Tablecloths are easy to sew – when you have the right size fabric! This time the table was so wide that with normal fabric the sides would not have dropped down properly over the edge. Two solutions: sewing one seam along the middle or adding pieces onto the sides, both of which mean buying twice as much material! I usually opt for the latter alternative which I think makes a neater result.
After removing the selvages and cutting the pieces to length I cut off 20 cm from both sides of one length to add onto the one that needs to be wider. I sewed them on with a narrow seam, the selvage sides together, and then zigzagged. Luckily the side table in the room measures just 70 cm wide, and as it’s sometimes used as an extension for the bigger table it made sense to make a narrower tablecloth out of the left over piece to match. This Marimekko linen was 146 cm wide after removing the selvages so I ended up with one tablecloth about 180 cm wide and the other just over a meter.
To measure the length of the fabric I counted the length of the table + half a meter for the ends + 10 cm for the folds + about 15 cm shrinkage. It’s usual to make a wider border for the ends than the sides. First mark 5 cm from the edge with sewing pins, turn the first fold to where the pins are and then make the final fold so that the marker pins are on the second fold. Sew near the edge of the first fold.
With curtains and tablecloths you can make one simple fold for the edge IF the selvage is neat and doesn’t pull. Here I turned the edge twice to make a centimeter wide border but below is another tablecloth with a single fold on the selvage.
This French cotton below has quite a wide selvage so you’d be better off cutting about 2 cm off and turning it twice.
A while back I bought this blue and white fabric to make some place mats. It’s from Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm, the Swedish equivalent to our Finnish Marimekko. They have beautiful cottons and linens that very much remind me of Liberty prints.
I had some white calico for the lining and first washed both the materials in a hot cycle to shrink them before sewing. The mats measure about 40 x 30 cm with a 1 cm seam. One meter of material was enough for eight table mats plus one useful unlined napkin – for the bread basket for example.
To make a neat corner for napkins you can make a little stitch diagonally in the inside before folding the edges in.