Tuesday, January 29, 2013


When I made my dining room shade, I planned on making a matching one for the kitchen. That hasn't happened, and at this point I'm ready to replace my dining room shade. Right now we just have a plain piece of canvas dropcloth hung in the kitchen, but I want something prettier.

Years ago, I found an antiques store going out of business and bought a box of vintage linens. It's mostly tablecloths, napkins and dish towels. I thought maybe there was something in there I could use without altering it. I was specifically hoping for two more or less matching dish towels. I didn't find those, but I did find two matching pillowcases. However...

You can see that one pillowcase is significantly yellowed. These have been washed, but I don't want to use bleach or anything because it will fade the embroidery. I know that putting things out in the sun to fade stains is recommended, but again, I'm not sure if that would fade the embroidery, plus there's no sun this time of year and not many sunny spots in our yard.

So now I'm considering something that is usually a big no-no to me: cutting up a vintage item. I'm thinking of cutting the embroidery off, then sewing it to another piece of white fabric, keeping the seam as close to the embroidery as I can. On the one hand, cutting up something that someone made by hand probably 60-70 years ago makes me nervous. But on the other hand, I know for a fact I won't use these otherwise. If I knew I could get the right size to cover the entire window, I'd go buy some vintage handkerchiefs instead.

So what do you think? Should I take the plunge? If I do, what should I do with the pink and white edging that's on the plain side of the pillowcase? Attach it at the top of the curtain? I'm planning on these being hung by clip rings, so both edges will be visible. I know embroidery like this is more or less common, but I'm still unsure. Help me decide!

1 comment:

  1. I'd google how to whiten vintage linens. I think soaking in Oxyclean is common. I don't think I'd cut out the embroidery, but if that makes it useful for you, go for it.