Printed 40s (and some late 30s and early 50s) fabrics have been on my mind lately, especially big bold florals with a sweeping hand painted look, and prints involving ribbons. I’m working on a dress in a print that has all these aspects and I think it’s going to be spectacular.
This dress from the Sears 1947 spring catalogue is a great example of the kind of print I love. Big flowers in beautiful colours and that hand painted swooshy look.
I love the painted sweeping bows (you can see more clearly on the colour swatches that they are indeed bows) on this pink dress from the same catalogue. Pale pink and black is also one of my favourite colour combinations.
Three wonderful dresses and two lovely prints, but my favourite is to the left. It’s both pale pink and black, and it’s plaid with a hand painted look, which is something I can not resist. Also from the same catalogue.
The cloud print on the left is one of my most favourite prints ever, I wish I could get some of that fabric! From the 1944 Sears spring catalogue.
A lovely floral print from the 1942 Sears spring catalogue.
Tropical prints are forever my favourite, I love the middle dress! Sears 1948 spring catalogue.
From the 1938 Sears spring catalogue, I love the floral print on dress number two, and how it’s worn with little purple accents.
Another lovely Sears dress, though not exactly my colours.
Another favourite print motif is soft plumes and feathers, so I really like the print on the left. 1942 Sears fall catalogue.
Another ribbon print in the middle, though I prefer my bows more flowing and less cute. Brown and white is another great colour combination, but my favourite dress in this picture is the green one! 1943 Sears spring catalogue.
Absolutely amazing print to the right! 1944 Sears spring catalogue.
Linda Darnell wears a top in an absolutely wonderful sweeping print in this ad.
Another perfect print on Linda Darnell, with a hand painted look and beautiful colours. Source: Fine Art America
The print on Gloria DeHaven’s top looks just fantastic with both flowers and ribbons. Source: Dr. Macro
Rita Hayworth in a big bold 40s floral print.
The print on Betty Grable’s dress looks beautiful, I’m sure it looked amazing in colour.
Shirley Temple in a big floral print. Source: Vintage-Stars
Shirley again in a great novelty print with ships. Source: Dr. Macro
Carole Lombard in a very big hummingbird print. Source: moviemag47
I love the print on Esther Williams’ dress. Green and pink is another of my favourite colour combinations. moviemag47
Great print on Gene Tierney.
I just love this whole outfit.
Another beautiful print on Gene Tierney.
Such a lovely novelty print dress in this beautiful photo from the LIFE Archive. The photo was shot in Hawaii by William C. Shrout.
A 1948 Horrockses dress. I love Horrockses prints and highly recommend the book Horrockses Fashions: Off-the-Peg Style in the 40s and 50s if you’re into vintage fabric prints. Source: Vintage Chic
Jane Greer in a beautiful tropical looking print. Source: Kate Gabrielle
I love this whole look, though I’m not sure how great the skirt would look in motion.
Joan Fulton in a great ribbon print. I wonder which colour it was. Source: thetag1
Marjorie Reynolds in the same bikini. Source: Dr. Macro
Lana Turner in a printed blouse. Beautiful colours! Source: Fine Art America