Thursday, 27 July 2017

Ready for the sunshine

Since we have moved to the coast one of the joys in life is sitting outside with a cup of tea (or glass of wine!) watching the passing parade, weather permitting of course, it is Scotland after all!

For a while now I have been wanting to update the tablecloth for our garden table, as it was cotton and purchased before the table, so didn't have a space in the centre for the parasol pole. I did cut a space out a while ago, but as we tend to leave the parasol in the table it meant that the tablecloth had to stay put too. That parasol is too heavy to be lifting in and out on a regular basis :)

I did start to make a new tablecloth a while ago, using some plasticised cotton that I had lurking in my stash. Sadly, I completely messed up the measurements so had to ditch that particular project. However, on a visit to cuddle the gorgeous grandson a while ago, I came across Flo-Jo boutique, which had a great selection of oilcloth. So, after lots of calculating and re-calculating between the staff, my daughter-in-law and myself we worked out how much fabric I needed (lots!) and the purchase was made.

Then the bag sat in my sewing room for several weeks as summer sewing for the boy took precedence, but with a visit from the gorgeous grandson and his parents on the horizon I thought that I had better get cracking with that tablecloth as baby mealtimes are not the most tidy of occasions :)

I measured the radius of the table, cut a piece of string to that length then attached a tack to one end and a Frixion pen to the other and with the oilcloth fabric folded in half lengthwise I drew out a half-circle for the tablecloth. I added an overlap at the middle edge so that I could add hook and loop tape to one of the radii to make the tablecloth easily removable. The weather changes so quickly here that it will be good to be able to whip that cloth off at the first sign of rain!

The measuring and cutting proved to be the easy bit of this process.

As oilcloth doesn't fray I could have just left the cut edges raw and, indeed, that is what I did with the centre cut out for the parasol pole, but I wanted to finish the tablecloth off with a bound edge. Just call me a glutton for punishment :)

My rather rusty maths proved my undoing as I discovered that my order of green bias binding was about 0.5 metres too short. Fortunately, rifling through my ribbon bag uncovered sufficient of this deep pink bias binding to bind the tablecloth and still have some left over.

So, with the Teflon foot attached I set to work.

Boy, was it tough going. The oilcloth wasn't very easy to manoeuvre around and the weight of it kept knocking the needle off centre when I stopped to straighten the fabric under the needle. By the time I had finished stitching the binding to the front my poor arms had had a thorough workout, and I still had to go around again to stitch on the back.

Fortunately, the hook and loop tape that I had purchased along with the oilcloth was the adhesive type not the sew-in, as I really wasn't looking forward to trying to sew that on. I have had enough trouble in the past stitching it to fabric, I can only guess how much more difficult it would be trying to keep to the small margins at the sides whilst wrestling with the oilcloth and using a Teflon foot!

Eventually my tablecloth was complete, but I couldn't rush out to try it out as this was the view out of my sewing room window.

Our forecast for today was sunshine and showers and we have definitely had the showers but the sunshine hasn't been very much in evidence. As I write I have been waiting for hours for the rain to stop and the sun to come out so that I can finally get a photo of the finished tablecloth. If the photo below is of the cloth on the kitchen table you will know that my wait was in vain!

 Five minutes after I finally took this photo the rain came back!

I could do with ironing the tablecloth particularly where the seam is but I am a bit wary of doing it, so if you have any tips I will be all ears :)

So that's my finish for this week's TGIFF, now it is your turn to link up and celebrate your finishes this week. As ever don't make this a solitary celebration click on your fellow linkers and leave a congratulatory comment on their fabulous finishes. Grab the blog button and add it to your post so that your readers can join in the fun too.


  1. It is so beautiful Fiona. l don't know how this would work for your table cloth but sometimes you can put plastic table cloths in the dryer on very low heat for a few minutes to take out the winkles. Do you have some spare parts you could do a trial run on? It must be lovely where you live. Janita

  2. That's a beautiful glimpse of your garden Fiona, and what a lovely view out of your window, how do you get any sewing done? Very clever way to make a practical tablecloth, well done for your perseverance. I remember my mother and grandmothers having oilcloth tablecloths on the kitchen tables when I was a child, then with new materials and changes in fashion oilcloth wasn't seen so often. It brings back happy memories.

  3. The tablecloth is lovely! I'm glad you were able to find the perfect fabric for it. The binding looks like it was completely worth it. It makes the whole thing look finished.

  4. It's gorgeous! You're a stronger woman than I am - I fear I would have given up and pitched the project in the ocean if I had run into such problems, lol. The binding certainly does give a perfect finish - I bet you're glad you persevered!

  5. so worth all the effort I was unbelieving when I had seen on craft channels that oil cloth was easy to sew knew they were telling a porky!!

  6. Well done persevering with the bias binding. I know I would have taken the easy option. The pink is the perfect choice, as it matches the flowers.

  7. What a brilliant bodge! Well done XX

  8. Your cloth looks great. I think the pink is the perfect colour for binding. I have no clue about ironing but I think when the sun comes out the warmth might relax it a bit. You have a wonderful view from your window, rain or shine :)

  9. It is beautiful, Fiona! I've never tried working with oilcloth, but I can see how the weight of such a big piece of it would have made it harder. Worth it, though :)

  10. That looks like a lovely spot for your table (and new tablecloth). I hope you're enjoying life, despite the weather :-)


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