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Holiday Tablecloth Plan

We always try (don’t always succeed!) to decorate for the holidays. Doesn’t matter which holiday, we try to decorate for it. Fabric stores always have all kinds of neat holiday fabric (mostly cotton, too). As the holiday approaches, these fabrics get marked down to considerable discounts!

I like to make tablecloths out of these holiday patterns. Our dining room table is about 4 feet wide and about 7 feet long, so we need a pretty wide tablecloth. Many of the “make your own tablecloth” plans use extra-wide (96″ or so) fabric — the problem is that these ultra-wide fabrics rarely (if ever) appear in the fabric stores in holiday patterns … or severely discounted!

So … I decided to make the tablecloth with fabric-store-standard 44″ wide fabric. I’ll have to join two pieces along the long edge to make it near 96″ wide … but I don’t want a seam down the middle of the tablecloth. Here’s how I do it …

(Oh, and here’s what the completed project looks like on my table. Hadn’t had a chance to clear it off and set it when I took the picture. In our house, a flat and clear table quickly gathers clutter!)

I start off with 6 yards of holiday pattern fabric — standard 44 inches wide. I cut this into two 3 yard by 44 inch sections (that’s 118 inches long and 44 inches wide) and place them side by side (along the 3 yard side).

Next, I’ll sew the two long sides together. I tend to use French Seams a lot, so that’s how I usually do it, but you can use any joining seam you feel is appropriate.

This gives you a single piece of fabric that’s 118 inches long by 88 inches wide (ignoring seam allowances). If you didn’t care about the seam down the middle of the fabric, you could skip straight to hemming.

I do care about the seam, so I’ll join the two long edges and sew them together to make a “cylinder”. Be sure and sew either pattern wrong-side or right-side depending on the joining seam you prefer.

When done, you have a “cylinder” that’s 88 inches in circumference (from two 44 inch segments) and is 118 inches tall.

Almost done. I then find the mid-point of one of the cylinder “halves” (one of the original 44 inch wide pieces). I split that section right down the middle. The easiest way is to “snip” a starting point along the edge of the 44 inche wide segment at it’s midpoint and then “tear” the cylinder right down the middle.

And here’s the final result — a sewn piece of fabric that’s 118 inches long by 88 inches wide … just the right size for a long dining room table. Best of all, there’s no seam down the middle of the tablecloth. Instead, there are two parallel seams down the length of the tablecloth; the seams are about 4 feet apart. That’s pretty much the width of my table, so the seams tend to be masked when the tablecloth is place on the table.

Note that what you end up with is a piece of fabric made up of a 22 inch by 118 inch segment, a 44 inch by 118 inch segment, and another 22 inch by 118 inch segment. Hem it up, doctor your corners, and … your tablecloth is ready!

Of course, if your table is extra-long (or extra short), just alter the original fabric length as necessary!

Again, here’s the finished product. If you’re careful selecting your pattern, it’s very difficult to find where the segments are joined (can you spot them?)