A few weekends ago I bought a vintage Battenburg table cloth with the intensions of cutting it up and making an Edwardian blousewaist. But once I laid it out, I began to have misgivings.
The dang thing was really pretty and someone went to a lot of work to make it. I swung back and forth.
SAVE IT: It is pretty. If it were properly ironed and if my table was shrunk down to its smallest size it would look very nice in deed.
JUST DO IT: I did iron it and it did look nice but ironing it caused me to notice the little stains that probably pushed it into the discard pile of someone else’s life. The fact remains that it will be a few years before I can keep my table at its smallest size and then I will promptly dump gravy on the table cloth and ruin it.
SAVE IT: It is old. One doesn’t just paint an antique oak dresser to up date it!
JUST DO IT: It is likely more vintage than antique. And one does paint over an old pine dresser to up date it.
SAVE IT: But… But…Ummm.
JUST DO IT: I’m going to get more use out of a costume piece than I will a table cloth.
So I did it. Once the first cut was made, I was committed. All that is left of the table cloth is a pile of cut out pieces.
There are a couple of Battenburg medallions and a few random bits of the embroidery that will idle in my stash for a few years until I can come up with a good use for them. Trim and blocks on a quilt?
There is a massive strip of the lace from the edge of the cloth. Most of it is in good shape though some of it had to be nicked to get the pattern pieces cut out-if only I was a size 2. The lace strip will also idle in my stash.
And there is the smallest bit of garbage. I may have desecrated an old thing but I sure wasn’t wasteful!
Nothing left to do but clean up the mess. The scene of the crime if you will.
There was enough fabric for the whole project except for the optional skirt that goes at the bottom. You can have a skirt or “peplum” that gets tucked into the waist band of the skirt or you can just have a plain band that seems to just get covered up with a belt. I’m going to root around the stash for some white cotton and make the band from that. It wont be a perfect match but it will be hidden and it wont be glaringly obvious…I hope.
Something else I have been considering…when I sew it together, there will be sections of seam that will be unstable because it is cut lace rather than solid fabric. I think the way round that will be finishing the seams with bias tape. I’m classically lazy and rarely do anything with the seams. I know lots of sewists who take great pride in their whip stitched seams or their pretty French seams but I hate them. But in this case I’m going to have to stifle my laziness and commit to bias tape. I see a trip to the fabric store in my near future or a few hours of mindless cutting and ironing….