Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Life for Tired Old Linens

I think most of us have a stash of vintage linens that have seen better days.  I have bunches of hand embroidered pillow cases, stained table cloths, ripped aprons, etc., that have been waiting in a repurposing pile for ages.  Most of them have some holes and stains, but with this project it's easy just to cut around the blemishes.   These are great for hanging lingerie or clothing with thin straps.  

create hanger covers from vintage linens
The top hanger was made from a pillow case, the other two were made from table cloths.  The ready-made finished edges make them perfect candidates for these hanger covers.

These are real quick and easy to make.  I think it took me longer to dig out my sewing machine from the back of the closet, dust it off, set it up, and hunt for some white thread.  Oh well, off white would have to do.  Can you tell how often I sew? 

I like using white wire hangers for these.  Vintage wood hangers or plastic would work also, but I like using wire because they're thin and don't look bulky under the covers.  I can hear Faye Dunaway from Mommie Dearest screaming "No wire hangers!"  The last time I made up a batch of these, I couldn't find wire hangers anywhere.  I went to the cleaners prepared to pay for some, but they just gave them to me....25 of them. 

This pillow case has a few tiny holes, but not in the area I'll be using....

After lining up the scalloped edges, lay your hanger on top of both layers of the pillow case.  Center the hanger on the design and leave a few inches below the bottom of the hanger.  This way the pretty scalloped edge will be plenty long enough to cover the bottom of the hanger. 

I used a pencil to outline the shape of the hanger adding about 5/8" for the seam allowance.

You'll need to mark all the way down to the edge. I usually flair it out slightly at the bottom; it just seems to fit better after it's finished.  If you're making several of these at one time, be sure to outline each one with the actual hanger you'll be using.  The first time I made some of these, I used just one hanger as a pattern for all of them.  Even though the hangers looked to be about the same size, they varied as much as an inch in length....I had several covers that wouldn't fit over the hangers:(

After cutting out your pieces, pin them together with the right sides together.

Sew together leaving a 1/2" opening in the top for the hanger to fit through.

Turn right sides out and press.  I don't even bother with clipping the seams.

Slip the hanger inside....

Poke the hanger through the hole in the top....

Presto!!

The center hanger was also made from a pillow case, but I used a child's hanger.  The one on the bottom was made from a vintage apron.  It's hard to see, but there's a pink border on the edge.

You can finish them off by sewing on a few buttons.  Oops.  Don't like that hanger showing; I should have left more room at the bottom.

After sewing on the buttons, I used some self-adhesive Velcro for the closure. 

You can see more of my repurposed pillow cases here: Salvaged and Repurposed Pillow Cases.

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