Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sewing: Modern Farm Tablecloth (and Mitered Band Tutorial)

More Modern Farm party prep... I don't know how I got the idea but I couldn't resist doing a large size of these cute farm silhouettes as appliques on a tablecloth. Animals "grazing" along the sides, and...


...tractor, barn and silo on the ends.

I have made tablecloths before, the easy way, by simply hemming the edges, but this time I took white twill fabric (part of the Sew Classics canvas line at Joann) and added a contrast band of green (quilting cotton in "Bamboo" from Joann) with mitered corners. It was such a mind-bender to figure out so I created a tutorial for anyone else interested (crazy enough?) and so that I don't have to figure it out if I ever want to attempt it again. Click on the link below for the details.

I used HeatN'Bond and contrasting stitching to add the appliques to the tablecloth. I think these Modern Farm appliques would be so fun on a sweatshirt, place mat or even tote. The Modern Farm appliques in this large size are available in my Etsy shop here

Click below to view the tutorial for adding a mitered contrast band to a tablecloth. The first step for me was putting the baby in the Baby Bjorn (yes, it is possible to sew that way) and getting my toddler to take a nap!

To make a banded tablecloth with mitered corners, start with a purchased tablecloth or a piece of fabric in your desired dimensions. I purchased 2 1/2 yards of white fabric and cut it to measure 50"x100" -- I wanted the white center of the cloth to fall over the edge of the table about 3" as pictured on my dining table (left) and outdoor oval table (right). So you could measure your table top and add extra inches for your drop on all four sides.

For the band you will need enough fabric to border the perimeter of the center piece, plus extra to make the mitered corners. To figure out the yardage for the band you first need to determine the width you want. I used a 14" band, so I was able to cut two lengths from my yardage (and had another 14" piece leftover! what to do with a bunch of green?). I purchased 5 3/4 yards and cut two lengths, each measuring 14" wide and 206" long. To calculate the length for your two pieces, take the length and width of your center piece (in my case 100" + 50"= 150") and add 4 times the width of your band to allow for the mitering (in my case 4x14"=56" so I added 56" to the 150" for a total of 206").  Each length of fabric will go around one long and one short side of your center piece. Though you are piecing the band this way it won't' be apparent as all four corners will be mitered. See my rough illustration below to see how the dimensions work out.

Now that you have the pieces cut, you can start the construction:

1.  Lay out your center piece and pin the band to one long side, right sides of the fabric together, leaving a 14" allowance (or whatever band width you are working with) at one end (pictured below--I folded mine imagining the miter seam but that's not necessary...) and the remainder of the fabric at the other end (by "remainder" I am referring to the length remaining to form the mitered corner and border the short side of the center piece).

When pinning, leave yourself a 1/2 seam allowance from the edge of the center piece of fabric and start sewing there to allow room to stitch the band on the short side (this will make sense later if it doesn't right now, but you want the stitches meeting at a right angle, not running on top of each other in the corner).

2. Stitch the long side with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, ending 1/2 inch before the end of the center piece to once again accommodate stitching the band along the short side.

3. Now the fun part. Make a 14" (or whatever your band width is) fold at the corner, so you are taking up 28" of fabric total in the corner. This extra fabric will form the mitered corner. Pin the rest of the length of your band along the short side of the center piece, right sides together again.

You'll be starting this seam 1/2" from the edge as shown below so that the stitching lines meet up neatly in the corner.

 4. Stitch the seam at the short end of the tablecloth.

Hopefully these two stitching lines meet up neatly in the corner as shown below (I used red thread so it shows more easily).

5. Now we're going to stitch the mitered corner out of the folded fabric. To do this, lay the extra fabric out neatly, right sides together, matching the edges. To do this requires bringing the seams at the short and long sides of the cloth together making a point of the center piece at the corner as shown below.  Using a straight-edge of some kind draw a lstitching ine from the corner of the center piece, where the two seams meet to the outer corner of the band. Pin along this line.

6. Now stitch along the line. Your resulting seam will look like this on the wrong side:

Trim the extra from this mitered seam and press the seams.

7. Repeat the steps above with the second length of band fabric, sewing the seams along the long and short ends and forming the miter in the corner with the folded fabric. You will now have the band stitched all the way around the center piece of your tablecloth with two mitered corners and two un-seamed corners, with the extra fabric allowance as pictured below:

8. Now you'll form the miter at the remaining two corners with the extra fabric allowance.  Start by folding the tablecloth at one of these corners so the seams at the short and long ends meet...

...and the fabric allowance is laid out right sides together with edges aligned as pictured below from a couple angles. This is the same type of fold you made to form the miter with the folded fabric at the other corners.

Measure this allowance 14" (or whatever your width) from the corner of the center piece of your tablecloth.

Using a straight edge, draw a stitching line from the corner of the center piece to the edge of the band at the 14" mark.

Pin along this line.

 9.  Stitch along the line to form the mitered corner. Your finished seam will look like this on the wrong side:

All three seams (short side, long side and miter) should meet neatly in the corner:

Trim the extra fabric from the mitered seam. Press.

Repeat these steps on the last remaining corner and you've done it! Now hem your beautifully banded table cloth by turning under the raw edges twice and top stitching, and dare I say creating a small miter for neat corners (fold in the point of the corner before folding the edges).

Embellish the band if you'd like, as I did with these farm appliques. Would be fun to make one with Fall/Thanksgiving embellishments or for some other holiday. There are all sorts of possibilities. 

Imagine doing this on 24 napkins! Ugh! No wonder those banded napkins are so expensive.


Unknown said...

I love this! I would love you to just whip one up for me! :)

SixMonthsofKetchupSoup said...

Thank you SO much for the great tutorial!!! I combined your tutorial with another I found on pinterest for making easy mitered/lined baby blankets to make a double-mitered-lined tablecloth! never could have pulled it off without your help, many many thanks!!!

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