One night a few weeks ago, in the midst of preparing school concerts, I decided that I needed to do something, anything, unrelated to music. I love music. It’s kinda my life and all. But I just needed an escape from beginner-violin-meets-beginner-trombone. You know what I mean?

So I whipped out my trusty sewing machine and got to work making a simple table runner for our deck. I wanted something that would be, as they say, “polyvalente”: not too formal but nice enough to dress up.

You saw my handiwork in situ in this post about my summery table setting! In case you’ve forgotten how very marvellous it looked… Summery table styling | flourishandknot.com

But what you see there started life in my mother’s fabric stash as simply two pieces of leftover fabric. In just a couple of hours (and let’s face it: I say “hours” because I spent some quality time with my seam-ripper at one point), I turned it into a sweet and stylish runner. Here’s how to make one for yourself! How to sew a simple table runner | flourishandknot.com

1. Choose your fabric and a matching (or contrasting and make it reversible!) lining fabric. I wish I’d thought to make it reversible… Next time.

2. Measure the length and width of your table to decide how long to make it. You want the runner to hang over the end of the table so that it doesn’t look skimpy! I gave mine about three inches, plus I added the lace detail. Don’t forget that you need a seam allowance. I’d make sure to leave at least an extra 2-4 cm for every seam.

3. Pin your fabrics, right sides together. Cut to the desired length/width. How to sew a simple table runner | flourishandknot.com How to sew a simple table runner | flourishandknot.com

4. Sew straight seams down each long side. (Straight seams: aye, there’s the rub.)

5. If you are adding ribbon or lace or a contrasting band of fabric at the bottom, you need to prepare it. I was using lace, so I did a small rolled hem on each side.

6. Now here’s the tricky part. (If you’re not edging your runner, then don’t worry about this!) You need to put the lace up between the two pieces of fabric, with the bottom of the lace (in my case, the scalloped side) farthest away from the seam. How to sew a simple table runner | flourishandknot.com How to sew a simple table runner | flourishandknot.com

If there’s a hem on it (as in mine), the wrong side of the hem needs to be on top of the lining fabric. If you’ve never done this sort of thing, just look at the picture, it’ll make a lot more sense. How to sew a simple table runner | flourishandknot.com

The first time I did this was on the sleeves of my Outlander costume, and I honestly never thought it would work out. But I listened to my mother had faith and lo: when I flipped it right side out, all was revealed! Make sure to pin everything in place before you sew.

7. If you are edging your runner, sew the edging fabric (lace, in my case) into the runner, sewing a normal, straight seam.

8. Do the same to the other end of the runner, but leave at least a few inches of the seam open, so that you can flip the runner right side out!

9. Cut a few notches in the fabric, so that it will lie flat. Press the seams flat. Do NOT skimp on the pressing! How to sew a simple table runner | flourishandknot.com

10. Turn the runner right-side-out, and hand-stitch the remaining few inches. Press, press, press away.

Et voilà! This post should have been called “How to Sew a Table Runner in 10 Steps”. It could have been turned into a movie with Matthew McConaughey playing the sewing machine repairman… 🙂 Unfortunately, (and I think, it was pretty darn inconsiderate of him) Matthew was unavailable to pose with the completed table runner. 🙁 How to sew a simple table runner | flourishandknot.com How to sew a simple table runner | flourishandknot.com

Whatever, Matthew. Whatever.

In other news, I’m off to a fabulous weekend at my first WordCamp Montreal! WordCamp (which, coincidentally, rhymes with “NerdCamp”) is a big conference for anyone who has anything to do with WordPress. I’ll be that person who stalks the Happiness Bar (like Apple’s Genius Bar but for WordPress) and takes ALL THE NOTES. Can’t wait to tell you all about it next week!

In the meantime, let me know if you’ve been working on any summer sewing projects (or DIYs in general). Leave me a comment and share your latest project! Have a great weekend! And to all my American readers: happy 4th of July!

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This post was featured in the Sunday Brunch Magazine – July 2015 Edition!

This post was featured at Share it One More Time!

Here’s where I link up each week:

Mondays: Blogger BragsMerry MondayMonday FundayInspire Me MondayShow & TellLou Lou Girls

Tuesdays: Tell ’em TuesdayTwo Uses TuesdayTogether on TuesdaysTutorials & TipsTuesdays with a TwistHit Me with Your Best ShotTickle My TastebudsTreasure Box Tuesday

Wednesdays: Pin Worthy WednesdaysWork it WednesdayWow Us WednesdayWake Up WednesdayWordless WednesdayWhimsy Wednesday

Thursdays: Thrifty ThursdayThink and Make ThursdayHandmade HangoutWeekend Re-TreatFavourite ThingsArtsy Fartsy Link PartyWhat to Do WeekendsFriday Features (Thursday)Fun Summer Finds

Friday: Fiesta FridayFeathered NestFrugal FridayLink Party Palooza

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Monthly/Recurring: Great Blog TrainSunday Brunch

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28 Comments on How to sew a table runner

  1. I have beginner cello meets beginner piano in my house- I can’t imagine why you want to escape! 😉 Your table runner looks great!! I need to make more time for sewing projects- have a few piled up…
    Thanks for the inspiration! Happy Fourth & Happy Fiesta Friday!

  2. This looks lovely. I haven’t sewn a thing by machine in probably 25 years. The sewing machine that I inherited from my mother is from the 70s and frankly, it scares me a little to use it. I really do need to start sewing because I tend to buy fabric — LOTS of fabric — and should try to do something with it. Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. This is beautiful – I have a bunch of lace from my grandma and this would be a neat way to bring it back to life. Great tutorial – now it might be time for me to go purchase a sewing machine. Any suggestions for something simple – I guess a beginner sewer would be good.
    Carole

    • Hi Carole! Thanks for the encouraging comment! I really hope it inspires you to get into sewing. My machine is an old Elna, which they don’t even make any more. I know that other, more experienced, sewers have told me not to buy at places like Walmart etc because they don’t offer service when something goes wrong. Let me know what you end up with!

  4. Your table runner looks beautiful! Love the pretty lace! You did a fantastic job on the tutorial! Thank you for sharing at the #OMHGWW! Have a lovely week!
    Christine@CherishingaSweetLife

  5. I totally get that need to break out and do something different! I love the sheer accents at the end of this runner…they really make for a custom look. Thanks for adding this to the #OMHGWW linky party!!

    Shellie @ShellieBowdoin

  6. Beautiful! I get so excited each week to see what you have been working on because it’s always AMAZING! Thank you for sharing this with us. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm, so we can party!!!! Lou Lou Girls

  7. Now I’m inspired to make a table runner! I’ve been learning to sew for about a year now. This summer I’ve made my granddaughter a bandana top which I designed and a repurposed denim bag for a grandson to keep up with his electronic devises and cords.
    Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday!

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