I have made two tops from old tablecloths – one a 1960s psychedelic number given to me by my friend Leonie, and the other one which was my mother’s and which is also possibly from the 1960s.
The bright top is the In the Folds Collins Top. I resisted this pattern for a long time as I did not think it would suit me at all, thanks to my particular shape, and then, in a sudden rush of blood to the head I bought it. It sat in the pattern stash for many more months and I finally decided that its day had come.
The tablecloth had some faded bits and some non faded bits, so I worked hard on the pattern placement and finished up putting the faded parts on the sides, so they’d be less obvious and more or less symmetrical.
In fact, you can’t really tell that some panels are not as bright, particularly when I’m wearing it.
I decided to do the sleeveless version as I thought the sleeves would make me look even more top heavy. I really like the sleeveless version but may attempt the sleeves if I use some really floaty fabric.
Next time I make it, I’m going to drop the front hemline a bit, and will definitely try a more drapey fabric.
I put this photo on Instagram: the hem called for bias binding so I went to my stash and found this mauve binding which picked up the mauve of the faded part perfectly. You can just see on the right the brighter colour which is more purple. I suspect that the bias binding is of a similar era to the fabric.
I had previously made a Kylie and the Machine Ida Clutch which is a lovely free pattern, and used the same fabric for the lining.
My leather was a bit thick and I had to eliminate some of the topstitching, but, for the most part it sits flats.
The second top is, as mentioned, a square tablecloth with quite decorative edges. I have spent quite a lot of time trying to do something interesting with this tablecloth but I was reluctant to chop into the embroidery, so it kept going back into the stash. I am entering this tablecloth top as an example for the Make a Garment a Month Neglected November theme on Instagram.
I think the tablecloth was trying to tell me to just put a neckline in the centre and be done with it. I decided to use the Holly McQuillan neckline from the Make Use website.
I cut out the neckline but left the back part attached. I folded it under and sewed it down.
The front is just turned under.
I also put in a couple of side seams to give it a bit of shape and love the fact that this has created sleeves.
This has been a surprisingly useful top. When I first made it I felt that I was wearing a tablecloth, but I’ve now worn it to and from the pool and around the house and feel as though I could possibly wear it on a casual outing. This was probably the fastest make ever – probably took around 30 minutes and I love the fact that I’ve saved one of my mother’s tablecloths. I only have three boxes of linen to go!