The Travelling Tablecloth
It may surprise you to learn that I bought this tablecloth in Lapland. In Arvidsjaur, Sweden, in the Red Cross charity shop, to be precise. I was on a trip up there at the start of the summer and because it rained a fair bit during my stay, the charity shops of northern Västerbotten and Lapland were a good distraction (although my favourite Red Cross shop in Jörn has sadly closed down).
The tablecloth itself is a thick weave often used for placemats, though it’s bigger than a normal placemat, that’s why I think it’s a tablecloth, perhaps from a side table or coffee table. Anyway, I paid SEK 10:- for it (a little under £1). It caught my eye because of its pretty pink, grey and cream colour scheme, so I snapped it up (along with a few other examples of doilies and table linens, which you will be seeing here in due course). Of course, I wanted to wear it here in London – no sense wasting pretty textiles like this on homewares!
On closer investigation, it was just about big enough for a mini skirt front. I am using the skirt front from my own Champagne Pattern – lengthening it to the length of the tablecloth and omitting the waistband.
I made the darts as normal. You can see I considered leaving the fringe as a hem, but decided against it in the end, because I couldn’t work out what to do at the back.
I actually cut the bulk from the front darts and pressed them open as far as possible to help it lie flat.
I cut the back from some off-white crepe which was in stash (probably could have done with being a bit thicker), and a matching lining.
Because I omitted the waistband, I made sure to understitch the lining at the waist to help keep the lining inside the skirt. Understitching involves sewing the seam allowances to the lining a few millimetres away from the seam line. It really works!
You can just about see the row of understitching in the below picture…
Here’s how it turned out. I paired it with pink and grey to really make the most of the colour scheme. I think it works!
I feel like you can see a bit of fringe poking out from the hem – I will trim that before I wear it again.
The back is plain cream so I need to be careful where I sit so I don’t get any dirt on it. Other than that though, it’s very practical ;-)
Stay tuned for more Lapland tablecloth fun later this summer!
Amazing job! Love taking home textiles and turning them into clothing. Also really liking those sandals :)
Thanks! I love old curtains in particular but I have some great doilies here at the moment that I’m also trying to figure out what to do with.
(The sandals are from Dune – you may be able to get them in the sale if you hurry! Cannot believe I resisted block heels for so long – SO comfortable!)
So pretty, and so inspired, using a different fabric for the back. It probably wouldn’t occur to me.
It was out of necessity, I’m afraid – the tablecloth was just not big enough for the whole skirt!
very clever use of the table cloth. The pattern might have been too much if you used it on both sides – your design showcases the fabric perfectly.
Thank you so much! Glad you liked it.
The skirt looks amazing! A real one-off and you would never know it had started life as a small tablecloth.
Thank you – there is a minor coffee stain on the inside, but I’m the only one who sees that ;-)
I love it ! Great job.
Thank you :)
Perfect use of a tablecloth! The textile is great for a skirt.
Thank you Noelle! Glad you liked it.
Brilliant! The combination of pink and grey is so feminine I think, and love your pink shirt and grey sandals too. I do agree with a previous commenter that it might have been too much to have the whole skirt in the same fabric so it was a win-win situation!
Thanks Claire – the outfit works well together, I think! Glad you liked it.
So clever! And the skirt looks very well made- all lined so prettily!
Aw, thanks! It’s just a basic lining but it makes a big difference to wearability.
I love it, looks so nice. I recently bought some knitted pieces from a charity shop a long piece that would make a good table runner and some smaller pieces that could make cushions, but that is such a boring idea I really hope I get some inspiration to do something funky with it all.
Thank you! Why not try incorporating your new textiles into some panels on your clothes to show them off?
Wow, what a creative use of a tablecloth–I’m surprised to see in your pictures that it didn’t fray like mad, the fabric looks as if it should fray a lot. Plus, what an elegant outfit–whoever would’ve thought that you’re wearing a tablecloth, it looks like a designer piece!
Hi Kasia, it wasn’t too bad, and I overlocked the cut edges to stop any fraying. Glad you liked this skirt as much as I do!
Love it! Not sure I would have spotted the mini skirt potential but it looks amazing.
Thanks very much, Charlotte!
Just love this. I would never have thought of just a skirt front…… But it looks great. I have the skills but not the imagination I’m afraid. I see things in charity shops but find it so difficult to imagine it as something else. I need to work on this!!!
Thank you very much! I am always thinking about ways to incorporate found textiles into clothes. If it’s not a very big piece, it may work for a panel on a dress or top, but then you have to look for something else to combine it with. Good luck!
Thank you :)
This skirt is amazing. You were really creative and inspiring with your fabric choice.
Thanks very much, Samantha.
Great skirt! Love the 80’s Miami vice colour scheme.
Yeah anything with pale grey tends to give it an 80s vibe! I think it’s time for a pale grey revival.
Oh now this is fun! And I too love the sandals! :o)
Thanks JJ, they are surprisingly comfortable :)
This is amazing! Great find in a charity shop and great idea to turn it into a skirt!
Paloma in Disguise
Thanks, glad you liked it! It worked well as a mini skirt because there wasn’t really enough fabric for anything else :)
This looks really great – excellent use of fabric! The colours of the table cloth are really pretty :)
Thanks, Amelia! I loved the colours too.
Oh yes very chic. I love it, it would last one hour in my house with little fingers from my children all over it! Jo x
Haha, well I made it home on the tube without getting dirt on it, so that’s something, at least!
Sally this is so cute! Only you could spot a tablecloth and see that it would be a fabulous print for a skirt! Amazing
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder ;-)
I have some great scarves and doilies here which will be getting the same treatment!
Thank you Lesley!