For Christmas this past year, the beau’s mom got me a sewing machine because I had hinted that I’d love to learn. And in all honesty, it had sat in its box for months. I finally decided it was time to learn how to thread it and that task was much harder than I remember! To get myself learning and working, I set the goal to make a gift for my mom for mother’s day. Being a beginner and also knowing my mom’s love of linens, placemats were an obvious choice.
For starters, I had to draw something up. I’d eventually love to sell something very similar in the store, so I wanted the practice of having to silkscreen and then sew. This was the final page of doodles that I ended up using:
While that was happening, I cut out eight identically sized pieces of linen and four pieces of batting. Tip for beginners: remember to make your pattern 1/4 inch bigger on all sides to accommodate for the sewing. Also, if you have one of those pizza-cutter slicers, they make the world of a difference. I hadn’t noticed that I received one for my birthday a couple months back and did it all by hand; things got a little jagged.
Now for the fun part! Time to silkscreen! Just register your screen, line up your four pieces of linen (I only wanted the print to be on the top side of the placemat), choose your color and print away! You can definitely skip this step if you don’t know how to silkscreen or decided on a fabric with pattern.
Once they are printed and dried, it’s time to line up the placemats for sewing. A couple of tips for beginners:
- The “right” sides of the fabric should be facing inward.
- The batting should not be in the middle of these two pieces of fabric.
- Don’t leave the hole (to turn them inside-out) on a corner; they are much harder to sew up later.
Make sure to pin everything together neatly and sew! I took it nice and slow, probably too slow, but I didn’t want the final product to be too crooked. Turn the placemats inside-out and use a pen to push out the corners. I then pinned up the small hole so that the fabric was nicely flat and ready to be sewn over. To give the placemats a more finished look (and to close up that small hole), I sewed all around the edges of the placemats with a contrasting but neutral thread.
I must say, I was pretty impressed with myself. And so was my mom. She doesn’t mind the small imperfections and already has them out for display. Well, two of them. I haven’t delivered the other two because on one, the first one I had attempted, I put the batting on the INSIDE which then became the back of the placemat. No bueno. I had to rip each and every stitch out to re-do. With the day off and no plans but to lounge, I had the time to finish that last placemat this morning.
Homemade gifts are the best in my book.
These were the instructions I used to get the project finished. #thankfulforwikihow