DIY: Tablecloth with Ruffle Edge

Have you ever fallen in love with a fabric?

I fell in love with this fabric one day walking through Hobby Lobby, and I literally spent 2 weeks thinking of something I could make out of it. It didn’t come across as a fabric for a skirt or a dress, so I thought beyond clothes. And the idea of a tablecloth finally became clear. So with some measurement and brainstorming, I headed to Hobby Lobby to buy my 3 1/2 yards of the wonderful fabric.

I assembled everything together in the common room of my dorm room. It was definitely a small space (all my cutting took place on the floor), but luckily I had everything I needed, even a dorm room sized ironing board.

Step 1 was measuring. I wanted to send this to my parents, so I had my dad measure the diameter of our patio table (42 inches) back home. And with 44 inch-wide fabric, I decided to cut the circle with that diameter (since I couldn’t get any bigger).

I used a technique to cut the circle from this website that I found when I was doing some pre-sewing research (see her first sketch). But basically, the technique is taking your fabric pencil and attaching it to a string that measures your radius – like a compass circle. After marking, I simply made the cut.

With the top done, step 1 is complete, and it’s time to more on to the ruffled skirt.

And we start step 2 like step 1 with lots of measuring. I measured two long panels 10 inches high and 3 1/2 yards long. After cutting them out, I sewed the two panels together, making a one 5 yard long panel and began pinning the rik rac on the fabric. I placed the rik rac 2 1/2 inches above the unhemmed edge.

In Step 3, we sew on the rik rac. After pinning it down, I simply ran a straight stitch right down the middle of the ribbon. Then I took the time to go back and sew in the zig-zagged pattern, making sure the edges were securely sewed down.

Then I changed the settings of my sewing machine to allow for a looser and longer stitch. With this, I sewed along the upper part of the fabric, not sewing backwards to secure the ends. Then, taking only one string on the end, I gently pulled on the string to gather the fabric. Continually spreading out the fabric and pulling the string to gather the fabric, a nice ruffled effect is created.

And then with right sides together (ignore the left picture above, it is wrong) pin the ruffled skirt to the circled top. With everything in place, sit yourself down at a sewing machine and sew – using the standard 5/8 seam allowance.

The final step is to sew a hem for the skirt (the easiest part) and iron out all the wrinkles. And ta da! You have yourself a beautiful, spring tablecloth.

Note: I did make this for a 42″ round table and the one picture above is on a 35″ one, but I kind of liked how it looks here. (I’m thinking I might have to make another one!)

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DIY: Cloth Napkins

What’s fancier than having a cloth napkin? Think about it, have you ever been to a nice restaurant that sets the table with paper napkins and plastic silverware? No, of course not. So I have decided that even though the college lifestyle has been defined by paper plates and plastic cups in the past, we are a generation with more of a refined taste. (Or we should try to be at least).

On a college budget, purchasing these napkins could be a little pricing (depending on where you go), so of course, I highly suggest the option of making them for yourself.

I chose to make 16″ squares for my napkins, so with the patterned fabric, I measured and cut a 17″ square. Then with the solid fabric, I measured and cut a 16″ square. I laid out the two fabrics with the patterned side on the bottom and wrong sides together.

I then took an iron and pressed up the sides of the patterned fabric, pinning the fabric in place for the moment.

Once sitting down at the sewing machine, I folded the edge under again so the frayed edges was not visible. Then I simply straight stitched the edge.

It’s as simple as that. Now nothing is stopping you from living a life free of paper napkins and plastic forks!

Note: I used 1.5 yards of each fabric to create 5 napkins.