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Why spend money on nice, decorative tablecloths when you could make your own for a fraction of the cost? The nice thing about making your own tablecloths in addition to saving money is that you can use your own creativity. Typically, fabric can be found for sale at most retail stores as little as $1 per yard, making it too good of a deal to pass up. With that kind of savings, you could make several tablecloths.

To get started, you need to measure both the length and width of the table you want to cover. If you want extra to cover a leaf or you prefer to have a little more fabric overhanging, then be sure to add that into the equation as well.

On average, tablecloths that you would use everyday for casual use would have a drop of about 10 to 12 inches, hitting about two inches just above the chairs seat. For a formal tablecloth, the drop would increase to 16 to 24 inches or you could choose a floor-length tablecloth that hits just about 1/2-inch above the floor.

Once you have the measurements of the length and width of the table, and have added in any additional inches for overhang, you now need to add three inches for seams and four inches for square or rectangular hems and two inches for other shapes.

To create the tablecloth, you need to cut the number of lengths needed from the total yardage. If you are creating a tablecloth that has a pattern, you might need to cut a little extra to ensure you can match the print. In this case, you want to measure and mark all the lengths before you start cutting.

Piece the two pieces of fabric together, allowing for a 1/2-seam allowance. Typically, the seam on tablecloths is finished using the selvage edge. Therefore, try to arrange the lengths of fabric so the raw edges on the half-width pieces are on the perimeter of the tablecloth and the selvage is in the middle. Now you want to clip into the selvage edges to prevent puckering. A simple diamond shape snip will do.

If you are making a square or rectangular tablecloth, start by seaming all of the length pieces so you can arrange them easily. Next, trim the two outside length pieces the same amount, making sure you leave enough fabric for a two-inch hem on both sides. With a hot iron, press the seams open so they will lie flat. Before you finish the stitching, place the tablecloth on the table to make sure you have the right length and width. Now you want to finish the corners.

Start by marking the hemline at the corner point, using the wrong side of the tablecloth. Fold the corner with the right sides together to ensure the two raw edges meet at a 450-degree angle. Now fold the corner point over, making sure the raw edges match up so a 900-degree angle is formed. With chalk, draw a line for hemming. Stitch this to the folded edge within 3/8-inch. Do a final pressing, add embellishments, and now you have a beautiful tablecloth.
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