A two-page article from August, 1928, reminds us that we don’t have to stick to solid-colored fabrics to reproduce a great twenties’ dress. In “Figured Fabrics for Fall,” these Butterick pattern illustrations were accompanied by illustrations of fabric swatches. (If only these fabric swatches were in color!)
Left, Mallinson’s “brown satin crepe, printed on the crepe side, plain on the satin side;” shown in Butterick pattern 2129, below left. Right, “wine red canton crepe” made by Stehli, with the glint of gold tinsel thread all through it; used in Butterick pattern 2117, below right.
“Transparent rayon velvet with the colors and flowered design usually associated with chiffon,” was used for a surplice dress, Butterick 2166, below left. Crepe satin was used for Butterick 2178, below right.
“Checked grege and brown tweed” (above, left) is used in the “runabout” dress below left, Butterick No. 2154; right, Pattern 2164 uses a wool fabric (kasha) with woven border pattern. (Pattern 2154 was also recommended for bordered fabrics.) “Grege” is now spelled “greige” — a pale neutral color that combines a warm note of brown or pink (as in “beige,”) with gray (which can be cool or warm, depending on the amount of blue or brown in the black pigment you add to white to make gray.)
This chevron-patterned tweed was suggested for a coat to match dress 2164:
On the facing page, p. 35, more Fall fashions — and fabrics — were illustrated.
The fabric swatch on the left is printed kasha, used for Butterick 2162, below left. The geometric pattern on the swatch is turned ninety degrees from the way it is shown in the dress. Below right, “jersey, printed with a photographed tweed design of brown on beige,” illustrated on a simple V-necked dress, Butterick 2182.
Below left, “black barre satin, a material that is cross-barred with satin lines on the dull surface, dull lines on the satin surface. (I had to enhance the photo to show that there is a subtle pattern in the dark material.) The double-faced satin was used in Butterick 2119. Below right, a rayon knit top with an ombre pattern in gray and white, over a plain gray skirt. Butterick pattern 2180.
A silk crepe dress (Butterick 2170) [fabric not illustrated] called for a coordinating wool coat made from gray-beige wool threaded with dark brown (Forstmann fabric, below right.) Left, a printed wool and rayon blend “with modernistic cross-hatch design in natural, beige and grege tones,” shown in Butterick dress 2184.
Considering that these fall fashions used a lot of brown, gray, beige and “grege,” perhaps they don’t suffer from being shown in black and white illustrations, after all. (But it would be nice if someone was inspired to create these geometric designs in new, autumn colored versions!)
Click here for characteristic examples by Braque and Picasso which may have influenced these 1920’s textile designs. Even the tan/gray/beige color palette is similar.
Helen Dryden, who illustrated the cover of this August issue, painted stylized flowers like a dress fabric in the background.
Dryden illustrated many color advertisements for fabrics.) The Vintage Traveler wrote more about Dryden’s Art Deco ads for the Aberfoyle Textile Mill. Click here.
1920’s patterns in Large sizes: Several of these patterns included sizes for large women, with bust measurements from 46 (Nos. 2180, 2166, & 2154) to 48 (No. 2184,) and even up to 52 inches (No. 2182.)