Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads


yuanator | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Does anyone have any suggestions as how to gather square tablecloths so they gather under the table.  Should I make a casing and thread elastic or make a casing and thread cord .


  1. decoratrice | | #1

    I am a little unclear on the concept, yuanator.  Would this be a sort of slipcover for the table, or some other effect?  I have seen a very pretty effect on a pedestal table where the cloth is gathered up and tied around the pedestal with a wide ribbon and bow--takes a lot of extra length--might want to experiment using a sheet first.

    1. User avater
      yuanator | | #3

      Dear Decoratrice,

      yes it is a slipover tablecloth, it is for a resaurant table which is situated outside on the beachfront, so it needs to be secure somehow so it does not blow away.


      1. MaryinColorado | | #4

        Magnets sewn into the hem might help too, if it's a metal table.  Straps with elastic sewn into the center (fabric strip, elastic, fabric strip) and the ends could attatch with heavy duty snaps or velcro to the tablecloth.  That way you could use a variety of tablecloths if you wish and not have to change the straps.  You could also put buttonholes in the edges of the tablecloths and attatch straps with ties as in a drawstring. 

        I have an ironing cover for my cutting table.  It attatches with a drawstring so you can pull it up tight, this might work instead of the elastic too.  It cinches up on the two shorter ends of the rectangular table.  Mary

        1. User avater
          yuanator | | #5

          thanks Mary,

          great idea, unfortunately the table is wooden, would that fabric elastic fabric work if it is a square table, even if I made a casing and threaded elastic through, the fabric is still square.  Would I be better off cutting the fabric into a circle?  You seem to know your stuff, what do you think?


          1. MaryinColorado | | #6

            oh Yuanator, bless your heart!  Thank You.  I'm just an intermediate seamstress, but I love a challenge!

            I think the biggest problem will be getting it to lay nice and smooth so glasses won't tip.  I would leave it square and put some nice strong elastic in it, maybe attatch fabric ties to the elastic to look pretty.  Leave one end open but finished looking so you can tighten it down real well with the fabric ties.  Maybe that would work?

            My kitchen table is square too and I love it.  Sometimes I put a square cloth on it but set it on the diagonal for a different look so the wood top shows at the corners.  Mary



            Edited 8/23/2009 2:18 am by MaryinColorado

          2. User avater
            yuanator | | #7

            Thanks Mary,

            I did also think of lying it diamond shape and attaching the corners, oh great minds think alike.  What a beautiful part of the US you live in.  I have travelled from LA down to the keys across the middle and back through San Diego.  I was planning to travel to NE America with 2 other friends this year, but as with everyone their finances tumbled due to our wonderful recession.  Maybe when things pick up, we might also make colorado a place to see.

            thanks again for your hints and I will keep you in mind for further things.


          3. decoratrice | | #8

            I think you and Mary are on the right track, but the solution also needs to allow for easy, frequent washings and still survive and look good.  How about this:  a square tablecloth with fabric loops attached to the edge, maybe 9" or so from each corner, all around (8 loops in all).  then run a strap through all, under the table, and draw it as tight as needed.  I make very sturdy all-Velcro straps by sewing equal lengths of "hook" and "loop", end to end.  They're infinitely adjustable, and nothing is left dangling. One strap per table, many flat tablecloths, voila! 

          4. User avater
            yuanator | | #9

            thank you decoratrice for another great idea

            I need to make over 30 tablecloths and at the moment I do not have the time to be so creative, so I came up with an idea to cut an "L"shape out of each corner which will end up with a flat seam and then I can sew a casing and thread elastic through.  They may not last as long as your idea, but I can easily re-thread elastic when I need to replace.

          5. decoratrice | | #10

            Wow, big job!  Good luck, and let's hear how it worked!

          6. Sancin | | #11

            I have some little metal(stainless steel, I think) clips to put around the edge of tablecloths on outside tables. They are u shaped and clip on the top of the table top around to the bottom of the table top and quite flexible so would fit various depths of table tops. I can't recall where I got them but I have them for years and they go off and on quickly. I think I got them at a summer picnic display. Problem in a restaurant would be patrons playing with them and taking them off, I would think.
            If I were looking for them again,I would try our Princess Auto shop which has unbelievable farm and auto discount products many of which I use for sewing and home uses. The latest being a little clip on laser light for $4.99 compared to the $49.99 sewing machine lights!

          7. User avater
            yuanator | | #12

            thank you Sancin for your suggestion, but I am not sure where to buy them here in Australia, another great idea, so I will look for them.


          8. User avater
            yuanator | | #13

            thank you for all your help decoratrice, I will post a photo when I am done.

          9. Ceeayche | | #14

            As for the tablecloth anchors here are some ideas:

            I found some decorative table cloth anchors for my mom--- they are an exquisite collection of pewter dragonflies and butterflies (favorites of my mother).  As I look at them, they are like lanyard clips with figurines clipped to the end.  They look sort of like the shells ones on this link (except they were pewter and the bugs were a little larger).  http://www.amazon.com/Seashell-Pewter-Tablecloth-Weights-Set/dp/B000UPX0G6/ref=pd_sim_dbs_k_6

            My grandmother used to use clothespins to clip cotton cloth sachets filled with small pepples.  There is a wedding website that recommended taking clothespins and glueing shells and starfish on them to use them. 

            I'm thinking about using chandelier crystals for a dinner party I'm having.

            And there are inexpensive sets (around $2 US for four) on the internet under tablecloth clips.  You can probably get them at restaurant suppliers too-- they are plastic clips that are usually clear and are used for banquets and the like when you're layering cloths and skirts.

            My final suggestion would be to stack three or four drapery weights and stitch them to the corner of each.  Will make for noisy spin cycle... but your wait staff won't loose them.

          10. Sancin | | #15

            After my last response I was thinking that you may use bull dog paper clips as well. I find many uses for them around the house. Some people call them document holders as they clip then fold down. The big ones could clip like the first ones I described or as weights. I have seen the ones that Mary describes as well. If you are crafty you may be able to make something that would match the table cloth and fill with rice, or better yet buck shot (which I use for holding my fabric instead of fabric weights.) You could put loops on the table cloths and then use something to clip weights through the loops. I found some small clips that climbers us (forget the correct word) that were small and irridescent. I use several to clip my shopping bags to my purse. I got them at a sporting goods store. Just what you need - more work!!

  2. starzoe | | #2

    Threaded elastic works well. The casing and cord method would allow you to easily iron the tablecloth.

  3. SAAM | | #16

    This is probably too late for you, but you may want to consider how fitted sheets are made to get the effect you want for your tablecloths. This would involve sewing a seam to form a shallow corner, then using elastic to draw the corner securely under the table. From your description it sounds like you are on your way to this — to form the corner, you would seam the edges of the L-shaped cutout. Good luck with this project.

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More