Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chevron Halloween Table Runner with Pockets

I'm flying through the 1, 2, 3 Sew projects!  The third project is the "Set the Table Runner."  In keeping with my Halloween decor theme, I am going to sew this pocketed table runner out of some awesome Halloween chevron fabric.

The pattern wants you to cut a piece of fabric 16" x 56" wide, but I knew that this chevron fabric was only 44" wide before washing (and I've prewashed the fabric.)  I'm not expecting this runner to go over the edge of my table but rather to sit nicely on top and bring some color to a family meal (or Halloween Birthday Party.)

Thankfully with a pattern this bold lining up the fabric to cut is going to be much easier.  Or so I thought.  The chevron is not printed 100% on with the fabric, so I'm going to have to make a decision.  Cut with the pattern or with the squared edges.  I chose to cut with the pattern.  I squared off at the tip of an orange chevron and measured 16" down to the inside tips of a black chevron.

It looks like only one of the edges is actually off squared, but things look even when I fold the fabric in half.  After squaring off the crooked edge the piece of fabric measures approximately 44" x 16"

I'm feeling a little ambitious, but I am NOT going to cut the fabric for the pockets until I've hemmed the main piece of fabric.  I want to try to line up the pattern and to do this I need to know approximately where I want the pockets to go in the first place.  I just have to hem (1/4" then 5/8") and then create mitered corners just like in the previous project.

I'm really happy with how the pattern looks after I've pressed it.  It looks even and centered and hopefully I can do the pockets justice by matching them to the pattern.

The mitered corners went pretty smoothly this time.  I found that starting with the needle down lets me align the crease right by the needle without starting the stitches too far back from the edge.  I also realized that marking this crease with my air soluble pen makes it easier to see and that I'm happier with the corner that I get.

The fabric is pretty thin.  This isn't an ideal table runner for anything other than once a year or so... which makes the Halloween theme spot on.  I suppose if I wanted something like this for heavier use then I should use a heavier weight fabric or back this somehow to make it thicker.  But I LOVED this pattern when I saw it so I will make it work!

I'm so glad I have a whole yard of fabric.  There is plenty of space to match up the pockets.  There are some decisions that I have to make.  It won't be too hard to line up the pattern in the vertical direction, but I have to decide where I want the pockets to be placed so I can try to line up the pockets in the horizontal direction.  This takes a little bit of planning, but I think that I'll be able to get pretty close.

The entire hemmed base is 40" long.  Each pocket will be just shy of 14" wide, let's say 13".  The width not covered by pockets is 14".  I should aim to have the pockets 4.5" from each edge and then have 5" between them on the runner.  I used frog tape to mark the approximate location of the pockets as I know they will shift a bit depending on how well I cut the fabric.  The pocket areas are market by the space inside each piece of tape.

Now it is time to cut.  Oh boy.  The pattern will help me a bit here to line things up.  I made a mistake when cutting the first pocket and clipped half an inch off of one corner.  I think that missing corner makes it possible to see the pocket fabric laid out across the the runner.  Match #1 is done!

Match #2 was a little easier, but I think I shifted the pocket over a bit too much.  In the end I know that I'm going to have to make a decision about lining up the pattern versus the pocket placement...  I think I'll pick pattern matching!  I could adjust with how I make my seams on the pockets, but Id rather focus on trying to sew straight.

Before folding under the raw edge, I checked how the pockets aligned on the runner.  Not too bad.  They aren't even, but they are really close and can match up with the fabric. Because of the cutting error there is about a half inch difference in the pocket width, something I'm not going to worry about at all.  I wish that I could get the pockets closer to the edge of the runner, but they are almost evenly spaced.

After pressing the pockets, I pinned the pockets to the runner on all 4 sides.  You almost can't see them at all!

To stitch 1/8 around the edge I am using stitch #2 on my machine, which is the standard straight stitch but moved the needle over to the left edge of the foot.  I will then try to keep the edge of the pocket in the center of the foot as I'm sewing.  I took out pins as I went so I wouldn't have to bump over them.  In my first attempt I started drifting over a bit in a very obvious way.  I ripped out the seam and started over.

The half way point of one pocket was 6 3/8" and the other was 6.5"  That is pretty close!  Wahoo!  I used frog tape to mark where I wanted to sew and pinned on either side of the tape.

Sewing along frog tape was so easy!  I think these might be my straightest lines yet.  Now I just have to press my table runner and take some pictures... on the floor.  My dining room table is currently covered by my sewing machine and other paraphernalia.  (I need to go to Ikea to pick up a sewing table!)

I would have shared a picture of the runner with the pockets empty, but you can barely see the pockets in any of the photos since I did such an amazing job matching up the pattern.  You can almost make out the pockets in the above picture based on where the silverware stems disappear.

Isn't she pretty?  This table runner is going to make a statement at Lucky's 2nd birthday party!

Project started 9.14.2015