Free Directions to Sew a Custom Tablecloth

Woman hanging tablecloth on clothesline
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  • 01 of 03

    Measure Your Table

    Measure Your Table
    Measure Your Table. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to

    Tablecloths can cost a fortune IF you can find the color or print you want. Sew your own table cloth in the colors and prints you want at a fraction of retail costs. Consider making different shapes and sizes to achieve a layered look.

    A Square, Rectangle, or Oval Table

    • Measure the table and the amount of drop you want from the table top. I like no more than 4" as this prevents it being accidentally picked up when someone is reaching for the napkin on their lap.
    • For example, a table top measures 60" by 36" and I want a 4" drop on each side. I would then add 1" if I will be making a 1/4" turned under baby hem on each edge. I would cut my fabric 69" by 45".... so I would buy two yards of 45" wide fabric.
      For an oval table, treat it as a rectangle table, but round off the corners, using a template such as a dining plate to round the corners.

    A Round Table

    • Measure across the table until you have the longest measurement, to assure you have the true size of the table.
    • Add the amount of drop you will want on the sides of the tablecloth.
    • For example, a 42" wide round table, with a 4" drop in the edges and 1" for 1/4" turned under baby hem on the edge, I would need a 51" square to cut a 51" round circle. I would need to buy 60" wide fabric or 45" wide fabric and a trim to add to the edge so there is enough drop on the edges.
    • Cut a circle from the fabric by folding a square in quarters and using a string from the folded corner to the edges.

    Extra Wide Fabric Sources

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  • 02 of 03

    Baby Hems

    Hemming Options
    Hemming Options. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to

    Hemming a Square or Rectangle Tablecloth

    • To sew a baby hem on the edges of a tablecloth, press under 1/4" to the wrong side of the fabric.​​
    • Tip: Sew a 1/4" from the edge and use the stitching line as a guide for turning under the edge without having to measure as you press.
    • Turn under again so that the raw edge is enclosed.
    • Miter the corners. (Information on how to miter corners)
    • Use a straight stitch, stitching close to the loose folded edge to hold the hem in place.
      Tip If you use a solid color fabric, consider using a decorative stitch and contrasting thread to sew the hem in place.

    Hemming a Round or Oval Tablecloth

    • Sew a basting stitch 1/4" from the edge.
    • Press the edge toward the wrong side using the stitching line as a guide.
    • Press under again to enclose the raw edge.
    • Use the basting stitches to ease in the fullness and make the hem fit the fabric so that the hem will lay flat and smooth.
    • Use a straight stitch, stitching close to the loose folded edge to hold the hem in place.

    Tip: A great way to keep the hem stitching straight is to use a guide and needle position. More Information: Guide to Understanding Sewing Machine Needle Position and How to Sew a Straight Seam and Sewing Machine Seam Guides

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  • 03 of 03

    Optional: Adding Trim

    Adding Trim
    Adding Trim. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to

    The raw edge of the fabric must be secured with a seam finish either before or after attaching trim to the edge of your table cloth.

    If the trim you will be attaching is pre-finished on both edges it is possible to attach it over a finished edge. Hem, zigzag or serge the raw edge of the table cloth before attaching the trim.

    If one edge of the trim is not finished place the right sides of the trim and fabric together to sew on the trim. Zigzag or serge the raw edges together. Press the seam allowance toward the body of the tablecloth and top stitch the hem to the body of the tablecloth.