Today, I’m going to show you how to turn a tablecloth, like the one I made in my last post, into a reversible tablecloth (or it could be a baby quilt without binding, reversible receiving blanket, placemats, etc.). In the case of a tablecloth, you could do two seasons (Christmas & Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day & Easter/Spring, etc.) two themes (Girl birthday & Boy birthday, Holiday & Birthday, etc.)–the options are endless and you get a two-for-one deal!
Step 1: Create your backing, or reverse side, the exact same size as your original tablecloth (my “top” is the Halloween tablecloth above, it measures 44″ x 52″). I made my reverse side (the cupcake print below) by cutting a center panel, adding a border strip to the narrow ends, and then adding border strips to the longer sides:
NOTE: If you are adding a solid back, simply cut the back (or reverse side) to the same measurement as your top side.
Why did I not miter the borders on my back? Well, first of all, I wasn’t sure I had enough of this Lakehouse confetti print for my border strips if I mitered, and secondly, it’s such a small print, that a miter wouldn’t show anyway (I never spend the time to miter something that isn’t going to show my mitered seam!)…
Step 2: At this point you will want to measure twice (or three times!) to make sure both layers are the same measurement exactly, and carefully square up both front and back (top & reverse) sides. Then, lay your two sides together, right sides facing, and carefully line up your outer edges:
Step 3: Pin approximately every 5-6″ along all four outer edges before picking your tablecloth/quilt up and moving it to your sewing machine. Sew all the way around the edge with a consistent seam allowance (I used 1/4″) leaving an un-sewn opening at the middle of one side:
Step 4: Clip your corners to reduce bulk:
Step 5: Pull your tablecloth/quilt through the opening so it is right-side out:
Step 6: Press your seam, making sure you pull the seam itself to the outer edge, as flat as possible (this is the tricky part! Sometimes using a tweezers to grab the seam as you move your iron along helps–and prevents steam burns on your fingertips!). At your opening along the edge (where you pulled the fabric through), press under a seam allowance (1/4″ in my case) on both layers. Carefully pin the opening closed (with a pin every 2-3″). Then, pin both layers together along all four edges (I use a pin about every 6″) before moving to sewing machine.
Step 7: Starting at the place where you have pinned the un-sewn seam allowances of your opening together, topstitch approximately 1/16″-1/8″ closer to the outer edge than the seam allowance you used in Step 3. (I used a 1/4″ seam allowance, so my topstitch is 3/16″ in from outer edge). This will close your seam opening without needing to blind-stitch it closed by hand. NOTE: Do not remove your pins until the next step!
Step 8: After topstitching the outer edge, with the pins still holding both layers in place, topstitch again a few inches in from first stitch line. In my case, I decided to topstitch 3/16″ from my inner border so it would match the outer topstitch:
You could also baste and quilt the two layers of fabric together with an allover free-motion design or a grid (which would be important if it was being used as a quilt, and washed regularly, etc), but as I plan to only use mine on special occasions as a tablecloth, two lines of border stitching is enough.
So here it is a Halloween Party tablecloth on one side, and a generic Party tablecloth on the reverse:
p.s. I’m posting this on Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday, because technically the Halloween Tablecloth is a 2010 WIP that I finished last night by making it reversible! For other WIP posts, double click on the icon: