Someone I've worked with a fair bit over the past few months up and got herself a new job recently. Boo. I desperately wanted to make her a little something as a going away gift, but time has been a wee bit crunched lately (hence my absence from the blog for over a week and a half). In the end, I whipped up some picnic placemats using a set of three linen tea towels I received a while ago from my aunt.
To assemble, I cut two small rectangles off one of the tea towels, folded and ironed down each edge (using one of the already finished edges for the top of the pocket) to form the cutlery/napkin pocket.
The placemat itself is just one of the tea towels folded in half. But before sewing its edges together, I positioned the pocket in the bottom left corner by sewing down on three sides as well as three seams down the middle to make spaces for three pieces of cutlery and a napkin.
I used strips of fabric from the third tea towel to make the ties as well. The unfinished edges were each ironed toward the middle of the strip and the entire thing was then folded in half and stitched using a zig zag stitch. I then secured it to the right side of the fabric along the edge of the placemat. Then the tea towel was folded in half - right sides together - and stitched along three of the edges with a small opening left to turn the piece out.
To finish it off, I used a point turner to get nice crisp corners and topstitched a 1/4 inch seam around all four sides.
I still had a fair bit of the third placemat left so I cut two squares and made them into napkins by stitching 1/2 inch from each unfinished edge and fraying the edges.
The finished set took all of an hour to do and didn't require any new purchases. In fact, it probably would have taken me a heck of a lot longer and more money to go to the mall and pick out a gift.
As busy as I've been lately, it was a very nice feeling to take a step back, sit down at my sewing machine and create something for a person who will be sorely missed.