I really enjoy recycling and repurposing fabrics from past sewing projects or outgrown or cast off clothing. In using these left over or found pieces, I am getting something I love that has no extra cost. So in this post on how I sew a table runner, I did this very thing! I am refreshing my home with some new items, and this feels like a good time to sew a table runner. We are indoors more in this season of winter so why not try to enjoy our surroundings all the more!
A lot happens at our table each day. We eat our meals there, we homeschool there. We play games on our family table.
The dining room table is a central meeting place in our home. So, at the end of each day I like to bring that space back to neutral and make it pretty and pleasing to my eyes.
I like to beautify my dining room by draping a ruffled table runner across it. I love the sumptuous, frivolous nature of ruffles! We just fold it up and move it when the table needs to be cleared for an activity or meal.
When I Am Feeling Creative
It never fails, a sumptuous picture from a design book like Country Brocante Style by Lucy Haywood gives me the NEED to sew! I search my fabric stash and find odd sized pieces of much loved fabric.
Being more organized about my household sewing projects would be smart: Choose a project, write a list of all the necessary fabrics and notions, search the internet for the perfect fabric for my project.
While searching, I found a piece of white linen that I had left over from a tank top I had made myself. I am always drawn to linen fabric for household projects and clothing too.
It had some fairly large sections, but tricky diagonal edges. So I sewed the larger parts together to make a larger piece of fabric.
Items To Sew a Table Runner:
- Fabric you have gathered from your stash, or clothing you can repurpose
- sewing machine ( I use this one )
- fabric scissors
- pins and pin cushion
- iron and ironing surface
The main fabric I started with had a large section cut out of it. It had these two diagonal cuts out of it.
First, I pinned the diagonal edges together and sewed the seam.
Then, I used the zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine to sew along the raw edge of my seam. This keeps it from fraying.
Next, I pressed with a hot iron and I had this square with a bias seam after I had sewn the two halves together.
I was left with an uneven edge on the other end of my piece of fabric, so I cut off the extra to make my linen for the table runner more of a square.
So, whatever unusual shaped pieces you have cut them down or piece them into squares and rectangles, to make it easier to sew a table runner.
My next step was to take the square and line up two sides together and press along the fold to form a crease. Cut along the crease to make two equal rectangles.
I then lined up the two short edges and pinned them together.
Next, I sewed the seam and just pressed the seam open, because it had a very pretty selvedge and was already nice and neat.
Making The Ruffle on The Table Runner
Happily, when searching my fabric stash, I found an old linen curtain I had saved. This could be recycled and repurposed fabric. It had a section that was stained and there were some holes on it, but it was easy to cut away these flaws.
I measured the diameter of my table runner, it was 170 inches. An attractive ruffle will be 1 1/2 times the length of the area it is to go around.
So, I cut strips to measure 255 inches long . They were 5 inches wide to allow for a 1″ hem.
I made use of the hem of the curtain and cut one of the strips four inches wide.
My next step was to sew all the strips of fabric together into one long strip, making sure the hem I utilized would be right side facing outwards.
Also, I zig zag stitched the edge of the seams.
After that, I pressed the seams nice and flat with an iron.
Then I was left with a very long strip of linen perfect for the ruffle on my table runner.
Next, I made the rest of the hem by pressing over the edge half an inch, the whole length. Then, I pressed the edge over again half an inch to enclose the raw edge.
Now Gathering The Ruffle
On my sewing machine, I set the width to 1 and stitch length to 4. I set my tension to between 0 and 1, and it was set on a straight stitch.
Once everything was set, I stitched about 1/2 inch from the edge the whole length of the fabric strip without backstitching at the ends,
This gave me a very loose line of thread to gather up the fabric edge.
Next, I started pulling the bobbin thread very carefully (so it wouldn’t tear), to cause the edge to gather.
I did the same thing on the other end and started to gather a little on each end, until it looked like it would fit around the table runner.
This step took some patience. I went back and forth between pulling the gathers and checking it against the table runner. I evened out the gathers so they looked relatively uniform.
Once I had the fabric strip gathered to the correct length, I evened out the gathers as well as I could.
After that, I pinned the two short ends of the ruffle together right sides facing, then sewed a 1/2 inch seam. I zig sagged the edge and pressed the seam flat.
The next step was to pin the ruffle to the table runner, right sides together all around the edge, easing the ruffle around the corners.
Once it was pinned, I sewed the seam with 1/2 inch seam allowance. I was careful to keep the raw edge from creeping into the seam.
I finished the seam with a zig zag stitch.
Finally! I pressed my table runner very well, paying extra attention to the ruffles.
I stood back and admired my lovely table runner!
If you would like a quick, easy sewing project, check out this post on Sewing Beautiful Fabric Napkins .
What fabric have you repurposed or pieced together for a sewing project? Please tell me in the comments below!