Butchering Beautiful Linens

It’s risky for me to try new things, but I justify them by asking myself if I am using them (these beautiful linens) as they are, or if they are merely stunning dust bunnies, gathering a plethora of skin and hair and other choice particles to themselves as I contemplate what might happen to them if I try. Case in point: that pretty tablecloth which is now a pil of annoying tulips and cotton on the floor with a hole in the middle, albeit with a well-sewn zip.

Anyhoo, I cut off the bit down the middle and am going to pleat the shit out of it, since the hem will only work if it is circular. Circular my ass.


Another Tablecloth Skirt

I’ve had the week off work and thought about doing some rad sewing but I was a bit busy, so here is me trying to squeeze it in before things go back to the way they were, sad emoji.

I was out with the boys the other day and intended to open a bank account, but somebody decided they simply had to go the bathroom, and where do you go if there are no public restrooms? Somewhere there are private restrooms, for paying customers only. Excluding food establishments, an antique store is the next best thing, especially when it is actually next door. But one can’t simply wend one’s way through the store straight to the shitter, especially when one has kids and you just know the beady eyes behind the desk know exactly what I’m on about. So you casually wander and while people are fighting over who lifts the seat up first [is this really my life], you grab a few choice items to justify it all.


This gorgeous fabric is a duvet cover, AKA twice the fabric for the same bargain price!


And this gorgeous tablecloth has got ‘skirt’ written all over it. But first I had to get rid of the peekaboo monkey so I could eat my secret bacon in secret.


For my other tablecloth skirts, I cut them in half and pleated the shit out of them, but I don’t want to interrupt the pattern, this time, so I’m going for another pinterest diy so I can keep the slim waistline and rev up the twirl factor. Sweet tip: a super cool reason to repurpose tablecloths for skirts is that the hem is already done!

I’m using some leftover fabric from the kindy quilt I made a few months ago, for the waistband.


Cue the thousand interruptions from the children, and then take note of how she does the waistband, which covers the seam and the inside of the zip. I’m a fan, though it’s hard to concentrate while someone else farts in my bathroom and draws on the tiles.


Update: I hate this skirt. I hate the asymmetric hemline because it’s a square and now looks like a bunch of fucking teatowels hanging off me, and the waist is too big. Fuck. I’m going to have wine and rethink this.

A Sewing Success Story

I found this dress at Goodwill or etc and figured I’d take it in and it would be perfect, like many of my other cotton rescues. Except that’s what actually happened, this time. 

Look how tidy my house is!

I added an extra pleat on both sides of the skirt and took in the waist section, and then sewed the two pieces back together like magic! 

The print is a little bit pajamas, but honestly, what vintage print isn’t? 

Husband asked this morning if I was wearing a nightie. Dick move. And his surprise was palpable when I told him the lady behind the counter when I nabbed a gift card for a birthday party, loved my dress. The dude is clueless. And paired with some sweet, suede shoes, I’ll mop the floor with him.

Pairing Vintage

I like vintage but I can’t wear all vintage, all the time. Why not, actually? Well, it’s expensive but also, probably too Jane Austen for everyday activities. But pairing one vintage piece with something plain is far more palatable for my wallet and stretches out my wardrobe, which means less washing and less tear on my wear.

My fave, new old shirt for work is a day at the Copa cabana.

Ignore the messy bed in the background

Paired with a plain skirt helps give people something else to look at so their eyes don’t burn, because she’s a bright one.

The shirt is a perfect fit and I’d love to use it as a pattern to make another shirt, and I have a lovely, white linen tablecloth which would be perfect for it. If only there was time for all of my ideas, sad emoji.

I Went Shopping!

And yes, judging by that exclamation point, it is safe to assume I found something wonderful.

The antique store downtown knows me and my boys as purveyors of good taste and good manners (so help them) respectively, as much as we know them purveyors of treasures as yet undiscovered. We sauntered around for a bit and a small pile grew on one of the counters as we walked to and fro.

The boys always want expensive, collectible cars and I always want vintage dresses and linens; it’s a tale as old as time. Sometimes, miracles do happen!

Just a tiny peekaboo seam that wants mending

I found this stunner, which at first I thought would go the other way because it was quite peekabooby. Lovely, nonetheless, but I’d hardly carry that off in a town where I see people I know and their husbands. No sir, my eyes are up here. But then I found something when I was fiddling inside that peekabooby neckline…

Church tongue. Far more appropriate. 

I also found a lovely headpiece and I will just need an equally small comb to attach to the pink one I found last time. I love these big bows!

I actually have a similar gown but with a far more modest neckline, e.g. lace to my chin, and I will measure against this dress to hem the other one the same, since they appear to have the same waist panels etc. Goodness know what I can do with the remainder of the fabric, but I will use that green bow as a thinking cap.

Happy Mother’s Day to all who that applies to, and happy shopping to all.

A Block Skirt

I found a square piece of textured silk a while back and wasn’t sure what I could do with it, only that I liked it, had to have it, and would figure it out eventually. 

The work clothes conundrum still applied at this point, so I made a pile of things I could combine with the silk to brainstorm. There would be no pleated skirt from it (my general preference), but I did see some drill cotton that might do. It did.

There wasn’t much of the cotton so I had the brilliant idea to combine the two. One neutral, one pattern; one plain, the other smoother but textured. I love this skirt.

The problem was to make the side seam exact, rather than having the two pieces not meeting dead on. It took a couple of tries and unpicking before it was just right. It is a nice way to use an interesting fabric without going overboard. I have gone overboard before and I regret nothing but for work I usually keep my funk restricted to my socks.

A Bed Skirt

A bed skirt is basically a sheet with more sheet on the sides that hangs down and covers the box spring, the legs of the frame, or the skeletons boxed up underneath.

I found a gorgeous green bedspread  ages ago, and when I came out of retirement last year, I was desperate for work clothes. I couldn’t buy many because I hadn’t got paid yet, so I rooted around and decided to, ever so carefully, hack up that beautiful green fabric.

I wore it today and as you can see, the colour is fab and it has small diamondy details and stripes (my favourite) along the bottom. Since it is/was a bedspread, it was already hemmed, so I only had to cut along and then sew it together. Hips threw a spanner into my simple sewing idea, but I got there eventually. 

Because the fabric was old already, it is decidedly tired after 6 months of sitting on my ass on an office chair and occasionally being washed. Luckily I have the rest of the bedspread – it was at least a twin-size – to use for something else to replace it.

Paired with a pretty top from Banana-benders Republic and my new boss lady socks, it’s another sweet, vintage, repurposed, upcycled, Bob’s-your-uncle sewing adventure turned success, AKA, bed skirt.

Another Tablecloth Piece 

Last week I finished repurposing a mustard, lace tablecloth into a gorgeous dress. Check it out here.  Today I wore my fave tablecloth skirt. 

I also brushed my teeth today. 

The tablecloth is made of heavy cotton, so it’s rugged enough to wear as I horse around with my boys. Horsing around, however, means the skirt has seen some action and needs the attention of a good stain remover and more elbow grease than I care to employ.

The tablecloth was square, I think, or slightly rectangular. I merely cut it in half and put in the pleats. With a good-sized tablecloth, I am loathe to mess around too much, otherwise I have to rehem, which I like to avoid. This one happened to be the perfect length for me when cut uncautiously in half. I put in the pleats and used a bit extra from the uncautious slicing to make a waistband. Sew simple!

Love those yellow flowers.


I’m a fan of repurposing – it’s creative and it’s cheap! That’s provided that one is repurposing what one already has. One does this often but one also buys other things to repurpose, but I digress. In this instance, one was given napkins that another one wasn’t going to keep, voila!

I sewed the napkins (long napkins) together before pleating them into a skirt, and had a few leftover for the top. I used a pattern to make the top of the dress and the napkins were big enough so I didn’t need to have a seam anywhere up there.

I love this dress and get compliments every time. Except today, actually, oh.

So natch, I look for other fabrics to recycle, especially drapery because the patterns are eye-catching and unique. This is what I found this week and I’m thinking dresses, a pencil skirt and maybe a top for work.

Strawberry fields forever!


There are two main types of shopping for me: vintage (fun) and new clothes (daunting). Vintage shopping does not guarantee results but I know I will see something beautiful and I will probably find something I can use to make something else. Shopping for new clothes, however, often leads to heartache because everything is expensive, unshapely or hideous. I’m pretty good at hunting for bargains but I’m low on time, and vintage shopping nets me greater yield. 

I’ve been vintage shopping twice this week (woops, I didn’t say vintage shopping couldn’t  be expensive) and found some beautiful things. Here’s what they are and what I might do with them…

In reality, the fabric on this dress is really cute – small print and lime green. It looks less like a hospital gown than these pictures suggest and needs just a waist tuck and a hemming to be a nice, simple  dress.

This dress reads backwards. Those are darts for boobs sitting against my back, but I really like it the other way around, so it will need work. Once the darts are taken care of, a hem and a waist will set this dress right, and I’ll need to make the sleeves a bit more open so they don’t slice my arms like knives.

I bought this dress for the lace, and just as well because it’s fucking tiny. That’s a standard thing for vintage clothes – the waists were all apparently modeled on the mouths of mason jars. Anyhoo, the lace or sheer overlay of this dress has been torn off, so I can use part of the blue skirt to make the back of the top wider.

Piece de resistance… love the color, the feel, the fucking train! And it actually fits. I may never eat again if I want to fit comfortably, and the metal zipper nearly ate part of me as I zipped myself up, but well worth it to see these photos. This dress is gorgeous and perfect, except for an unsightly stain on the left thigh. I mean, look at the bows, the bust and those sleeves! I know someone who will be after me to help them make a pair of their own, they are perfect.

I also found some pretty fabric this week but everything is blah blah after that dress.