The two questions I am asked most often are:
- Can you please share your crochet dress pattern?
- Can you please make me a wedding dress from my grandmother’s old lace tablecloths?
Today I am killing two birds with one stone by showing you how to make your very own crochet dress from a vintage tablecloth.
You don’t need any crochet skills, just a sewing machine, overlocker (serger) and a vintage crochet lace tablecloth. I have put together a set of simple instructions tailored to accommodate the most amateur, pattern-fearing seamstress.
I will also be sharing with you a simple technique I have developed for securely sewing crochet lace together.
This pattern is based on the DIY tablecloth dresses popular in the 1970’s.
This dress is an alternative to the traditional, structured wedding dress, and will cost you around $20. The money you save on your dress you can spend on your bohemian barefoot beach wedding in Bali. But please don’t invite me to your destination wedding because I have three kids and $5 in the bank.
Not getting married? Simply throw this dress over your bikini and head to the beach. When the weather cools down, layer your dress over tights or leggings. This will become your favourite and most versatile piece in your wardrobe.
Pregnant? This dress will stretch to accommodate your growing baby bump. Pregnant and getting married? You have come to the right corner of the internet.
You will need:
- flexible tape measure
- fabric scissors
- 4mm wide cotton twill tape
- dressmaking pins
- sewing machine
- 4 thread overlocker (serger)
- matching thread for machines
- vintage cotton crochet lace tablecloth
Choosing Your Tablecloth
You can find vintage crochet tablecloths in charity stores, your Nanna’s linen closet, garage sales or eBay. A lightweight, stretchy cotton crochet tablecloth will work best.
You can choose either a round, square or rectangle tablecloth. A square or round tablecloth will make a dress with a flirty, mini-length hemline and full-length sleeves. A rectangular tablecloth with give you a longer hemline.
- dress made from a round tablecloth
If you are using a round or square tablecloth, the diameter or width of your tablecloth needs to be between 152cm (60″) and 170cm (67″). Any shorter and you will be making a tunic rather than a dress.
- dress made from a rectangular tablecloth
If you are using a rectangular tablecloth, make sure one of the sides measures no longer than 150cm (60″).
Measuring Your Body
This dress requires 4 measurements:
A – Bust Circumference
Using your flexible tape measure, measure around the widest part of your bust, whilst wearing your bra. Divide this number by 4.
B – Bust Level
Measure from your shoulder to your bust point.
C – Hip Circumference
Measure the widest part of your hips, around your bum. Divide this number by 4.
D – Hip Level
Measure from your shoulder to your hip.
1. Fold your tablecloth into quarters.
2. Mark with a pin where measurements A and B collide (underarm)
Mark with a pin where measurements C and D collide (hip)
3. Mark an arc between these two points, extending the arc to the edges of the tablecloth. Cut.
4. In the top folded corner of your tablecloth, mark with pins a radius of 8cm (3″). Cut the neckline.
5. Unfold your tablecloth into a T shape. Pin the cotton twill tape to the crochet fabric along the underarm/side seams.
6. Using a straight stitch on your sewing machine, sew the tape to the crochet fabric. Fold under the ends of the tape.
7. Overlock (serge), trimming along the outer edge of the tape. Use a darning needle to thread the loose ends back into the seam.
8. Pin another piece of tape along the inside of the neck. Take care not to stretch the lace.
9. Overlock (serge) in place. Use a darning needle to thread the loose ends back into the seam.
10. Turn under neck tape and top stitch in place.
Optional: Use a safety pin to weave a ribbon belt around the waistline.
Your finished dress will be sheer so you will need to wear a separate slip underneath. You can find a vintage slip for a few dollars from a charity store or eBay.
- Flare the sleeves more
- dye the lace and tape a different colour before your begin
- experiment with different coloured slips underneath
- lower scooped neckline
For more free patterns, visit our library here.