Saturday, August 24, 2013


We have a really lovely Shaker-style dining room table (thanks, Mama and Dad!) and chairs that were wedding presents. I love the simplicity of the design, the silky-smooth wood, and the small details where pieces join. We used to eat at it sans any kind of cover...

And then we had kids. My mother was the first one to point out we needed a table pad on it for starters (again, thanks), but then it also needed a tablecloth. And we owned a whole one tablecloth. And have you checked out tablecloth prices? They're insane for the nice cotton or linen ones! I didn't want polyester tablecloths; I didn't want vinyl. So I set out to make myself a couple.

Armed with my Etsy account and my new (to me) sewing machine, I tackled the problem and found that extra wide upholstery fabric and bias tape made some super easy, washable, attractive tablecloths. Seriously, you can whip one of these up in about ten minutes (with a sewing machine, that is). And I love that I got to pick the fabrics myself.

So, four years later, those two tablecloths I made (plus the original) have gotten some serious wear and tear. The flannel one is stained and faded, the batik one has holes, and my very favorite one (pictured) got somehow ruined with some sort of corrosive material that both bleached it in one spot and cause it to start fraying around the bleached area. I have no idea what was spilled on it. I tried my best to fix the fraying, but since we moved in to our new house, it's gained both paint drips and superglue spills. Hard to admit thought it was, it was time to say goodbye.

So, back to Etsy, which is a fabulous place to shop for fabric, in case you didn't already know this. I've found most places will even send you a swatch if you ask nicely. Here is my newest tablecloth:

Some say ginseng, some says shells.

Did I mention I'm more of a "more is more" decorator, especially when it comes to color? I am loving this orange, especially paired with the red bias tape. So warm. And, because I am so very pleased with my repurposeful self, I want you to know that that bias tape is the same as was on the old tablecloth. I ripped it off and reused it. So, this tablecloth cost a total of $19.97 (fabric and shipping).

If you're interested in doing this project yourself, you start by washing, drying, and ironing (probably the one and only time, if you're me) your fabric. I ordered 2 1/2 yards of 55" fabric and cut a little off the end (less than a 1/4 of a yard). Then, sew the bias tape around the whole thing, narrow side on top (I didn't even bother pinning because it's pretty easy to situate and hold as you're going along and, as my sister and husband might point out, I like to get things done fast).

The first time I made tablecloths, I did this on the corners:

Not lovely, but I thought mitering was beyond me, and it was before I realized I could find a tutorial for any skill I needed to possess on the Internet. This time, I used this tutorial and made prettier corners that were actually a ton easier. Go figure.

Never mind that selvage edge that's a little wider than the bias tape.

Here's a place setting on the table. I love all the color!

Not sure why it looks splotchy in this photo. This part is actually undamaged.

Finally, what should I do with the usable parts of my old ragged tablecloth? I still love the fabric. I'm thinking throw pillow covers. It's past time for an update. But I'm tempted by the idea of a pair of pants for Maggie. Too much look? I don't think so.

1 comment :

  1. Never too much look. Charlie would like a dress made of it. Enjoyed my shout out. Also--that must be Charlie in the picture, but it could so easily be Miles! Oh man--I just realized, Miles never went to Euclid. But he has been to Cody!


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