My So Called Crafty Life

Tag Archives: Retro

Vintage Crafts- Using a Retro Pattern to Make a Dress From a Vintage Tablecloth

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Hi guys! I know in my vintage posts I usually share a diy from a magazine. Well, today I am going to do something a little different and share a little easy how to on how to make a dress from a vintage tablecloth with a retro sewing pattern.

B5748I used a large rectangular embroidered vintage tablecloth and the Retro Butterick pattern 5748. There are so many awesome vintage reproduction sewing patterns on the market today! I love them because they always have plus sizes, so I don’t have to redraft an entire pattern, I can just cut and go. 

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I used a large vintage embroidered tablecloth. I cut the bodice front and back from the top edge. I tried to place the pattern where the embroidery design would be the same and the pieces would fit pretty seamlessly across the bodice. I cut the bodice linings out of plain white broadcloth I had on hand. I did not use the skirt pattern pieces. Instead I measured from my waist to where I wanted the hem to lay. Then I added 1/2″ to the measurement for seam allowance to sew the skirt to the bodice. To cut the skirt I measured up from the bottom side of the tablecloth up the previous measurement all the way across and mark. Cut across where marked forming a long skinny rectangle you will use for your skirt. Stitch the bodice up according to the directions. When you get to the skirt, stitch up the ends to where the zipper will go. You will now have a loop. Stitch a basting stitch across the top of the front and then across the back to the side seam areas. Then stitch another basting stitch right below the first. Gather your skirt. Pin to the bodice and sew to the bodice. Remove basting. Add your side zipper at the side seam according to directions. Then stitch down the lining by hand around the zipper and skirt area.

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I love love love my little sundress! I have used this pattern a couple of times now and it is always a fun dress to wear. The last one I made with a linen bodice and a tablecloth skirt. It looks like a boutique dress, but I spent around ten dollars for the tablecloth and the pattern I snagged on sale. The best part is that you can whip one up in an afternoon. It is really easy! I hope I have inspired some of you to grab out some of those old linens that may not be in perfect shape anymore and try using them to make a dress of your own! I’ll be back soon with more vintage fun. Until then…

Happy Crafting!

Favorite Vintage Finds of the Week- July 27th

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! My sister is in town this week, and we are off to have some fun. Before I head out, I wanted to share some of my favorite vintage summer dresses from Etsy’s wonderful vintage world with you. Here is just the tip of the iceberg, you can see more in my favorites in my Etsy profile…


40s 50s Dress // 1940s 1950s Black & White Gingham Dress With Red Rose Appliqués // Medium from Off Broadway Vintage


50′s Polka Dot Dress // Vintage 1950′s Turquoise Polkadot Print Cotton Rhinestone Classic Casual Summer Day Dress L from The Vintage Studio


vintage 1940s dress – 40s yellow swiss dot dress – cotton summer dress from Bright Eyed Clothing Co.


vintage 40s wiggle dress / 1940s summer dress / sleeveless summer dress / green and white dotted dress / Square Peg dress from Archetype Vintage


SUMMER SALE 1940′s Red Plaid Dress//Cotton Day Dress//40′s Red Picnic Dress from Capsule Vintage


1930s Linen Dress / Tulip Stem Dress / 30s from Wildfell Hall Vintage


1940s Red Plaid Dress from Vera Vague


40s Day Dress White Eyelet Lace Cotton Full Skirt Womens Spring Summer Fashion 1940s Rockabilly Pinup Small S XS from Rage Vogue Vintage


40s Lemon Garden Dress • 1940s summer dress from Shop Mani


Late 1940′s Early 50′s White Cotton Pique with Red Dots Garden Party Formal Dress / Size 0-2 Extra Small from Salty Dog Vintage


1940s Dress // Bright Light Dress // vintage 40s Barbara Fields Dress from Death Rose Vintage



Vintage 1950s Dress / 50s Novelty Print Dress / Day Dress / House Dress / Milgrim from The Vintage Mistress

Aren’t they amazing! I picked dresses from the 30′s through the 50′s as those are my favorite years for style! The prints, the fabrics, the silhouettes, make me so happy! I can’t even pick a favorite this week. Which one of these beauties would you like to add to your closet? I hope you all enjoy browsing through these awesome style shops as much as I did this week! There are some gorgeous items in every one of them! Now, if I was only rich and skinny!I would have them all! I will be back next week with more vintage summer fun. Until then…

Happy Shopping!

Summer Garden Party Style

Hi guys! Summer is in full swing here in NC! I have been enjoying the lake a lot this summer, but one thing that I have been dying to do is have a summer get together with friends and family. I love outdoor parties in the summer evenings! Since I have been daydreaming about a summer garden soiree, I thought I’d create a little mood board to share with you all what my perfect evening garden party would be styled like….

Summer Garden Picnic


OKA serveware
$11 -

Sweet Lady Jane bakeware

Fitz and Floyd serveware

Unison red napkin

Sabre kitchen gadgets tool
$31 -

Zara Home flatware

Floral wall art

White chair

Long necklace

Gottex beach hat


We have a white pergola in the back yard that is my favorite summer spot in our yard! We had string lights hung but the squirrels were apparently having little high wire acts on them and several strands broke. It is one thing I have been hoping to fix before summer is gone. I would love to have a rustic dining table and chairs to go under the pergola. Of course my tablescapes would be bright and full of patterns and colors. I love to mix florals with ginghams, stripes, and polkadots. My perfect summer go to style is a gingham dress with a straw hat and sandals or bare feet. And of course what is a party without your closest family and friends there to share in the festivities! So how about you guys? What does your perfect summer social entail? Dreaming about any cool backyard ideas? I hope you all are enjoying the warm weather and time with family and friends! Have a wonderful summer guys!
XOXO- Ashlee

DIY Custom Chair Seat Covers with A Vintage Tablecloth

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Last week I shared how I updated my diner style kitchen table by covering it with oilcloth fabric. We have had the table and chair set for years and it is one of my favorite pieces of furniture as it was the first real piece of furniture we bought as a couple. Just as the dining table was looking a bit worse for wear, the chairs that went with it were not in great condition anymore either. There are lots of little scratches and puncture holes from the kitties. Instead of upholstering them I decided to make some simple slip covers to jazz them up a little.

Here’s What You Need:

*Vintage Tablecloth or Upholstery Weight Fabric

*Accent Fabric (canvas, linen, denim, twill, etc)


*Sewing Machine and Thread

*Poster Board

*Marking Pen



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First you want to draft your pattern. Place a piece of poster board on your chair cushion or top. Get a friend to hold it in place while you trace the seat from underneath with a pencil.

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For the top of my seat I made a rectangle the width plus about an inch extra for ease by the length. Then I held up the rectangle piece to my chair back and traced the curve at the top.


Once you trace and draft your patterns make sure to add seam allowance. Add 1/2″ seam allowance all the way around the seat pattern. Add 1/2″ around the sides and top of the back pattern and then add an inch and a quarter for hemming the bottom. You will also want to cut a skirt for the seat skirt. Measure from the top of the cushion down and decide how long you want your skirt. I made mine 5″ tall. You will need two parts to your skirt. One piece will go around the front and sides of the seat, the other will be a flap for the back of the seat. So, measure your perimeter of your cushion pattern piece from one side to the other starting at the back right corner and going around to the back left corner. So if my parameter minus the back was 68″, I would make my front skirt pattern to be 5″ tall plus an inch for hemming, so 6″ tall by 68″ wide plus an inch for hemming the sides(69×6.) Then cut a back piece to be the same height by the width of the back plus an inch for hemming (18×6.)


Cut out your pattern pieces. You will need one seat cover piece for each chair. You will need two back of chair pattern pieces for each chair, and you will need one skirt piece and one back skirt piece for each chair.


If you want to add trim to your chair back cover, now is the time. Baste your trim to the front side of one piece all around the edge with a quarter inch seam allowance. Make sure if you are using a directional trim, like ball frings, you point the bottom of the trim towards the inside.

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Pin the back and front of the chair back cover pieces together right sides together. Stitch around the sides and top with a half inch seam allowance. Leave the bottom open. Turn under the raw edge by about a quarter inch and press. Then turn under again by about a little over a half inch. Stitch close to the edge to hem. Now your chair back is done. You can add trim to the bottom now too if you like.

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Turn under and hem the sides of both the skirt pieces. You will want the sides to be hemmed in by about a half an inch. Then turn under and hem the bottoms of both the main skirt and back flap skirt. All of your edges except the top should be finished off and hemmed now.


Pin the seat cover to the main skirt right sides together starting about a half an inch from both side corners of the back end.Stitch together with a half inch seam allowance.


Now pin the back piece to the back of the seat cover right sides together.



Stitch the back to the back of the seat cover. To finish mine off I stitched ribbon on each side of the back skirt in the middle so I could tie my seat covers to the chairs around the chrome legs. You can add ribbon if you like like I did or you can leave it open. You can also add trim to the bottom of the skirt. I will probably add some ball trim to mine sometime soon.

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I just adore my whole dining table set now that I gave it a little DIY love! I used a vintage tablecloth for my main fabric pieces that had some wonderful farm life designs on it in red and aqua. You can use any kind of upholstery weight fabric like twill or canvas or even linen or denim. The great thing about these covers is that once you make your pattern, you can easily whip a set of these covers up in an afternoon. You can make a set for every season or occasion you like. I am sure I’ll be making a Christmas set soon. So if you have some shabby dining chairs, give them a face lift with some cute chair covers! It can change the look of your whole space! I hope you will give it a try, it’s super simple and fun! I’ll be back soon with more DIY fun. Until then…

Happy Crafting!

Favorite Vintage Finds of the Week- July 20th

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! My sister is in town for the next week and a half, and I am so happy to spending some time with her! We are going to try to get by the farmers market this week to find some peaches. It is peach season here in the south and as a huge fruit lover, it is my second favorite time of year, behind strawberry season of course. So, this week I thought I would share some lovely peachy vintage finds with you guys!


Vintage 1930 1940 WWII Eye Frame Sunglasses Glasses Frame in Beautiful Transparent Peach Hard Plastic, High Quality Made in France from Voodoo Retro


Vintage 1950′s Peach Wiggle Dress (Size 8 Aust / 4 USA / 6 UK) from Audrey’s Wardrobe


Gorgeous 1950s geometric shape pearlized peach pink plastic necklace – vintage 1950s 1960s MOP choker necklace with extender – wedding VLV from Chronically Vintage


Vintage 1950′s Coral Pink Spun Lucite Large Disk Clip Back Earrings – Large Face Coral Pink Daisy from Sam Jams 3


Vintage Retro 1950s Peach Frosted Glass Lemonade / Pimms Jug & Glasses from UpStaged Vintage


Vintage Smiling Peaches Salt and Pepper Shakers 1940′s from Vintage Delight Shop


Simtex Peach Tablecloth with White Stripes from Lou’s Mercantile


Vintage Agee Pyrex Peach Lustre Ramekins Set of Six 1960′s from Deb’s Vintage Emporium


Vintage 1940s Hollywood Doll, Small Hard Plastic Jointed Doll, Blue Sleep Eyes, Blonde Hair, Collectible Doll, Peach Dress from Deb’s Country Vintage


Vintage Pale Pink 1950s Umbrella – Curved Hook Handle – 50s Peach Parasol – Walking Stick Cane Umbrella – Dusty Rose Tan – Steampunk from LaRoux Vintage


Vintage Fire King Chevron Peach Table Vase, Art Deco Decor from Mid Century Kitschen



Angel Fish Wall Art 1960′s Set of 2 from Stephanie’s Retro Life

Aren’t they all so beautiful! I had a hard time narrowing my finds down this week since there were so many things I loved and so many different peachy hues. I love everything of course! My hubby says the doll is creepy, but I just love her little dress! And the peach salt and pepper shakers and the wall fish are right up my alley! I hope you all enjoy browsing through these wonderful Etsy vintage shops as much as I did this week! I’ll be back next week with more vintage goodies. Until then…

Happy Shopping!

Easy Five Minute Vintage Tray Lazy Susan

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Back in April my mammas and I took a trip out to Liberty for the Spring Antique Festival. I picked up a lot of goodies that day, but one of my favorites was this wonderful metal rooster serving tray. I knew it would be fabulous in my kitchen! I couldn’t decide where to put it. I had originally thought of hanging it on the wall, but it didn’t fit anywhere I wanted it to go. My mom suggested that it would make a cool lazy susan for the table. She can come up with the best ideas!

Here’s What You Need:

*Vintage Metal Tray

*Lazy Susan ( Mine was a wood one we had from IKEA)

*Glue ( I used E6000)


Paint your lazy susan to be the color of the bottom of the tray. Then add a generous amount of glue to the top of the lazy susan. Turn the tray over so it is face down. Place the lazy susan face down onto the back side of the tray, making sure it is centered, glue it down to the tray. Let the glue dry, then it is ready to use.

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Isn’t it adorable! I love it! It is so cute on my gingham tabletop too! I love to display my little hen salt and pepper shaker set on it, and I am looking for a cute napkin holder to add to it too. So, if you have an old vintage tray you love but just don’t know what to do with it but keep it in your cupboard, turn it into a great display piece and make it into a lazy susan! I’ll be back soon with more crafty fun. Until then…

Happy Crafting!

DIY Oilcloth Covered Diner Style Table

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Hi guys! My hubby and I bought a reproduction chrome diner style table and chair set from a furniture store in Los Angeles a long while ago when I was in college out there. It was our first dining table, and we still use it to this day. It has seen some wear and tear over the years and the top has gotten a bit shabby. We looked at getting a new table, but I am so attached to this one, I decided to cover the top. It turned out even better than I had hoped for, and it was so easy to cover!

Here’s What You Need:

*Diner Style Table mine was 52″ round

*Oilcloth ( I used two yards)

*Screw driver


*Staple Gun and Staples



This table is pretty easy to cover. The first thing you need to do is take the tabletop off. It should be screwed on from the bottom of the tabletop.


Remove the screws and set aside.

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Lay your oilcloth out on the floor face down. Next, lay the tabletop face down onto the oilcloth. Center the tabletop on the fabric.


Trim the fabric to about 3-4″ excess from the tables edge.


Start by folding one edge of your oilcloth up to the backside of your table. Stretch it tight and staple it down near the edge of the fabric. Continue pulling the fabric to the back side and stapling it down until you have stapled all the way around your table. I went back around and stapled my fabric again close to the edge of the table for extra security.


Now, find the holes for the screws on the back of the tabletop by running your fingers over the fabric near the edge. When you find a hole, punch a hole in the oilcloth with your awl. Next, lay your table base upside down onto your table top. Screw the base to the top with the screws you set aside before.


Once it is all screwed back together flip it right side up and enjoy your new tabletop.

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I LOVE how my table turned out! The red gingham looks fabulous in my kitchen! I don’t know how long it will hold up, but I can always recover it. So far it has been covered a month and still looks great! You could easily cover any table with oil cloth with the same method, you just staple it to the underside. So, if you have a shabby old diner style table, before you toss it up on craigslist, try covering it with some awesome oilcloth. It’s a great way to update your table and your kitchen decor! I’ll be back soon with another fun DIY. Until then…

Happy Crafting!

Favorite Vintage Finds of the Week- July 13th

Happy Monday everyone! I am getting ready to go pick up my sister from Asheville tomorrow to bring her home for a few weeks for a visit. Needless to say, I’m very excited! Before I head out for the next couple of days, I wanted to share some of my latest favorite vintage finds with you all! This week it’s all about sailing and nautical goodies!


CLIPPER SHIP – Amazing Paint By Number Masterpiece – Large Size in Vintage Wood Frame from Obscure Archive


Vintage 1950s / 1960s Surrealist Lobster Earrings from I Found Gallery


Mid Century Set of 2 Ceramic Whale Salt & Pepper Shakers from Joe Blake


1950s Sailor Mini Dress / 50s Nautical Dress / Marinero Dress / Size S/M from Parasol Vintage


Vintage 1950s Brooch // 40s 50s Hand Painted Sailor at Helm Brooch with Rhinestone // Ships Ahoy from True Value Vintage


Mid Century Sailboats Serving Set Glasses with Carrier Nautical from White Picket


Vintage TV Lamp Nautical Ship White 24K Gold Retro Mid century from Oceanside Castle


Vintage 1950s Pleated Nautical Novelty Print Skirt from Hips McGee


Wonderful Vintage Wooden SAILOR DOG BANK Made in Spain 1950′s-60′s Lock and Key from Textiles and Old Things


Saucer, US Navy fouled anchor, Shenango nautical restaurantware, 6 in, white with cobalt blue stripes, 1940s or 1950s Wardroom Officers Mess from Modern Poetry


1950s Nautical neckerchief from Museography



Vintage Wooden SAILBOATS Primary Colors Boat Blue Yellow Red Mid Century w Plastic Sails 1950′s Toy Nautical Display for Beach Lake House from We Sell Old Toys

Aren’t they all so cute! Of course I love them all, but the wooden bank is just, I don’t even have words for it! I love nautical things! They are so summery to me too! I hope you all enjoy looking through these awesome Etsy vintage shops this week as much as I did! I’ll be back next week with more vintage fun. Until then….

Happy Shopping!

Favorite Vintage Finds of the Week- July 6th

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the weekend! We took the pups out to the flea market on Independence Day, and ended up staying in with a pizza and watched the fireworks on tv. Fireworks from the couch are pretty awesome! Some of you who follow me on instagram may already know, we have a new puppy. I will be introducing her shortly here as we finally got some lovely blog worthy photos of her. She’s a wild woman! So, in honor of our new little lady, I thought I would share some of my favorite vintage doggies with you all this week! There are so many that I loved! Here are my absolute favorites:


1950s Redware Doggy Memo Minder // Ceramic Dog Figurine Mid Century // Vintage Office Decor // Kitsch Kitchen Letter Holder // Made in Japan from Sue Ellen’s Flair


1940′s Child’s Clothes Hanger, Antique Blue Wooden Hanger, with Dogs and Balls from Explore Mag


Vintage Modernist Dog Brooch pin 1950s dog jewelry, art deco style, French dog, figural brooch from RMS Jewels


Adorable 1950s dog novelty print sleeveless summer dress – super cute blue sleeveless size XS or small children’s or ladies sundress VLV from Chronically Vintage


2 goldtone Dog with Doghouse Scatter Pins Brooch vintage 1960s 1950s from Our Vintage Way


1940s Art Deco Scottie Dog Gilded Playing Cards, Vintage Hamilton Decks Cards Monogrammed JMD, Gold Edge Cards Pristine from Blue Rose Retro


1950′s Playful Puppy Blue and White Check Novelty Print Ladies Apron from Nora Barry’s 


1950s Fisher Price Nosey wooden hound dog pull toy 445 – rubber tail and clicks when he walks from 720 Vintage


JVZ CO. 1940s Pluto Eating a Hot Dog Disneyanna Plastic Home and Garden Home Decor Collectibles Figurine Animal Figurine Dogs Pets from Dixie Antiques


Cutest Vintage 1940s – 1950s Rayon Plush YOUR PET Stuffed Toy SCOTTIE Dog w Mechanical Squeak Nose Glass Eyes & Hang Tag Perfect!from Blackberry Hound


Vintage Coffee Hound Cup,Large Coffee Cup,Tramp Dog, Dog Mug,Large Coffee Mug, Big Cup Of Java, Made in Japan, 1950s 1960s from Shop at Geri’s



3 Vintage 1950s Retro Pink Polka Dot Terrier Dog Figurines by Arnart Japan from Sharron’s Attic

Aren’t they all fantastic! I want them all! I am such a sucker for ceramics, the memo holder and pink pups are definitely on my birthday list this year! What is your favorite this week? I hope you all enjoy browsing through these wonderful Etsy vintage shops as much as I did this week! I’ll be back next week with more vintage fun. Until then…

Happy Shopping!

4th of July Fun with Tipsy Elves!

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Is everyone ready for the upcoming Independence Day holiday weekend? We are gearing up for fireworks and cooking out with the family! One tradition we always have had in my family is that we snag some patriotic apparel to show off our love for ‘Merica. Usually it is a shirt or tank. When I was a teenager I had a pair of stars and stripes flip flops I loved so much I wore out! This year, I was so thrilled to be able to try out some patriotic goodies from Tipsy Elves!



I had first come across Tipsy Elves last year at Christmas, as they are famous for their ugly Christmas sweaters, and my sister and I do Santa photos every year with a new funky sweater. They have some of the greatest sweaters from funny to tacky, to just plain adorable. So, I was surprised to find out that the company makes  some seriously cool gear for other holidays as well! Right now they are showcasing their 4th of July goodies. Here are a few of my favorites:


Women’s American Flag Sweater


American Flag Beanie


Blue USA Fanny Pack w/ Koozie


Men’s Epic Eagle Sweater


Men’s Party Like a Patriot Tee


Ulysses S. Pants



I was lucky enough to be able to review a couple of their patriotic items. I chose the women’s American flag long sleeve shirt, and the red USA fanny pack. I was impressed by the quality of the shirt. It was a really nice soft cotton jersey. I am a big gal, so I am always worries that the xxl’s are going to be too small on me, but this tee fit perfectly! I LOVE it and know I will be wearing this top a lot!

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The fanny pack cracks me up! I have to say, I haven’t owned a fanny pack since like 1993 and I used it to carry my walkman. This fanny pack is great just for fun! I’m sure my sister Hannah will be stealing it from me to hold her hedgehog Harvey. Until then it will be getting a lot of use to keep our phones safe on the boat and keep me and the hubs refreshed with a soda or beer always at hand! See the whole line of fanny packs here.

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I would highly recommend Tipsy Elves to you all! Their apparel and accessories are just so fun, and guaranteed to put a smile on your face! Visit Tipsy Elves online to snag something fabulously American for yourself! You can also follow along on their blog, and find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

*Disclosure: I was compensated with product for this post. All opinions are my own. I only review items for brands and sites that I wholeheartedly love, and this brand is FABULOUS!

Photography by Kim Crenshaw Photography

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