My Modern Domestic Life: Easy Coated Cotton Tablecloth with Ball Fringe Tutorial

I have been going a little bonkers in the yard this summer. The plants, the lighting, the new stairs, the fire pit… everything looks amazing, but my IKEA outdoor table I bought two years ago is looking a bit tired.

Face lift needed!

I have been searching for an excuse to sew with coated cotton. I have been a long-time fan of oil cloth but it seems to stiffen after a few years of outdoor use, so I want to test how coated cotton stands up in the varied weather of Oregon. I decided to use Amy Butler’s Soul Blossoms Peacock Feathers in Rose. I absolutely LOVE ball fringe so I decided to add some peacock blue fringe around the edge to not only add some extra color and style, but it also helps to weigh down the edges when the wind blows. Any excuse to use it!

I started out by measuring my tabletop and adding 16″ to the length and width in order for to hang off the edge of the table equally. When working with such a large piece of fabric, I like to double it over to use my rotary cutter and mat. The extra long 4″ x 36″ rulers really come in handy when cutting large pieces like these. Remember, you always want to see the grid on both ends of your fabric when cutting to ensure you are getting it nice and square.

Once you get it cut to your desired length and width, you need to put on your zipper foot and get ready to sew on your ball fringe.

You will be sewing the trim onto the RIGHT SIDE of your fabric, aligning raw edge to raw edge. I like starting in the middle of one side and leaving a tail of roughly 5 inches that are not sewn on at the beginning of the trim. Move your needle position all the way to the left side and stitch as close to the edge of the solid trim as possible.

When you come to the corner, stop sewing approximately 1/2″ away from the edge of the fabric, kind of like when you bind a quilt, be sure to backstitch. Turn your fabric 90 degrees and begin stitching the next side, starting approximately 1/2″ away from the edge again. Repeat on all four corners. Yes, this does actually mean that you do not stitch the actual corner, as it allows for easier turning and finishing.

When you come to the point where you began sewing, cut your ball fringe so that you can fold over the solid trim and overlap the beginning of your work, matching the balls up in line.

Join the trim with the top trim hemmed over. You can’t even see the seam!

Next you need to use the awesome Non-stick #52 Foot! It is next to impossible to sew on fabric like coated cotton with a normal metal presser foot, however, with one of these little gems, your fabric slides through with ease. After using this foot for the first time, I ordered a Non-stick Straight Stitch Foot and one for Zippers! Come try them out at MD and see for yourself.

I kept my needle in the far left position and hemmed my fabric so I could top stitch the trim down flat. I went all around the entire table cloth folding my corners carefully under so the trim was tucked neatly on the wrong side of the fabric. Voila!

This simple little project spruced up my backyard even more. Keep an eye out for my upcoming post on my newly found (for free!) wooden chairs that I will be re-upholstering to go with the table.

4 Responses to “My Modern Domestic Life: Easy Coated Cotton Tablecloth with Ball Fringe Tutorial”

  1. Jen S

    Beautiful! Did you do any special finishing around where the umbrella pole inserts? Also, if you can’t make it in to use the fancy non-stick foot, is there a trick for sewing the coated plastic on the home machine? I usually buy ugly vinyl table cloths on clearance for the backyard since anything I put out there seems to be destroyed by sun in summer (well maybe not this year) and cold rain the rest of the year…it would be great to make one with fabric I actually like!

  2. michelle

    I simply cut a X in the circle with an exacto knife once I got the tablecloth centered on the table. I cut it a little bit smaller than the hole and the umbrella pole hides it really well.

  3. michelle

    The only way to easily sew on vinyl or coated cotton with a regular presser foot is to sew on the back of it. The foot really sticks otherwise. Always feel free to come in and use our equipment when you don’t have the right tools at home!

  4. shelly

    YES! to the pom poms!

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