Vintage cream embroidered floral tablecloth.

Sewing Sustainable Clothing with Re-purposed Vintage Tablecloths

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Every once in a while, as I scroll through Instagram, paths seem to converge and I find myself inspired to work on a particular project. After seeing projects by @tallulavintage, I can’t wait to dig through my stash in search of some vintage tablecloths to rework. As 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 a 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 elevate a plain garment, making it look like it took much more effort to create, when it really 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 for some people 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.

Large vintage tablecloth with embroidered pink roses and floral lace.
Vintage floral and lace tablecloth on eBay
Large vintage tablecloth with rose embroidery and lace.
Rose embroidered tablecloth on eBay
Vintage cream embroidered floral tablecloth.
Vintage cream and tan embroidered tablecloth on eBay

Do you repurpose any vintage fabrics or linens for your creations? Leave me a comment below and tell me about it!

Explore Faedra for more vintage finds!

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