Readers, as you probably know, I'm a big fan of repurposing old bedsheets.
I was going to say vintage bedsheets, but really, the age of the sheet doesn't matter, it's the cost that counts. You see, the best thing about sewing with sheets is that they can usually be found in thrift stores for just a few dollars (if that) and they're generally huge.
A twin flat sheet has more than enough fabric to make a men's shirt, and with a king-size you can probably make a cotton ball gown with a luxuriously high thread count! Always look out for prominent stains and fading, of course -- we want to avoid those.
I've found some wonderful sheets at the Salvation Army -- the designs from the Seventies are the most fun, I think. The downside is that in that era, sheets were generally cotton/poly, and they can get smelly. Then again, you don't have to iron them.
Here are some of my favorite sheet projects...
Shirts, shirts, and more shirts!
And even some of Cathy's outfits. Don't tell Cathy someone slept in her dress -- besides her.
So yesterday afternoon, as I was finishing up my lavender cotton shirt, I had a vintage sheet epiphany. As you know, I'd made the collar and collar stand white, which gave the shirt a nice crispness and highlighted the lavender.
Unfortunately, it also gave the shirt a banker-y formality I didn't want. Plus, a white collar calls for white cuffs, which would only intensify the banker thing, plus, white cuffs show dirt. What to do?
Then it hit me! I dug through my collection of vintage sheets and voilà!
Sort of Lily Pulitzer meets Wamsutta, right?
Yes? No? Maybe, with a matching bowtie?
The big shirt reveal will be tomorrow but you get the idea. The sheet -- which is pictured up top -- is a huge Seventies-era flat sheet I found at the Salvation Army last year. Not sure what I'll do with the rest of it -- maybe a jumpsuit!
In closing, friends, do you ever sew with vintage (or just plain old) sheets?
When you wear what you've sewn, do people ever guess that you're clothed in second-hand bedding? (Do they inadvertently start yawning when you tell them?)
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!