Sewing with Thrifted Vintage Fabrics

My husband and I love thrifting and along the way we have come across some wonderful vintage fabrics. Last summer we were traveling in Bend, Oregon and happened upon an estate sale where I found some bags and bins filled with vintage fabrics and sewing notions. After digging through them I pulled out several cuts of fabric which appeared to be in great condition and had great appeal to my fashion sense as far as their design, but I had no idea what I might do with them.
There is still snow on the ground here in Montana and I have been itching to make something for spring, so I dug out this beautiful fabric and went through my patterns. Now it’s important to note that after doing some research on this piece of fabric I discovered it was made by VHY Hawaiian Textiles and dates back to the 1950’s.
VHY stand for Von Hamm-Young Hawaiian Textiles and according to a Hawaiian government website, some of the Von Hamm-Young corporations merged into or changed names to The Hawaii Corporation during the early 1960s to the early 1970s. If you find vintage Hawaiian fabric with THC on the selvage, you know it’s a The Hawaii Corporation fabric from the early 60s – 70s. This particular piece had VHY on the selvage meaning it is from the 1950’s.’


In doing my research I discovered the founders of VHY were von Hamm and the father-and-son team of Alexander and Archibald Young, and their company was founded in 1899. Von Hamm, a German immigrant who made his home in Hawaii, also married the boss’ daughter – and outlived all the Youngs. Von Hamm-Young was a merchandising and service conglomerate. The company brought the first cars, refrigerators, gasoline stations and radios to the islands, sold dry goods and drugs, and insurance. I just love knowing this history and it makes the garment I made with this fabric even more special.
I decided on the Alma blouse (view A) by Sewaholic patterns. Originally I was planning to use the half sleeve, but changed my mind and used the cap sleeve. The border print of this vintage fabric was perfectly highlighted with this pattern and the results are gorgeous!
I think a pair of white pants or skirt and some green Hasbeens would be perfect with this blouse…






  • Cynthia Raymond

    I LOVE THIS–SWEETReplyCancel

    • Vida

      Yeah, it is a really sweet top. I sent a picture of it to my mom and she went nuts.ReplyCancel

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