Using Laminated Cotton for Kitchen Tablecloth
Sugar Hill Laminated Cotton with Wrights Ric Rac trim
I had been dying to try a project with laminated cotton. I've seen so many cute things made with it, so it was long overdue. But I wanted to start simple. We recently got a new kitchen/dining table, so a tablecloth seemed like a good place to start.
I had a hard time deciding between all of the amazing patterns available, but I ended up deciding on this one (Sugar Hill Falling Rose). I waited until Fabric.com was running a sale and ordered 2 yards. BTW if you like this fabric (and it comes in a couple different colors), I just noticed it's now on clearance for $9.09/yd which is a pretty awesome price. I just saw it in a boutique for $20/yd. I thought this pattern was lovely, springy, and a nice compliment to my favorite rug (these Dash & Albert rugs are awesome btw--you just hose them down and use bleach to clean).
My first step was to cut the fabric, which I did using my cutting mat and rotary, just "scootching" (amazingly, spell-check offers no suggestions for scootching) the fabric up when I got to the end of the mat. If you don't have mat/rotary, you can use scissors; I just think it's easier to get a straight line this way. But if you're interested in getting a mat, it's a great item to use your weekly 40% Joann's coupon on! Remember, I don't like paying full price for anything!
I didn't use a standard tablecloth size because I wanted it to fall at a specific part of the table, but you could make it any size you want. I love our new kitchen table (got a good deal on this, too. Some people don't know that you can negotiate prices at furniture stores. You may just have to be a little pushy, but it's worth it). The chairs are from Restoration Hardware. Amazingly, they were pretty reasonably priced to start (I did a lot of research in other stores for these), but I waited until they ran a Friends & Family sale (20% off) and we got an additional discount because we bought 6.
But back to the tablecloth. After cutting it to the size I wanted, I added green Jumbo Ric Rack trim. I got it at Joanns, but it wasn't in the aisle with the other trims that sell by the yard; it was in one of those racks near the zippers (took me a while to find it. It's also much cheaper than the by-the-yard stuff!).
Pinning it was kind of a pain. I had to pin it vertically, which made it hard to pull out the pins as I was sewing, but otherwise, I couldn't get the trim to stay put. The corners were a little tricky, too. I didn't want to cut it and sew all 4 sides separately, so I did this little fold-over instead.
When I started sewing, I did it on the right side because I thought it would help me see the trim, but it was really hard to see the fabric, and I ended up losing my line a lot, creating gaps. When I flipped it over and sewed on the wrong side, it actually was easier because I could see where the two pieces of material came together.
And that was it! Really, it was a quick project, but there were some tricky parts when it came to adding the trim. But I'm happy with how it looks!
BUT... here's the thing. I don't think I would use this laminated cotton again for a tablecloth. It's kind of thin, and when I wipe it down, it moves all over the place (maybe it doesn't really happen with regular vinyl tablecloths because they have that backing?). It also wrinkles really easily. And I would think that would be hard to do since it's basically always flat! But it really wrinkles--look closely at the pic! And last but not least, it's a pain to clean. And not everything comes out. I was not happy when that stain turned up, and it's not going anywhere. I didn't think that would happen. But after you pay so much for the fabric/trim (basically ~$25), you start to get picky. And since I have 3 little ones, it takes a beating. But at this point in my life, I really need something that CAN take a beating. So I don't think I would use it again for a tablecloth. You can get really cute vinyl ones at Homegoods for $5 or Christmas Tree Shops for $3 (and then you can modify them like I did in Operation Vinyl Tablecloth)!
That being said, I would love to try another project with it! Maybe a cute raincoat for the kiddos? Also, I don't know if it's just this particular brand with the wrinkling/staining/sliding. I think I'll try one of the Amy Butler patterns next time.
Any good tips for working with laminated cotton? Also, instructions say "wipe with a damp cloth" for care... anyone ever throw it in the washing machine? I'm thinking about it.