Teaching Fashion: Websites for Fashion Design Supplies

Sometimes being a fashion professor requires specialized resources you just can’t find at your local mega mart.  I’d like to share a few of my favorite online resources with you.

A photo of one of my favorite Christmas gifts.

Vintage Sewing Patterns

Visit Miss Helene’s for vintage sewing patterns from the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, as well as a selection of newer, discontinued patterns. You can search by decade, category (Maternity, Children’s & Infants’, Men’s, Dolls & Toy, Home Décor, Aprons, Bridal, Wedding & Prom), pattern number, keyword, size, brand, etc. Even if you are not a sewer, it’s a great source of information and images on historical fashion.

Vintage Vogue pattern from Miss Helene's

Miss Helene’s sister website Vintage Fashion Library also has vintage and reproduction sewing patterns.  Styles hearken all the way back to 1850s Antebellum fashion.  Don’t miss their vintage hair and makeup tips and vintage fashion blog. These are great resources for anyone teaching fashion history!

Simplicity Fashion Historian Antebellum Civil War Two Piece Dress with Tiered Skirt and Pagoda Sleeve Blouse Pattern from Vintage Fashion Library

Fashion Design Supplies

Visit Atlanta Thread for just about anything you could need for sewing, pattern making and draping. The website is easy-to-shop and prices are quite reasonable. Some of my favorite items are pattern hooks ($3 for a dozen), pattern notchers, and the adhesive draping tape.  They also carry supplies for tailoring and formal wear such as shoulder pads, waistband curtain, suit linings, pocketing, interlinings, seam binding, hem facings, bra cups, horsehair braid, white enameled hook & eyes, lingerie strap guards, boning, and tuxedo buttons.   Make sure to sign up for the email newsletter so you won’t miss out on their sales and promotions.

Pattern notcher from Atlanta Thread

Pattern notcher from Atlanta Thread

Fashion and Home Décor Fabric

Fashion Fabrics Club is a well-organized website that carries just about every type of fabric you can imagine.  I’ll name only a few: Automotive Vinyl, Bridal, Cashmere, Corduroy, Embroidered, Flannel, Georgette, Lace, Minky (Minkee), Pique, Runway, Shirting, Stretch, Tencel, and Velvet. I love that they list the fiber content, care, and suitable garment types for each fabric. They will sell as little as a 1/8 yard and also offer 3” x 6” swatches for $1.50 for most fabrics.  There is always a great selection of super sale fabrics.   This is how I acquired many of the pieces I show in my textiles course.  They were quite gracious to cut and ship ¼ yard pieces of 25 different sale fabrics.  They even labeled them for me at my special request. Again, make sure you sign up your emailThey often put entire categories (wool, silk, stretch cotton) on sale and you won’t want to miss out!

This 100% Rayon Black/Brown Print Georgette fabric could be yours for only $5.75 per yard at Fashion Fabrics Club.

These are some of my favorite online places to buy those hard-to-find items fashion professors (and students) need.  I hope the list is helpful to you.  If you have other websites you love for fashion supplies, please post a comment.

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