It may be one of my mantras, and it is definitely another confession of mine. There are only a few things I won't attempt to make myself: clothes, tortillas, cheese, and mayonnaise (though I wouldn't consider that an exhaustive list). Most everything else my little engineer mind relishes in creating from scratch, seeing parts come together to make a beautiful, useful whole.
I began browsing a few months ago when I decided we needed a tablecloth, but I couldn't find anything I liked. The options were either too formal, too flashy, too expensive, or just ugly.
What's an girl to do? Make her own, of course. The internet proved somewhat useful as I found a large following of crafty homemakers with a plethora of advice on home-made tablecloths. The catch was that I didn't have access to a sewing machine--so I had to get creative. Back in the recesses of my mind, I remembered a craft mom and I did where we used Stitch-Witchery, a net-like fusing fabric. Hobby Lobby carried it in 5/8" tape, which proved perfect for the hemming.
Fabric Details: This lovely fabric was $4/yard (on clearance from $30/yard), and is extra-wide (54"). I have approximately a 6" drop on all sides. My table is oval, but I chose to leave the tablecloth square, because it seemed too difficult to round the corners. (Note: Wash your fabric before you sew it.)
- Measure the length and width of the table.
- Add double the drop length (6" + 6" = 12") to each dimension.
- Add width of hem (2" + 2" = 4") to each dimension.
- Cut cloth to dimension.*
- Starting at corner, measure a 1" fold and iron (fabric-only, at this point) along the entire side.
- You now have two options:
- Pin and sew across the edge
- Working with ~12" sections of Stitch-Witchery (I used heavy-duty), iron for 10 sec. each side with steam setting.
- Repeat for all four sides.
To make sure my hem was secure & wouldn't fray, I did a second fold & hem around the edge. I found the fabric was too thick at the edges, so I hand-stitched them.
*If your fabric isn't wide enough:
- Buy double the length you need and cut it in half (hamburger style)
- Place one piece on top of the other, pattern-side in & sew long edges (creating a cylinder)
- Bring sewn edges together to find the middle of one piece and make a mark down the middle with a fabric marker (alternatively, you could iron to form a crease).
- Cut along the mark, and now you have double-wide fabric!
P.S. I got these five books for $3.50 at the public library book sale today. (Basically a STEAL!) Titles are as follows: The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges, The Frugal Gourmet Cooks with Wine by Jeff Smith, Thomas Aquinas: Selected Writings edited by Rev. Father M. C. D'Arcy, Flatland by Edwin A. Abbot, Freezing and Canning Cookbook by Food Editors of Farm Journal, and a recipe book for my Tupperwave Stack Cooker.
P.P.S. This goes with another personal mantra, "Why pay full price when I can get it used for much less?"