Sunday, March 14, 2010

To Bolt or Not To Bolt

That is the question. I often find myself in the upholstery fabric clearance section of our local craft store thinking I really like this print but I don’t need any more pillows, curtains, or chair covers. So in the end I buy the bolt of fabric (because the print moves me), I mean come on at $3 a yard who wouldn’t. That leaves me to figure out how I am going to use the 3 yards I impulsively purchased.

That leads me to my next problem: I have the hardest time finding table cloths I really like. Either the clearance table cloths are the wrong size or UGLY and the in season ones are too expensive, and not always what I am looking for. I mean if I am going to pay upward from $20 for a table cloth I better like it. So with Spring/Easter coming up I thought this would be a perfect time to try my table cloth making skills. I mean come on, how hard can it really be? Typically rectangular or oval, ah piece of cake. So I decided to replace our “Spring” table cloth (it is faded from washing) in the dining room.

Now I cheated a bit on this one because the fabric that I am using has a checkered pattern so I had go-by lines and didn’t have to measure anything. I first started by laying out the checkered fabric. I then placed the table cloth on-top to get a good measurement of the length (see I am not one for actually measuring, I like to trace). I cut the checkered pattern to fit.

(Good thing my helper was there just in case a gust of wind came through the house!)

Next, I measured the seam at ¾-inch to allow enough room for the sewing machine foot to be guided by both the inside and outside lines. This allows for a consistent line down the whole side. If you are concerned about folding and sewing at the same time, just take a hot iron and put a crease to hold your fold. My suggestion would be to fold (and sew) both long sides first and then fold (and sew) the short sides so your corners all look the same.

After your long sides are folded you are ready to sew. Now I am not claiming that I am a sewing expert, but a helpful hint while at the machine is to push and pull at the same time, especially with a heavy fabric like this one. By pushing and pulling I mean have both hands on the fabric, one guiding on each side of the foot. This will prevent the fabric from getting all jammed up either going in or coming out from the under the foot. This also helps to make sure you seam is consistent and the fabric isn’t sliding out of place.

Now wasn’t that simple. Just a simple straight stitch and viola new table cloth for under $10!


  1. I feel like this is a craft I can do! Did you have any fabric left over? What is the most suitable type of material for a table cloth?

  2. Wow I need to pay more attention thesecomments! I just had a few scraps left over in the end and a heavy fabric works best but you can really use any fabric that you would like.