How to make a fitted table cloth

How to make a fitted table cloth

There are certain things you always take on a picnic:

food, sure, and ice, hungry people, and oh yeah, a tablecloth. Wherever you’re having your picnic, there’s bound to be dirt, grass, or a dirty table. But, after setting the table with clean tablecloth, food, and condiments, you sit down to eat and what’s the first thing that happens? The wind blows and up go the ends of the tablecloth, and you spend half the meal fighting to keep it down. Not an issue if you make it a fitted table cloth.

Tables are different sizes, so the cloth you make will stretch to fit various sizes. Measure your own rectangular kitchen or dining room table, from one side to the other and from one end to the other. Add extra inches onto each measurement to cover the sides of the table, slightly under the table, and to allow enough for the elastic to be inserted.

Put the corner of the tablecloth under the foot of the machine, with the elastic end placed at the corner. Sew a couple of stitches forward, a couple of stitches backward, then begin pulling slightly on the elastic as you sew forward. Stitch to the next corner, stop with the needle down, and turn the corner, pulling the elastic around to form a 90-degree angle. When you do this, one side of the elastic will raise up slightly. Backstitch to catch the elastic completely, then go forward, sewing to the next corner. Continue in this manner until you get to the corner where you started. Sew the elastic all the way to the corner, backstitch, and then pull elastic slightly while you trim it. Trim the tiny bit of fabric off from where you turned each corner.

For round tables, spread the new cloth on the table. Cut around, allowing enough for the sides of the table, and enough to go slightly under the table. Place tablecloth and elastic under the foot – start anywhere, and sew all the way around the circumference. After sewing the elastic on any shape of the tablecloth, you can turn the elastic over and stitch one more time, to hide the elastic, but the additional step is not a necessity.

You can make fitted tablecloths with matching fitted bench covers for any picnic table by measuring the table, making the cloth, then measuring the benches. Sew the bench seat covers just as you would the rectangular tablecloth. You can make the fitted cloths for your favorite park bench, stone benches on a hiking trail, or even your patio table and chairs at home.

The material doesn’t have to be fabric, it can be clear or colored plastic, too. Or make a tablecloth from cloth, then sew the plastic to the top side of the new tablecloth. You can also just purchase a plastic tablecloth and sew in the elastic. The plastic tablecloths are very inexpensive and the elastic sew in very quickly. Now you can enjoy the picnic and the new tablecloth.

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