I love the look of old tablecloths and napkins that have embroidery and cutwork. Unfortunately, many of those old pieces are too small for the average table or not suitable for today's lifestyle. I have written in an older post about getting more use for some of these by dyeing old linens and you can read it here.
I also use linens in another way by re-purposing the fabric somehow. It may seem scandalous to some people to cut up a lovely old piece but my feeling is that it is a shame for it to be sitting in a cupboard somewhere, never being used.
These 3 dresses, made for a little girl. have all used vintage pieces. The first is a lovely pale pink that was a 48"square tablecloth. It was originally a cloth that you would use when serving tea; it's not meant to cover the whole table but to be laid across it or on a coffee table. It's beautiful silky linen with a pierced hem. I kept the hem as the bottom of the dress. I added embroidery to the bodice and around the hem. The finished piece is a classic dress.
This dress used a piece of embroidered linen in the bodice. This little tablecloth had exquisite embroidery and a lace trim. I cut off the lace edge and incorporated it in the butterfly sleeves ( the points are the corners). I love this little dress because it is both modern and timeless.
The final piece is one that I have dyed. Again the bodice is an embroidered tablecloth, this time dyed with indigo. The bottom is a piece of blue and white linen dyed in a classic shibori pattern.
All of these dresses are special because they have wonderful fabric but also because they have been upcycled in some way and have preserved something that is old.
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