and double check your yardage before buying fabric 😉

What fabrics are you thinking of for your Sew For Victory garment?


Stay tuned for more info on War Time Fashions vs The New Look, and how to find your size and prep your patterns for sewing!


Check out all the Sew For Victory posts here in case you missed one! It’s not too late to join in!