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Easiest Tablecloth Ever

Easiest Tablecloth Ever

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Coordinating tablecloths can add so much to a living or dining room, den or kitchen - yet finding quality cloths that match your decor can be a costly business in terms of both time and money. We have the solution: the easiest, prettiest rectangular tablecloth you'll ever make. The technique is so simple, yet comes out looking so professional that your company will never believe you sewed it yourself.

Don't be intimidated by the length of the instructions. Most of the detail concerns measuring your tablecloth; the actual sewing has very few steps.

YOU WILL NEED:
Fabric (you'll figure out how much in the next step) Thread to blend or match Fabric glue stick

BEFORE YOU START
The first thing you have to do is figure out how much fabric you're going to need, which obviously depends on the size of your table. When buying your fabric, choose one that is wide enough so that your tablecloth can be sewn in one piece. Not only is this so much easier, it's a lot prettier, too! Here's a guideline for figuring out the fabric width when you go shopping:

Fabric Width Finished Width
48 inches Up to 44 inches
<54 inches Up to 50 inches
60 inches Up to 56 inches

Here's how to calculate the amount of fabric you'll need to buy.
First measure the length of your table from one end to the other. (A)
Do the same for the width. (B)
Add the drop length. (C)

Here is a general guideline:
Casual tablecloths: 10-12 inches
Formal tablecloths: 16-24 inches
Floor length tablecloths: 28-29 inches (should drop to about 1/2" above the floor)
To figure out your finished length, add A+C+4" for the hem; for finished width, add B+C+4" for the hem.
For example: If your table has a length of 65" and a width of 37", and you want a drop length of 10", your calculation will look like this:
65+10+4=79
37+10+4=51
That means that you'll need to buy 79 inches of a 60" wide fabric.

Now that you've bought your fabric, you're ready to begin!
Preshrink your fabric before you cut it. If it's machine washable, wash and dry it according to instructions. If it's dry clean only, preshrink it by pressing with steam, moving the iron across the grainlines evenly. Let the fabric dry before you move it.

SEWING INSTRUCTIONS
Straighten the cut edges of your fabric using one of the following methods: For tightly woven fabrics: Align one side of a carpenter's square to the selvage and mark a straight line on the perpendicular side.

For loosely woven fabrics (like linen): Pull out a thread of fabric along the crosswise grain, from one selvage to the other. The missing thread will leave a line for you to cut along. Measure a rectangle corresponding to your measurements, as calculated above. Cut out the rectangle.

CAUTION: MAKE SURE that you cut on the grain and not against it - otherwise, your tablecloth won't lay flat. Fold the edges of your fabric on all sides to 2" and press.

Unfold.
Fold each corner diagonally at the point where the creases intersect.
Press each corner.
Trim off each corner at the point where it crosses the foldlines.
Hold each corner in place using a drop of the fabric glue stick. This is the basis for the mitered corners that give such a neat, crisp look to this tablecloth.
Now you're going to prepare the double hem.
Refold all the edges of your fabric to the 2" fold line that you made before, and press.
Fold up again, enclosing the raw edge to form a 1" double fold hem.
Pin the hem, with the pins perpendicular to the fold.
For extra security, dot the mitered folds at the corners with the glue stick to hold them down.
Insert your tablecloth under the presser foot of your machine.

HINT:
You will have a lot of bulky material at the left of your sewing machine. If you can support with a small table or large stool, the fabric will feed more easily, which will facilitate a straight stitching line.

Edge-stitch along the inner fold line. That means to stitch as close as possible to the inner edge of the hem. This is accomplished by positioning the presser foot of the machine so that the needle will enter the fabric just inside the inner edge.

When you reach the corners, stop sewing. Make sure that the needle is down in the fabric; turn to continue sewing along the next side.

When you meet up with the point you began at, overlap the stitch about 1/2".

HINT:
Unless you're an incredibly experienced sewer, sew the hem slowly to maintain control.

Remove the tablecloth from the machine and snip off any extra threads. Press your tablecloth and spread it on your table. Stand back and admire!

This technique can be used for the following projects, as well:
Placemats
Cloth napkins
A smaller, square tablecloth for an elegant topper on a round, floor-length tablecloth.




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