Curtains from Vintage Linens–Plus a Bonus Project for Baby

Old linens have a lot going for them—

They’re soft, well woven, and made from natural fibers. They have great texture.  If you don’t believe me, just hold them up to the light.  Old linens glow.  

Plus they’re really plentiful.  Anyone who has ever cleaned out a family home usually ends up with stacks of white tablecloths, bedspreads, and if you’re lucky, linen sheets. 

Here’s how I used an old woven sheet to dress a pair of windows in my dark living room.   

There wasn’t nearly enough yardage to cover the whole window—much less two of them.  And like a lot of old linens, the fabric was stained, worn and patched.    

  • I salvaged what I could, cutting the useable yardage into two matching panels. 
  • Next, I seamed the white panels to my curtain fabric (in this case and old striped sheet).
  •  Pressed and stitched tiny double side seams. 
  • Top and bottom hems came next. 
  • The top gathers are made by rows of zig-zag stitches over pearl cotton.   I pull the “threads” and tie them off, wrapping the excess around a large safety pin.  
  •  Simple lengths of white ribbon become “tabs” and tie the panels to the rods. 

I like the way the light shines though both fabrics, but the white linen has an especially nice glow.  A table cloth with cutwork or a damask pattern would also be nice here—bringing a lot of cool texture and history to a simple window treatment.

And save your scraps.  Nothing feels as good as well-used linens.  I cut squares from the scraps, stitched them together, covered the seams with bias and made a really nice crib quilt.  A little history, for a new baby, and softer than anything you can buy now days. 


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