The problem with most outdoor tablecloths is that great ones are hard to find. You might remember to buy one as you wander through Target in March, but it will invariably lack what you really need it to-to accommodate the umbrella pole. Actually, you’ll probably be annoyed enough that you’ll just buy whatever they have. Who cares that 9 other families at the pool have the same one. That is, until you get to the pool and stand there with a cooler, 4 bags, a float and a few kids looking for the table that your spouse "saved" for you by putting that tablecloth on the table.
Go ahead and buy a regular round tablecloth in a fabric that you love, I'm going to show you how to adapt it to fit around an umbrella pole- without adding a zipper.
In this tutorial, I am using a 60" outdoor tablecloth purchased from Target 4 or 5 years ago.
5 yards of pompom trim (measure the hemmed edge of your tablecloth to be sure of the exact yardage)
3 1/2 yards of single fold 3/4" bias tape
2 yards of 1/4" velcro
Coordinating polyester thread
CUTTING THE TABLECLOTH
On a large flat surface, fold the tablecloth in half along the center, carefully aligning the edges.
Find and mark the center point in the tablecloth. Mark the spot with a pen or a chalk line. Using this diagram as an example, cut through the fabric along the dotted line until you reach the center point. At the center point mark, cut a 3" half circle through both layers of fabric.
APPLYING THE BIAS TRIM
Bias binding, or trim can be purchased at the store or cut and pressed on your own. Either way, you apply it to curved or straight edges to make a pretty finish. To do this, you place the binding on the right side of the material matching the edge of the fabric to the edge of the binding. Stitch these together with a 1/4" seam allowance. Then turn the binding so that the right side and using the zipper foot on your machine, edgestitch flat.
Cut one 10" strip and 3- 36" strips of bias tape.
Beginning with the short curved center where we will make the umbrella hole, take the 10" piece of bias tape. Open up the fold on one long side of the bias tape. Starting at one corner, and with the wrong side of the bias tape facing up, pin the raw edge of the tape to the top raw edge of the fabric.
Sew the bias tape to the fabric with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, using the fold of the bias tape as a guide, or path. When sewing a curved seam, it helps to shorten your stitch length to improve accuracy. Then just stitch from pin to pin, removing each pin so that you don't stitch over it. Make sure that the machine needle is positioned correctly to stay along the path.
Next, the longer side pieces. Take one 36" length of bias tape and pin along one long side of the tablecloth beginning at the top edge of the fabric. Pin and sew with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, again using the fold of the bias tape as a guide. Make sure that the edges of the fabric and one edge of the bias tape are caught in the seam.
Now, flip the fabric piece so that its right side is facing up. Fold the bias tape over the raw edge of the fabric and pin in place.
Sew the bias tape to the fabric with an edgestitch.
Trim the edges of the bias tape on the long sides, so that they are flush with the edges of the fabric. Do not trim the 10" piece of bias trim yet.
Now for the curved center, fold the bias tape over the raw edge of the fabric and bias trimmed sides and pin in place. Sew the bias tape to the fabric with an edgestitch.
ADDING THE VELCRO EXTENSION
With the third length of bias tape, we are going to make an extension to add to the tablecloth. Take the third length of bias tape and one length of velcro. Velcro has two sides, a loop side (soft) and a hook side (rough).
Open the center fold of bias tape and iron flat. Align the velcro to the far right side of the bias tape and stitch from top to bottom. I used the loop side of the velcro and a zigzag stitch for this.
Now lay the left side of the binding under the long bound edge of the tablecloth. Stitch right over the previous edgestitch. This way the bound edge of the tablecloth and the velcro form one long strip.
Now, take the hook side of the velcro and pin and stitch it under the opposite side of the bound edge of the tablecloth. Stitch right over your previous stitches. You can see that I have used blue thread for this.
ADDING THE POMPOM TRIM
Pin the flat tape section of the pom pom trim along the tablecloth's inside bottom edge so the pom poms are facing outward.
Attach the zipper foot to your machine using the right side of the foot.
Sew through the middle of the tape side of the pom pom trim from one end of the tablecloth to the other. Backstitch at the beginning and end of this seam. Make sure you have caught all of the trim and that you haven’t sewn into any of the pom poms.
You may be wondering why I have two rows of stitching on my tablecloth. Good question! I didn't have quite enough pompom trim to complete this project. So my trim is just basted on until UPS arrives with the rest :)
I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial. Please let me know if I need to clarify any steps.