Dinner - good. Dinner with friends - better. Dinner with friends outside around a beautifully set table - best. Nothing spices up your outdoor living space more quickly than a new tablecloth. Ours is fast and easy, but also unique with a center contrasting panel that acts like a built-in runner and secret pockets behind each corner. Use these corner pockets to slip in weights that can help hold the tablecloth in place when gentle summer breezes start to blow. The bold Waverly Sun N Shade fabrics we used will keep the tablecloth looking great all season long.
Sun N Shade fabrics by Waverly are designed to be antimicrobial, mold/mildew resistant, and resistant to sunlight fading for up to 1,500 hours. And best of all, they resists soiling. Find out more in our Waverly fabric care article, which details steps for spot cleaning, extra protection, and even how to machine wash your project.
A solid rectangle certainly qualifies as a tablecloth, but when you have so many great colors and patterns from which to choose, it's more fun to blend two or more fabrics for a more dramatic result. We combined the whimsical motif with a bold multi-colored chevron. Of course there are hundreds of options from which to choose to best match your outdoor living vision. Below are just a few additional pairings we thought were wonderful.
We used Dritz Drapery Weights as ballast in our corner pockets, but the pockets are generous enough to accommodate many different heavy items, even rocks.
Our sample outdoor table was 96" long x 40" wide. Our tablecloth finishes at 116" x 60", allowing for a 10" drop all around.
Leave a comment below to let us know your favorite dish to bring to an outdoor gathering. Someone in our Sew4Home family is hosting a casual outdoor wedding this summer and would love to hear your ideas.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Quarter Inch Seam foot; optional, but helpful for the hemming
Fabric and Other Supplies
As mentioned above, our instructions and yardage are for a 96" x 40" table. We've given you measurements for how we cut our pieces to fit our table. Proportionately adjust as needed for your table.
- 3½ yards of a 54"+ wide outdoor fabric for the outer panels; we used 54" Sun N Shade by Waverly in Pom Pom Play Peachtini
- 1½ yards of a 54"+ wide outdoor fabric for the inner panel and the corner pockets; we used 54" Sun N Shade by Waverly in Panama Wave Peachtini
- Drapery weights or similar for the pockets; we used Dritz Drapery Weights
- All-purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- From the fabric for the outer panel (Pom Pom Play Peachtini by Waverly in our sample), cut TWO 117" x 24" panels.
NOTE: We have a good tutorial on how to cut large panels using a rotary cutter.
- From the fabric for the inner panel (Panama Wave Sunset by Waverly in our sample), cut ONE 117" x 15" panel - or - fussy cut three 15" panels and seam together to create the final 117" panel. We have a step-by-step tutorial on seaming together large panels for a great finished look.
NOTE: Because we used the same fabric for this tablecloth as well as a set of matching chair cushions, we had many yards from which to work and so could cut our inner panel as one strip. The yardage shown above is for the three panel seamed version described above.
- Also from the fabric for the inner panel (Panama Wave Sunset by Waverly in our sample), cut FOUR 5" x 5" squares.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Assemble the panels
- If necessary, seam together your inner panel segments to create one 117" x 15" strip.
- Pin an outer panel right sides together along each 117" side of the inner panel.
- Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance.
- Because we used the tough Waverly Sun N Shade fabric, our tablecloth is not lined. We finished both long seams with an inside flat felled seam.
- We have a full tutorial on flat felled seams, but to summarize: first press open the seam.
- Trim back one side of the seam allowance to ¼".
- Fold in the uncut seam allowance edge to meet the cut seam allowance edge. Press in place, then fold the entire allowance to one side (we pressed toward the outer panels). Press and then pin in place.
- Edgestitch along the fold, giving you one visible seam on the right side and a nicely finished seam on the inside.
Make pockets and hem all around
- Find the four 5" x 5" squares. Fold each in half, wrong sides together, to create a triangle.
- Create a ¼" double-fold hem all around the tablecloth. To do this, fold under each edge ¼" and press. Fold under an additional ¼" and press again, and pin. Alternatively, you can press all around ½", then tuck the raw edge back in on itself. The result is the same: a small double fold has concealed the raw edge.
- Un-pin at each corner so the fold lines are visible. Clip off the tip of each corner.
- Slip a folded triangle into position in the corner, aligning the raw edges of the triangle with the inner fold of the hem. Pin in place along the folded edge of the triangle.
- Refold the hem into position over the triangle pocket. Folding in the corner first then the sides to create the clean diagonal corners.
- Repeat to insert a triangle into each corner hem.
NOTE: If you are new to this technique, take a look at our full tutorial on narrow hems with clean corners for additional step-by-step instructions.
- If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the panels in the top and bobbin.
- Using a Quarter Inch Seam foot if possible, stitch the hem in place all around.
- Go slowly and pivot at each corner, keeping your seam straight as you stitch through the multiple layers at the corner pockets. Remove pins as you go.
- Insert weights and get ready to dine in a soft summer breeze.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild