Sunday, 4 June 2017

Embroidered Vintage Linens into Cute Camisole Top

Embroidered Vintage Linens stitched into a Cute Camisole Top

embroidered vintage linens into cute camisole top by karen vallerius

Find OOAK upcycled clothing in my etsy shop.

Antique linens in the sewing room

If you look at the photo of my workroom below, the embroidered vintage linens are in the second horizontal storage box just behind the little 1930s felt dog.  I love repurposing antique linens by upcycling them into fashion or home items which can be used today.

embroidered antique linens by karen vallerius

Repurposing embroidered vintage tablecloths, doileys and traycloths 

I wanted to stitch the linens into some little summer tops.  I used pieces of damask and linen cut from antique tablecloths for the main "body" of the garment for which I used self drafted patterns inspired by vintage 30s and 40s dressmaking books.

I then looked through my vast collection of vintage embroidered doileys, traycloths, tablecloths, chairbacks, pillowcases and selected little embroidered motifs, flowers and butterflies which I could then piece together, a bit like a patchwork, into a panel which would be inserted into the garment.  Read more about making the patchwork panels of vintage embroidered textiles in my earlier post here.

Antique embroidered linens motifs

embroidered vintage tablecloths into camisole top by karen vallerius

I love the way that the pretty embroidered textiles can complement each other, even though they are stitched by different embroiderers and in different coloured silks.  In the close up of the linen camisole above you can see that I have used pieces cut from five different vintage tablecloths and tray cloths.  In particular I love the butterfly which is incorporated near to the tie front.

embroidered vintage butterfly motif into camisole top by karen vallerius

How to make a patchwork from vintage linens

embroidered vintage linen patchwork by karen vallerius

I marked the size of the panel I would be inserting into the garment on my cutting board with washi tape.  I then cut pieces from the vintage tablecloths and doileys and arranged them to roughly cover this area.  I then neatened edges of the patchwork pieces with my overlocker or by turning and hemming the edges before joining them together, piece by piece, into the panel.  Finally I set the panel into the garment piece before making up the camisole.

Repurposing antique embroidered tablecloths

This is a lovely way of using up precious fragments saved from antique linens which may have small areas of damage or wear.  You can cut around the damage and use the patches to make new garments as I have done here, or you can applique them to other garments or home textiles.  And don't forget that scraps of linen can be used for cleaning cloths which are amazing at cleaning glass or crystal.  Never waste a scrap!

Find these tops and other OOAK upcycled clothing in my etsy shop.

Happy stitching everyone



  1. I love how this top turned out. Wow! You did a beautiful job in creating a very attractive garment. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  2. Thank you for your kind comment. I have made a couple more of these tops (plus orders for more) so will post some more photos soon :)


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