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Finished size: 2 placemats, each 20" wide x 15" tall
Here is a placemat and cutlery holder all in one -- very practical when dining alfresco. It rolls up for easy storing and transportation, and will add a degree of chic to your picnic routine. It's the perfect gift for friends who seem to have everything. The picnic placemat is a good project to start with if you are still getting to know your sewing machine. It is easy and quick to complete.
Fabrics (for a set of two mats)
• 1-7/8 yards (44" wide) medium-to-heavy-weight cotton or linen fabric
• 3/4 yard (1" wide) ribbon
• Fabric marker
• Straight pins
• Fadeout fabric marker (or tailor's chalk)
• Point turner
• Preshrink fabric by washing, drying and pressing before you start.
• All seams are 1/2" unless otherwise stated. A 1/2" seam allowance is included in all cutting measurements.
Step 1: Cut out all pieces from the fabric
Measure and mark the dimensions below directly onto the wrong side of your fabric, using a yardstick and a fabric marker. Then, using your scissors, cut out each piece, following the marked lines.
Cut 4 Placemats (2 fronts and 2 linings): 21" wide x 16" tall
Cut 2 Pockets: 5" wide x 5-3/4" tall.
Step 2: Make the utensil pockets
On the utensil pocket pieces, with the wrong side of the fabric facing up, on one 5" side, fold over 1/4" toward the centre of the pocket, then press. Fold over another 1/2" and press. Machine stitch a 5/16" seam, making sure you stitch through all layers of fabric. This edge will become the top of the pocket. On the remaining three sides, with the wrong side of the fabric facing up, fold over 1/4" toward the centre of the pocket, then press. Fold over another 1/4" and press.
Step 3: Stitch the utensil pocket to the placemat
A. With the right sides facing up, pin the utensil pocket to the front side of the placemat, aligning the utensil pocket on the right-hand side of the placemat, approximately 2" from one shorter side edge and 3" up from the longer bottom edge. Make sure the finished, stitched edge of the pocket opens toward the top edge of the placemat. Stitch the pocket to the placemat, 1/8" from the outside edges of the pocket, down one long side, across the bottom, then up the other long side, backstitching at each end. Press.
B. Use a ruler and fadeout fabric marker to mark the stitching lines to make the pockets for each utensil. Mark a line 1-1/4" in from the left stitched edge of the pocket, and 1-1/4" in from the right stitched edge of the pocket. Make sure the lines are perpendicular to the top and bottom, and parallel to each other. To finish the slots, stitch on each marked line, beginning at the bottom and stitching toward the top edge of the pocket. Backstitch at each end.
Step 4: Make the placemat
A. Fold the ribbon in half. Pin the folded end of the ribbon to the left side of the front of the placemat (opposite the utensil pocket) approximately 6-1/2" up from the bottom edge.
B. With the right sides together, pin the front side of the placemat (with the utensil pocket) to the lining of the placemat. The ribbon should be sandwiched between the layers. Stitch around all 4 sides, making sure to catch the folded end of the ribbon in the seam, and leaving a 3" opening on one side, backstitching at each end.
C. Trim the corners.
D. Turn the placemat right-side out. Use a point turner to push out the corners.
Step 5: Finish the placemat
Press the edges flat, making sure to enclose the raw edges of the opening. Pin the opening closed. Topstitch around all the sides, 1/4" in from the folded edges.
Excerpted from Simple Sewing: Patterns and how-to for 24 fresh and easy projects by Lotta Jansdotter, with photographs by Meiko Arquillos. Text and illustrations copyright 2007 by Lotta Anderson. Photographs copyright 2007 by Meiko Arquillos. Excerpted with permission from Chronicle Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publishers.