Repurpose Those Vintage Linens
My solution was to take a large tablecloth and rust dye it so that I could use it every day and enjoy it. Below is a picture of a round metal disk with a Japanese character cut into it that I used for my dyeing.
- I mixed enough warm water and white vinegar to soak my fabric in a bucket. I used equal parts vinegar and water, and soaked it for an hour while I gathered my other supplies.
- I used a few other rusty bits of gears and things. I placed the round disk in the center of my square piece of linen, folded the fabric around the disk, and bound it tightly with a piece of thin cord. It is important to bind it tightly so you get actual contact between the metal and the fabric.
- Next I placed my bundle of fabric in a black garbage bag and closed it up. I let it sit in the sun for as long as possible and then left it indoors for another day. The photo above is what it looked like when I opened up the bag. The fabric in the center was almost black.
- Now all I had to do was to unwrap my bundle and soak the fabric in a solution of water and 2 Tablespoons of baking soda for a couple of hours. I then rinsed my fabric out really well and washed it with a mild detergent.
Now for the cutting and sewing!
The maximum width of my fabric was 66" before I cut it, so when I started my project I cut a 66" square to work with. I folded it in half twice, so I was left with 1/4 of the fabric showing as in the picture above.
My tablecloth is 66" x 66". I have it folded in quarters, so I need to mark my cutting line at 1/2 of the actual size, or 33". With a pencil mark 33" from the center point towards the outer raw edges, and you will have 1/4 of a perfect circle. This is your cutting line.
Note: if you aren't sure where to mark or cut, do a mini practice piece first and it will all make sense.
Now all you need to do is fold your edge under 1/4" twice as you stitch close to the inner edge of your fold. Pin a little and stitch a little while being careful to ease your fabric in as you stitch so your fabric doesn't get stretched out and end up with a wavy edge.
Here is my finished project, and I absolutely love it. Now I get to use this every day and never worry about it getting stained or ruined. That rust dyeing is great camouflage.
I also made 6 napkins to go with the tablecloth. I cut them at 14" square and they finished at about 11". For instructions on how to sew mitered corners on the napkins, read: Linen Napkins Tutorial