Saturday, June 6, 2009

Upcycled Kitchen Curtain

In most of the Caribbean and Latin America the guayabera, mexican wedding shirt or chacabana as it's known in Dominican Republic is a fine garment. Usually made of linen with fussy micropintucks and pockets, fancy yokes/hems and buttons galore it's a thing of beauty. It's also literally a very cool way to dress for fancier occasions in the tropics. Instead of a multilayered suit you can slip on a pair of dress slacks and a fine linen chacabana starched to within an inch of its life and look like a gentleman.

This chacabana belonged to my dad until it met its match with the dry cleaner. I asked my mom to bring it to me to see if I could use it for something. I've always loved the look of the pintucks and figured I could at least cut a dress out of it for the baby. When I saw the extent of the damage I realized the dress would not be possible but some strategic pieces could be cut to make a cute kitchen curtain.

I cut a band the full width of the shirt which I appliqued to a larger piece of natural colored linen. Then I stumbled across some stencil templates on the martha stewart site that I thought would be perfect for a hand embroidery. I traced the leaf with water removable marker and then did a simple backstitch all around.

It's understated but the tucks and embroidery add a bit of flair. Between the curtain and this little rug I crocheted out of scraps in a fit of pregnancy induced nesting last year, my little space in front of the kitchen sink is becoming more cheerful than ever.


mygrandmalucy said...

I just LOVE that, Marielle. Is gorgeous; very zakka :) Where can I get a chacabana??!

Marielle said...

Usually my parents buy them when in Dominican Republic or down in South Florida under the name of "guayabera". I think I've seen them online and my mom mentioned they're now making beautiful chacabana styled dresses for women too.

Thank you so much for the compliments Lisa! I love how something can turn out completely different than the original idea but still enjoyable.