Autumn has finally arrived full force in Oklahoma and I finally finished a long ago started project. These reversible placemats were dreamed up years ago when I scored some very inexpensive ticking and mustard yellow canvas-type fabric. The little grey flowers were part of a project I did with some of my Grandmother’s clothes, so they have sentimental value.
Funny, once I start these projects, the only thing that really takes a long time is stopping to take photos. And on that note, pardon my shots, the light is almost non-existent before and after work this time of year.
If you’ve seen a tutorial for this once, you’ve probably seen it plenty. You can use this same system to make scarves, bags, book covers, pillow cases and much more. So in lieu of a full-blown tutorial, I tried to take step-by-step photos (only missed a couple!) so you could easily follow along. Here are the steps explained a bit:
- Choose fabrics and thread. I used a thicker thread in a contrasting color so the top-stitching would be visible. I really wanted to top-stitch these by hand with embroidery thread for a dashed look around the border, but reality set in and sew-by-machine I did.
- I incorporated a stripe detail in a coordinating fabric on the solid side by cutting a strip (maybe 4-5″ wide) and off-setting. If you do this, you’ll want to pin in place as desired before continuing. Mine also have a ragged edge as I did not turn under the edges before sewing to the front of my solid panel. This was a purposeful design choice. I want these to get a soft, worn look over the years.
- Sew down each side of accent fabric (or around if you’re doing circles, flowers, petals, etc).
- Place two main pieces right sides together. you will see the back side of both fabrics.
- Sew around perimeter with a 1/4″ or 1/8″ seam allowance, leaving a gap at least large enough for your hand to fit it (5″-6″) on one side. Just use spacing you are comfortable with, these simple rectangles do not require anything too special.
- Clip corners, be sure not to cut the stitches.
- Pull the inside out by placing your hand in the opening and pulling the corners through until you’ve got the whole piece turned right-side-out.
- Flatten and iron. Ironing is the most important part of home sewing. Push and pull on the seams until they are at the edges and iron them flat, working your way around perimeter until everything is looking great. you will also iron the seam allowance flat across the opening, just be sure it’s all even across the opening when you iron.
- Top-stitch about 1/8″ from edge to close opening and add design detail. I set my stitches to a longer length so it would at least look a little bit more hand-stitched. Back stitch at beginning and end of stitching to set.
- Trim any loose ends and iron again.
- That’s it, now just enjoy a lovely meal with no worries and easy clean-up.