Saturday, January 26, 2008

How-To: Tableskirts

The skirted table is an important look in decorating today, a graceful accent to add beauty and elegance to any room whether contemporary or traditional.

It is engagingly versatile, whether skirted to match slipcovers in the living room, in the dining room for cozy meals or for note writing at the bedroom window.

Great looks can be had in choice of fabrics from formal silk to printed cottons or interesting textures, with your trimming adding additional accent and design interest.

A floor length can be textured solid with an overskirt of coordinated print. Reverse the look with a floor length in a favorite print and make a whole wardrobe of coordinated "toppers" in solid for a really versatile accent.

It is much easier than it looks! Just follow directions carefully; figure your measurements correctly; don't skimp on fabric and trimming and you will have a lovely result that will fit and fall perfectly.

Remember that almost any table can be turned into a circular one with the addition of a round top which is cut not too much larger than the original tabletop.

Fabric requirement is determined by size of cloth (diameter) and width of fabric. Fabric widths have to equal at least the diameter. Try to choose one to give as little waste as possible. However, any long pieces left from extra width can be used for matching chair pillows or a valance. Two widths of 48" make up to 94" in diameter. Three widths needed to make 103".


Fabric Yardage

36" 48" 52"
72" round 4 1/8 4 1/8 4 1/8
84" round 7 4 ¾ 4 ¾
90" round 7 ½ 5 1/8 5 1/8
100" round 9 9 6

Trimming Yardage

Easy rule is 3 ½ time cloth size (the diameter) which gives a few inches extra for safety, i.e. 84" x3 ½" =292". Divide this number by 36 to figure the amount of yards you will need: 292" / 36"=8 yards, 4".

Cloth Size Trimming Required Cloth Size Trimming Required
44" 4 1/3 yards 72" 7 yards
48" 4 ¾ yards 84" 8 1/8 yards
52" 5 1/8 yards 90" 8 ¾ yards
60" 6 yards 103" 10 1/8 yards


  1. For a floor length round table skirt, you must first take your table measurements-width of tabletop, then drop from top to floor on each side. This will give you the size needed and guide you
    in fabric needed. Let's say:

    Table 24" wide with 30" drop 24" + 30" + 30" = 84"

  2. You will need a circle of fabric this large plus ½" for hem, which you will cut from a rectangle sewn using two 84 ½" length of 48" width fabric. 84 ½" x 2 (of 48) = 169" = 4yds +25" = 4 ¾ yards to buy One full width of fabric runs the entire center of table, including drop to floor on both sides. A second, equally long piece, is split and sewn to each side of full width (allow ½" for each seam). These seams will fall concealed in folds in finished cloth. Be sure to cut on grain and match pattern on side sections. Extra fabric might have to be allowed at times for unusual pattern matching.

  3. Cut your first length to 84 ½". Split the remaining 84 ½" piece lengthwise on the grain. Sew side
    pieces to center piece, matching pattern, if any. Press seams open. Working on large surface or floor, fold this fabric rectangle in half lengthwise, on which you will mark a semi-circle of 42 ¼".

  4. Using a measuring tape as a compass or tie a string 42 ¼" long to a pencil. Find exact center of fabric on lengthwise fold; thumb-tack string or measuring tape in place; draw the half-circle.
    Pin through the two layers of fabric and cut the semi-circle curve. Turn under, then press in ½" hem which you will zigzag. Sew close to edge and cut off any excess.

  5. Add the final finish with trimming also applied with the zigzag stitch around the bottom edge or placed about 2" above finished hem to show detail against skirt color. You can also glue your
    trimming with Fabri-Tac adhesive.

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