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Every once in a while, as I am scrolling through Instagram, paths seem to converge and I find myself super inspired and excited to work on a particular project. After seeing projects by @tallulavintage, I can’t wait to dig through our moving boxes in search of some vintage tablecloths to rework.
As someone who, in normal non-pandemic times, is an avid thrift store and estate sale shopper, I have quite a stash of vintage curtains, tablecloths, and upholstery material. The textures, florals, and embroidered details of these materials are to die for.
Vintage tablecloths are often handmade. Because of the detailed work that goes into them, they can be heirloom pieces and survive generations. It’s a tradition to repurpose these heirloom linens – like this tablecloth worn as a veil by Batsheva Hay on her wedding day.
My first inspiration to sew with tablecloths came from an outfit worn by Janis Joplin. I had this poster of her on my dorm room wall in this killer outfit made out of a tablecloth – bell-bottoms and all. The designer used the scalloped edges of the tablecloth to add detail to the outfit. I love the idea of incorporating vintage details such as embroidery, handmade lace, and other embellishments that normally take a long time to make by hand. It can take a plain garment and really elevate it, making it look like it took much more effort to create…when really it just took some creative thrift shopping!
These days we don’t have to rely solely on the rare example of a rock and roll icon in her lace bell-bottoms for sewing inspiration. Instagram is full of examples of talented and creative women making garments from vintage table linens.
I have slowly gathered my stash of vintage linens from estate sales and thrift shops, but that might be more difficult these days, with the pandemic and all. Thank goodness for online vintage retailers! I’ve gathered together some gorgeous tablecloths for you to peruse online.
Do you repurpose any vintage fabrics or linens for your creations? Leave me a comment below and tell me about it!
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