Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Super Simple Placemat Sewing Tutorial

When I picked sewing back up as an adult, I needed to get my sewing feet wet again with something super simple.  So I decided to do a basic two sided placemat with some interfacing.  I'll share how I did them below, and this basic tutorial makes the assumption that you have some basic understanding of your sewing machine and a straight stitch.

Now, one thing to keep in mind is that this is just sewing.  If something I do doesn't work for you, try something else that does!  I always do things my way (just ask my husband), and so I use tutorials as a guide, not an absolute.  This tends to help keep frustration at bay.

So, here we go!  I made 6 placemats total.


-100% cotton fabric
  •  1 yard of top print
  • 1 yard of bottom print
-Interfacing, 1 yard
       I used a basic polyester batting, anything could do.  You can even skip the interfacing, but if you prefer the placemats to have a bit of thickness, then go for it.

-Cutting mat
-Coordinating thread
-About an hour of time

There is much to-do in sewing groups about pre-washing fabric, with the majority of the authorities and experienced sewers always washing their fabric before cutting.  I recommend that you do that in this case as the cotton will shrink when you wash it, and if you wash the finished product, it may not look as good as it did when you first completed it.

Now, first you will cut your pieces.  I cut them 13 inches wide by 18 inches long.  You will get 6 pieces total of each fabric.

Now, iron all the pieces (be careful with interfacing, some of it is not iron friendly!).  Some people do the ironing before the cutting.  It's more manageable for me to iron after I cut.

To start laying the placemats for sewing, lay the printed cotton fabrics with right sides facing each other.

Lastly, lay the interfacing piece down on the two right facing cotton fabrics.

Pin the layers and head to the sewing machine.  I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance, a straight stitch at 3mm/inch length.  Make sure to leave an opening to turn the placemat right side out.

Now I'm ready to turn them inside out, but to decrease bulk with the seam allowances I clipped the corners at a wide angle.  I also trimmed the seam allowance all around to about 1 1/4 inch, but you don't have to do that.

So, now you can turn your placemats right side out, gently pushing out the corners.  I use a large size crochet hook to push my corners out to shape, and any area of any project that I can't reach with my hand.

The next steps I don't have pictured, but it's pretty straight forward.  Press your placemats on a warm setting once right side out, and pin the opening closed, making sure that it's inline with your seam.

Head back to the sewing machine to topstitch around the placemats.  I used the same straight stitch at 3mm/inch length, and kept the topstitch edge to 1/4 inch.  The topstitch will also close the opening.

And here are mine!

For those curious, I found this fabric at my local WalMart.  It was a Warren Kimble print with a coordinating star print, and matches my dining room perfectly.

I'd love to see your finished placemats!  This is such an easy afternoon sewing project, and if you can snag some fabrics on sale, can make all kinds to match your décor and just about any holiday.  (Tip: best time to buy holiday fabric is either immediately before the holiday or just after, when the store is trying to get rid of it.  You can always store the fabric or finished pieces for the next season!).

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