It seems like November 1st rolls around and my Pinterest feed is immediately full of these incredible table settings for the holidays. I'm not complaining, I love a good tablescape and eagerly start pinning away.
But if we're being honest, it's the every day table setting that we need to focus on in my house. My kids are in charge of setting the table and it's usually a slapdash of silverware, napkins and cups that we then have to sort out once everyone is seated.
Teaching my kids table manners is extremely important to me (having been grilled on them as a kid by my parents) and, despite their protests, I'm not about to let my kids get off easy. Enter this colorful, fun, and easy to make place mat! There will be no question going forward about what goes where (the rest of those pesky manners will still be a work in progress).
This tutorial does assume some sewing experience (how to measure and cut fabric, set up your machine and basic sewing skills). If you're brand new to sewing check out our Kids Learn to Sew Ecourse to learn EVERYTHING you need to know to start sewing!
When you're ready, let's get started on the place mat! You can watch the full video, with lots of extra helpful information here:
Or keep reading fora pictorial step-by-step keep reading!
Step 1: Gathering your materials and tools
-1/2 yard lightweight home dec fabric for the place mat backing. You can use quilting cotton but it's going to be a little flimsy.
-Various scraps for the table setting at least this size:
- 12" x 12" for the plate (or use a Fat Quarter)
- 5" x 10" for the napkin
- 3" x 10" for each the fork, knife and spoon
- 3" x 3" for the cup
- 1 yard of double sided fusible webbing. This is way more than you need but from my experience teaching kids, it's good to have extra on hand.
-Utensil pattern (download here)
-Clear grid ruler or similar
-Chalk or other Marking tool
-Dinner plate and cup as templates
-Iron and ironing mat/board
Not sure about all this tools or why you need them? Check out our free video on Basic Tools!
Step 2: Measuring and Cutting
Cut your home dec fabric into 2 pieces that are 15"h x 21"w
Cut your double sided fusible webbing into:
-Plate 12" x 12"
-Napkin 5" x 10"
-Fork, spoon, and knife: 3" x 10" each
-Drink: 3" x 3"
3. Place the utensil template on the table and layer one of the 3" x 10" on top over the fork. Make sure the paper side (not the rough side) is facing up. Trace along the fork design with your pencil. Repeat with the other utensils, the plate and the cup.
4. Cover your ironing mat with a press cloth (a thin cloth like a muslin or a tea towel). Place one piece of fabric wrong side facing up and place the matching webbing piece paper side facing up (the rough side, which is the glue, should be touching the fabric).
5. Cover with the rest of your press cloth. Press with your iron for 10 seconds. Let cool a little before moving. Repeat with all the pieces.
6. With your fabric scissors, carefully cut out each shape.
7. Peel away the paper. It should come off cleanly so the paper feels smooth on both sides and the wrong side of the fabric feels different. If you see spiderwebs, or the paper still feels rough, then press again until the glue transfers to the fabric. Do this with all of your pieces.
Step 3: Pin + Sew
1.Lay out your pieces on one of the place mat fabrics. On the video, I give you a helpful way to remember where everything goes in case you're ever setting the table without the aid of the place mat! Everything should be in at least 1.5" from each side.
2. Pin the pieces into place, move to your ironing board, remove pins as necessary, cover with your cloth and press for another 10 seconds.
3. On to the machine! In the video we go over a few ways you can sew this one (including one that works well for our littlest sewer set! For this one, I'll be zig zagging around the each piece.
Set your machine to a zig zag stitch, shorter stitch length and medium stitch width. Zig zag around each piece. Make sure to backstitch and repeat with all the pieces.
4. Back at your table, stack the other backing piece so the right sides are together. Draw a 1/2" sewing line all the way around, leaving a gap at the bottom for turning. Pin inside the line. Curious about that sewing line? We go into lots of details about seam allowances in our e-course!
5. At your sewing machine, set the machine to straight stitch, medium stitch length and 0 or neutral stitch width. Beginning with the gap behind your presser foot, back stitch and sew around, pivoting at the corners and backstitching again when you reach the other side of the gap.
1. At your table, clip the corners by cutting close to, but not through, the line of stitching. Wondering why we do that? As you can probably guess... it's in the e-course! We go through lots of whys and hows and all those details to really build sewing skills (not just finish projects).
2. Turn your fabric right side out, poke out the corners and smooth out the seams. Press with the iron, making sure to turn under the edges of the gap to the wrong side.
3. Back to the sewing machine one last time! Topstitch by sewing close to the edge all the way around the project. Trim your threads and you're done!
You've done it! And I bet it looks amazing! When you no longer want (or need) the instruction of where to put everything you can flip the place mat around and have a plain place mat on your table.
I'd love to see what yours look like. What fabrics did you use? Did you include any food (or dessert!) on your plate? Make sure to tag @hartfordstitch and #hartfordstitchathome if you post any of your creations!
I look forward to sewing with you again!