i love sewing with vintage sheets, and i’ve had great luck finding lovely, nostalgic patterns at a normal thrift store. you get a lot of yardage for little money – most of mine are full size sheets that cost about $4 or $5 each! a full sheet is 81 x 96″ (2 1/4 yds x 2 2/3 yds), so it really is a great amount of fabric and you can often get multiple projects out of the same sheet. want to know more?
WHERE TO BUY THEM:
i found almost all of mine at goodwill. there are usually a few lovely vintage sheets buried among the ’80s grids and scratchy cheap modern ones when i go (and i actually don’t get out thrifting very often). if i find a print i like, i buy it because i never know if i’ll see it again. if you can’t find any where you live, a quick search for “vintage sheets” in the vintage category of etsy yields 250 pages of results!
i tend to gravitate toward florals.
hey, how’d that get in there? a stripey outlier!
WHAT TO MAKE WITH THEM:
clothes! i’ve been sewing almost 3 years now and am only recently starting to have any success at sewing clothes for myself. i’m so nervous trying something new, i tend to prefer using inexpensive fabric so i don’t stress out if it’s a flop. for my bow collar top, i was drafting adult-sized sleeves for the first time and adding a bow, and i was pretty terrified it wouldn’t work out at all. i used a vintage sheet just in case, and it actually turned into a nice top!
i really like using vintage sheets for quilts and picnic blankets. plenty of yardage means you can easily make a baby-sized whole cloth quilt (the funnest and quickest quilts to make, if you ask me. that’s right…funnest) with plenty to spare. check to make sure they’re not too threadbare first. this quilt is backed with new quilting cotton.
or you can mix them with new fabrics to make a sweet garland. two vintage sheets are featured in this one. can you spot them from my stash above?
be sure to wash them once (or twice) first and avoid holes and stains when placing your pattern pieces. try a floral with a modern pattern, use them to build your sewing confidence, and wear your vintage sheet with pride! for even MORE vintage sheet inspiration, visit the vintage sheet blog!
have you sewn anything from vintage sheets, especially garments? please add them to the vintage may flickr group!