Sewing your own tablecloth gives you the opportunity to coordinate fabrics exactly the way you want them and create a unique look all your own. By taking time to properly prepare, measure and cut your material, the actual sewing will be quick and easy.
Prepare the material by first machine washing, drying and ironing it. Trim loose threads from the selvage edges. Fold the material in half, aligning the selvage edges, to size (or straighten) the material after washing it. If the material seems askew and the edges do not line up, use a carpenter’s square to mark a straight line down the length of the selvage edge. Cut a new edge according to that mark.
Measure the length and width of your table. Add 11 inches onto both measurements for a casual tablecloth and 21 inches for a formal tablecloth. If you want a floor-length tablecloth, measure the drop to just ½ inch above the floor. Add an inch to that measurement. Lay the fabric out on a flat surface and cut it according to your measurements.
Fold and iron a ½ inch hem on each edge. Fold and iron a second ½ inch section and pin the fold in place. Sew the fold down with a ¼-inch seam, making sure to backstitch at each end of the seam. Remove the pins as you sew and trim the loose threads when you are finishing.
Prepare the material in the same manner as for a rectangular cloth. Measure the diameter of your round table. Measure from the edge of the table to ½ inch above the floor. Double that measurement and add it to the diameter. Add one more inch for the seam allowance. If you cannot find material that is wide enough sew two or three rectangular panels together with a standard seam until you have created one large piece of fabric.
Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and then widthwise to create a square. Pin the layers together to prevent shifting. Divide your total measurement in half. Cut a piece of string to that length. Hold one end of the string in the folded corner of your material and swing the other end across the material to create an arc. Use a chalk sewing marker to draw the arc. Cut the material along the chalk line to make a perfect circle. Hem and sew the round tablecloth with the same method as for a rectangular one.