Three 1950s Tablecloths Remade for a larger table


This project took a long time.  It wasn’t the sewing, (straight seams, top stitch and applique)  but the design.  Combining vintage tablecloths from the 1950s is a great lesson in working with scale–

Still, I’m so glad I finished by Mother’s Day.  My friend and client lost her mother and grandmother in the same year snd she likes to keep them close by using their things. 

But grandma’s vintage tablecloths were made for small kitchen tables  Mostly square around a central motif, they needed to  be cut down, then sized up to fit a  much larger modern rectangle.

Frist, I did a little math.  I drew the dimensions of the table I needed to fit so I could get the proportions right.  (subtract several inches for you central motif, add for your overhang etc)

The central square  became a central rectangle.  My seam down the middle was serged (zig-zag is another option)  top-stitched, then camouflaged  with applique.

The  floral designs  in my stack of grandma’s cloths were  all very similar, so I knew I’d have to add some geometry–stripes in this case.  And a mitered corner band makes everything look better.

I tried to mix flowers but it just didn’t work..  So I ended up pulling different elements from different cloths–flowers from one, leaves from another, my mitered blue band from a third. 

This is the kind of project that needs to rest over night, I had to attack it with fresh eyes several times….but worth the effort, don’t you think? 

And I was lucky. I had several similar weight cloths  to design with.   It’s  so often the case with design–you use a little, and put most of your options aside.

For more  projects using 50s  tablecloths and other reclaimed fabrics, check out my ETSY store  www.kikisrewinddesigns.etsy.com

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