Fabric Suggestions for 128 Russia Settler's Dress

This ensemble comes from the Old Believers of Russia - a group who left Russia in the early 1900s and kept themselves and their culture, clothing, and language in isolation, preserving the customs and costume of old Russia. 

This pattern includes a sundress, blouse, and apron, along with options for lace and traditional embroidered embellishment. Wear the jumper by itself as a sundress or combine with other pieces for a variety of looks. Pattern includes historical information about the Old Believers, the traditional clothing, and instructions for traditional punch needle embroidery.

The sundress, or sarafan, is a simple tube which is pleated or gathered into the band.  Often the fabric used would be a printed rayon challis in bright colors.  The bottom of the sarafan is sometimes embellished with a row or two of wide lace or several rows of narrow ribbon. A deep slit may be added in the front of this dress to allow for nursing (instructions included on how to do this).

The hip-length blouse, which can be worn under the sarafan, was usually made of a plain lightweight fabric in a pastel or vibrant color.  The shoulder pieces are many times embroidered with a bright floral design using Igolochky technique, and using motifs in the floral print of the dress.  Rows of narrow ribbons can be used to decorate or to gather the cuffs.  

Finally, the apron is often the same fabric as the jumper or blouse, or it may be a different rayon challis print than the dress but in compatible design and colors.  

Suggested fabrics: Light to medium-weight fabrics such as silk, cotton, rayon, linen, or blends in challis or crepe.

The sundress ,or sarafan, pictured above was sewn using Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton from Bolt Fabrics.  There are many colors available to choose from, and they offer color swatch packs to help with your selection.  

Traditionally, colorful floral prints are commonly used for the sarafan and pinafore (Zapon). Michael Levine's has many floral cotton prints in stock.  I love this Art Noveau pattern.

This pattern has so many options!  I love this linen gauze from Hart's Fabrics for the blouse.  It is a neutral so it can carry a nice contrasting jumper or pinafore.  Hart's has a very large and varied selection of linen, which could be used for any piece of this ensemble.

Or, reverse the traditional look and use a print for the blouse (Rukava) and a solid for the sarafan!   I love this organic cotton print from Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics.  They carry a nice selection of woven cotton and linen as well.

The apron, or Zapon, is an essential part of the traditional outfit.  It can be made in the same fabric as the jumper or in a compatible fabric.  Lace and ribbons used on the jumper can also be used on the bib, skirt, or ruffle of the pinafore.  If using a plain color fabric for the pinafore embroidery is traditionally added to the garment and can range in elaboration and design depending on the occasion.

This rayon floral print from Vogue Fabrics could be used for either the jumper or pinafore.  Rayon challis is commonly used for traditional garments. 


Rifle Paper Co offers some great options for compatible prints - to use for both the sundress and the apron.  These fabrics are rayon, bright, and floral - all perfect for this outfit!

From Stone Mountain and Daughter: 

And at Harts Fabric: