Friday, April 15, 2011

Out to Eat Place Mat Tutorial

I guest posted on Liberate Creativity with this tutorial a few weeks ago...

Today I'm going to share a sewing tutorial for an "Out to Eat Place Mat". I'm guilty of feeding my 14-month-old daughter her finger food right on the table at restaurants. Gross? Yes... have you seen them wipe down the tables before? I decided to make a place mat that I could easily tuck in my bag to bring with us when we go out to a restaurant.


I included a little pocket to hold some toddler-sized silverware and ties to wrap the entire place mat up into a compact little roll.


By the way, did you know that place mat is two words? Looked it up in the dictionary... who knew?

Want to make one for your little one? Here's the how-to:

Materials:
  • front fabric (12" x 18")
  • back fabric (12" x 18")
  • pocket fabric (6" x 9")
  • double fold bias tape (purchased or make your own) (2.5 yds)
  • light to medium weight fusible interfacing (11.5" x 17.5")
  • thread

Instructions:

Step 1: Cut out all of your fabric to the dimensions listed in the materials list above. Center your fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric you are using for the front of your place mat, and iron it in place following the manufacturer's directions.


Step 2: Next you need to prepare the pocket. Take your pocket fabric and fold it in half (bringing the shorter sides together) with right sides together. Sew around the three open sides, using a 1/2" seam allowance and leaving a 2" opening for turning.


Clip the corners, trim the seams down, and turn the pocket right side out. Press the pocket, making sure to tuck the edges of the opening inside the pocket.


Step 3: Sew across the top of the pocket (the folded edge) about a 1/4" from the top edge.


Step 4: Mark the center of the pocket by drawing a line from top to bottom (I used a water soluble disappearing ink pen). Pin the pocket in place on the front of your place mat. The top of the pocket should be 4" down from the top of the place mat, and the left side of the pocket should be 1.5" from the left edge of the place mat. Sew around the left, bottom, and right sides of the pocket (1/4" from edges), then sew along the line you drew down the center of the pocket.



Step 5: Take your front and back pieces of place mat fabric and line them up with wrong sides together. Baste (using a very long running stitch) all around the outside edges using a 1/8"-1/4" seam allowance.


Step 6: Make sure you reset your machine to a shorter stitch length. Before you sew on the binding, you can make some little ties to add to the place mat so that you can roll it up. Cut a piece of bias tape that is 24" long. Open up one end of the bias tape. Fold in the end about 1/4".


Refold the bias tape. Repeat on the other end.


Sew the ends and length of the bias tape closed by sewing very close to the edge. Set this piece aside.



Step 7: Time to bind your place mat. Take your bias tape and open it up. Starting along the bottom edge of the back of the place mat, pin one edge of your open bias tape even with the raw edge of the place mat. Leave about a 6" tail of bias tape at the very beginning.


Sew right in the crease of your bias tape that is closest to the outside edge of the place mat. Stop sewing and backstitch 1/4" before you reach the edge of the adjacent side of the place mat.


Fold your bias tape up at a 90 degree angle.


Fold the bias tape back down over itself. Start pinning the bias tape along this side, even with the raw edge of the place mat.


Step 8: If you are now at the side of the place mat opposite the side with the pocket, you need to attach the ties you made earlier. Fold the 24" piece of bias tape in half and slip the folded edge under the bias tape you are attaching around the place mat, centering the ties on the side of the place mat.


Step 9: Start sewing in the outermost crease of the bias tape again, starting 1/4" from the edge of the place mat and stopping 1/4" from the opposite end. Repeat the folding from Step 7 for all four corners. Stitch back and forth over the tie attachment a few times.

Step 10: When you get all four corners done, continue sewing the bias tape along the bottom of the place mat, stopping when you are about 6" from where you started attaching your bias tape.


Step 11: Fold over each tail of your bias tape so that they touch in the center. Pin in place and finger press.


Remove the pins and match up the creases you just made with right sides together. Pin.


Sew across the crease you just made (I lightly marked it with a pen in the photo above). Trim the seam to 1/4", and press the seam open.


Step 12: Line up the edge of the bias tape along the raw edge of the place mat. Finish attaching the bias tape by sewing in the outermost crease of the bias tape again.


Step 13: Now that your bias tape is attached all the way around the outside, it's time to fold it over to the front of your place mat. Refold the bias tape and pull it over the edge of the place mat to the front so that it just covers your stitches. I use LOTS of pins to hold bias tape in place.


Carefully miter each corner. It may take a few tries to get it right.



This is what the back corners will look like when you fold the bias tape over to the front...


Step 14: Once you have the bias tape pinned to the front all the way around, sew the bias tape down close to the inside edge of the bias tape. (TIP: Pin your ties to the center of your place mat so they don't get caught up in the bias tape when sewing.)


You're all done! Now insert some silverware, fold the top and bottom edges toward the center, roll it up, and tie it.




Now you have a cute little place mat to bring with you to the restaurant for your little one, and you don't have to worry about what was on the table before you sat down with your family. Cover that place mat with Goldfish crackers and enjoy!


I'm linking up...

PhotobucketA Crafty Soiree

29 comments:

Sharon said...

What a great idea! I am going to one for each of my kids, thanks for shareing!

Gwen , the vintage seamstress said...

I have just got to say this is the cutest idea ever. I remember when my first grandchild was a baby and we would take her out to eat, this would have just been the bee's knees (if they have knees). You are so creative and your tutorial is way easy to understand even for somebody like me! Which is a very good thing! KUDOS!

Ashley said...

Oh my goodness, I love this! We have some rubber fold out ones that suction cup to the table, but I really do not like them. My kids have figured out if they pull hard on them to release the suction cups, that food goes flying across the restaurant! These seem so much easier to use! What I really like is the spot for the silverware and possibly even a bib. There are never kiddie sized utensils at restaurants. Great idea, Gwen!

Naturally Carol said...

I didn't know place mat was two words..thank you! I've just bought some of that 'apple' fabric and am going to make an apron for someone who ordered it from me last week..I'll show and tell when it's done.

Life with Lucy said...

This is adorable! Thanks for the awesome idea!

Jen @ My Own Road said...

I'm a fellow table-top feeder :) I love this! I've been meaning to make something similar for my daughter. Great project and beautiful fabrics

Chris said...

Such a clever idea, Gwen. Why couldn't you have thought of this 10 years ago???

Stephanie Smith said...

Thanks for the tutorial on bias tape. I don't know if I will make a place mat, but I did buy some chalkboard fabric a while back to make traveling chalkboards for my kids. This tutorial will help tremendously with that project.

malia said...

this is awesome... love the fabric too... i have some of the blue/green polka dots too. wish i had your sewing skills too! happy weekend! malia

kate said...

way cute!

The Little List said...

So cute. I love the fabric too. Thanks for sharing and its so nice to meet you.

Jill said...

Oh my! What a great idea!

Eleni said...

This is such a great idea!! I love the color combination!! and the patterns!! Thank you so much for sharing this!! Just Lovely:-)

Maridith @ Strictly Homemade said...

Smart idea!! I really like this!! Thanks for sharing such a great tutorial

Jengerbread said...

Love it!

Sweet Little Smoothie said...

Such a great idea! And your tutorial is awesome!

heather {WhipperBerry} said...

this is lovely... what a fantastic idea!

kisses
heather

Mrs. Taylor said...

What an awesome idea! I am also guilty of feeding my little one his fingers foods on those nasty tables. These are so cute and would make great gifts!!

Mary Ann said...

Your tutorial is great. I have awarded you a Versatile Blogger Award. Just stop by my blog at Love This Bloggin and pick up your award, and follow directions. Have fun and a great week!

Lolly Jane said...

Super cute- love the colors together! Would love for you to link this up :)


Lolly Jane
lollyjaneboutique.blogspot.com

Life with Lucy said...

Thanks so much for your sweet comment! I saw this project linked up a few places last week and thought it was so adorable! The idea is fantastic and the fabrics are adorable. I also needed some help making my own bias tape, and this is definitely what I needed! Thanks so much! I've loved looking around your blog- you are so creative! Definitely a new follower :)

Jennifer said...

THis is so cute!!! and I am guilty of feeding my kids off the nasty tables! Yuck! Love this! I'm going to feature it on my blog today. Thanks for sharing!
Jen
Scissors & Spatulas

Cabubsmom said...

I want to make one so bad for our trip to Disney next month, but I am scared my 2-year-old will make it too icky. How do you keep it decently clean throughout a trip?

Katie said...

This is adorable, love the fabrics x

Heather said...

How clever! I think I might give these a go for my sweet nephews (trying to be better friends with my sewing machine!) :)

Mary Ann said...

Love this idea! Going to make some for my grand children! thank you!

Brooke said...

You pretty much ROCK! You know that right? These are awesome. Love the apple fabric. Awesome construction too. Well done. xo

Mama Bear said...

My low tech method was taking a big piece of freezer paper and some tape, to secure a clean area for the little one to eat at restaurants. He's almost 16 months now and still in the "throw everything on the floor" phase. So I don't think this particular solution would work for a few months yet. If I could staple it to the table, perhaps...

Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts said...

Love this and love the fabric choices- two of my favorites (the apples and dots.)

So happy to have found you and your blog! Thanks for finding me first.

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