Hi guys! Since it's starting to get very very hot outside, I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on good fabric choices for summer dresses! A lot of my clothing is made from quilting cotton, and I am finding it too heavy for daytime wear...

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I looooooooooooove linen. The fibers don't swell when you sweat like cotton does, so it stays nice and breathable. Yeah, it has a tendency to wrinkle, but whatever. If you pre-wash it on hot and then put it in the drier with something to beat it up a bit, it'll relax.

Zaley - that is a great question. I have several jumpers that are very comfortable in the heat but they are 100% cotton and not as dense a weave as the quilting cotton. Not sure what the fabric would be called. They aren't linen. Both are commercially made and rather old (they get more comfortable with age...). But I also find jumpers over t-shirts cooler than the cape dresses - just can't handle the higher neckline and longer sleeves in the heat and humidity of Upstate NY!

Barb

PS I have gotten fabric swatches from Gohn Bro.s of all their types and colors. then you can really see what you are getting. Maybe you knew this?

Probably just bog-standard broadcloth.

I'm down in Maryland, but summer means I need long sleeves, due to the simulated winter indoor environment. I'm sitting here with a wool shawl and not feeling my toes at the office.


Barbara Smith said:

Zaley - that is a great question. I have several jumpers that are very comfortable in the heat but they are 100% cotton and not as dense a weave as the quilting cotton. Not sure what the fabric would be called. They aren't linen. Both are commercially made and rather old (they get more comfortable with age...). But I also find jumpers over t-shirts cooler than the cape dresses - just can't handle the higher neckline and longer sleeves in the heat and humidity of Upstate NY!

Barb

PS I have gotten fabric swatches from Gohn Bro.s of all their types and colors. then you can really see what you are getting. Maybe you knew this?

Friend Zaley! :)

In Virginia, with the moist, damp, humid conditions; broadcloth and tropical breeze fabrics have been what my wife's sister uses. Sometimes poly/cotton blends...solids or petite print. I don't know if thee has heard of Gehman's Country Fabrics: http://www.gehmanscountryfabrics.com The solid Nubby Weave is what I like to order. I do not know of the opaqueness of this. (I haven't scrutinised it closely.) :) Graceful Threads has a wide variety of fabrics also: http://www.gracefulthreads.com I think Elizabeth has a page display of the types of fabric and the weights of them etc. You might gather some ideas of what thee would like at those places. 

I do know that is not as heavy a fabric as other types. I don't know if thee would like something as this or not. It was merely a thought I had. I wish thee the best in a solution to thy situation and needs.

(I like thy kapp. It is absolutely beautifu!!!!!!!~<3<3:):) )

Thy Friend in the Light of Christ Jesus,

~Timothy~

PS—I hope this containeth something of good to thee or to someone else here. I do not think nor deem myself as knowing much about anything. Take any good from the above, and the rest, may the wind blow it away.

Thank you all for your lovely suggestions! I don't know if I can get tropical breeze here, but I will keep an eye out! I'm uneasy about ordering cloth online...I like to be able to feel it before I buy. The linen is an interesting idea..it can be pricey, but I know one store that has sales periodically....I like the jumper and t-shirt idea as well, that sounds like it would work well for gardening and barn activities!

I know what you mean about the intense AC Mackenzie! They seem to set all buildings to "refrigeration mode"! On public transit its a toss up if you'll get a sweltering 'Melt into a puddle bus', or a freezing 'wish a brought a sweater one'!

Great question Zaley!! this heat has been awful!! I hope I'm not too late offering my two cents worth. i met a woman, who does reenactments, during the summer. She told me she used to almost die from the heat with all the layers of clothes...until, she started making her underpinnings,  dresses, aprons and most importantly her head covering out of 100% linen!! Hats keep the heat in our bodies, linen breathes and lets it out.

The problem, you have already addressed...the price of linen! I haven't been able to purchase/make a dress out of it, but I did order a covering. I haven't gone out in sweltering heat, but have gone out on a few hot days and feel it did help. :)

I hope that helps my friend!! ;)

Thanks Tina! I'm going to pop by the shop after meeting today, and see what they have in terms of linen. I'm definitely interested in trying it out if they have any on sale!

You're getting to get linen in a shop? No wonder you find it expensive! Ships charge a ridiculous $15/yd. Look online, abd it's commonly $7.

Unfortunately I'd still have to have it shipped to Canada, which would cost around $20, plus I can't see it until it gets here, and there's no return on cut fabric if I don't like the texture/ weight/ weave....There wasn't anything much there today, but they did have a few at $8.9s /m weird colours though...I don't think I'll be wearing lime green or hot pink lol! I'll have to wait til there's a new shipment :)

Zaley, so sorry to see you didn't have any luck at the store! yes those are very weird colors to find in linen! The store I like here in town has mostly neutrals or deep rich colors, more Amish. It is expensive, but I always have a coupon for 40-50% off a cut! :)

I thought of you, Zaley yesterday. I had to go out to the market in the heat. I don't own a car, so it was a 20 min walk each way. I had on my black linen head covering, and it really did make a difference!! My head stayed nice and cool, and no sweating!

My only concern with linen and a dress will be the wrinkling...any thoughts?

Mackenzie, may I ask you what 'abd' stands for or is that the name of the online store? That's a fantastic price! Do you buy other fabric there as well? I love quilters calico prints for dresses as well as broadcloth...I can't think of the brand that was recommended to me though.:( 

It means my phone thought that combination of letters was more likely than "and"!

Fabrics-store.com sells medium weight linen between 7 & 8 dollars a yard. I've come across it as 7 for 45" and 8 for 60" width at reenactor events.

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