Thursday, 19 January 2012

Needs must....

This week I put my sewing skills to really good use and made something I've been meaning to do for ages.  Anyone with a toddler/small child will know just how messy mealtimes become once they deem themselves too big for a highchair and insist on joining you at the dining table!  We have some shop bought, regular cork-backed placemats but they just didn't seem up for the job of keeping the table clean. 

Off we went to the fabric store (which I knew had fun, wipe clean fabric at £2.99 per metre) to buy some supplies.  However...I didn't like any of these 'novelty' pvc, I was drawn to the ones that weren't £2.99 per metre, but the lovely grown-up dots that were £9.99 per metre... 

I used this tutorial at Jaybird Quilts to make my placemats.  For some reason, I 'forgot' that I'd need enough fabric for both sides of my placemats, so I only had enough fabric to make 2!  And here's how they look (hot off the sewing machine!) -

I *love* this fabric!  There was also a fabric in the same range with cupcakes on I might have to back and buy some more fabric so we get a mat each!  They're also a bit wrinkly after turning out etc but they seem to be flatening out a bit with more use. 

They're nice and big too, approx 18 x 12".  Perfect for containing sticky toddler hands and any spills. 

As soon as I'd made them of course I had to test them out, a cup of coffee and a cupcake did the trick ;)

I must admit, I don't really enjoy sewing with these types of fabrics as they are quite 'sticky' going through the sewing machine, I don't have a teflon foot so I covered my normal food with masking tape -

It seemed to do the trick!  When I did the topstitching I also had to guide the fabric through quite a lot as the machine just wouldn't grip it enough. 

But overall, I'm very pleased with my new placemats (and the 2 year old is fair chuffed with them too!)


  1. I used the masking tape trick too - works a treat. I will definitely make these if I have to test them with cake after :OD

  2. Lovely mats - if you have one a roller foot works really well with oilcloth too

  3. Ooh I might try something similar, looks lovely! Although, my two year old is SOOO messy I'm not sure even a big one would contain the stickyness... We now have crayon marks all over the table too :( I give up!!

  4. Oh clever you, I wouldn't have thought of doing that...good tip re the masking tape too, I have a devil of a job sewing the insides of make-up bags sometimes, for the same reason x

  5. Nice job on the place mats. Using the tape on the foot was a great idea. A walking foot will also work well with sticky fabrics. Believe it or not, I miss all the little messes we used to have at the kitchen table.

  6. They look great and thanks for the tip about using masking tape.


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