Monday, 27 September 2010

Breathing new life into old stuff

Hello there. My name is Carol and, having kept up a general blog for some time now, I have decided to start this new one with a more specific, but certainly not narrow, theme.

Like many others out there in the blogosphere, I am a passionate collector of vintage clothes, but I also re-appropriate vintage and recycled fabrics, furniture and other finds. The theme of this blog will be hunting for vintage and second-hand treasures and giving discarded items a second chance.

You can have a look at my more general blog here: and you can see my children's clothes at

So, to start with, here's a dress made from an old curtain using a vintage 1960s pattern. I liked the inappropriate combination of winter trees on a sleeveless summer dress. Old curtains are great for recycling as you often get a lot of fabric even if there's only one of the pair. There are pitfalls though: the fabric will be weakened - and probably faded - especially down the sides, by the sun's rays; also, I often find that curtains have been used as dust sheets for decorating and so they may have paint on them. Even after damaged fabric has been cut away, you can usually squeeze quite a lot out of the remaining fabric, although you probably won't be able to lay out the pattern pieces as per the instructions as you would with a new piece of fabric.

The first time I wore this dress I happened to visit the market where I had bought the original curtain. I met the stallholder again; he squinted at me and said "I recognise that from somewhere..." When I told him how his old curtain had been reincarnated he insisted on taking my photograph to show his wife what had become of a piece of their old junk.

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