Many of my friends know that my favorite place to shop for clothes is Marketplace India. The styles are simple, timeless, easy to wear and care for. The best thing though, is the fabric and the hand-embroidered embellishment. The fabrics are hand-dyed (often wax batik) or hand-printed. Almost every garment has a bit of hand embroidery to enhance or add to the pattern in the fabric. These clothes give me inspiration for my own work as well as giving me joy when I wear them.
Several years ago, I also bought a couple of table runners from them. I used them atop a buffet and another drawer unit in our condo. When we moved I decided it was time to retire them. They had faded and looked rather tired. I still liked the pattern of the fabric so I hung onto them thinking I'd repurpose them somehow. A couple of weeks ago I finally got around to looking at them again and decided I'd cut them up for pillow covers.
There were two layers (I thought) seamed together around the sides. So the first thing I did was to cut around the edges to get rid of the thickness and separate the layers. Much to my surprise there were not two layers, but three. The inside was also a beautiful hand-done wax batik print. In the one, the inside was a single fabric of the same pattern as the outside, but in a soft purple color. (The outside was black and white.) In the other--more of the same but also a nice rust pattern.
The other nice surprise was that the back of the black fabric which had been sheltered from the light still had it's nice intense color. So far I have made two new sofa pillow covers from these table runners and I have probably enough for at least one more. Here are the two I've finished.
I fussy-cut some of the motifs from the inside fabric and appliqued them onto the back of the outside fabric with hand embroidery. I also added a bit more embroidery to enhance the original pattern. I am quite pleased with the result. It feels so good to take something old and worn out and make it into something new and vibrant again.
Look for them soon in my Etsy shop.
Mother & daughter, Ann Lee & Sonja Lee-Austin share their joys and struggles in their art and lives.