Thursday, March 24, 2011

Needle and Thread Thursday: How I made some fun placemats.

I have ADHD. Really. I do. Not kidding. I know this week I was supposed to do the baby sling tutorial. That’s why I told you about the ADHD. That’s the way my mind works. It likes to dance around all the time, and I change my mind quite often. Once I had the thought to make these placemats I couldn’t help myself! I had to get to my sewing machine.

I was browsing through Home Goods FOR THE FIRST TIME ever last Friday. The closest one to me is in Pensacola, FL, which is an hour away from me. I had to take my great niece Little Lulu and her mommy and daddy to the airport over there, so I went for a walkthrough. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I was overwhelmed with LOVE for the store. Anyway, while I was there I was looking for placemats. With all 6 of us eating at the table every night I always need more placemats. While I was looking a little voice popped inside my head saying, “Loulou. Really? You’re going to buy placemats??Seriously? Can’t you sew? Don’t you have piles of fabric?” That voice was right. Why spend $30 and up on placemats when I could make them myself? This is what I came up with:


Aren’t they cute?

To make my placemats I cut 2 rectangles 20” X14” for each placemat, so I cut 12 rectangles all together. I used my rotary cutter for this project, but I also love to use a good old pair of scissors too.

I chose to make numbered placemats, so I monogrammed mine before I put them together. I used left over drop cloth for the monogrammed side.

This is seriously EASY. Take your 2 pieces, and place them right sides together and pin pin pin and pin some more. Sew all the way around leaving about a 4 inch gap one one of the short sides for turning. I used a 3/8 seam allowance.

Turn your placemat right side out and iron iron iron iron. I have a wooden turning tool to smooth out all the seams and poke those corners out. You can use the eraser end of a pencil too. Topstitch all the way around the placemat. Be careful at the place you left unstitched. I like to really iron that seam down and smooth with my fingers, because sometimes those places like to bunch. I used a 1/8’ seam allowance here to make sure I caught that opening. I then sewed another seam with a 1/2” seam allowance to give it a sort of banded look on the edges. It’s hard to see, because my thread is light, but here are some close ups of that part.


Give those babies another good ironing, and they’re good to go!

You wanna see what I used for the OTHER side of the placemat? I’ve been saving that part for last, because I LOVE IT.

I used this amazing French Document fabric. I know that most upholstery fabrics say to dry clean only, but I do wash some of them. I’ve always had good luck with more canvasy fabrics like this and my toile. I just cut a small piece and wash and dry to see how it does. This did fine. I have to be able to wash placemats for Pete’s sake. :)


Here’s a close up of the banded edge on this side. I think it gives them a professional look.


I really wish my dining table was clean enough to lay these all out for you to see, but that’ll have to be another day. I’ve been too busy sewing to clean. :)


I use this little table at the end of my living room for the girls all the time. It’s a perfect spot to have a bite or to color a picture. They love the numbers on the placemats.


I think it’ll be fun to use some with the numbers up and some with the print! I have some solid red napkins that will go perfectly with these!


Easy peasy. I had everything I needed for these already, so I didn’t spend a dime. I think they look better than the ones I saw at Home Goods. They’re definitely more ME. I guess if you had to figure out the exact price for the fabric it would come to about $2.50 each. I’m not counting the drop cloth, because I just used scraps… I probably used $.50 worth of drop cloth per placemat…Maybe $1 worth of embroidery thread?? So, that comes to $4 or so for placemats that look way more expensive. See what you can get when you make them yourself?

This is such an easy project and perfect for a beginner. If you don’t have an embroidery machine you could always paint your numbers on or applique them.

If you have any questions about these please just leave me a comment, and I’ll be more than happy to help you! I love talking fabric and sewing! It’s my language.

I know this post is already super long, but I do want to share a couple of pictures. I made these princess outfits for the girls a couple of weeks ago. I loved that the princess fabric has princesses of all colors. I always try to find things that look like my girls. I want them to know that all princesses aren’t blond haired and blue eyed. Some of them are little black haired beauties from Guatemala!


I appliqued the different princesses on their shirts. Does anyone need a tutorial on appliqueing? I would be happy to show you how easy it is.

This is a closer view of Anne Pearce’s. See the butterfly on her shoulder? :) I like to throw in little fun touches like that.


And here’s Miss Essie Kate’s. I did their shirts similarly but not exactly alike.


I’m going to take a better picture of the skirt fabric and show you later. It really is precious. The skirt pattern is my favorite girly skirt by Ping Fig Patterns.

Now just for fun a couple of shots of sweet hubby and me on our date for his birthday Tuesday night… I want you to see all the flowers blooming in Alabama!

You wanna know why the picture looks blurry? It’s the HUMIDITY fogging the camera. :) In March.


I’m sharing this one just because I spotted the paint tray liner in the background and thought it was hilarious.


Happy Thursday! Feel free to contact me if you have any sewing questions. I’m really happy to help.

Linking to:
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Show & Tell Wednesday, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Project Diaries, Transformation Thursday, Wow us Wednesday, Hooking Up with House of Hepworths, Catch as Catch Can, Metamorphosis Monday


Brandy J. said...

I just found your blog and am your newest follower. These place mats are awesome. Thanks for the great blog and crafty inspiration.

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

the placemats are adorable! but the dress- i am drooling over that dress! and it looks gorgeous on you! will you share where you got it?

High Street Cottage said...

Oh my gosh Lulu!!! I love these! They look amazing, and your tutorial honestly makes me think I can do it. The numbers look so awesome, so very Pottery Barn, then the surprise of the French Document is just wonderful. I really love them! Is there nothing you can't do? Well done, young lady, by the way the skirts are just adorable, and so are your girls:) You and Hubby make such a nice couple, as always you look just beautiful. xxx tami

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Great placemats, Loulou! I love the fabric you used on the reverse and the way you sewed the banding. Dropcloth would probably be perfect for placemats especially since you do have to wash them. The girls' outfits are adorable! I love the princess skirt fabric.

Julie Harward said...

Loved the idea for the place cute! And the girls in their darling! And so are the two of you! You must be good at everything! ;D

Becca said...

You lost me at "needle and thread" (LOL). I "sew" wish I knew how to use my sewing machine, so that I could whip up a few of these beautiful placemats! Love them! *Becca*

Jena @ Involving Color said...

Loulou, I LOVE these place mats! They are so cute. I am so glad I came across your blog. I'm a new follower.

Michelle said...

Such a great idea! Thanks for sharing! I am visiting from Tatertots and Jello and I am a new follower!
Hope you have a great weekend!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

You are so right about those banded edges--they really do look more professional. I LOVE that gorgeous "document" fabric. So pretty. Yes, placemats at our house must be washable too. My kids (and husband!) are so messy. :s I just adore the outfits you made for your lovely! I can only dream of being able to sew like that some day!! Great work!!

Thank you so much for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party. :)

Meg said...

Those are great! I loved the numbers and then I saw the pics of the fabric on the back---OH MY GOODNESS! You should sell these. I'd totally buy 'em.


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