Monday, May 30, 2011

{make this!} An awesome outdoor {umbrella} tablecloth

I hosted a grad party for my son this past Friday and needed a tablecloth for my outdoor table {since over 40 people were expected, half of the party was planned for outside. My house is SMALL, people. SMALL.} I normally like to use twin size quilts as table cloths = mainly because there is no ironing involved and the padding from the quilt protects the table underneath {think ---- no trivets required!}But since my patio table has an umbrella {and I was NOT into cutting up a quilt to accommodate... I wasn't quite that desperate...} I needed a quick and CHEAP solution. Enter in yet ANOTHER project involving those darn Lowe's paint drop cloths that I love so much!
This project took me under an hour, from start to finish. It SO HELPS if you have a ruffler attachment on your sewing machine OR have a Johnson ruffler OR you have a serger. If you plan to gather this beast by hand, email me when you make that cray-cray-crazy decision and I will pray for you. Amen.

These are the supplies you need:

-fabric yardage will depend on how long you want your drape and how big your table is.
- a drop cloth {or other heavy fabric} big enough for the top of your tablecloth. Feeling extra crafty? Something patch-worked would look super cute here.
-fabric for the drape. I suggest using something a little lighter here
-velcro as wide as half your table plus a few inches
-sewing machine, yard stick, LONG cloth measuring tape, straight pins, thread, scissors and PATIENCE! 
-don't forget the PATIENCE! This project almost guaranteed cannot be accomplished without using straight pins aka the bane of my existence. Please forgive me. 
So. First what you are going to do is create the shape for the top of your table cloth. To do this, fold your drop cloth in half {right sides together} and lay it across your table. Then, line up the center seam {if there is one, if not you can just find the center of your cloth} with the pole of the umbrella. 

Now, cutting JUST the top layer, cut along your seam {or center line at the umbrella} just up to the pole.

Now you can unfold your drop cloth like so.
Now, very carefully cut a circle out around the pole. If you have twinkly lights around your umbrella {like I do} take care NOT to knock a bulb out with your scissors {like I did} LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES, I tell ya! LEARN.
Now that everything is laying fairly nice and flat, trim your top piece to 1" around the edges of the table. This can be a little tricky, so take your time. If you like to sew with a bigger seam allowance than 1/4", you may need to leave a little more of an overhang.
When you are finished trimming, your top piece should look something like this.

Now you need to figure out how long you want your ruffle to hang. I used 54" wide cotton cloth for my ruffle and {in true laziness} just cut down the center fold. My drop was about 27" which actually ended up working out perfect. Plus? I left the selvedges raw, so NO HEMMING, friends! No hemming... To calculate how long of a piece of fabric you need for the ruffle, take your extra long cloth measuring tape and measure the outside ?circumference? of your table. {or, if  you are a math wizard, I am certain there is some formula you know that you can use to calculate this. STAY IN SCHOOL.} When you have that measurement, double it to account for the ruffling. My table was approximately 220" around so I used 440" of fabric which is 12 yards long BUT only half the width. So in reality, 6 yards of fabric total. {That seems like a ton of fabric, I know. For reference, this table is about 8 ft long.}{And the fabric I used was about $2/yd wholesale.}
If you have a serger, this is the time to finish those raw edges with a quick run-through. If you don't have a serger, I would suggest turning over a narrow 1/4" seam to finish this off nicely.
Now, prepare your drop fabric. As mentioned previously, I just cut along the fold straight off the bolt, sewed the ends together and ruffled along the top edge. I did a two to one ruffle to get this look. If you want it to be more gathered {or less} just lengthen or shorten the yardage you are ruffling. The easiest way to pin your ruffle on is to leave the tablecloth top ON your table and pin there. If your table is as big as mine, this is the WORST PART and the most time consuming. And bulky. I used up almost every pin on my my pin cushion. It was horrifying.
Pins. Pins. Pins!

To finish off the umbrella opening, sew on your velco. It doesn't matter much which side goes where.
I would suggest running the velco just over the edge of the table. 
And there you have it, done and done. Easy, right? 
{unless you hand gathered. Bless your little heart.}

1 comment:

  1. Genius!

    Congrats, too, on the apartment therapy shout-out!