Monday, July 30, 2012

Down Mexico Way

There's a little packrat problem in my house.  I came by it honestly, last in a long line of packrats.  Mario's more minimal, but I think I'm rubbing off.  And our housemate, well, her level of acquisition could qualify her as a blood relative.

We've been trying to clean out a bit recently, and when she came downstairs with a few bags loaded for the thrift store, I naturally had to rummage through them to see what she was getting rid of.  (Needless to say, she was doing the same thing with my boxes).  Turns out she was getting rid of some old linens.

I have a weakness for old linens.  And because I have to choose the most difficult thing to try to make work, the one piece that really called out to me (though I took 4 pieces) was a 1950s-60s era kitschy Mexican-themed tablecloth, square, 4x4, with several spots and a nice tear in it.  But I loved the print and I wanted to try to save it.

I used Simplicity 5204, my TNT blouse pattern - it's a basic shape, doesn't use too much fabric, and it has vertical darts in the front which, as it turned out, could be finagled to lay right over the tear so that I could use the motifs around it.  Somehow, I managed to cut the entire blouse from the tablecloth - I only had to piece the under collar and the very bottom of one of the facings.  I do wish I'd been able to place the motifs a bit better, but again, the fabric limited what I could do.  When I was finished, there weren't enough scraps to make a matching dinner napkin.

Once I got the blouse constructed, I knew I had to go further.  The colors, while still good, were somewhat faded.  I decided to indulge my latest obsession and got out the embroidery floss and outlined the motifs with red, yellow and green stitching.  The final touch - little red buttons that look like candy.

And the result?  It's kitschy - good grief, it's almost choking on its own kitsch - but it makes me smile.  I think it'll be a rainy day top, something when I need a little brightening up.


Debbie Cook said...

Adorable - I love it!

Unknown said...

if this is a rainy day top, then you probably clean house in high heels. this shirt, and its story, is so fabulous. Wouldn't be surprised if Mario secretly covets it. Ha!

velosews said...

I love this blouse!

gMarie said...

I think it's a great blouse! Enjoy. g

Anonymous said...

That is so fun!

fairmount said...

Karen, when I saw the photo before reading your post I thought the shirt was a rtw you were going to use to make a copy. I am so impressed with what you created with the fabric. You have really inspired me to look even more closely at tablecloths at the many sidewalk sales I frequent this time of year. Thanks again. Mimi

Kathi Rank said...

Love your use of old linens, I am also drawn to them and have a shelf in my stash closet just for the linen treasures.

The blouse will be just what you need on a rainy day ..... a smile on hanger in the closet waiting for you to wear it.