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How to Sew Placemats – Learn to Sew Series

Hey guys, it's Melanie from MelanieKHamcom welcome back to my channel

Today learn to sew video three we're gonna get into our first tutorial we are gonna be making placemats, reversible placemats to be exact So I've got pink on one side an adorable like linen dot on the other side You need your basic set of supplies from me learn to sew supply list that I created for you that will be linked down below also you need two yards of fabric Now, if you don't want your placemats to be reversible then you could pick the same fabric but if you want yours to be double-sided then you need one yard of Color A and one yard of color B You also need 1 3/4 yard of interfacing I am picking SF 101 and if you don't want to write all this stuff down I will have a printable pattern, written instructions and all that good stuff on my blog post over on my website

That will be linked below The other thing you will need besides your basic supplies your two yards of fabric your interfacing is a coordinating thread color so whatever fabric that you pick you are gonna be seeing the thread color so you need to pick a coordinating one The other thing I wanted to mention with those fabrics is I like a natural fiber like 100% cotton or a linen or a linen blend something like that and when you get that you need to pre wash it so here's how you pre wash a fabric We need to pre wash it because it's a placemat right so we're gonna need to wash and dry it in the future and we want to make sure that it's not going to shrink and get distorted at all once we wash it for the first time So we wash the fabric ahead of time to avoid any of those issues so what I like to do is take those cut edges so we have this piece in the top so like this fuzzy part here on the top that's our selvage edge so you'll see kind of that off the bolt selvage edge on the top and the bottom of your fabric but on the sides where you cut it you can totally optional but I like to do this so that I don't lose too much fabric in the wash and by that I mean this

just really lightly zig zagged on the side of this yellow fabric and because we're gonna get threads things kind of fraying in the wash just helps to kind of hold it together It'll also help you practice that zig-zag stitch so the cut-side run that through your machine with a little zigzag and then you're gonna pre wash it I put it in a mesh bag if you have one if not just throw it in your washing machine on a gentle cycle cold water So once you wash it put it in the dryer tumble dry low and let it kind of shrink up once you're done doing that you want to press it really good and then we can start sewing

So, let's jump right into the project Alright here I am giving my fabric fresh out of the dryer a nice good press with my iron then we can cut it up The selvage to the other selvage, is going to be at least 40 inches depending on the type of fabric you got it could be up to 44 but then when you washed it it could have shrunk up a little bit how to line up the selvages as much as we can we're here on your sides your sides are not really lined up and that's okay there's extra let's just double-check ourselves that we have enough So 14 goes to here, another 14 goes to here that gives us plenty of wiggle room we can even do 15 if you want to bump it up and make a little bit larger fold it one more time

So then what we're gonna do is get a nice clean cut here And this is where I would need a cut in order to make sure that everything is nice and straight and the way that you do this is you've got to follow the line going all the way across because we want this to be a 90-degree angle so we'll come down here 90 degree angle this black line going all the way across because if you're like this and the line is not laying along that fabric you're going to cut it at an angle And then you take your rotary cutter, be really careful with these they're very sharp expose the blade you can hold you kind of like spread out your fingers and hold down this ruler When you're done making your cut put the protector the safety protector back on Throw that aside, now we're gonna do is take this cut edge, flip it

okay so we've got our cut edge here line that up on the left side of our mat let it lay nice and flat we're gonna come over here to the 14 we're gonna cut this will be the width we're gonna make them this size and then in the future if you want to bump it up a little bit you totally can line up the 14 line with the ruler, black line going across that bottom fold and then we want the top of our ruler up here to also be in line with that 14 Rotary cutter then we can put this aside bring this one over and do the exact same thing with the 14 So now we're going to open it up and we're going to cut off the selvage edge so it should be pretty well lined up, just leave it folded over and now we're gonna trust this cut line that we already made line that up all right now with that new cut we're gonna open this up and we need to make our 20 inch piece so we'll line it up with this left side line up our cut edge so we should be able to go cut edge and then it should come straight up this line so hopefully there's not too much distortion

If there's a little bit don't worry okay we're just keep moving forward and you'll get better at this over time come over here to the 20 we're gonna line up the side of our ruler with the 20 this down here to make sure we got that nice 90 degree angle up here at the top is going to also be in line with the 20 and cut here's our placemat size grab your other piece do the exact same thing line everything up okay so continue this for your Color A or your pink whatever color you picked get all four of your pieces and then do the same cutting technique to get your Color B all cut and ready to go and then I'll meet you back here and we will make our placemat Here is our SF 101 or our interfacing this comes a 20 inch width so we just need to cut it 14 and we're gonna cut it at 14 but we're gonna go a hair smaller so that we can reduce the bulk in our seam so here's our 14 line and I'm gonna come in a quarter of an inch so I'm gonna cut it at the 13 and 3/4 line instead I'm gonna trim off a quarter of an inch here as well pick the fabric that you want the interfacing to go on I'm gonna pick this one because this one's kind of a little bit of a squirrely, shifty kind of linen so I want to hold it in with the interfacing let's take a look this is the wrong side of the fabric okay so here's the right side wrong side so the wrong side of our fabric is gonna go with the glue side of the interfacing because it's going to glue into the wrong side the right side of the SF 101 just kind of looks like cotton fabric we cut the interfacing a little bit smaller we also do that because you don't want to have the interfacing running off the edge of your fabric and then the glue will melt onto your ironing surface Then you'll take this over to your ironing surface and you're gonna follow the manufacturer's instructions it will have the directions on here I will typically kind of get it into place and then hold it to really glue it down and we want to make sure that this is adhered really well because we're going to wash this you're facing is only gonna be on one side of our placemat the other side will be just fine the way that it is so go ahead and add your interfacing on all four of your placements Once you have your fabric with your interfacing so the interfacing is the wrong side of our fabric right and then here is the right side of our fabric so we're gonna place the right side of our fabric with the right side of our fabric now this pink is not obvious which is the right and wrong side and sometimes if you picked a solid color fabric it is not going to be obvious so just make your best guess it's not a big deal but some fabrics like this kind of cotton fabric it's very obvious this is the right side this is the wrong side okay so make sure your right sides are together Line up those edges as best as you can and if yours doesn't look quite like mine that is okay your first sewing project is not going to be perfect okay? and as we gain experience you'll improve so much

So once we've got everything lined up we're gonna pin it into place got my Clover pins which are my favorite and the idea that we're gonna do is sew all the way around but we need to leave an opening because then when we flip it right side out we'll do another top stitch and close that opening so that's the idea of what we're doing So take your pins and pin all the way around your placemat okay everything is pinned but I want you to use your marking tool and remind yourself with two marks that are about four inches apart from each other to start and stop at those lines so just go here just to remind yourself when we're at the sewing machine to not go all the way but to leave that opening we're gonna start on one mark and we're gonna line up our fabric with that 3/8 line if you can find it it's gonna be just a bit wider than my presser foot I want you to practice running your fabric along one of these lines on your plate so I've got my 3/8 so then drop your presser foot down I'm gonna be sewing at a two point four or 25 stitch length and when we first get started you want to back stitch so we're gonna start sewing and I'm using a coordinating thread color with my project then we're gonna back stitch so we're gonna find that back stitch button and push it let's go back one or two stitches and then continue now when you come up on a pin make sure you remove that pin we don't want to sew over pins try your best to keep along that 3/8 line but if you don't that's ok this is a practice run and it is fine it's alright you know we're gonna do our best okay when you get down to the corner when you think it's about 3/8 inch we're gonna bring that wheel down with your hand we also remember cranking it toward you bring put that needle down lift up your presser foot pivot and see how you did so I came down too far so I'm gonna just put my machine back hit that back stitch button my needle down give it that looks much better I'm actually at the 3/8 mark and keep sewing you can go as slow as you need to but remember that the machine is really good at feeding fabric through so we've got these feed dogs down here which helped to bring that fabric through and it does a pretty good job of it so as long as you're got your spot in place and you're just gently gliding your fingers and kind of help you're not helping you're not pushing it along you're really allowing the machine to do the work for you as long as you're doing that it's gonna make a pretty straight line and of course that will just take practice all right coming up to that mark once you get close to that mark back stitch hey lift up your presser foot and pull that off so now I flipped it over so you can see that stitch really well what we want to do is trim our corners so that we get a nice point so grab those fabric scissors that you have and we're going to cut don't cut the thread we're just going to cut this corner they'll eliminate the bulk in that seam right next to that thread but don't cut the thread and do that on all four corners

find that opening and flip your placemat right-side out as you're pulling it out stick your hand in there and pop out those corners I've got nails right now so I can kind of pop that out with my nail you could use a chopstick or the end of your marking tools something not too sharp we don't want to poke a hole but we want that to look nice and pointy now what we'll do is well straighten this out because when we press it we want it to be reversible right so we want one side to be the dots one side to be the pink so we're going to roll the seam to be laying nice and flat out do your best with this do little sections at a time that way it looks really nice so go ahead do that all the way around so see here's where our opening is and we want to tuck those fabrics in there and get those looking really nice too I want to point out something real quick here's my opening here so when you are pressing the opening we want to make sure that it looks like it's going straight all the way across if there's a little blip here where it's not folded over and pressed even once we sew it we're gonna see that so this one I did this one a little bit poorly so that you could see this is where the opening is and it kind of comes up a little bit that's because when I pressed it I didn't have it pulled out all the way and I left it so that I could show it to you as an example it's not a big deal and it's not super noticeable at all but that is what we want to avoid we want to make sure that's looking straight so don't just look at the part with the opening look at the entire context of the placemat in order for you to get a really nice finish okay this one is pressed and ready for us to go top stitch it When I first do the top stitch I am going to stitch pretty close to that fold and we're going to achieve that by moving the needle position over to the right I'll show you close up in just a second but the other thing that I want to do is up my stitch length slightly so when we're going through multiple layers of fabric sometimes I want to bump up that stitch length, it allows the needle to go through it a little bit easier and I like the look of a slightly larger stitch length so it's still very secure but it bumps it out a little bit so I am gonna put my stitch lengths up to 2

6 you could even go 28 it's personal preference the next thing we're gonna do is move over our needle position so I want to be able to sew my placemat and line up the edge of my placemat with the edge of my presser foot I feel like that is the best way to ensure the straightest line possible and so in order to do that I want to have a more narrow seam so I'm gonna move my needle position as far to the right as possible so just make sure that your presser foot has one of these elongated openings here where you can move your needle position around and it's not gonna hit your presser foot as you pull that you know as the needle goes down into your fabric okay so I'm moving it as far to the right as it will go so I'm starting at the corner bring my thread in here and I do want you to back stitch so we're gonna start sewing back stitch just a stitch or two not a big deal and then keep that edge of your placemat with the edge of your presser foot and sew all the way around same thing as before when when you get to the corner put your needle down whether you have the needle down button or use your hand wheel

lift it up pivot it around and see how it's doing so you can see my fabric comes up out too far so I need one more stitch and now we can continue down this side when you get back to where you started do another little back stitch so we have our first pass here and now we're going to do the exact same thing again because I want to add another little top stitch I think it just adds a bit more professionalism to it but I'm gonna do the exact same thing that we did before we want to line up with the edge of the foot to the edge of the placemat but I'm going to move my needle position back to the left so that will and you know ensure that we have that nice edge to get a straight line but we just move our needle over I moved the needle over just to the left of that center point it doesn't really matter whatever you like you can kind of put your the edge of your placemat to the edge of your foot and see if that distance is going to work for you and then you'll go around in the exact same way that you did for the first pass so take a look at that stitch, really nice that corner so check it out now we've got 4 placemats that are completely reversible we worked on pre washing our fabric how to cut it we did some interfacing and learned how that works then we did some straight seams right so we did three straight seams going all the way around to get you that nice good experience we also learned about our stitch length and our stitch position our needle position we pivoted with that corner with our needle did a little bit of back stitching we got some really good basics in this tutorial plus we made something really useful this is ready to go ready to wash so I hope you enjoyed making these reversible placemats and getting some basic sewing skills under your belt if they don't look perfect that is ok your project that this is actually your first sewing project it likely will not look like mine and that is okay I have a lot of sewing experience and so don't compare your first sewing project to my thousandth sewing project okay so really be kind to yourself and make sure that you are just having fun and you're making something really useful and cool it's all about building those skills and having fun doing it so there's our placemats

Source: Youtube

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