Upcycling a Vintage Caftan

This post is picture heavy and contains just a bit of sewing related info so if you aren’t in the mood, I totally understand!  As you might already know, my son and his fiancé were married on Saturday.  As the parents of the groom, we hosted a rehearsal dinner on the Friday night before the wedding. The couple wanted a Mexican dinner which we had catered by a local Mexican restaurant.  I don’t usually do this but it worked out well for us.  I had so much going on and not cooking the meal myself was so helpful.

When my husband and I thought about the dinner, we really wanted to have it outdoors.  Our front yard is so pretty and very private because we live on rural property and don’t have neighbors close by.  Again, I went the simpler route and rented tables, chairs, dishes, flatware and wine glasses.  This really made for an easy party because we didn’t have to wash dishes afterward.  All that was required was to stack the dishes, glassware and flatware in restaurant style racks and they picked it up in the morning.  With the wedding the next day, it was great not to have to deal with lots of clean up that night.

The fun part was thinking about decorations.  My first thought was I needed two brightly colored table cloths and table runners for the center of each table.

1970’s Caftan

My frugal self sent me over to the thrift stores in town to hunt.  I didn’t find any table cloths but did find a fun vintage caftan.  I decided to use a harvest gold table cloth I already had and a red one belonging to my mom.

My thought was to utilize the stitching somehow by taking it apart and reassembling it.  I cut the bottom off, leaving a border of the green.  I hemmed it all the way around and that created one runner.  For the second runner, I cut a large swath of the solid fabric from the center of the dress.  Then I cut the sleeves off so I could use the decorated portion of the sleeves. The width of the second runner was determined by how wide the stitching was on the deconstructed sleeves. I attached one section of the decorative stitching to each end of the solid color fabric so it ran vertically on each end.  I did have to block the runners and starch them to get them to lay (mostly) flat.  These had been laundered and worn quite a bit so the fabric was not at all square.

The runners are different but coordinated.  (I didn’t take pictures of just the runners but this  sort of gives you an idea.

Here is the other one.

To finish things off, I potted little succulents in small clay pots gleaned from my garage and. my mother’s.  I added votive candles and small vases with Alstroemeria and dwarf Sunflowers. The vases are actually small pitchers I bought during a family vacation in Mexico a long time ago.  We also tucked in some lemon halves that had a large number of whole cloves inserted across the cut side because we read that it might repel the Yellowjackets.  (At this time of year, we often have yellow jackets and they are so annoying when we eat outdoors.  My husband put about 1/2 dozen open cans of cat food and tuna in strategic locations around the perimeter of the lawn and this proved to be a good distraction for the bees.  They were not a problem during the dinner). The lemons looked nice but I highly doubt their scent did much to help us.

Of course, way too much food!

The dinner was wonderful.

Toasting my son and his fiancé

We celebrated the bride and groom with toasts, laughter and great food.

Decorating the arbor on Saturday morning.

Saturday morning we all headed over to the venue (maybe ten miles from home) and got everything ready.  My husband built an arbor for the kids to stand in front of for the ceremony.  Now they will have it to put in their yard as a remembrance of their day.  The bride wanted it draped with soft, flowing tulle.  I found two colors at JoAnn’s and bought 15 yards of each the Eggnog and the light Peach colors.  My husband patiently draped and re-draped it as we all stood on the ground giving direction. (You can imagine, right??)

It was a breezy day which was nice and it made the tulle float a bit.

My daughter-in-law’s Jackie O look. She is so funny.

Saturday morning was really a fun family time.  Everyone was so excited about the wedding and just enjoying each other’s company.

The guys set up the chairs while we decorated the arbor.

This guy loves being a father!

My grand daughter had so much fun running around but we had to keep close track of her because there is a creek running through the property and a large pond as well.

Time for coffee and scones.

Once the arbor was set up and the chairs in place, all we had to do was place the tables where we wanted them.  Then the wedding coordinator and the caterers came and set the tables.  I wish I had a picture of this before the ceremony started.  I am sure the photographer got some though.  I will share them when we get to see them (likely a several weeks from now.) Spending the morning of the wedding day together getting things ready was so much fun.

I will share some wedding pictures in a separate post.  Everyone has gone back to their real lives.  The bride and groom are taking their honeymoon in May so they are back to work now.  My plan for this morning is to tackle some housecleaning.  It is a complete disaster!  Then I need to get back to work.  I received a box of fabric yesterday and there is another scheduled to arrive this afternoon so I have lots to do.  If you have been waiting for Carrie Bloomston’s new line, Wonder, it should be listed by tomorrow, maybe late this afternoon if I can get to it!  It is just fantastic.

Linking to my favorites!  Including a new link up called Brag About Your Beauties, hosted by Michelle of From Bolt to Beauty. Come take a look – there will surely be something to inspire you!

 

 

18 thoughts on “Upcycling a Vintage Caftan

  1. Wendy

    Well, I should’ve been thinking wedding when I was trying to guess what you were creating with that caftan! Looks like it was a fun day of being together to celebrate happiness and joy. Love the picture of you and your husband! Congratulations to all of you 🙂

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Wendy. The whole weekend was really special. So much joy, the bride and groom were adorable, and all the family was in town. Doesn’t get any better than that!

      Reply
  2. Laurie Lasala-Tuttle

    Great post Bernie, with lovely photos! I love to repurpose, and you did such beautiful work with the table runners. I like that you made the weekend a little easier by having the dinner catered. We have 3 sons, and not yet married, so I enjoy reading about other mothers wedding experiences.
    Have a beautiful day, Laurie in San Juan Capistrano

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Laurie. We really wanted something special for the rehearsal dinner and thought hosting it at home would be more personal than at a restaurant. Catering and renting everything actually turned out to be quite reasonable, maybe even less than it would have been at a restaurant – plus, we had a blast doing it. Have a great weekend!

      Reply
  3. Rose

    It’s almost like being there! You definitely lucked out with the venue, decor, weather and most important no stinging. Can’t wait to see the wedding photos and receiving my bundle of CB fabrics-you are saving me one-right?

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      We definitely lucked out – perfect weather and everyone really enjoyed the party! I am unpacking the Bloomston box today. I will send you a note later on. Your bundle is waiting for you!

      Reply
  4. Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl

    I am so glad that the wedding was a wonderful family time. And I love the upcycled caftan you used for the table runners, they turned out beautifully. Being outdoors for it all, the weather looked perfect and I love all the smiles I see in the photos. Also, you look absolutely stunning!

    Reply
  5. Mari

    Wow, that wasreally creative! Looks like it was a lovely wedding, and what a great idea to rent everything and use caterers. The less stress the better! You and your husband look really happy, too! I;m glad it was such a wonderful time. Best wishes to the bride and groom!

    Reply
  6. Kate

    I’ve never been to an outdoor wedding, we don’t get the weather here, it makes such a beautiful backdrop, so romantic. Everyone look so happy and relaxed and you look wonderful. I’m looking forward to seeing the wedding pics.

    Reply
  7. Jayne

    What a wonderful time I’m sure you all had! Ingenious use of a thrift store find. It made the tables festive and beautiful! It’s always risky having a wedding outside and it appears the weather wasn’t a factor whatsoever!

    Reply
  8. Debbie Miller

    Love the idea for recycling the caftan! Beautiful tables and love the arbor. I too often shop thrift store clothing for unique fabrics, buttons and trims. Congratulations on the wedding, everyone looked so happy.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      YEs – I love finding fun buttons and trims. I always take quick look at those as well! Thanks for your note Debbie!

      Reply
  9. JanineMarie

    Well, once again you’ve blown me away with your just-right finds when you thrift and your creative ideas. That wedding weekend looks like it was absolutely perfect. I love the gift of the arbor for both the wedding and the happily ever after, too.

    Reply

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