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Laminated Cotton Placemats: Working Without Pins

May 9, 2011

In preparing my home for spring and summer, I wanted to liven up my kitchen table. I decided to do this with making reversible, mix and match place mats. What better fabric to use for this than laminated cottons. They come in a variety of fun prints from some of my favorite textile designers, and all you have to do is wipe them clean.  

laminated table.jpg

As I was working with the laminates, I discovered that not all laminates are created equally. Some are much heavier than others. For example, I had some laminates from the Moda Central Park collection. These laminates were very heavy weight. The laminated cottons I had from Free Spirit are softer and lighter weight. When picking your laminates from Fabric.com, make sure you read the descriptions for weight information. I cut a simple rectangle shape: 21'' x 16 ¼'', then rounded the edges (optional of course).Making the placemats reversible, I just paired the opposite weight laminates together, no problem.  

Here's the problem... pins. Once you poke through laminated cotton with a pin or a needle. That hole is there. And it's not going away. Ever. So I realized I had to do this project WITHOUT pins. This involves some strategic maneuvering with your hands as you sew. As you can see, I marked clearly where I was to sew and tightly held my fabrics together as I sewed around the placemat. This almost worked out better than I expected! Sew carefully, constantly aware of your grip, and there should be no warping.

laminates sewing table mats1.jpg

Because of the thickness of the laminates, I did a 1 ¼'' seam allowance, and then graded the seam to eliminate bulk around the seams. I then clipped notches on the rounded corners to they would lay nice and round and flat when I flipped it. I left a 7- 8'' opening on one side in order to flip it. The most maneuvering done with the project is flipping the placemat right side out. Be careful! And it's ok if you pop a few stitches by the opening, top-stitching solves that later.

laminates clipping.jpg

I used double sided basting tape to temporarily seal the opening after my mat was flipped. Because pins can't be involved in this project, this double sided basting tape is perfect! You can find double sided basting tape at your local hobby and sewing store. Once you place the tape where you want, you then peel the top liner off, and then press your seam together.

laminates sticky.jpg
Because of the thickness of the mats, and the durability required of them, I used this Coats & Clark Outdoor thread to top-stitch and finish my mats! Voila!  

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The best way to secure laminated cotton or oilcloth fabrics together while stitching is to use clothespins! The spring clip style come in various sizes to match whatever project you may be working on...from the regular sized for hanging laundry to the mini clips available at craft stores for smaller items. Perfect no-holes left behind solution!


Your placemats came out great. With laminate, couldn't you put the wrong sides together and topstitch, instead of turning, for a quick and easy project?

Ellen- good call! I will try the clothespins next time!

Dianes- you certainly could do that! I wanted to highlight the importance of grading and notching edges when working with bulkier fabrics. Top-stitching the two laminated fabric together would make a quick and easy project, and turn out just as great! The laminated film helps protect against frayed edges.

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This page contains a single entry by published on May 9, 2011 9:37 AM.

Oliver + S Sunday Brunch Jacket in Home Dec Fabric was the previous entry in this blog.

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