Monday, July 25, 2011

easy almost no-sew placemat tutorial

When I dug out my embroidery supplies to do my doodle stitching, I rediscovered supplies for some sewing projects I had long ago planned on making. This resulted in a little sewing binge over the weekend, which means you'll be seeing some sewing tutorials this week! First up? Easy-peasy, almost no-sew placemats.

Placemats are one of those things that frustrate me. When I am intent on purchasing some, it feels like the options are so blah and boring. I never seem to find exactly what I'm looking for. Why settle for ho-hum when you can make exactly what you want? I have a black table, so I wanted a black and white graphic print that I just couldn't seem to find anywhere among store-bought placemats. Hobby Lobby has started carrying a great selection of cotton duck fabric in some cute prints, so after some deliberating I settled on the Black Swan colorway. I made six double-sided place mats, which required 2 7/8 yards of fabric (45" wide) --or you could play it safe and just get three yards. :0)

I had fabric I loved, but then I was faced with deciding how to construct my place mats. Most tutorials you'll find instruct you to sew both sides together, right sides facing, and then turn your placemat right side out and top stitch the edges and quilt to finish (sandwhiching in some batting at some point in the process). Although I love the look of quilting, I just couldn't come up with a quilting pattern that wouldn't (in my mind) mar the look of this fabric. So, quilting was out. But I still wanted a thick, sturdy placemat--which requires some sort of batting or interfacing. My solution? Double-sided stiff fusible interfacing! I ended up using Dritz InnerFuse, since that's what I had on hand (hooray, stashbusting!). Each package contains two 18" x 14" rectangles, which are the perfect size for placemats.

Ready to make your own almost no-sew placemats? Here are the steps:

  1. Cut twelve rectangles from your fabric that are 19" x 15" in size.

  2. Using an iron, fold down and iron 1/4 inch strip along each edge (this step allows you to avoid having a raw edge that could unravel around the perimeter of your placemat).

  3. This is what your rectangle will look like when done ironing down each edge.

  4. Make a "sandwhich" of two placemat sides with the double-sided fusible interfacing in the middle (obviously, make sure your right sides are facing out).

  5. Follow instructions for fusing your interfacing. In my case, it was iron slowly across the fabric allowing for five seconds of constant heat in each position. Allow to cool. Flip over the project and repeat. Allow to cool, then permanently fuse the project by pressing both sides again. This is the trickiest step, since you'll be tucking in and finessing your folded down edges to line things up as you fuse it all together.

  6. After project has cooled, top-stitch around the edges to add extra security to the bonding of your edges and to add a little professional polish.

  7. Enjoy your new placemats!

Additional notes:

  • According to the InnerFuse instructions, these placemats should be machine washable (on gentle with cold) and tumble dry on low heat. I will have to update you when I test that!

  • The finished placemat has a really good sturdiness and weight. The texture of the cotton duck makes it feel like it will be really durable, as well. I'm sure this project would work well with quilting cotton, but I really recommend the cotton duck.

Let me know if you make any placemats using this tutorial! Happy sewing!

1 comment:

  1. Love the fabric you chose. I'd never thought about making my own placemats until I read this blog! I'm now thinking this might make an excellent, low-cost Christmas gift :)