It may be turning into crisp fall weather in the rest of the northern hemisphere, but here in San Francisco we’re getting our little bit of Indian summer sunshine. We’re covered with fog during summer months, but right now we have a lovely dose of warm weather, perfect for picnics! To celebrate the warm weather, I sewed a picnic set of tablecloth, placemat, and napkins. If your weather is already turning, this tablecloth is a great size for a kitchen table and the placemat and napkins can be used for any dining table.
The image above shows the suggested dimensions for how to sew a tablecloth, placemat, or napkin. For the tablecloth, cut it into the largest square that you can cut. Fabrics differ in widths, usually ranging from 45″-60″, sometimes larger for upholstery fabrics. Measure the width of the fabric from selvedge to selvedge and then cut that length of the fabric. I like to cut square napkins at 15″ x 15″ and placemats at 19″ x12″.
To sew the tablecloth, placemat, or napkin, fold over every edge by 1/4″ and iron down. Then fold the folded edge over another time and iron down. Sew the edge down. Voila! It’s really that easy. The dimensions that you cut for each item are 1″ smaller in length and width than the finished dimensions because you lose 1/2″ of fabric on each edge to make these finished edges.
The great thing about putting together a set like this is that you can use so many different fabrics. It’s a great stashbuster if you have a fabric stash, or you can easily find appropriate fabrics on the sale table at your fabric store. I like to use all cotton or linen fabrics because I like natural fibers and because they iron crisply. Look for upholstery fabrics for the tablecloth, bottom weight fabrics for the placemats, and blouse weight fabrics for the napkins.
This picnic set also makes a great gift (It’s never to early to start sewing Christmas presents!). I like to sew a matching tote bag and give the set as a wedding present, along with plastic wineglasses and a corkscrew.