Several of you have asked how I made Evyn's and Ashlyn's birthday linens, and I did promise a tut. So here you go! Dig into your stash or run to the fabric store to start putting your fabrics together. Don't make the same mistake I did; keep it simple - buy only three fabrics (one large scale, and two small) and as you're whipping this all up, be haphazard. It makes the project easier and the finished piece more charming.
This post will cover the party bunting (or "flags") and the table linens. Bunting first - those are the most fun, anyway. One finished bunting is 9 feet long. I like to have three in my set.
- Fat quarters of at least three coordinating fabrics (or leftovers from the table linens - see "Dressing the Table," below)
- Three yards bias tape, homemade or store bought
- Pinking shears or pinking rotary cutter
1. Fold each fat quarter of fabric in half (wrong sides together) to measure 22 x 9". Starch and press.
2. Cut five pairs of 6" x 9"-ish triangles out
of the folded fabric using pinking shears (see the handy diagram that someone else put together for me).
You will have leftover scraps on the ends. Repeat cutting with other two fabrics for a total of 15 (or so) triangle pairs. The starch should keep each pair together. Remember: don't worry about precise measuring and cutting of each triangle. Cut recklessly.
3. Leave each pair of flags adhered together and topstitch the two longest sides with a long stitch, using a 1/2" or so inseam. Sew hastily and admire the whimsy of your uneven stitching. Don't turn them inside out; that takes too long and the topstitching gives them character.
4. Pin the finished flags between bias tape, spacing them half an inch to an inch apart and leaving about six inches of bias tape on either end for hanging.
5. Topstitch the bias tape closed, catching the flags as you go.
To Dress the Tables:
Rather than tell you how to sew (or fabric glue) a straight line on four sides, I'll just share the basic dimensions of the pieces I use when dressing tables for a party.
I like to have linens for at least two tables - one long and one square. In total I use two twin flat sheets (white tablecloths) and three different fabrics (1 table sash and 2 square toppers).
- I use two inexpensive twin white flat sheets (available at Walmart for about $3) for the basic tablecloth. I leave one alone and cut the other into a large square (finished dimensions are about 60" square).
- The longest table gets a fabric sash (table runner) - 18 x 90" is standard, but you can make it shorter. I buy a little over two yards of a particular fabric, cut it in half the long way and use one piece for the sash and the other piece for the party flags.
- The square table gets two square table toppers layered diagonally over each other - 45" square each. I buy two yards of each fabric and use the leftovers for the party bunting.
- Launder the linens immediately after the party and store them in a "birthday fabrics" tub for the next year. If you find that you wind up using different sized tables at future venues, just improvise with what you've got, turning the square pieces on the diagonal on long or round tables.