You want your friends and family to feel welcomed into your dining room when you invite them over for dinner, but a plain table doesn't exactly say, "Please, take a seat and enjoy a delicious meal with me." Dust off your sewing machine, make a quick trip to the fabric store and use your creative skills to create simple rectangles of fabric that add a touch of decoration to your table that make the space more warm and inviting. Use fusible interfacing in the construction of your placemats to give them the sturdiness you feel in store-bought placemats at a homemade price.
Things You'll Need
5/8 yard printed cotton fabric
5/8 yard solid cotton fabric
5/8 yard medium weight fusible interfacing
Machine wash and dry both cotton fabrics. Iron the fabrics straight out of the dryer.
Cut one 20-by-14-inch rectangle from each fabric and from the fusible interfacing.
Heat your iron to the medium heat setting, and turn the steam function on. Place the rough side of the fusible interfacing against the wrong side of the printed fabric rectangle. Lay the two pieces down with the fabric on top.
Lay the iron over one area of the fabric. Press the iron down firmly holding it still over that area for 15 seconds. Lift the iron straight up, and repeat the process over a different area. Keep doing this to press the entire piece of fabric. The heat and steam in the iron activate the adhesive on the fusible interfacing, adhering it to the fabric. Let the piece cool completely.
Put the two pieces of fabric together with their right sides -- printed sides -- facing each other. Begin sewing around the two rectangles 5 inches before a corner on one of the 14-inch sides. Sew around the rectangles stopping 5 inches past the other corner on the same side you started. This leaves a 4-inch opening in the center of that side. Trim the seam allowance at a 45-degree angle at each corner so they turn properly.
Turn the placemat right side out through the 4-inch opening. Reach your hand into the opening and use your finger to push out the corners to make them crisp. Turn the fabric edges along the opening to the inside of the placemat 1/2 inch. Iron the folded edges and the rest of the placemat to smooth the seams and hold the folds.
Sew around the placemat with an 1/8-inch seam allowance. Sew around it a second time with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. The seams close the opening and give the placemat a professional-looking finish.
You need 5/8 yard of both fabrics and fusible interfacing for every two placemats you want to make. So, if you need six placemats, you need 3 3/4 yards of each material. Double check the instructions that come with your fusible interfacing. Most interfacing are applied in the same general manner, but directions can vary slightly by brand.
Do not skip pre-washing your fabric. Failing to pre-wash your fabric can result in warped seams after the placemats' first wash if the fabrics you constructed them from shrink differently.