Sunday, September 19, 2021

The Tablecloth Jacket: the epitome of repurposing

One of the September Textile Love 2021 prompts, "Repurpose," reminded me of a jacket I made in a 2015 workshop with Angelika Werth. The workshop was called Garments: Deconstruction / Reconstruction. And this piece is the epitome of repurposing!

The Tablecloth Jacket, from a 2015 workshop with Angelika Werth.

If you hadn't read the title of this blog post, would you have known this jacket was created from a large, oval tablecloth and a pair of embroidered capri pants? I bet not. But it was!

The Tablecloth Jacket, back view.


Oh, I wish I had a photo of the tablecloth before it was "repurposed." A photo would make this easier to describe. Anyway...

During a show-and-tell session during the workshop, my classmates suggested I use the "wrong side" of the tablecloth—the faded denim side—for the outside of the jacket. The dark blue inside of the jacket was actually the "right side" of the tablecloth. Don't ask how many times I "unstitched" a seam by adhering to the sewing adage of "with right sides together..."! In this project, the "right side" was not necessarily always the right side.

The "wrong side" of the tablecloth is the outside of the jacket.
The design in the darker blue is actually the "right side" of the tablecloth.

Capri pants = jacket sleeves

The next "repurposed" element was an embroidered pair of capri pants. The pants were deconstructed and turned into the jacket's sleeves. The color of the pants as well as the floral embroidery were a perfect complement to the tablecloth!

Decorative embroidery on the capri pants.

The vent at the lower edge was a delightful "bonus" detail! 

The deconstructed pants turned into the jacket sleeves.

Jacket details

Looking at the back of the jacket, note the decorative braid-like pattern up the center back. The braid pattern was made from two rope designs that were running lengthwise at the 1/3 and 2/3 points of the tablecloth. The center section of the tablecloth had no design. I cut the center away and pieced the ropes to run up the center back—making it a braid.

Center back braid design and hand stitching at the shoulder seams.

Below is the inside of the jacket showing the center back. The raw edges of seam allowances at the center back are covered with a silk bias strip (cut from a silk blouse/dress). The little bows are a sweet detail and the color was perfect.

Bias trim covers the center back seam allowances.

The armhole raw edges and side seams are also covered with a silk bias strip.

Other construction details as well as serendipitous design elements include an open "gusset" at the underarm. You would only notice this if the arm was lifted... and you knew to look.

Underarm open gusset.

The pant leg sleeves were attached to the bodice with decorative stitching.

Open underarm and hand stitched seam.

The floral filigree design on front lapels is asymmetrical. One lapel is pieced on the diagonal.

Asymmetrical designs on the jacket lapels.

The lapels actually use the "right side" of the tablecloth—the darker blue—as the "right side" of the lapel. It makes a nice contrast and creates a long vertical line in the garment.

The dark blue lapel is a nice contrast to the bodice and sleeves.
It visually creates a long vertical line on the body.

I can't believe how the capri pant legs were the perfect length for the sleeves!

Capri pants = jacket sleeves! The perfect sleeve length.


The pattern I used as a basis for the body was the Santa Cruz Jacket/Vest pattern from the ReVisions collection by Diane Ericson. I did make a muslin for fit before cutting into the tablecloth.

The tablecloth and capri pants were acquired at a local resale shop. The silk bias strips were created from a silk dress that one of the class participants did not want.

My deconstructed/reconstructed Tablecloth Jacket, completed in 2015.

So, there you have it! My deconstructed/reconstructed Tablecloth Jacket. Simply serendipitous and totally repurposed!

Angelika Werth was a generous instructor with a wealth of knowledge and experience. My classmates were encouraging and supportive. It was a success all around!

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