Grandmother’s Sheet

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

One .. two….. t h r e e  times in a row now for this Cynthia Rowley pattern by Simplicity!   I can’t seem to put this pattern down …

Each sewing project has a different story and I began this endeavor with a sheet I found while cleaning out my grandmother’s linen closet in 1998. The sheet with its beautiful hand crochet border was made by Grandmother’s neighbor who was a generation older than my grandmother. I suspect the sheet is around 100 years old at least.

I thought about making an apron or pillow with it but thankfully never got around to it.

I’ve always wanted a white tunic to wear with jeans, now I have a truly one-of-a-kind top with sentimental value.

Actually, I only had half of a sheet to work with, still trying to remember where the other half went. Because of that I didn’t have enough fabric for the sleeves and had to piece them together. I put the heirloom sewing skills I learned 20 years ago to practice, and inserted a piece of lace in between the sleeve sections.

It’s easy in case you have never done it before.

My grandmother who lived in a small Kentucky town loved to play practical jokes on others and was constantly trying to get a rise out of people. She was always nicely dressed and had a gorgeous collection of Italian hats which I will never figure out! Grandmother would have never run around in an old bedsheet so maybe my tunic would get a rise out of her for a change.

My latest sewing project gave me not only a new  f r e e  piece of clothing, but also provided a gentle reminder that looking to the past often brings about modern results!

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46 Responses to Grandmother’s Sheet

  1. I LOVE THIS! You are a girl after my own heart! Not only making your clothes but recycling things from days gone by! Just recycled a sweater of Patterson’s from the 9th Grade into a cowl AND a Sweater!! :D

  2. Peggy says:

    This is absolutely lovely! And such a different look from your other iterations of this great pattern. How great that you used your grandmother’s sheet; it makes that top even more special! I’ve had this pattern in my stash since I saw Lindsey T’s blue floral version. Can’t wait to make it!

    • Hi Peggy,
      Thanks so much for your nice comments. Lindsey T provides an excellent tip on this top – she reduces the sleeve fulness by 1/2 inch eliminating the gathers in the sleeve. I did this for the second dress and this top. It made such a difference that I’m going to redo the sleeve in the first dress. Have fun!

  3. Pauline Droy says:

    I agree with champagnemaker, recycling is so rewarding, and to have such great results too – I can see you wearing this so much.

    • Thank you, Pauline! I do try to recycle often but am usually faced with the challenge of too little fabric. I agree with you about wearing this – I have a feeling it will become a wardrobe staple :)

  4. prttynpnk says:

    This is lovely, I love a treasure with a good story to it!

  5. JoanneM says:

    Very, very clever.

  6. Brenda says:

    Clever. What a beautiful project with a beautiful memory.

  7. Bethsews says:

    I love this! Looks great with jeans and a perfect match of old and new. I did heirloom sewing when my girls were small, nice to remember I may be able to use those skills again…

    • Hi Beth! I had not inserted a piece of lace in years! I was surprised to even find a piece of lace with my sewing supplies, and though it wasn’t insertion lace I made it work. I would love to have a piece of tiny edging for the sleeves!

  8. Jamye says:

    I love this! You have inspired me to pull out my pattern and put it to good use. Just wish I had such beautiful textiles to work with. What a treasure!

  9. Emily says:

    I think this is my favourite of your three S2584 versions, mostly because I love the lace inserts but also because I like to think of your grandmother chuckling! Oh, and it looks great too!

  10. Thank you so much, Emily! I almost didn’t make it since I couldn’t cut the sleeve out in one piece, but being my third time to sew the pattern there was a new comfort level there that let me be more creative with the project. Many thanks for writing. :)

  11. Carolyn says:

    What a fabulous use of an heirloom piece! And what a great looking top…each one you make tops the last one. Fantastic!

  12. Thank you, Carolyn! I know I’m going to love this and congratulations to you for completing your lovely co-ordinated wardrobe + the Giants’ big win. I bet all the New Yorkers are celebrating big-time today!

  13. katy says:

    I have sheets from my grandmother that are very much like this. Now I know what to do with them! Thanks.

  14. That’s a beautiful top, and I love your blog!

  15. Heather says:

    I have a few of these beautiful sheets with the hand crocheted edging that I have bought in France over the years. I love the way you have used this one, it looks great.

    I keep seeing references to heirloom sewing in US blogs, what is heirloom sewing? I am starting to make my summer wardrobe – there is so much snow on the ground in the UK I have lovely evenings available, it is too cold to be out.

    • Heather,
      Thanks so much for writing!
      Heirloom sewing is a collection of machine sewing techniques which were developed to imitate the fine French hand sewing using lace insertions, tucks etc…. batiste is usually the chosen fabric and a Christening Gown is a good example of heirloom sewing.
      Stay warm!!

  16. This tunic is beautiful..And I am soooo happy , that you didnt have enough fabric to do the sleeves, because adding the heirloom lace was gorgeous.. Looks fantastic on you..
    Cant wait to hunt for an old sheet .ha.
    Happy sewing.

    • Judy,
      Thank you so much for your comments on various posts. I appreciate all of them so much!
      Now, I’m happy too that I had to piece the sleeves together, but I almost scrapped the project because of it! It was a fun sewing experience.

  17. Art Attack says:

    Thanks on the shirt dress. The fabric actually came from Joann, believe it or not. It is the most wonderful cotton with 3% spandex. The only two bolts they had were this one and the green and white that I made the shirt with on my previous post. It is yummy. Our good fabric store has a lot of fabric with that blend but only in solids…not prints. I emailed my contact person at Britex to ask her about it but haven’t heard back from her yet. I’ll let you know what they say.

    I love this shirt with your g’mother’s crochet work. I think I have some pillowcases packed away that have a similar trim. I never thought of incorporating it into apparel so I may steal your idea if I can dig them up. It is really cute!

    • Steal away!
      Great find at Joann’s. I didn’t realize Joann’s carried garment fabric until recently. For some reason I thought it was all craft and quilting, but the discovery has been a pleasant surprise!

  18. Sherry says:

    This looks really wonderful – what a great use of a family heirloom! I am sure your grandmother would prefer it to be used and appreciated, rather than stored in a dark cupboard too!

  19. poppykettle says:

    This is most definitely my favourite garment you’ve made – the white is so fresh, the detail from your grandmothers sheet is divine and I just love the neckline of this on you. Totally Gorgeous!

  20. Heather says:

    Helloooo!!! This pattern had quickly become an obession. I was disheartened to learn the pattern was discontinued. I found it however, on ebay and it took a few weeks to arrive here in Canada from Australia!! It was in my mailbox today. So excited! I will send you updates as I find some fabric. Whew Hew!!

  21. Pingback: Let’s Hang On To What We’ve Got! | Goodbye Valentino

  22. Valerie says:

    I love this blouse! Who would have ever thought to use an old sheet…. It’s lovely and since I already have this pattern in my stash, I really need to make one for myself.

    • Thank you, Valerie! Funny you would write about this sheet. Just yesterday I decided it needed a little something more. I pinned two darts in the back and bought some lace edging for the sleeves. I love this top and pattern too, though I find the pattern needs a little shaping. Would love to see what you make!

  23. Pingback: MSN / Face the Lace | Goodbye Valentino

  24. We stumbled over here different website and thought I may as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking at your web page for a second time.

  25. meridia says:

    Hi, I do think this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it ;) I’m going to revisit yet again since I saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

    • What a lovely comment, Meridia! You are so right…… breaking a spending addiction opens up a brand new life as I have experienced.
      By the way, this is one of my favorite projects ever. Many thanks for writing :)

  26. Sarah, I want to order the perfect fit class and the Vogue 8766 you made your great-looking navy lace dress from but don’t know if I should order the 8-10-12 (my bust is correct) but can’t find the bottom measurements and suspect that i would be larger there. What to do? I haven’t been on your blog in a while and it rocks! I’m am starting back sewing and am trying to take it slowly and realize it took you a long time to get to where you are. I haven’t sewn in 20 year and it is NOT like riding a bicycle!!!

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