Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Easy Breezy Table Linen Tutorial(s)

Hello folks! So as is implied by the title of this post, I will be detailing more than one tutorial for you today. Napkins-Place mats and Glass Covers. Matching or coordinating - it is all up to you!
I always like to set my table and make it look dressed up - I find it makes the meal taste that much better when everything around is aesthetically pleasing. For this reason I use place mats, tablecloths, napkins, glass covers (not necessarily all at once) and napkin rings to dress up the table. As you may know, these items can be quite pricey at the store and of course no one wants to have the same linens as everyone else on the block.
Enter homemade, handcrafted linens. Just the way they were done in the old days.
To make your own custom napkins you first need to decide on a size. As you can see from the picture below there are many possible sizes, 18X18, 15x15 and smaller. Generally you will want to keep a square shape although I have seen some rectangular napkins.

The first step will be to cut out your fabric to the appropriate size. I choose 15X15 as my finished size which meant I needed to add 1cm around the edge for my hem allowance. After you have cut out the desired number of napkins you will begin hemming them. I like to iron up the hem first as this makes it easier to sew and also keeps your edges a lot neater and straighter.

Press the sides down all around and then press them under a second time. This is known as a double turn hem. Now that you have pressed all of the sides you can begin sewing.

Sew around the entire napkin (don’t forget to backstitch to be sure the seam is strong). Voila! Napkins! I like to press mine again after sewing just to make sure they keep their shape.

To make your placemats you should choose a fabric that coordinates well with your napkins. You can use an existing placemat as a guide or simply decide yourself how large you would like the placemat to be. I made mine 18x 15 inches when finished. Again you will need to make sure you add a seam allowance to whatever size you decide you want the placemats to be. You will need to cut one piece of fabric for the top, one for the bottom and one piece of interfacing (fusible webbing) for each placemat being made. Iron the fusible interfacing onto either of the fabrics (top or bottom). Now place the fabrics RIGHT sides together.

Top Fabric

Bottom Fabric (matches the napkins).


Begin sewing remembering that you will need to leave an opening so you can turn the placemats right side out.
Once you have finished sewing around the outside, clip off the corners (don’t cut through your sewing) and trim away some of the excess fabric from the seam. Now turn the whole thing inside out. Iron the placemat flat after turning it right side out. Iron before sewing - it makes it easier! Once this is done you may begin topstitching. This will also close the opening that you left in the side seam.

You should topstitch about 1/8th of an inch in from the edge of the fabric. Go all the way around the placemat being sure to line up the opening and seal it shut. Congratulations – you just finished a custom made placemat for your home.

The glass covers will be slightly trickier than the other two projects. You will need to trace a round object (I used a jar lid) onto your fabric. Make sure that the fabric will stick out at least 2 inches over the rim of the glass or jug you intend to use it for. Once you have cut out the circle you will need to hem the edges. You may do a single or a double turn hem whatever you find easier/better. Once you have finished sewing you can begin attaching beads. You will need to string the beads together and then sew them onto the circle to act as weights to keep the fabric from falling into the glass or being blown off. I used four strands per circle.

Tracing my lid- make sure the fabric is big enough to drape over your glass/jug.

Sewing around after having ironed first.

Attaching the beads.

Once the beads are sewn on you are ready to enjoy your beverages out of doors without worrying about flies or wasps getting at them.
Enjoy the lovely creations you have made!

Of course you may want to try a different colour scheme than all white...
So why not whip up a colourful set too?

Stay tuned tomorrow for two very different menus to go with these two very different table decor schemes.
Please send me your links so I can check out your versions.
Happy sewing!


Tracy Krauss said...

You make your projects look easy and your descriptions and photos are always so professional!

Violetta said...

I invited you to the "I LOVE" game.Come and join the fun! :)


Jennifer said...

Just found your site and LOVE the tutorial for placemats. I'm such a basic seamstress but like to make things for the home if I can. I have added your blog to my reader!!

Feathers in the Nest

Pris said...

Brilliant! As always! And yay for being featured at Totally Tutorials again!!