January 8

I pulled out the sewing machine and made a tablecloth. And although a tablecloth would not appear to be very newsworthy, I'm giddy with myself and the finished product. I've had this idea in my head for a long time – way too long, actually. Like six months too long. It's the first of the household projects that I want to complete in 2012. And, really, I don't know why I didn't tackle this one sooner. I am already so happy that I have it and we used it tonight, me sitting at the table eating my broccoli soup smiling the whole while. And smiling again afterwards when all the little soup spills were wiped up lickety-split. Love that.

New tablecloth

The construction was very straightforward. I contemplated writing up a tutorial, but I didn't get enough photos while I was making it. I think it took about 3 hours start to finish, including a little break when I sewed through my finger. (Yes. I know. OUCH. But, really, I'm fine.) Injuries aside, it was a great one-day project. My table is 48" in diameter so I cut a 49" circle out of this laminated cotton. The fabric is 58" wide so it's perfect for a small-ish dining table. The laminated cotton can be sticky and tricky to sew. I used a walking foot when I could and pressed with low heat and a pressing cloth. Sometimes it was just as easy to finger press so I did that, too. The skirt is made from four – 8" widths of the fabric, hemmed on one side and sewn together and pleated every 6 inches (the depth of the pleats are 2"). I made some piping using the scraps and then I sewed the skirt to the circle with the piping in between the two layer using a 1/2" seam allowance. That's it – pretty much a perfect fit. In my mind, the pleats were crisper, but I know that is a function of the laminated cotton and my lack of pressing the pleats. No biggie. I'm thrilled with it just the way it is.

And other happy things? Season 2 of Downton Abbey starts tonight. Love that, too.

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