Dine in style
A practical and pretty tablecloth and a variety of comfy cushions set the scene for lovely long lunches and sociable dinners.
Make a fitted tablecloth that won’t end up under the legs of someone’s chair.
NOTE All seam allowances are 1,5cm. The tablecloth has a 20cm overhang, including the ruffle.
1 Cut the tablecloth 29cm longer and wider than the table measurements. At each corner, cut out a 13cm square. Sew a boxed corner at three of the tablecloth’s corners by folding each one in half and sewing the two 13cm seams, right sides together. Do not sew the fourth corner for the time being.
2 For the ruffle, cut 10cm-wide strips. The total length of all the strips should be twice the table’s circumference. Join the strips into one continuous band and overlock one edge. Hem the overlocked edge with a 1,5cm-wide hem.
3 Place a ruffler attachment on the sewing machine and set it to sew shallow gathers. Starting at the unsewn corner of the tablecloth, sew the ruffle to the lower edge. If you do not have a ruffler attachment, the strip can be gathered as follows: sew a narrow zigzig stitch over a strand of crochet cotton, just inside the seam allowance. Take care not to sew through the crochet cotton. Gather the ruffle by drawing in the crochet cotton to fit the edge of the tablecloth. Pin and sew the ruffle to the tablecloth. Press the seam allowance towards the tablecloth and sew it in position with top stitching, 1cm from the seam line.
4 Once the ruffle has been attached, finish the last corner by sewing the tablecloth and ruffle seam as one.
Make a comfortable cushion that will have your guests lingering at the dinner table.
1 Measure the bench and have the foam cut 1cm wider and longer than the measurements to ensure a snug fit. Cut the fabric into front, back and side panels following the measurements of the bench plus 1,5cm seam allowances, for a total of 3cm extra to the length and width measurements. 2 Overlock all the short edges of the four side panels. Sew these seams to join the side panels together, starting and stopping 1,5cm in from the edge. Press the seams open. 3 Pin and sew the side panels to the bottom panel, leaving a 120cm-long opening for the zips in the centre of one of the long edges. Overlock these two seam allowances individually and insert the two zips into the opening, with the two open ends meeting in the middle. Overlock the remaining three seams. 4 Pin, sew and overlock the top panel to the side panels. 5 Turn the cushion cover through to the right side and insert the foam.
With plain linen, a bit of ribbon and a pattern peeping out here and there, you can pick up all the elements in the room and make your own Frenchstyle cushions.
1 Measure the cover and cut a length of ribbon tape double the measurement, plus 2cm. 2 Sew the two ends of the ribbon tape together with a 1cm seam. Press the seam open. 3 Pin the ribbon-tape band onto the cushion cover in the position desired, placing the seam in the ribbon tape to align with a seam on the cover. Sew the ribbon tape in position with top stitching 1mm in from each side of the ribbon.
Cushion with ties
Difficulty: easy Time: one hour
1 Cut two linen rectangles that are 4,5cm wider (1,5cm seam allowance and 3cm hem allowance) than the scatter cushion, and 3cm taller than the height measurement. 2 Pin the two pieces, right sides together, and sew the top, one side and bottom seams. 3 Press a 1,5cm-wide double-fold hem along the open side seam. Divide each side of the opening into thirds and pin one end of the tape underneath the hem at these points. Sew the hem. Fold the tape over to lie across the hem and sew each one in position 2mm in from the outer fold of the hem. 4 Place the scatter cushion inside the linen cover and tie the tapes into bows.