Sunday, 17 May 2015

How To... Up-Cycle a Top To Make Fabric Placemats

This thrifty How To for fabric placemats is a lovely way to use fabric from an old top or dress. Sometimes you love the fabric from a particular item of clothing so much that you don't want to part with it, although you'll never wear it again- this is a way up-cycle it to keep forever! Happy Making!


1) You will need

An old top or dress (I cut two placemats from one top), backing fabric (I used an old dress), sewing needles and thread to match the fabric, pins, paper, pen and ruler to make the template, fabric scissors, beads, sequins or other trimmings of your choice. Mine were taken from my top


This fabric is such summery print that the placemats are putting me in the mood for breakfast in the garden and summer garden parties! Depending on the garments you use, you may have some fabric left over- I'm saving mine for more projects.


2) Decide the size you'd like your placemats to be. Mine are 38cmx30cm. Cut a piece of paper to this size, allowing a 1cm seam allowance


3) Pin the template to your top/dress and cut a piece for the front of your placemat and a piece from the backing material



4) Place right sides together and pin and tack the pieces together, leaving a gap of aprox 10cm for turning through. I  leave a gap in the tacking to remind myself not to stitch all the way round, have done it many times!


5) Allowing a 1cm seam allowance, using a straight stitch, stitch all the way round the placemats (leaving the 10cm gap for turning). Stitch the loose ends in and then cut the excess fabric away from the corners, close to the stitching and on the diagonal- this will make the corners sharper when you turn the placemat through. Trim the seam allowance down to aprox 5mm


6) Turn the placemat through. Ease out the corners with a pin and press


7) If I were to make these again, before stitching the pieces together I would first stitch on any embellishments- I got to this point and realised I'd forgotten to do this, so stitching the pieces on was a bit trickier! I removed beads and sequins from the top and used them to embellish two corners of the placemats, stitching them on with gold thread







8) Use ladder stitch to invisibly close the open gap- check out this You Tube video for a tutorial on how to stitch ladder stitch. Press, covered with a tea towel to protect the embellishments



Happy making and enjoying your up-cycled top for many more years to come. Check out my How To to make the coasters using old cds and lace and napkins made from tea towels and pom pom trim to make a whole set of table accessories.

I'll be sharing the recipe for these Rhubarb Tarts on Wednesday, until then, have a lovely week!

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