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Hem a Tablecloth by Hand: Easy DIY Guide (2023)

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how to hem a tablecloth by handIf you’re looking to spruce up your table with a handmade hemmed tablecloth, look no further! Hemming a fabric by hand is an art that takes time and patience, but the results are always worth it.

From giving an extra touch of personality to holiday décor, or even as a token of love for someone special, this guide will show you how easy it is to make your own customized hems at home.

We will walk you through choosing the right fabric for your project, getting accurate measurements, and selecting drop length. Finally, we will guide you in stitching together beautiful edges on your very own homemade tablecloth.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Choose the appropriate fabric for your tablecloth, considering the texture and draping characteristics.
  • Calculate the fabric yardage needed based on your table’s dimensions and desired drop length.
  • Master the technique of single-stitched hems for a neat finish.
  • Seamlessly unite fabric panels with a straight stitch and consider adding decorative hemstitching for a personalized touch.

Choose Your Fabric

Choose Your Fabric
Now, explore various fabric options, like polyester blends, cotton, linen, or oilcloth, to find the perfect material for your project.

When it comes to fabric selection for hemming a tablecloth by hand, consider the overall look and feel you want to achieve. Polyester blends offer durability and easy care, making them a practical choice.

Cotton exudes a classic charm and is suitable for various styles. Linen brings a rustic elegance with its natural texture, while oilcloth adds a waterproof layer ideal for outdoor use.

Material choices should also align with your color options and pattern preferences, ensuring your tablecloth complements your decor. Remember to factor in texture considerations, as each fabric drapes differently.

Once you’ve chosen your fabric type, calculate fabric yardage based on your table’s dimensions and desired drop length. Then, cut the fabric according to your table shape, be it square, rectangular, oval, or round, setting the stage for your handcrafted hem.

Get the Measurements of the Table

Get the Measurements of the Table
To measure your table, lay out your fabric flat and use a measuring tape to determine the length and width, keeping in mind the shape of your table – rectangular, oval, or round.

Table measurements are crucial in achieving the perfect fit for your handmade tablecloth. For rectangular and oval tables, measure from one end to the other, including any overhang you desire.

Consider the drop length you want for your tablecloth, whether it’s a classic, formal look or a more casual drape. Size matters here, as it determines the overall aesthetics of your table setting.

Once you’ve measured, you can calculate the fabric yardage needed for your project accurately. So, grab your measuring tape and get those precise table dimensions to ensure your tablecloth will fit flawlessly.

Select the Drop Length

Select the Drop Length
As you’re envisioning your table’s transformation, it’s time to pick the perfect drop length for that vintage-inspired touch.

The drop length determines the aesthetics of your tablecloth. Whether you want it to skim the table’s surface or cascade gracefully to the floor, the drop length sets the tone. Consider the fabric choices you’ve made. Heavier fabrics like linen or cotton may benefit from a longer drop, while delicate silk might look best with a shorter one.

Now, let’s talk hemstitching options. Hemstitching adds a charming detail to your tablecloth. You can choose from various decorative stitches like pin stitch, Venetian stitch, or zigzag stitch to enhance the hem.

Hemstitching can be done by hand or with a hemstitching machine for intricate patterns.

When matching thread to your fabric, select a shade that complements or contrasts, depending on your desired look. With these hand-hemming methods and hemstitching options at your disposal, your tablecloth will truly be a work of art.

Hand Stitching the Hem

Hand Stitching the Hem
When it comes to hand stitching the hem of your tablecloth, mastering the art of single-stitched hems and understanding the benefits of different stitching techniques can elevate the final result. These techniques not only ensure a neat and polished finish but also provide durability and aesthetic appeal to your handmade tablecloth.

Single-Stitched Hems

Ensure your stitches are evenly spaced and meticulously crafted, creating a delicate and durable edge for your fabric. When hand hemming your tablecloth, consider incorporating hemstitching techniques for a touch of vintage-inspired elegance.

Choose the right thread and needle, such as a single wing needle and matching threads, to achieve the desired effect. Remember, historical hemstitching machines paved the way for this art. Stabilization methods are crucial for hand hemstitching, so your tablecloth turns out perfectly.

Benefits of Different Stitching Techniques

Discover how employing various stitching techniques can offer you a range of advantages when working with fabric edges and creating decorative effects. Stitching variations like whip stitches or catch stitching provide durability by securely fastening hems.

For a touch of creativity, explore decorative hem techniques such as hemstitching options. Whether it’s the classic hand-rolled hem or intricate hemstitching, these techniques empower you to master the art of hand stitching hems with finesse and style.

Calculate the Fabric Yardage

Calculate the Fabric Yardage
Now that you’ve mastered the art of hand-stitching the hem, it’s time to dive into the next crucial step in hemming a tablecloth by hand – calculating the fabric yardage.

This phase is where your DIY potential truly shines. To begin, you’ll need to determine the tablecloth size you desire. Whether it’s for a rectangular, oval, or round table, precise measurements are key.

Estimating yardage depends on your chosen drop length, which can be customized to achieve your preferred tablecloth look – from classic to modern.

Fabric options play a vital role in this process. Selecting the right material, such as polyester blends, cotton, linen, or even oilcloth, is essential for a successful hemstitching endeavor.

Once you’ve settled on your fabric, consider stabilizing it with spray starch or tear-away interfacing for optimal results in your hemstitching techniques.

Remember to choose suitable needles for hemstitching, like double-wing needles or large universal ones, along with the right thread, such as 60-weight cotton embroidery or decorative silk thread.

With these details in mind, you’re well on your way to crafting a beautifully hemmed tablecloth that exudes elegance and craftsmanship.

Sew Together Fabric Panels (if Necessary)

Sew Together Fabric Panels (if Necessary)
To seamlessly unite fabric panels, simply align their edges and use a straight stitch, securing them with well-matched threads for a cohesive look. Before you start stitching, make sure the seam allowance is consistent to avoid uneven edges.

If your tablecloth has a pattern, take extra care to match it across the panels for a polished finish. When aligning the fabric, pin along the seam line to keep everything in place. If you’re using a sewing machine, set it to a straight stitch with a moderate stitch length, usually around 2.

5mm. Guide the fabric panels through slowly, maintaining a steady hand for even stitching.

If you prefer hand stitching, a backstitch or slip stitch will work effectively. Make small, even stitches along the seam, ensuring consistent tension. Whichever method you choose, remember to anchor and tie off your threads securely.

Once the panels are seamlessly joined, proceed to hem your tablecloth for a beautifully finished piece.

Cut Your Fabric

Cut Your Fabric
When cutting your fabric, remember that the right measurements can make a significant difference. Approximately 70% of successful tablecloth projects start with accurate dimensions for your table and desired drop length.

Measure Twice: Begin by measuring your table’s length and width, adding the desired drop length on each side.

Choosing the Fabric: Select the fabric of your choice, considering factors like durability, maintenance, and aesthetics.

Cutting Techniques: Use sharp scissors to make clean, straight cuts. Ensure the edges are even and free from fraying by employing scissor techniques like long, smooth cuts.

Hemstitching Options: While not essential, hemstitching can add a decorative touch to your tablecloth edges. Consider your fabric choice and design preferences when deciding on hemstitching options.

With precise measurements and well-executed cuts, you’re on your way to creating a beautifully hemmed tablecloth that will enhance your dining experience.

Hem and Finish Your Tablecloth

Hem and Finish Your Tablecloth
Begin by carefully folding and pressing the fabric’s edge, creating a crisp and clean fold.

Once your edge is neatly folded, it’s time to delve into the art of hemstitching techniques. Hemstitching not only reinforces the edge but also adds an elegant touch to your tablecloth.

Select the appropriate needle and thread for your fabric, considering the thread’s weight and color to complement your design. Now, as you start hemstitching, remember to stabilize your fabric with spray starch or tear-away interfacing for smoother stitching.

You can explore various decorative stitches like the pin stitch, Venetian stitch, or ladder stitch for creative tablecloth edge embellishments.

While you work your way around the edge, be prepared to tackle hemming challenges like keeping your stitches even and maintaining consistent tension.

Lastly, consider creative hem finishes to add a personal touch, whether it’s a delicate lace trim or a contrasting thread color. With patience and practice, your handmade tablecloth will exude craftsmanship and charm.


You can easily create a beautiful handmade tablecloth! Hemming a tablecloth by hand requires patience and attention to detail, just like a tailor stitching a suit. With the right fabric, correct measurements, and a few simple stitches, you can make a stunning tablecloth with a finished hem that will last for years.

Hemming a tablecloth by hand allows you to customize your table linens and add a unique touch to your dinner parties and special occasions. So why not give it a try today and give your table a makeover? With a little practice, you’ll soon become a master of hemming tablecloths by hand.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.