Both square and round tablecloths are quick to make. For practical uses choose a washable fabric, either plain or patterned, in a shade which matches or co-ordinates with the general color scheme of the room as well as any favorite tableware.
Cotton and synthetic blends are easy to sew, require practically no ironing and so make a good choice for everyday table cloths in the kitchen or dining room.
Plain, heavy cotton and linen look better for more formal occasions, but they require more hard work to keep them looking good over the years. Always treat stains on table linen immediately and launder as soon afterward as possible. Choose a pretty printed fabric to make a covering for a rectangular kitchen table.
HOW TO MAKE SQUARE TABLE CLOTH
1. Measure the sides of the table top, adding twice the required drop from the edge of the table and 25 mm/1 in all around for hem allowances. Cut out the fabric. Turn and press a 12 mm or 1/2 inch hem around the sides.
2. Unfold both hems and carefully cut across each corner diagonally, as shown, within 6 mm or 1/4 inch of the corner point at the inner fold.
3. Pin the diagonal edges together, with the right sides facing, and stitch a narrow seam 6 mm or 1/4 inch from the raw edge. Stitch from the inner corner point and make the seam 12 mm or1/2 inch long. Press and turn the corners out to the right side
4. Refold the double hem. The diagonal seams at each corner make a neat miter. Stitch around the edge of the table cloth, close to the inner fold. Press the hem.
Cover a round occasional table with a floor-length plain under cloth, and then top it with a small square cloth made of co-ordinating fabric.
HOW TO MAKE ROUND TABLE CLOTH
I. Measure the diameter of the table top and add twice the depth of the drop plus 25 mm or 1 inch for hem allowances. Make a pattern from dressmaker’s pattern paper using a pencil tied to a piece of string measuring half your final measurement. Hold one end of the string and draw a quarter circle on the paper. Cut out.
2. Fold the fabric into four and pin on the quarter circle pattern, aligning the folded edges of the fabric with the straight edges of the paper. Cut out using sharp scissors.
3. Stitch around the outside of the fabric 12 mm or 1/2 inch from the raw edge. This line of stitching marks the hem. Press the edge over on the wrong side of the fabric along the line, without stretching the fabric.
4. Carefully turn under the raw edge to make a double hem, and then pin and tack (baste) the hem in place. Stitch around the edge of the table cloth close to the inner fold of the hem. Press the hem well.
When joining fabric to make either a square or round table cloth, avoid making a seam down the centre as this can look rather unsightly. Instead, cut out two pieces of fabric to the correct width and use one as the central panel. Cut the second piece in half lengthways and join to either side of the panel, matching the pattern if necessary. Use an ordinary flat seam and neaten the raw edges.