Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Batik fabric- info wanted

Tangent | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Hi everyone,

My friend purchased some Batik fabric from a vendor, and wants me to make her some tops & shorts from the pieces.  That’s ok, but the pieces got my curiosity…  what were they intended for?  There’s probably a special name for them too?

She has 3 pieces, all of polished cotton, border-prints,  2 meters long x 44 inches, with paper tags lightly glued on. Two of the pieces have the border-pattern across one end, the other has the border-pattern along one side. They are from Indonesia.

Can anyone supply some information about these?

I have more photos if needed.



  1. Tangent | | #1

    third try at attaching photo.... realized I tried to post the full-size version instead of the smaller one (oops!)


    1. Josefly | | #2

      These appear to be sari-prints to me, rather than batiks. Batiks, as explained to me in another thread on this forum (you can do an "Advanced Search" on "batik" to find other discussions on the topic) are resist-dyed in a vat, causing the colors to be absorbed deeply into the non-resisted areas, and the selvages are not obvious - they look just like the rest of the fabric.

    2. damascusannie | | #3

      First of all--I don't think these are batiks. It's easy enough to tell, does the design appear exactly the same on the back as on the front? In other words, can you even tell the difference between the front and back? If you can, then they are printed fabrics. Batik is a wax-resist process that involves dipping the whole fabric in a vat of dye, so the color completely saturates the fibers, front and back. The designs are drawn on with wax, the fabric is dipped, then the wax is melted away, revealing the design. It looks to me like they were meant for saris.

  2. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #4

    I agree with the other posters my friend.  These lovely fabrics are not batiks.  They are fabrics that are designed to be draped, like a sarong or a sari.  Sari fabrics use about 5 to 6 yards(a lot of fabric), so I suspect it is a Sarong fabric.  Although it could be the fabric used for the blouse for a sari.  I think you will be having some fun creating with them.  Cathy

  3. KharminJ | | #5

    Your friend's beautiful blue cottons are about 2 1/4 yards long. Generally, if they're making a sari, my South Asian customers are looking for "silkies" (poly, rayon or silk), rather than polished cotton. And a sari is generally 6 yards/meters long. These smaller, firmer pieces are usually used for "salwar" - wide-hipped, snug-at-the-ankles pants and "cameez" - thigh-to-calf length tunic tops. Or, the scarf that is frequently worn over the head or around the shoulders, which may be any length that drapes happily ;). I think the photos on the fabrics give a hint of what they were cut for (which of course has nothing to do with what YOU do with them!)They'll make lovely, comfy summer clothes, and should wash up much softer than they are now. Making "highest and best use" of the border patterns may test your creative layout skills, but will be soooooo worthwhile in the end!I'd love to see the third piece, and of course, what you make up! Bright Blessings! Kharmin

    1. Tangent | | #6

      Thank you!  I realize these are not really 'Batik', I have seen those, and the cotton fabric was looser & thicker.  This is a fine, tight polished cotton.  Printed on one side, with lots of gold in the design, and the design was repeated at 2 meters.  All 3 pieces measure 44 inches x 77 1/2 inches.  Doesn't drape well, but will be nice and soft when washed.  My friend had other summerwear made from similar pieces, and wore them til they disintegrated.

      One of the labels said 'Batik Ratna Dewi', the 2 others are 'Bawa Dewi'.   I don't know what it means.

      Incidentally, somewhere in my stored hoard I have a block of Batik wax from 30 years ago!

      Here is a photo of the labels on the third fabric, with the lengthways border-print:

      1. Tangent | | #7

        More detail about the designs...

        The border is about 22 inches wide on one blue fabric, and 26 inches on the other.  The patterns along the 4 selvages are all different, and the middle part is a large repeated design.

        The purple fabric has a black border-design along one selvage edge, and the all-over pattern on the rest of it.

        It will be a challenge to make something form such small yardage.

        1. User avater
          JunkQueen | | #10

          This is really an interesting thread. When I Googled *kameez* here is one of the sites I got. http://tinyurl.com/kmeez Lovely clothes. Tangent, this one is going to be a fun project, I think. Maryincolorado, I can see why you've worn your kameez thin. I haven't looked specifically for patterns, but you may have to use your old one to make your own pattern.

          1. Ceeayche | | #11

            Hi Tangent,

            I am guilty of snapping up a bunch of this fabric during two trips to Signapore.  It's beautiful.  I confess I haven't made anything from the lengths yet-- guilty!  I do un fold it from time to time and

            here's a link to a breezy blouse made from a sarong length: http://www.thefeeddog.com/tag/butterick-3385.  I thought this was a nice modern twist on the fabric.

            Here's a traditional pattern:  http://dansing7.tripod.com/

            and there are a couple of patterns in the big 4 that could be used to make a more traditional version. 





          2. Tangent | | #12

            Wow!  Thanks for the links, that was interesting!  Am I right in figuring these fabrics were intended for making up the tunic/dress top of the shalwar kameez?  They are not soft and drapey enough to be a scarf. I can not see how the trousers/leggings could be cut from one piece this small and have the design matching.  Or is it for a tubular sarong?

            Is anyone familiar with the label tags?  What they mean?

          3. Josefly | | #13

            Anybody know? I'm wondering if the word Kameez is related to the word Chemise. The "chemise" style, in the late 1950's, was a loose dress without a waistline, as in the photos of the kameez.

          4. katina | | #17

            Hello Josefly

            Found this



          5. Josefly | | #18

            Thank you - why didn't I think of Wikipedia? It's fascinating to me how words are adopted in different languages, and here, the word went from west to east, apparently. The shift dress comes close to what I remember as the the "Chemise" fad of the late 1950's, a dress that fell straight from bust to hem, with no waistline or waist-shaping at all, and just skimming over the hips. It did look a little like an early-stage maternity dress.So many traditional garments from all over the world have this simple "elongated shirt" look, though most are flared to some extent. The different cultures distinguish the look with their own embellishments.

          6. katina | | #19

            Is that the dress we called "sack"?

          7. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #20

            I'm not josefly but am of the same era. We did indeed call them sack dresses. I had one chemise that Mother sewed a supporting piece underneath -- like a slip that went from my shoulders to my hip. Then the outer bodice, which was hip length was simple and sleeveless, but it had some gathering at the hipline that caused it to blouse out a bit, especially in the back. A band of self-fabric was sewn over the seamline at the hip (I'm talking widest part of the hip at the pelvis)and a bow nearly the width of my butt was fashioned in the back. This all fit snugly but not tight around my hip. The skirt then was simple a straight skirt, if I recall correctly. This was in 1958. I'm not sure if Mother had a pattern or not on this one. She could have just seen it someplace and made it for me. My other chemises/sack dresses were not as elaborate. Again, if I recall correctly, they did all graze the fullest part of the hip with plenty of blousing from bust to hip.

          8. starzoe | | #21

            I remember the sack dress. I also remember the "supporting piece" underneath that you talk about. I haven't seen it in a pattern for years but it was such a good idea - a slip-type top and a fabric skirt attached which matches the overblouse/jacket/top worn with the one-piece. I used to make these things when I was working, it's a great way to mix and match and does away with a full slip, particularly in the summer when it is hot.

          9. Josefly | | #24

            Yes, I remember it too. The supporting piece allowed the bodice of the dress to blouse, and held the skirt up on the hips rather loosely, without having to have the skirt tight at the hips to produce the blousey-ness of the bodice. But was this a sack dress?

            Edited 12/6/2008 2:09 pm ET by Josefly

          10. starzoe | | #25

            No, what I had was a slip-like cami attached to a skirt, no blousing, and a matching blouse/jacket/ was worn. The cami didn't show, this was the 1950s. This allowed the skirt to skim over the hips. My favourite was a bright orange two-piece sack dress made this way, with a blouse that had a low bow in the front. Just imagine that walking into an office in the 1950s! Boy! Was I hot! I forget what they called it in those long-ago days.The idea still is a good one for a two-piece dress. Hmmmm might consider it again.

          11. Josefly | | #27

            Oh, I see, an overblouse. Yes the attached camisole would allow the skirt to loosely skim the hips, and does eliminate any need for a whole slip. Nice design, and I bet you were the style-maven of the office. I remember a similar design for a camisole-attached skirt with a matching knee-length coat. In my I was referring to the blousey shape that JunkQueen described.

          12. Josefly | | #23

            You know, the more I talk about this subject, the fuzzier my memory becomes. :>/The blousey, drop-waisted dress you describe is very familiar to me, and must've come into fashion about the same time as the one I've been describing. I don't think I ever wore that style, but did wear a modified version of the sack - with slight shaping for the waist with darts. My first bound buttonholes were done on a pale, light-weight linen, button-up-the-front version. Ah, memories. I wish I still had that dress - it was one of my favorites.

          13. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #26

            josefly, I am almost certain those styles were contemporary. I recall a dress made of avocado green linen that was basically shapeless in the waist area and snugged up around the widest part of the hip. It's fairly vivid for me in that I was a senior in high school, and I recall wearing these dresses to various functions that year. Like you, I am fuzzy on the details of what the styles were called at the time. I am not sure my mother had a pattern for the dress with the band and bow -- or at least the under-garment part of it. It seems to me she had an idea in her mind how she wanted this dress to drape and fit, and she may have added that built-in slip thingy to facilitate that idea.

          14. Josefly | | #28

            One of my favorite memories of my mom was how she could copy designs, and add her own special touches. She was much better at that than I could be. Your mom's creation sounds so pretty, with the band tied around the hip. That bow must've looked great - I love back-details. What fabrics did she use? The built-in slip would've made it such a comfortable thing to wear, with the skirt looser around the hips than would otherwise have been required. It's a device akin to the support/lining of the bubble-skirt style, don't you think? Allowing fabric to be blousy on the outside, without its weight pulling it down. I do think sewers have so much in common with mechanics, architects, carpenters, engineers.

            Edited 12/6/2008 3:15 pm ET by Josefly

          15. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #30

            Josefly, coincidentally, I was just trying to recall the other fabrics Mother used on those dresses. I recall for certain the avocado green linen on the one. The one with the bow, I THINK was of polished cotton in some subtle colors -- like beige and pink, and I think it may have had a stripe/floral pattern. I'm not sure how attractive that bow was on MY butt,. I know for sure I wouldn't wear one now, but at the time, I thought it looked pretty spiffy. Other dresses of that style were of cotton, I'm sure. Those two were just my favorites.You are right about the support element of the construction. With out that inner construction, I think the band area would have slid right down my body resulting in no blousing of the bodice. Mother was very talented and truly an artist/engineer/architect/etc. Once she made my two older sisters formals that had Queen Victoria large fan-type stand-up collars. I'd never have thought of how to make that work.

          16. katina | | #29

            Right! thanks for the info


          17. Gloriasews | | #31

            Your description is exactly the sack dress - I had one just like it, even the big bow on the bum, & the gathered bagginess above the bum - mine was just like a shift on the front!  The chemise, though, was just a straight shift dress front & back, with no embellishment - anyway, that was the way they were here in the frozen north :).


          18. katina | | #32

            Let me tell you and all the other gals here something, Gloria - I don't care what is was called, I just wish I still had the figure I had when I wore it!


          19. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #33

            Don't we all, Katina. Don't we all.

          20. katina | | #34


          21. Gloriasews | | #42

            No kidding - you're absolutely right, Katina!  I wish the same thing, but it's not to be.  Besides, we'd look pretty strange with our older faces & a 20-something, shapely, firm body!  I guess we'll just have to be satisfied with the bodies we now have (after all, we earned them, like wrinkles, & they tell a story) & enjoy the challenge of dressing them nicely.   If we don't, who will?  We all know what crappy clothing is out there now, & the colours are not always flattering, & we all know that we can do better. 


          22. katina | | #45

            Hey Gloria, I don't even care about firm - it can sag and wobble as much as it likes. I just wish I had the willpower to shed all those extra inches. I must have been about 8 when we had some kind of lesson at school about Eskimoes and their clothing. Rather fascinated me even then, but what really stuck with me was the teacher saying that older Eskimoes who'd become a burden would be sent off on an icefloe and would survive for a few days depending on how much fat they had stored in the body. I was greatly distressed at this and my poor parents had many nightmares to cope with. But I'm ready - been working on those extra pounds to ensure my survival should they ever be needed!


          23. Gloriasews | | #46

            That's quite a story - it would certainly give small children nightmares.  I had never heard of that when we were studying Eskimos.  You're right - we'd probably survive a couple of whiles on an ice floe, but I just couldn't stand the cold.  Terrible way to lose weight!  It's hard enough without going to that extent, eh?  I've quit worrying about it, & my weight pretty well stays the same (too much, of course), but doesn't fluctuate as much as when I was trying different diets.  Yo-yoing like that isn't healthy, either.  Not worrying about it is less stressful, too.  Is there a happy medium?


          24. katina | | #47

            Now, now, Gloria - don't get me started on another tangent - we should be staying on subject.  DH says every time he hears "happy medium" he has an image of a laughing fortune teller gazing into a crystal ball.


          25. Gloriasews | | #55

            Well, Katina, if we were staying on subject, we would be back to the batik discussion.  I really like your hubby's 'happy medium' - now I'll think of that every time I read or hear the phrase, which is often.  Love it - it's so literal! :)


          26. Tangent | | #56

            These side-trips are so much fun, I don't care much if we get back on-topic or not!  I got a vivid mental picture of the chic chick , in court, with bloodstained T.P. decorating one leg....     I may have nightmares......  LOL

            However, it's been very interesting and educational!  All this from asking about a piece of fabric.....

          27. Gloriasews | | #64

            These 'side trips' are fun!  That's what happens on these threads.  The only thing I've had a problem with is when I know there is some info I need, but can't remember which thread it was in, as it didn't pertain to the subject - so then I have to read all of them over again :)


          28. Tangent | | #69

            "Now, now, Gloria - don't get me started on another tangent"

            guess how I got my nickname--   hint: easily distracted! 


          29. katina | | #70

            Not distracted - sign of an enquiring mind.


          30. Tangent | | #71

            Thanks for the kind comment-- and it's true!   I was always taking stuff apart to see how it worked!  Didn't always get it back together tho!

          31. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #49

            Tee hee, I think I would survive for weeks on an ice flow.....Cathy

          32. katina | | #51

            No question I would!

          33. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #35

            Gloria, thank you for that information. I hope Josefly is reading this, too. I remembered the dresses because I liked wearing them so well, but I'd not have placed any money on a bet about what they were called. That type dress was such a welcome relief from the fitted waists and structured garments we usually wore. Did the chemise evolve into the shift dress, or was it just that we called them two different names? Mother made me several of those. My favorite was a sleeveless yellow/white seersucker. I remember sometimes wearing an elasticized gold metal belt with it, that just might fit around my thigh these days.

          34. damascusannie | | #36

            I think that the two names were used interchangeably. I do know that if you look a pictures of shifts and chemise dresses, they look pretty much the same. In terms of historical terminology, a shift and a chemise were more or less the same garment: an loosely fitting undergarment (like a slip) with anything from long sleeves to short sleeves, depending on the period. It was originally the garment worn closest to the skin. Also depending on the era, it could be floor length or calf-length. The earlier English term was "shift" but the French "chemise" came into use fairly early as well and I know that it was term in common use by the middle of the 19th century and quite possibly earlier than that. The shift or chemise was worn closest to the skin with the corset over it (when corsets came into fashion) and often had little cap sleeves. I use a Civil War repro chemise pattern for summer night gowns. In the 20th century, the chemise evolved into a short blouse, worn with separate petticoats and by the late 50s-early 70s, it was seen as the plain, virtually unfitted straight dresses that we remember. I always associate it with Twiggy and white mid-calf go-go boots in psychedelic prints or in harlequin-style blocks of solid colors. I'm reading a history of knitting in America, and sure enough, there is a picture from a set of knitting patterns for just such dresses, knitted in bulky yarns on big needles and shown worn with patterned tights and go-go boots.

          35. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #37

            Ladies, this has been a wonderful conversation to follow!  Loved the links!  I know it is rude to inquire of a ladys age, but what years are we referring to aproximately???

            I recall being taught that the chemise style of that era was a loosely fit dress that skimmed the body, and often made use of ruffles, blousing and pleating.  The sack dress, on the other hand was a more tailored, simple style, that relied more on a straighter or A line shape, with seaming and pocket details for interest.  At least that was the answer on my exam!  Would that be correct?   Cathy

          36. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #38

            Cathy, you got me. I know I had both chemise and sack dresses, but I cannot recall which one was which. I know exactly what they looked like, but I'm having some synapse sputters in the old brain and just cannot recall for sure.That said, I was 16 when Mother made those dresses for me in early 1958. The shift, which I think evolved from one or both of these type dresses were popular in the 60's and into the early 70's is my recollection. Remember the mod look -- blocked colors, a lot of primary colors -- personified by the short shift dress? Then came the Trapeze dress. Double knits were popular in the 70's, too, which may have caused the demise of the shift, since the stretch of the knits provided the comfort of the shift without the loose fit. That's a personal observation, not one attributed to anything I've read on the topic, so it's worth what it cost you.

          37. Josefly | | #39

            I agree, this has been a fun discussion. I wish my memories about the fashions were surer, but I've become less certain as the styles are described. It was spring of 1958 that our home ec teacher forced a girl to call her mother to bring her other clothes, because she had worn a "Chemise" to school. I was then 14. It was considered shocking because of its shapelessness. Bear in mind that we were very "behind", style-wise, in my part of the country. So the style may've actually been introduced a year or so earlier.I thought the sack was a follow-up to the chemise, but don't know for sure. It was a loose garment, but sometimes tied with a belt - I remember people commenting that it looked just like a paper sack, and being outraged that the fashion designers would foist such "un-style" off on us.I don't remember calling a dress a shift until the late 1960's. It was considered a rather demure style, except sometimes for its short hemlines.How funny it is that these relatively modest designs could cause the uproar they did at the time.

          38. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #40

            Josefly, I don't recall exactly when the chemise and the sack gained general acceptance, I just know that the spring of 1958 is when I had my first ones, aforementioned. I know that all during the 60's I wore shifts of various descriptions. In fact, my best friend and I were the same height -- 5'9" -- but she weighed considerably more than I. When I got pregnant, I wore several of her expensive shifts to work for maternity clothes..... keeping in mind at that time I was forced on leave by company policy at 5 months, so I wasn't very big. During this time the hemlines were creeping up. After my son was born in 1968, I began to wear shorter skirts that crept upward for a few years, some as short as fingertip length, which showed a lot of let on someone my height. Unless I was wearing knee-high boots..... *Grin* I recall that some of these short dresses were shifts, too. One memorable morning, I had to be in court on some business matter. As I shaved my legs that morning, I nicked my right ankle bone -- you know where it bleeds gallons before stopping? Anyhow, I reached for some TP, slapped it on there to stem the bleeding. After doing my hair, I got dressed in my favorite lime green well-above-the-knee shift dress, pulled on my pantie hose, stepped into my 3" heels, and away I went. Yeah, do the math, that makes me an even 6' tall and with long ash blond hair and the lime green dress, I was, let's say, noticeable. Keep in mind my DH was born here so he and his family knew everyone and everyone knew him and his new wife, although I was a newcomer here. Anyway, after the court proceedings, as I sashayed out of the court house, I happened to look down at my leg. There, under my pantie hose, literally from my ankle to above my knee, was that strip of blood spotted TP.

          39. KharminJ | | #41

            Oh No! {O} I would be positively mortified! I hope the court matter was settled in your favor, at least.

            Edited 12/8/2008 12:37 am ET by KharminJ

          40. Tangent | | #53

            Thanks for sharing that memorable moment!  I bet you were mortified when you saw that T.P. under your pantyhose!!!!  What happened next, did you scoot off to the washroom and remove it, or hang in there and ignore it?



          41. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #54

            Ahhh, yes, it was not one of my stellar moments. Fortunately, I was through in court by then so I 'got out of Dodge' as fast as I could. I went home and cleaned up my act and went to work! Of course, I couldn't wait to tell DH. He said, "Well, there's one more place where we can't go any more!" Need I say there were other incidents in my past?? Maybe that's why he's stayed with me for over 45 years. Never a dull moment. Incidentally, I won my court case. The judge was a childhood friend of my husband. Maybe he felt sorry for DH and ruled in my favor.

          42. Josefly | | #57

            What a marvelous story! I'm shaking with laughter. I know what it's like in a town where everybody knows you! You must've been a knock-out with those long legs in heels, so it's impossible anybody missed the TP, huh? I remember a few times forgetting about a torn piece of tissue stuck to an ankle under pantyhose, but not a whole strip.

          43. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #61

            No way, no how, did anyone miss that little faux pas. They were all just too polite to mention it. You know, ordinarily I'd have had just a small piece of paper, but I was running late, as usual, and just grabbed the TP and with wet hands and a wet leg, the wad stuck. How in God's Green Earth I missed it when pulling on the pantie hose, I can only attribute to being in a hurry. No, not a knock-out, but I never tried to hide my height, so I often towered over my shorter friends. My best friend and I made quite a pair, both being the same height, and coincidentally, having the same nickname. She is married to a childhood friend of my DH.Sorry to have hijacked the thread, but that story always comes to mind when I think about the short hemlines of the era. Glad so many of you have enjoyed the story.

          44. Josefly | | #62

            I don't remember that song, but I was kind of out of it for a couple of years as far as popular music went. I'm thinking of "Chantilly lace and a pretty face, and a pony-tail, a-hangin' down" - was that about the same time?

          45. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #63

            Chantilly Lace (by the Big Bopper, incidentally) was popular in 1958, the year I graduated from high school -- the same year I had the chemise and sack dresses. I think "No Chemise Please" was a bit later, maybe the early 60's, but I could be mistaken.

          46. Tangent | | #52

            Does anyone remember a song that came out, probably early 60's, called "No Chemise Please" ?  It was a fellow complaining about the sack-like dress hiding too much of the girls' anatomy!

            I was starting in Home Ec when the shift was 'in', and made one in a pink floral pattern, of polished cotton.  I wore it frequently (when I wasn't in jeans!) with and without a belt.  I think the sack dress was what we called the really straight shapeless versions, and the chemise was a more formal name for the same thing?  Anyway, the name 'shifted' with the Mod era.....    

          47. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #59

            Tangent -- I'd forgotten this ditty, but as soon as I saw the lyrics, it came rushing back to me. According to my source, it was sung by Gerry Granahan who also formed Dickey Doo and the Don'ts and The Fireflies. NOTE: I will delete this in a few days so it doesn't clutter up the forum space. I had a date for the hop last night
            Up to her door everything seemed right
            But to my surprise as I opened the door
            I couldn't tell the front from the back
            "Cause she was wearin' a sack dress
            Whew what a mess!
            The last time I saw her, man what a shape!!
            And now she's got a shape like an egg!No chemise, please, not for me, please
            Well you can take back the sack, leave it hangin' on the rack
            And bring a sweater back!!When we arrived at the hop
            We started in doin' the stroll
            I told her I wanted to stop
            But she wanted rock and roll
            I told her forty times and it really was a crime
            I was talkin' to the back of her head!!Sure would like to find the creator
            Who covered up my baby in this tent
            He musta been a woman-hater
            I keep wonderin' where the wiggle went
            So won't you change the fad, have pity on me please
            Put 'er back in her dungareesNo chemise, please, not for me, please
            Well you can take back the sack, leave it hangin' on the rack
            Bring a sweater back!!

            Edited 12/8/2008 10:16 pm by JunkQueen

          48. Tangent | | #60

            Isn't the Internet great!  All sorts of research right at our fingertips!!!   Thanks for digging that up, I had forgotten all but the title, and the 'No Chemise Please' refrain.   Well, it was quite awhile ago and I was a young teen then, with plenty of other things on my mind!  Especially horses!

            ps- why delete it?

            Edited 12/8/2008 10:26 pm by Tangent

          49. katina | | #44

            Ah yes, Twiggy. And she's aged so gracefully. Talk about dressing the over-50s!



          50. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #48

            Is that not the perfect way to show young girls the magic of photoshop and how unreal the ad photos are????????????   Cathy

          51. katina | | #50

            Good point

          52. Gloriasews | | #43

            I think I made all of my shifts after the sack dresses (which were bought), as all my previous clothing was fitted.  The shifts lasted for ages, but the sack dress only for a couple of seasons here.  The shifts were also made into jumpers for winter out of corduroy, velveteen or tweed, to be worn with turtlenecks or blouses.

            You know, that elasticized belt is still in style (or has become so again).  Can you give it to someone who can wear it?  Otherwise, make yourself a sexy Christmas dress with a slit up to the thigh & wear the belt on your thigh like a fancy garter.  Ha ha!  If nothing else, your hubby would probably appreciate that festive touch!


          53. Josefly | | #58

            I remember the shift jumpers well. When I was in college, Ellen Tracy wool jumpers were all the rage - they had a deep v-neck that plunged almost to the waist, and were made in all colors. Almost every girl had at least one. They weren't so short at that point, though, mid-knee or slightly above. Mine was pink, and under it I wore a paler pink Ellen Tracy blouse - a plain longsleeved pullover blouse that buttoned at the neck in the back, no collar or anything to distinguish it except a thin piping around the high neckline. I guess those clothes were drastically reduced when I bought them, 'cause I had to pinch my pennies, so they might've been almost out of fashion by the time I got them. I loved that outfit, though.

            Edited 12/8/2008 9:44 pm ET by Josefly

          54. Gloriasews | | #65

            Those jumpers were really worn a lot then.  I haven't had one since, although I keep telling myself that I really should make one.  A lot of them had scoop or less deep V necks, & those could be worn alone as a dress, with jewelry or scarves as accessories.


          55. Josefly | | #67

            I still have a black wool jumper sort of the same style that I bought I guess 10-12 years ago. I think I'll pull it out and wear it some. They're versatile like a skirt - you can wear so many types of shirts or blouses with them, and scarves and long jewelry as you said - but less fussy to wear, like a dress. Mine is comfy, warm, and feels feminine with some tights and pretty shoes. (Mostly though, I have "ugly" shoes, cause I go for clogs, round-toed, flat-heeled comfort!)

            Edited 12/9/2008 6:12 pm ET by Josefly

          56. Gloriasews | | #72

            Do use your jumper again.  They never go out of style.  As for the shoes, we wear what we're comfortable in & sometimes what's necessary to wear, fashionable or not.


          57. Josefly | | #22

            I do think the "Chemise" style was also called a sack, and here's a photo of Balenciaga's sack:http://www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/microsites/1211_sixties/balenciaga_sack_page.htmJunkQueen's description of the bodice being slightly gathered onto the hip is familiar to me - I remember that style also, though not the name of it - but my memory of the Chemise is of a straight line from bust to hem, no blousing, no hip-band.I know "chemise" is a more general term for a dress than the "Chemise" style I've mentioned. Witness this empire waist style identified as a chemise:http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:1799-chemise-dress-train.gif"Google" chemise, and you get lots of different styles - not the straight style I refer to.Edited 12/6/2008 1:54 pm ET by Josefly

            Edited 12/6/2008 1:55 pm ET by Josefly

          58. Josefly | | #14

            I think those fabrics are beautiful. I love border-prints, and have seen some very interesting uses of them. I know you'll have fun coming up with ideas for them.Did you see the August/September issue of Threads? There was an article on exotic fabrics, part of which was written by Deepika Prakash, the founder of PatternReview.com. She discusses saris, primarily.

          59. Tangent | | #15

            I've been reading your posts, and taking trips down the links, very entertaining, especially the 'Ex-Pats' site!  I found some links to share as well--

            This is "The Red Treasure Box", fabrics and ready-made clothing.  The linked page shows a purple border-print skirt.  Snoop around the site, there are some interesting ideas!


            This one has fabrics for sale, with the same labels as were on the purple fabric.


            It seems 'Batik' includes more than the hand-drawn, vat-dyed fabrics.  Maybe it's more like 'traditional patterns'??  But they definitely call the hot-wax decorating process Batik.  I don't know why the machine-printed fabrics would have the same name.

            The machine-prints are available in at least 2 sizes, 78" long and 90" long.  The width is usually 45 inches, and half that width for a "scarf" or shawl. Sometimes the fabrics are sold in sets of 3 co-ordinating pieces, to make the top/pants/scarf outfit.

            A lot of the sites I found were in Indonesian language-- if you click "translate this page" it doesn't help at all.  What we need here is someone who's from Indonesia and can expalin the terms. I knew a lady, 10 years ago, who'd have been perfect.... she even sewed, and made trips back and forth...  no idea where she is now.

          60. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #16

            Did you see this one? I found it most interesting.http://discover-indo.tierranet.com/batikpag.htm

    2. MaryinColorado | | #9

      Thank You for sharing those interesting facts.  Do you know of an online source for these fabrics?  I have one "cameez" that I get alot of compliments on, I wear it with pants.  It would be nice to be able to make them myself.  Mary

  4. katina | | #8

    Cathy (Threadkoe) is right - these are sarong fabrics. There's a great deal of info if you Google. Here's just one of the links.



  5. nevr2late | | #66

    I was in Indonesia in September and I'd bet that those pieces are sarongs. They're sold at all the marketplaces and are indeed 2 meters long generally.

    1. Tangent | | #68

      I'd think they are sarongs too, except the fabric is polished cotton, and the "beachwear" type sarongs I've seen are soft rayon.   The purple piece is probably intended for a skirt, and that black pattern border along one side would go around the hem, but the 2 blue pieces are a puzzle.  (See the photos posted earlier)


      (to all)

      I remember those jumpers too.  I had a brown corduroy one that was a favorite.  Are jumpers coming back into style?  Or does it matter any more, you just wear what you like?

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All