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Patio Party: Strips & Stripes Tablecloth

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The book of Classic Picnic Decorating says one must always default to the red and white checked tablecloth. We say, 'to heck with that.' Besides, there's no such book! Instead, we invite you to create your own vibrant and stylish table covering. Our instructions will help you make a banded tablecloth that uses three different printed fabrics. The unique ties at the corners look great and foil the wind by helping secure the table cloth to the table.

This project looks elaborate but thanks to the clever corners, it's constructed with simple straight seams. Our sample was designed to cover a table 6 feet (72") long and 30" wide with a 12" drop length around all four sides. You can adjust the measurements to best fit your own rectangular table.

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Our sample was made using the beautiful fabrics from Heather Bailey's Freshcut collection. For information on where to buy, read How to Create a Fabric Pallet.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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Fabric is from Heather Bailey's Freshcut collection, from left: Dotted Paisley-green, Graphic Mum-brown/turquoise, Stripe-gold.

  • Fabric for one inner tablecloth band: 2 1/8 yards of 45" width fabric: we used Heather Bailey's Freshcut in Graphic Mum-brown/turquoise
  • Fabric for two outer tablecloth bands- 2 1/8 yards of 45" width fabric: we used Heather Bailey's Freshcut in Dotted Paisley-green
  • Fabric for tablecloth "drop"- 2¼ yards of 45" width fabric: we used Heather Bailey's Freshcut in Stripe-gold
  • Fabric for ties- 2/3 yard of 45" width fabric will yield all 8 ties needed (each tie is 23"): we used Heather Bailey's Freshcut in Graphic Mum-brown/turquoise
  • All purpose thread
  • See-through ruler or yardstick
  • Fabric marker, pen or tailor's chalk for drawing on fabrics
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. On the fabric you are using for the one Inner Tablecloth Band (Graphic Mum-brown/turquoise in our sample), draw one rectangular shape 11" wide x 73" long.
    Diagram
  2. Cut around drawn edges.
  3. On the fabric you are using for the two Outer Tablecloth Bands (Dotted Paisley-green in our sample), draw two rectangular shapes that are each 11" wide x 73" long.
    Diagram
  4. Cut around drawn edges.
  5. On the fabric you are using for the Tablecloth Drop (Stripe-gold in our sample), draw four rectangular shapes that are each 37" wide x 13" high, and two rectangular shapes that are each 31" wide x 13" high.
    Diagram
  6. Cut around drawn edges.
  7. On the fabric you are using for the Side Ties (Graphic Mum-brown/turquoise in our sample), draw eight rectangular shapes that are each 2½" wide x 24" high.
    Diagram
  8. Cut around drawn edges.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. With right sides together, pin one of the Outer Tablecloth Bands to the Inner Tablecloth Band along the 73" lengthwise edge, and sew a ½" seam.
  2. With right sides together, pin the second Outer Tablecloth Bands to the opposite 73" lengthwise edge of the Inner Tablecloth Band, and sew a ½" seam.
  3. At your ironing board, press both of these lengthwise ½" seams flat and open.
    Diagram
  4. Set tablecloth top aside.
  5. Pin two of the 37" width Tablecloth Drop pieces right sides together along the 13" edges, and sew a ½" seam to join them together. Repeat this with the remaining two 37" width Tablecloth Drop pieces.
  6. At your ironing board, press both of these seams flat and open. You will now have two long strips of Tablecloth Drop pieces that are each 73" width and 13" height, as well as two strips of Tablecloth Drop pieces that are 31" width and 13" height.
  7. For each of these four Tablecloth Drop pieces, you need to finish the edges with a simple double-turn hem. For each piece, turn the right side of the fabric under ¼" and press along ONE long edge and ALL short edges. After pressing these three edges on each piece, turn them all again another ¼" and edgestitch all around to create your double-turn ¼" hemmed edges. You will now have two Tablecloth Drop pieces that are 72" wide x 12½" high, finished on three sides; as well as two Tablecloth Drop pieces that are 30" wide x 12½" high, finished on three sides.
  8. Pin both of the 30" wide Tablecloth Drop pieces right sides together with the tablecloth top at each short end, lining up the raw edges and leaving a ½" space on each side.
    Diagram
  9. Sew a ½" seam.
  10. Pin the 72" wide Tablecloth Drop pieces right sides together with the tablecloth top along each long side, lining up the raw edges and leaving a ½" space on each side.
    Diagram
  11. Sew a ½" seam.
  12. Make sure to fold the 30" wide Tablecloth Drop pieces out of the way of the new seam, so the fabric does not get caught under the seam when sewing.
    Diagram
  13. At your ironing board, flip the tablecloth to the wrong side, and press the raw edge corner of the tablecloth top towards the inside of the tablecloth.
    Diagram
  14. Then press both seam allowances where the Tablecloth Drop pieces join the tablecloth top towards the inside of the tablecloth top.
    Diagram
  15. Set tablecloth aside.
  16. To make the Side Ties, take one of the cut Side Ties pieces and press the right side of each end to the backside of the fabric ½". Next, fold both corners of one of these ends at a 45° angle towards the center of the tie. Then press the right sideF of each lengthwise edge to the backside of the fabric ½". Finally, press the entire tie in half lengthwise and edgestitch around the entire tie.
    Diagram
  17. Repeat for all eight ties. You will now have eight finished Side Ties that are 23" length and about ¾" width, with one angled end and one squared-off end.
  18. At each of the four corners of the Tablecloth Drop, pin the squared-off end of the finished Side Ties to the Tablecloth Drop, so they are 2" below the seam and 1½" in from the edge, and edgestitch around tie end in a rectangular shape.
    Diagram
  19. Repeat this for all eight ties at each of the four corners.
  20. Lay tablecloth on top of table and tie each corner together to help secure the tablecloth to the table.

Hints and Tips

Substitute ribbons for corner ties

In our sample, we made our own 23" x ¾" width ties for the tablecloth corners. However, you can save a little time by buying satin or grosgrain ribbon (2/3 yard per tie, or 5⅓ yard total for eight ties), which comes in pre-determined widths and colorful, unique designs.

To tidy up the ends of your ribbons, you should fold back the ribbon edge at least ¼"- ½", and then topstitch the ribbon onto the Tablecloth Drop panel. For the loose end of the ribbon, you may choose to fold the end on itself twice in ¼"- ½" folds and topstitch for a clean, finished look, or you can also cut the ribbon ends at a 45 degree angle and leave them raw. Test a small piece of your ribbon to see if the raw edge comes unraveled. Raveling is especially common with delicate silk and satin ribbons.

Want More Patio Party Projects?

Read Patio Party: Vintage Summertime with an Easy Modern Charm.

Contributors
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation & Instructions: Gregory Dickson

Other machines suitable for this project include the Pfaff Hobby 1132 or the White Sew Easy 2335.

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Comments (4)

Sandy Blazek said:
Sandy Blazek's picture

This is so festive it makes me want to have a cook out!!!  I love it!!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
super_pigeon -- yea! Glad you liked it. If you decide to make your own, let us know how it turns out.
Liz Johnson - Editor, Sew4Home
super_pigeon said:
super_pigeon's picture
Fabulous! Bookmarked for future reference . . .

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