New from Old - from Table to Wardrobe
I LOVE old linen, tablecloths, doilies (or d'Oyley, as one traditional spelling has it), dresser cloths and teatowels. I have a great fondness for the kitsch, over-blown rose print tablecloths from the 50s and 60s. I adore hand-tatted edgings, cross-stitch motifs - especially on gingham - and cutwork. It goes without saying that vintage Irish linen cloth, adorned or unadorned, is a vintage treasure I'm always on the look-out for.
When I come across these beauties while hunting through the op shops, I always snap them up to take home to add to my ever-growing stash, not with the intent of dressing my table with them; no, I think they'd be much more beautiful worn on the body.
I've made a number of clothes from vintage table linen. My first experiment was this sweet A-line tablecloth over-skirt with batiste petticoat:
I'm quite a stickler for detail and accuracy, so I like to ensure accuracy of cutting and piecing in order to make the most of the features of the found linen. And as most tablecloths are very symmetrical in their embroidery design, my arrangement of the embroidery is always accurately symmetrical as well.
Another favourite garment, or rather the garment made from my favourite, snow-white Irish linen tablecloth which featured cut-work and a 5" deep hand-tatted edging, is this flapper inspired tea-gown:
It's very drop-waisted, with the skirt coming off the top of the thighs, and very deeply-scooped in the back. Because the tablecloth was square, the shape of the skirt emerged as a delightful hanky-hem shape (I could not bare to part with one inch of the gorgeous linen!):
I peppered the front of the dress with handmade cotton doilies, cutting out the fabric behind them so only the sheer layer of fine batiste covered the skin beneath.
Here's a cute pin-up style dress I made from a 1960s circular breakfast cloth:
Very old, hand-embroidered doilies from the art deco era inspired this babydoll top, which I made from vintage, unused headcloth:
I made two other babydoll dresses by converting pretty skirts into dresses and adorning them with vintage crochet doilies and whatnot:
This wrap dress is made from a 1960s-70s seersucker tablecloth:
I hadn't realized just how many garments I'd made from vintage table linen! I'll save the rest for another post, and finish off here with one more: a lovely dress I made from both a sheet AND a tablecloth, lol: