Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Customized Table Linens

Amby and I recently found bedspreads on sale at Urban Outfitters. They were very simply constructed, basically a 90 x 120" piece of 100% cotton. The prints and color combinations were bright and unusual and we really liked them. Amby bought one to use as a bedspread for the daybed in her study. I bought three to make into tablecloths with matching napkins. I am featuring one of them in today's post.

First, I prewashed the fabric. Then I laid it on my table to determine how much I wanted to cut off. I could have measured it instead, but sometimes I just feel better if I eyeball it. As you can see, it was way too large:

Because I wanted to conserve as much fabric as possible for napkins, I cut from only one side. I moved it to the length I wanted on the left side, then pulled up the corners and used that as a guide for the right side:

Then, allowing some for the hem, I snipped across a couple of inches on the right side and tore the fabric the rest of the way across. It is much more accurate to tear the fabric than to cut it if it is a natural fiber, such as cotton or a cotton blend. It is also much quicker.

I laid out the remaining fabric, and using a napkin I already had as a guide, I tore the fabric into even squares, allowing some extra fabric for the hems I would be adding. I used the already finished edge of the tablecloth as the bottom of each napkin, which eliminated some of the hemming I would have to do. There was enough leftover fabric to make seven napkins.
For the tablecloth and each napkin, I first pressed down the raw edges:

Then folded over a hem and pressed it well:

Then I hemmed it with my sewing machine:

The tablecloth goes well with my kitchen and looks especially festive on my porch. I made it and the matching napkins for $10.

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