Oh So Easy Fitted Table Cloth

Design by? Instruction by Diana Trupiano


Fabric (For measurement, see below)

Matching thread

Marking pen or chalk


1/4" Elastic (For measurement, see below)

Sewing machine with a zig zag stitch (three step zig is best)

Pencil and string (for round table cloth only)

Instructions for ROUND table cloth: For measuring instructions for a square or rectangular table, see below...

  1. Measure table top diameter. Add to this, twice the measurement of the "drop" (the vertical edge) plus 2".
    For example: My table is 45" in diameter with a 1 1/2" drop. (45" + 1 1/2" + 1 1/2" + 2" = 50") So, you would need fabric AT LEAST 50 inches square to make a top with no seams.

  2. Fold fabric, right sides together and match selvedges. Lay flat on work surface. Fold in half again to find the center. Mark with pen or chalk. Unfold to previous step.

  3. Tie one end of a long piece of string to a pencil, or fabric marking pen. Place the pencil at the center of the cut edge of your folded fabric. With the other hand, run the string to the center mark you made in step 2.

  4. Trace a line (it will curve as you draw) from the center point to each side, marking all the way to the fold on both sides. You should have a half circle marked.

  5. Cut both layers on the line you made. Discard extra fabric. (Actually, SAVE IT! You never know when you'll need a small piece of the matching fabric!)

  6. Unfold fabric. You will now have a circle of fabric ready to be finished.

  7. Measure elastic approximately the circumference of your table. You won't use all of it, so if you're not exact, it's o.k.
    To find a circumference: Take the diameter of your table (mine is 45") and multiply by 3.14. (45 x 3.14 = 141.3" or just about 4 yards)

  8. To sew: Place fabric wrong side up, and line up to match presser foot edge. Serge or zigzag around entire edge. Place elastic even with fabric edge. Tack in place with three or four stitches.

  9. Pull elastic as tight as possible while still allowing fabric to move under presser foot. Stitch all the way around edge, pulling elastic as you sew. The gathering will happen as you go. NOTE: The Bonfit company makes a product called the "No Hands Elastic Wizard" It's a great tool that does just what it implies: attaches elastic at any gathered tension with hands free ease! Look for it in your favorite sewing suppliy store, or order from Aleene's (1-800-825-3363). Have your machine's make and model # so the operators can get you the correct wizard for your machine.

  10. When you get all the way around to your starting place, overlap elastic by about 1/2". Tack in place and clip off excess.

Instructions for square or rectangular table cloth:

  1. Measure length of table. Add to this, twice the measurement of the "drop" (the vertical edge) plus 2". This is the length to cut your fabric.

  2. Measure width of table. Add to this, twice the measurement of the "drop" (the vertical edge) plus 2". This is the width to cut your fabric.

  3. Lay fabric, wrong side up, on table with even amount of overhang on all four sides.

  4. Bring right sides together at each corner, and pin to form a "box" shape; stitch corners.

  5. Clip extra fabric away at each corner. Serge or zigzag at raw edge. Serge or zigzag around entire edge of "box".

  6. Cut four - 6" lengths of 1/4" elastic. Fold each in half and mark centers.

  7. Pin center of elastic to stitch line of corner at edge. Tack in place with sewing machine.

  8. Lay fabric and elastic wrong side up, centering tacked area under presser foot. Pull elastic as tight as possible while stitching to the end. Tack end in place. Reverse fabric and repeat with other end of elastic.

  9. Repeat with remaining three sides.

There you have it! A fitted table cloth that will stay in place, even through the most brisk spring and summer breezes! Why not make bench covers to match? You can add a cushion of foam rubber underneath easily. Just add the thickness measurement of your foam to the vertical "drop" measurement, and away you go!
If you use "oil cloth", a flannel backed vinyl, there is no need to stitch around the edge before attaching the elastic, this product won't ravel.


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