How did my remodeled bedroom lead to a new tablecloth for my dining room? Well, let me tell you. I mentioned last week that one of my contributions to the room was a rather spectacular curtain fail. I should have taken some photos before I ripped took them down, but I was a little distraught. My husband’s part of the project turned out so beautifully, and I was going to ruin everything with my wonky, wrong-color curtains?
As I said before, I was able to salvage those to make some long side drapes for our guest bedroom, which I actually love in there, but they were oh-so wrong for our bedroom. I didn’t really want to get back up on that particular horse, so I started searching for curtains I could buy. Turns out, our windows are weird sizes, especially since we didn’t want long drapes, so I almost had to give up on that too. A quick trip to Target saved everything. They had some that looked like burlap, but were made from a much more friendly fabric. The problem was, they were way too long.
Hemming was something I thought I could handle, so I cut a bunch off each panel and threw a hem in the bottom. After that they were perfect for the room.
However, I was left with a LOT of fabric.
I didn’t want to toss it, but had no idea what to do with it either. My husband suggested a tablecloth. The fabric is kind of perfect for it, but none of the pieces were even close to covering the whole table. I decided to Frankenstein it.
I could have done this with graph paper and math, but instead I went with the puzzle route. I started laying pieces on the table until I found a combination that would provide an acceptable amount of coverage and would allow me to use the existing hems. They’re already there, so why not?
I sewed the two side pieces together with a French seam. If you’re not familiar with that term, it means you place the pieces wrong sides together, sew a narrow seam, then turn the pieces so they’re right sides together and stitch the seam again. It encompasses the raw edges inside.
I ironed the seam to one side, then stitched next to the seam through all the layers, similar to a flat felled seam, like you’d find on the inner leg of jeans. It helped the tablecloth lay flatter.
At this point I had two halves, so I stitched those together using the same method. A little seamstress trick – the point where the two existing seams met in the middle was very thick, so I laid it on a hard, flat surface and hit it with a hammer. This is a use-at-your-own-risk tip, but it works. I was able to pound it down enough to easily stitch through it. I’d suggest protecting your fabric with a scrap or towel.
This looks great in our dining room, and I doubt most people would notice it matches the bedroom curtains.
The moral of my story is this: just because your piece of fabric isn’t as large as the table you’d like to use it on doesn’t mean you should give up. Piecing and French seams can make just about anything fit. Moral number two: throwing curtains on the floor doesn’t make them prettier.