This diagram is based on the usual 48 inch width of burlap. First, measure the length of your tabletop and add 14 inches. The extra 14 inches is to allow for overhang on each end of the table. You will use this measurement to calculate how much burlap to purchase. It’s good to buy extra, since burlap is sometimes not straight on the bolt. For my 68 inch table, I bought 2 1/2 yards and that was more than enough. The fold may not be at the center of the fabric, but unless it’s way off, that won’t matter. If it is, you will have to center it and press it.
- First, cut the fabric to the desired length…your tabletop plus 14 inches. You can use this cut to get a straighter edge on both ends.
- Next, cut along the fold, creating two lengths of fabric.
- Then make another cut so that you have a length of 17 inch wide fabric plus a 7 inch or so remnant. You now have two 17 inch wide strips and two 7 inch wide strips.
You will only use one of the 7 inch wide strips, so choose the one with fewer defects. (Burlap is just that way!) Cut the strip in half so that you have two shorter 7 inch wide strips. Make a hem around three sides, using the selvage side and the two short sides. (Selvage is the edge of the fabric that has been finished so it will not ravel.) You will have to turn the shorter sides under twice to create the hem, pressing each time, but the selvage side will only need to be turned under once, since it won’t ravel. Repeat for the other strip. These are your ruffles.
Now you are going to gather the ruffles. Burlap is too heavy to use the machine for gathering, so I used a doubled thread to hand stitch. I used a contrasting thread here so you could see. Of course, you would want to use matching thread so that you aren’t having to worry too much if any of it shows. You will have to tie the thread at the end, rather than use a knot, as it will just pull through.
Gather the fabric on the thread, pulling as you go along.
Fit it along the short end of one of your 17 inch wide pieces, adjusting the gathers, and then tie your thread at the other end. Pin the ruffle in place. I found it helpful to press the ruffle at this point. The hemmed side should be facing up with right sides together. (There is no real right side for the 17 inch strip. Just choose a side with fewer defects.)
Be sure that you have left a seam allowance at each end of roughly 1/2 inch or so. Then stitch the ruffle to the 17 inch strip. Repeat for the ruffle at the other end.
Pin the corners of the ruffles back so that they will not get caught in your next seam…
…then pin the other 17 inch strip on top of the one you have been working on. Once again, you will want to put the prettier side down, if there is one.
Stitch all the way around the fabric, leaving a 12 inch gap on one side. You will use this gap to turn the fabric inside out. I always back stitch at the beginning and end of the seam so that it will not ravel. Be careful at the corners, making sure to sew right next to the ruffle edge along the seam allowance, not getting the ruffle caught in the seam. Now, turn it right side out, pulling on the ruffles at the corners to be sure that the fabric is completely turned. Then press with a steam iron.
You will want to turn under and press the fabric along the 12 inch gap to give it a finished appearance. Finally, hand stitch that gap closed. If you wish you can top stitch the runner around the rectangular portion.
And here it is! Burlap does have a strong smell at first, so you may want to air it outside for a while. Mine has been on my table for a couple of weeks now and has virtually no smell. It cannot be washed, but can be dry cleaned, so watch out for that cranberry sauce! I hope this tutorial was helpful! Let me know if you try it and tell me how yours turns out!
Remember to pin it!
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