Posts Tagged ‘simple sew’

DIY Reversible Cloth Placemats & Napkins

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

I have a serious affection for nice linens on a tabletop, they’re just the easiest way to add a touch of comfort and elegance to any table setting, from formal to casual.  I have several sets of placemats and cloth napkins that I’ve acquired over the years and keep in a linen closet, but I’ve never actually made any for myself, can you believe it?

I’ve always wanted to, so when I was sent a few yards of pretty gray floral and stripe Cabbages & Roses fabric (thank you Lily!) I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at making my own.  Sew glad I did (hardy har!) because it couldn’t be easier.

reversible cloth placemat napkin cg

 

With one yard of cotton in each fabric, you can make four napkins or four placemats. If you can sew a straight line, you can easily make your own beautiful sets of reversible cotton or cloth napkins and placemats for any season, and for less than you’d pay at most retail shops.

how to sew reversible cotton placemats and napkins

 

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Simple Sew: Double Welt Cord

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Last Sunday I went in search of double welt cord.  I’m in the middle of reupholstering a chair, and I was seeking this specialty trim to hide some staples.  I read somewhere that you need double welt cord to make double welt cord trim, but I have since learned this is not necessarily the case.  My day started like this:

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As I browsed the local fabric store, I realized they had no such thing as double welt cord in stock.  Wrenching my hands, wondering what to do, nervously pacing back and forth, I paused next to the upholstery supplies.  It was then I heard from behind me, “Whatcha looking for Hun?”  I thought at first this was some bored sales clerk, but then I realized by the way she said ‘Hun’ she was, in fact, a well intentioned stranger.  A stranger I shall dub ‘Saint Seamstress’ for reasons which will be revealed.  

I’m prone to striking up conversations with strangers, so I related my dilemma, wholly expecting her to shrug her shoulders, say “I dunno” and walk away.   When I explained I was in the middle of reupholstering a chair, and I needed to trim the edges to hide the staples, she immediately said, “Have you thought of using gimp?”   Gimp?  Gimp!  I knew I had encountered someone who speaks upholstery language! 

So I tackled her to the ground and made her answer all my questions under extreme duress.  

I kid.  No, I explained I didn’t want to use gimp this time, like with this bench, rather I wanted that polished double welt cord look you see on high end upholstered chairs.  I started rattling off questions and then I hit the jackpot. 

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This lovely woman stood there unshaken at my brazen unending questions.  “Am I insane to reupholster with velvet? Velvet is so fussy and temperamental, always prone to puckering.  Is velvet really the diva of fabrics?”  “How do I round this corner with my piping (pointing to the old smoke scented foam seat)?”  Where can I find inexpensive quality foam in this town?”   And the ultimate question: “How do you make double welt cord trim?”

She shared all her secrets, tips and tricks with a smile on her face.  Don’t you love when experienced professionals share their knowledge with the world for freeeeeeee?  Why didn’t I get her name?  Why didn’t I give her my name?  Why didn’t I snap a photo of us with my phone for me to remember this blessed soul for all eternity (and then of course add to this post)?  Why God whyyyyyyy????

Sewing Your Own Double Welt Cord

Start by cutting your fabric on the bias, then sewing it together to form one long strip.  Make sure you have about 2” width of fabric to form your cord casing.  ‘On the bias’ simply means cutting ‘on the diagonal’ so that your threads criss-cross and therefore bend around the turns better.  At least, that’s my amateur definition.  Someone much smarter than me with more experience figured that out a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. 

bias long strip

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