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Butterfly Tablecloth


The sight of butterflies fluttering among the blooms of a flower border is one of the visual delights of the summer months. Here, embroidered butterfly motifs are incorporated into the design of a floral tablecloth that is perfect for al fresco dining in your garden. It can be expensive to buy ready-made motifs in large quantities, so arrange them close to the corners of the cloth, allowing just one or two to stray a little farther afield.


You Will Need:

  • 1 ¾ yd. (1.6 m) of 55-in. (140- cm)-wide floral cotton fabric
  • 1 ¾ yd. (1.6 m) of 55-in. (140-cm)-wide solid-colored cotton fabric for the border
  • 5 ¼ yd. (4.8 m) of 5 ⁄8-in. (15-mm)- wide ribbon
  • a selection of embroidered butterfly motifs
  • matching sewing thread

Cutting Out

Note: The tablecloth measures approximately 61 ¾ x 53 in. (157 x 134 cm).

From the floral fabric, cut a 63 x 54¼-in. (160 x 137-cm) rectangle for the tablecloth center. From the border fabric, cut two 54¼ x 63 ⁄8-in. (137 x 16-cm) strips for the top and bottom borders and two 63 x 63⅜-in. (160 x 16-cm) strips for the side borders.


1. On each of the four border strips, measure 63 ⁄8 in. (16 cm) in from each end along one long edge and mark with pins. (This will be the border inside edge.) On the wrong side of the fabric, draw a diagonal pencil line from the pin marker to the outside corner on each strip.

2. With right sides together, pin together the short edges of one side border and the top border strip and machine stitch along the pencil line. Trim the seam and press it open. Join the bottom border to the other end of the side strip in the same way, and then join the remaining side strip between the top and bottom strips to form a rectangular frame with mitered corners.

3. Pin the right side of the border to the wrong side of the fabric for the center of the tablecloth, matching the raw edges. Machine stitch around all four sides. Trim the seam, then fold the border over to the right side of the tablecloth center. Press and baste it in place by hand along the raw edge. 

4. Pin the ribbon over the raw edge of the border all around the cloth, mitering it at the corners, and topstitch it in place. Pin the motifs in position on the cloth, arranging them in groups in the corners among the flowers of the pattern. Stitch them in place.

This project is from A Beginner's Guide to Home Sewing. To get more fab blog posts like this one - direct to your inbox - be sure to sign up to our mailing list here.  


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