How to Cut and Sew a Round Table Cloth

I love round table clothes. Actually, I like the round corner table with a floor length solid or pale gingham tablecloth and a bold floral table-topper in a nice square at an angle on top. The problem with round table clothes is that they take so much material. And, if you don't make them often, it's easy to forget how. But every so often I get the urge to make a few new round tableclothes in different lengths. So here are a few tips first:

1. First and foremost, be sure that you have plenty of fabric. It takes a lot more fabric to make a round tablecloth than it does to make a square or oblong one. Due to the cutting method, you'll need plenty of fabric. It's sort of like the "circle skirt." I like those too, and of course the required fabric is the same. Lots of extra fabric when making anything in a circle.

2.  It's just an idea, but if you want an easy, round tablecloth, consider using a decorative or solid color king-size sheet for your fabric. You'll get a lot of coverage for the money and won't have to piece the panels together.

3.  Have a large, clear surface to work on. A dining room table or clean floor is the best place so that you can spread things out.

4. For a decorative touch, add fringe, lace, beads, ruffles, or cording around the bottom edge.

What You Will Need:

  • Your round table to be covered, Enough fabric to make the tablecloth, A marking pen or chalk,
  • String, Sharp scissors, A sewing machine or needle and thread, Iron and ironing board, Trim or tassels if desired
  1. Determine how much fabric you'll need. Measure the diameter of the top of the table. To that number, add 2 times the amount you want the tablecloth to hang from the top all the way around. If you want a floor length tablecloth, measure from the top of the table to the floor. Double that number and add the result to the diameter. Add 1 1/2 inches (3/4" all the way around) for the diameter of the piece of fabric you'll need.
  2. Prepare the fabric. Sew panels of fabric together to create a square whose width is the diameter of the circle you've planned to make. Use the full width of the fabric panel for the center section and add the needed widths on each side.
  3. Sew the fabric. Sew the side panel or panels to the center panel, keeping the seams straight. Finish the seam allowance on the underside by zigzagging or overstitching.
    Carefully press the seams flat, pressing the seam allowance to one side of the panel.
    If your fabric has a pattern or plaid, be sure to match the pattern or lines of the plaid so that the top of the tablecloth is perfect.
  4. Measure for the round. Fold the panel in half, corner to corner.
    Fold the panel again along the folded edge from corner to corner. You now have a square of fabric, four layers thick, with all the folded edges along one side.
  5. Get ready to trace the outline. Tie a pencil or piece of fabric-marking chalk onto the end of a piece of string. Cut the string to a length 1/2 the diameter of the desired finished tableclotha plus the hem allowance. Tie a knot in the free end.
    Secure the knot of the sting into the folded corner of the fabric panel with a pin.
  6. Mark the pattern. Starting at one side edge, trace the length of the string onto the fabric, marking an arc onto the fabric.
  7. Cut the round. Remove the string and cut through all four layers of fabric along the marked outside edge. You'll now have a circle of fabric the desired diameter for your tablecloth, plus the hem allowance.
  8. Prepare the hem. Place the fabric circle right-side-down on an ironing board. Fold up the 3/4 inch hem and press up all the way around.

    With pins, fold under the raw cut edge of the fabric and pin the hem in place.
  9. Sew the hem. Carefully either hand-sew or machine-sew the hem around the outer edge, taking care to keep the stitches an even distance from the edge.
  10. Finishing touches. Press the finished panel, carefully keeping the hem flat and even.
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