Making Placemats

As one of our wedding gifts, we received new dishes!  They are lovely and beautiful and I thought what better way to show how lovely and beautiful they are than by creating a beautiful table setting to match.  I had already made a table runner earlier, so all I needed was some placemats and napkins.  First up, placemats.

When I first got my sewing machine a few years ago, my mom printed me out directions on how to sew placemats from a blog she follows:  Stone Gable.  So, I dug out those instructions  and gathered up all my supplies and I was ready to start.

The first thing I did was fold my fabric in half.  The placemats are reversible, so you will need 2 pieces of fabric for each placemat.  So instead of cutting out 8 pieces of fabric, I folded the fabric in half and just cut through 2 pieces of fabric at a time, so I only had to cut 4 times.  Then, I marked the measurements out on the fabric (14.5 x 22″).

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The puppies even helped me measure everything out.

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Stone Gable said to cut 14.5 x 22″and with a 1/2″ seam it would make them 13.5 x 21″.  However, once I cut my first one out, I realized that was just too long for what I wanted.  So, I cut one 14.5 x 20″ and compared the two to see which one I liked best.

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I decided to go with the 14.5 x 20″ because I liked the look better and our table is smaller, so it would fit better as well.  So I trimmed 2″ off the first one I cut and cut all the rest 14.5 x 20″.

A tip to cut straight lines is to use tile grout as a reference.  Just line up your marks you made with the grout and cut inside the grout.sewing, placemats, dit

After all 4 placemats (8 pieces of fabric) were cut, I was ready to pin them together.   Pin the fabric with the two pretty sides facing each other.  *There is no need to iron your fabric at this point because when you flip the fabric, so the right side is facing out, it will just get wrinkly again.*

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Then, it is time for the sewing machine.  Sew a 1/2″ seam on all four sides.  However, I did not measure it out , I just eye balled it.

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Be sure to leave a tiny opening on one of the sides.  It should be big enough to pull the fabric through, but not too big because you will have to blind stitch it by hand later.

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Then, pull the fabric through that hole.  I did not get any pictures of this step because it is really a two hands process, but you will want to make sure not to pull too hard and rip any of your seams.

Now, the fabric is ready to be ironed.

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Be sure to iron the seams, so the placemat lays flat and also, iron a seam where the hole is to make it easier when you blind stitch it.

So, I keep talking about this blind stitch step.  This was my first time doing it.  I just got over my fear of my sewing machine, but still have very little experience sewing anything by hand, so I am not an expert at blind stitching nor very good at it.  So that being said, I will not try to give you instructions on how to do it.  However, I will give you the instructions I used from WikiHow:

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Here is my completed blind stitch:

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So it is not too pretty and I can most definately use some practice, but as long you dont look at that one corner, my placemats look pretty good!

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Budget Breakdown:

  • 2 yds of 54″ wide drapery fabric-$14, $7 per yard

Total:  $14 for 4 placemats

So what do you all think?  Have you tried blind stitching before?  Blind stitching and I just did not get along!  Do you have any tips?  Do you make your placemats or do you always purchase them?

*I will be back on Wednesday with the how to make the napkins and the reveal of our table setting!!