I finally got the nerve to cut up the 1950s prom dress my friend carried around for decades. My grandmother’s kimono (circa 1960) and my childhood party frock are next.
All are in perfect condition. I’m sure we could get a nice prices for them on E-bay. But that’s not the point. We don’t want to sell these vintage pieces–we want to keep them. We just don’t want to keep them in the back of our closets anymore.
None are museum-quality. Their value is sentimental–It’s ok to cut them up.
Scarves are great project for vintage clothing.
- They get a lot of wear but little stress on seams and fragile fibers
- Rarely need cleaning–another fabric saver
- Scarves are showcase pieces. You can dress them up or down and get lots of compliments. How nice to say, “Thank you, this fabric comes from my mother’s prom dress”
- Scarves take small amounts of fabric. They’re easy to make with straight, simple seams.
Tips for making scarves like this one.
- Use a long, soft piece of fabric to go around the face. I collect discontinued decorator samples to pair with my vintage fabrics.
- 7 inches is a good width for me–so my cut width is 15 inches (though I have made narrower scarves).
- Be careful with your cutting. A rotary cutter and mat will help keep edges straight and square.
- Minimize stitching. It adds weight and bulk. I piece the scarf with horizontal seams, press them open. Then sew and press one long vertical seam, leaving an opening for turning.
- Finally, I have a large collection of antique laces which I like to use on many of the seams. They add interest and character but the scarves also work without lace.
These scarves would be a great project for an old family wedding gown or any other combination of lacy, or gauzy fabrics.–even baby clothing. If you want to know more, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also have more reclaimed fabric projects on my Etsy site: www.kikisrewinddesigns.etsy.com