I decided to go fabric sampling as early on as possible so that I could get it out of the way and be able to spend as much time as possible in the studio. After speaking to Kat about suitable fabrics, and going through all of the shops in Goldhawk Road, I have managed to find a beautiful black wool flannel for the suit.
I also bought lining for the suit. Ideally I would have bought silk lining but it was simply out of my budget. Although I am trying to make the suit to couture methods (and, possibly, standards!) I just couldn't afford to use silk lining as it would have meant doubling the cost of the suit. For my purposes, using a synthetic lining fabric is completely appropriate.
Sampling for the dress proved a little more complicated. I managed to find several shops stocking a heavy double-backed silk crepe but the colour choices were limited. I was hoping to find an eau-de-nil green which is very typical of the 1930s but asked for samples of other appealing colours too. Colours similar to eau-de-nil were available in a couple of shops, but I was told that they were unusual and that they rarely got them in; they also had very little available (1-2m). I found many shades of grey, which could also be suitable, and bought a length of blue crepe which was a bargain; I could dye it, although it might be too lightweight for the dress. Overall I am trying to avoid dyeing fabric as I am not very good at it, and don't want to risk ruining a large length of silk! I will have to consult with Mandy regarding fabric for the dress, when I begin draping the toile in the coming months.