Wednesday, November 6, 2013

On Finding Big Tablecloths

The best source for big tablecloths that I have found is the home dec section of the fabric store.  Wait for a good sale and know your table's measurements; I wrote mine down on a slip of paper I keep in my tablecloth drawer. 



Choose a cotton fabric that has some drape, but is not sheer - really, just run your hand over the samples at the store and think "tablecloth? tablecloth? tablecloth?" 

After the fabric is cut to the length you need, all you do at home is hem the thing.  You can be fancy and do a rolled hem, or you can do what I did here:  a zig zag stitch on the raw edge and turned up once with a topstitch.  The people who normally gather around my table are not likely to examine the hems on my tablecloths; I like to think I am a much better cook than that!

It's not my blog style to iron before photos. 



This is my new tablecloth for the dining room table with one board in it.  I had plenty of tablecloths for no-board status (72x55") and two for two-board status (108x55"), but none for one board (90x55").  At a sale at the fabric outlet, I got this fabric/tablecloth for $15.  I was quite happy with that price and the tailored look.  And Mr. Thrift admired it, too; oh happy day when we agree on home decor!

Any tips on where you find nice, big tablecloths that don't cost a fortune?

17 comments:

Meredith said...

Looks beautiful!

Our hand-me-down table has a damaged top. My favorites are secondhand Provencal cloths from import stores. My mom also found two beautiful printed tablecloths from World Market, where even brand new the large size was only $35.

For simplicity's sake, I have started buying only the long cloths and just letting them hang generously at the end when we don't have a leaf in the table.

Alica said...

I have been searching high and low for a table cloth that is the perfect shade of green. I keep looking at Ten Thousand Villages, because I like what they stand for, and I like their tablecloths...but haven't found the right one yet. Maybe I just need to go to a fabric store, like you suggested. Only problem is...I HATE to hem! :)

Rozy Lass said...

What a great tablecloth! And such good advice to have the measurements with you. I've found great tablecloths at thrift store, made my own from yard sale fabric and sheets. I'll be watching for the sales at the fabric store. Thanks.

jenny_o said...

Your sense of humour makes me smile (the last post and this one are perfect examples) and I really needed a smile today. Thank you.

And I have a question for you. With the various sizes of tablecloths you have on hand, do you have a system for remembering which cloth is which size? Maybe it's because we don't use ours often enough, but every time we do, it's the same dilemma - which one is the right one, without opening each one out?

Margo said...

Jenny_o, thank you.

In your shoes, I would take the time to measure each cloth and write it down, noting how many boards each cloth covers. I would keep that paper with the tablecloths. So far, I just carry this information in my head, but I should probably write it down for the servants before I leave the estate for the Paris season. . .

sk said...

That's very funny, Margo--the servants.

What will you do when something awful stains the beautiful blue, something you can't get out without bleach? Well, maybe one of your whimsical patches. Do you ever use basket-weave-y placemats instead of a big huge cloth on a company table? They're a cinch to spot-clean.

jenny_o said...

Thanks, Margo. I forgot to mention they are almost all white ... makes it hard to distinguish one from another. Why are they all white? It's a long story. But they are.

I was thinking of writing the size in marker on the underside of one corner. But it will show through. I would happily embroider information on them, except "45x70" doesn't really look good no matter how delicately it's stitched. Ack!

Maybe your servants would have some ideas :)

Margo said...

Jenny_o, if you don't mind embroidering, just embroider the numbers on a small slip of fabric and then use white thread to tack it on the back of the tablecloth, like a tag!
The other option is to safety-pin a piece of paper with the size to the tablecloth. If you use quilter's pins, they won't rust and make marks (although I have never bothered to use quilter's pins and I've never gotten rust marks in my quilts with pins in them for a year or so).

Margo said...

sk, I rely heavily on oxygen bleach and sunshine. I'm also hoping the dark color hides some stains.

I have one set of placemats that I don't use. I need to get over my fear (or my husband's fear) or marring the perfect tabletop.

jenny_o said...

A tag ... of course! That will work just right. This is seriously a problem every holiday and it's my husband who is usually trying to figure out the sizes because I'm making the gravy or something. He will be happy about this solution :)

Little Homestead In Boise said...

I actually use table runners. Easy to store, just wipe the table around them, and they stay cleaner longer. I raised 3 kids and table clothes would never have worked for me. Too dirty too fast!

Margo said...

Little Homestead, we're protecting the table surface with a vinyl cloth and then a tablecloth, so that's why we don't have a bare tabletop.

Polly said...

Ha ha, the Paris Season! I am personally preparing my estate so I can leave for the London Season....

Thank you for this. I have had a heckuva time finding good tablecloths that are also affordable, and why have I never thought of the fabric store? I SEW, for Pete's sake. I bought 2 brand-news ones at the thrift store (originally from Walmart) and I'm sad to say they are slippery and polyester. I knew they were polyester but I was hoping that they wouldn't SEEM polyester. I've gotten a good woven cotton one from ebay before. I much prefer the natural fibers, although one of mine is water-repellent (or something--liquids just bead up). It feels really weird but is fabulous of life with young children.

I don't like a nekkid table, so I think a lot about the cloths I use to dress them. Now I may think about sewing a couple. In 2014.

Leila said...

You exactly describe how I shop for fabric. Dress? Dress? Dress? For so long I chose the wrong fabrics for things... then I learned to visualize and talk to myself in the fabric store :)

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Love your new table cloth..
Have been meaning to ask you... How is hubby doing? Is he enjoying his new job.. [Sorry I haven't ask before..]

Muneer Ahmed said...

Other tablecloths are designed to be spread on a dining table before laying out tableware and food.simply tablecloths

Jade Graham said...


This souvenir of Florida tablecloth is especially neat since it has a printing error and the registration is off, here

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails