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Make a tailored tablecloth: free sewing pattern

PR Vanessa Arbuthnott tailored tablecloth to sew - Free sewing patterns - Craft -

If you have an old table that’s looking the worse for wear, this cloth will give it an instant update. The floor-length cover, which completely hides the legs, is made in Life and Eternity Detail and has a contrast border in Life and Eternity Ground, side ties to hold it in place made from Simple Ticking, and pleat backings in Simple Ticking Ground. All the fabrics are in Spinach, and the subtle green and white works beautifully with accents of pink. Make sure you stitch the ties fairly high up, to allow the cloth some movement and so diners can get their feet under the table. The contrast border neatly finishes the bottom edge – it’s best to choose a slightly darker fabric for this as, with a floor-length tablecloth, it is likely to get scuffed.

You will need

● main fabric (see below for quantity)
● contrast fabric for borders (see below for quantity)
● a second contrast fabric for pleat backings (see below for quantity)
● 25cm of a third contrast fabric for ties
● matching sewing thread
● paper for making patterns

Estimating quantity

● For the top, measure the length and width of your tabletop and cut out a paper pattern to this size, adding a 1.5cm seam allowance all around.
● For the front/back skirt pieces, measure the height of your table and subtract 8cm from this measurement for the bottom border. Cut out a pattern to this depth, by the length of the table, adding a 1.5cm seam allowance all around.
● For the side skirt pieces, cut out a pattern the same depth as the front/back skirt pieces, by the width of the table, adding a 1.5cm seam allowance all around.
● For the front/back border pieces, allow two strips of fabric 15.5cm deep, by the length of the table, adding a 1.5cm seam allowance all around.
● For the side border pieces, allow two strips of fabric 15.5cm deep, by the width of the table, adding a 1.5cm seam allowance all around.
● For the pleat backings, cut out a pattern the full height of your table, by 30.5cm wide, adding a 1.5cm seam allowance to each long side edge and the top edge, plus a 9cm hem allowance to the bottom edge.
● Use the patterns to calculate how much of each fabric you will need.

To make

From the main fabric, cut out one top, one front skirt, one back skirt and two side skirt pieces. From the first contrast fabric, cut out one front border, one back border and two side border pieces. From the second contrast fabric, cut out four pleat backings. From the third contrast fabric, cut out eight ties, each 56cm x 6cm. With right sides together and raw edges even, pin a border piece to the base edge of each corresponding skirt piece, and machine-stitch a 1.5cm seam. Press the seams toward the borders.

Make up the eight ties (click here for instructions on making ties), finishing one end of each. Measure 15cm down each side edge of the four skirt pieces and mark the positions with pins. With raw edges even, tack a tie to the right side of the skirt piece at each marked position, placing the top edge of the tie even with the pin marks.

With right sides together, and raw edges even, pin and tack a pleat backing between a side edge of one side skirt and a side edge of the front skirt, sandwiching the ties in between. Machine-stitch 1.5cm seams. Repeat to stitch a pleat backing to the other side edge of that side skirt and to a side edge of the back skirt. Now repeat for the remaining pleat backings and skirt pieces, until all the pieces are stitched together into a ring. Remove tacking stitches, zigzag-stitch the seam allowances together, and press them toward the skirt pieces.

Zigzag-stitch the lower edge of the border and then press a single 9cm hem to the wrong side all around the skirt. Pin and hemstitch in place.

Now make the pleats at each corner. With wrong sides together, fold the skirt along one of the pleat backing seams, so the seam lies on the edge; press. Repeat at each seam.

Measure and mark the centre position of each pleat backing at the top and at the edge of the hem with pins. Starting at one corner, bring the two pressed folds over to meet the centre pins at the top and bottom of the pleat backing. Tack the pleat in position along the top raw edge.

Pin, tack, and machine-stitch the pleated skirt to the top, matching a pleat to each corner, and snipping into the seam allowances of the skirt and pleat backing at each corner to allow the skirt to go around the corner. Remove the tacking. Zigzag-stitch the seam allowances together and press toward the skirt. Place the finished tablecloth over the table and fasten the ties in bows to hold in place.

This project is taken from 'The Home-sewn Home' by Vanessa Arbuthnott  with Gail Abbott (Cico Books, £16.99). 

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