We’ve all been there: You’re shopping online and something catches your eye, but you know you could make the same thing with a design better suited to you. This all too familiar feeling happened to Spoonflower team member Suz after a set of scalloped placemats found their way into her browser (and heart). Realizing that she loved the linen look but not the colors of that set, Suz took matters into her own hands and created the double-sided Belgian Linen™ placemats of her dreams. Find out how you can recreate the look following the step-by-step tutorial—including a free placemat pattern—below.
Suz: Placemats are an easy way to celebrate a special occasion or elevate an everyday dinner. I spotted some lovely (and quite expensive) scallop-trimmed linen placemats at a boutique online, and decided to try my hand at recreating them with some beautiful designs from Spoonflower. With toddlers at home, we don’t entertain much—though we are quite entertained by their antics, however these placemats remind me that even a little effort for a holiday meal, anniversary or birthday dinner goes a long way.
You can make two double-sided 17.5″ (44.5 cm) placemats with one yard or meter of Belgian Linen™ that is quite luxurious and beautiful. Or make a budget-friendly version by using a different woven backing fabric or two yards or meters of another medium-weight woven fabric like Linen Cotton Canvas or Lightweight Cotton Twill.
Making these placemats to set your table for the holidays?
Don’t miss these styling tips for a flawless and functional tablescape.
1. Prewash Your Fabric
To reduce fraying when you prewash your fabric, serge or stay-stitch the edge of your fabric. Belgian Linen and most other woven fabrics will shrink when washed since they are made of natural fibers, so do prewash the fabric. For Belgian Linen, you should machine wash warm or cool on a gentle/delicate cycle, tumble dry low. Iron on the reverse side of the fabric with steam to help soften.
2. Cut Out Your Pattern Pieces
Trim the selvages with a rotary cutter or scissors. Use the non-scallop circle pattern to trace four 18″ (46 cm) circles on one yard of fabric (you’ll be using the full width and height so start as close to an edge as possible) and cut with a rotary cutter or fabric scissors. Trace four 18″ (46 cm) circles on the other yard of fabric and cut.
3. Trace the Scallop Pattern Onto Your Placemat
Use your marker to trace the scallop pattern onto the unprinted side of one of your circles. Match up the two different designs of fabric circles right sides together and pin.
4. Stitch the Placemat Pieces Together
Set your machine to a straight stitch at 2.5 mm apart (the standard setting on a Brother CS-6000i). Start your needle approximately ½” from the lowest point of a scallop, start to stitch and then backstitch to secure your stitch. Follow the traced line, raising your fabric to pivot around each valley angle. Continue around the circle slowly, guiding the fabric through all of the peaks and valleys until you’re about ½” (1.25 cm) past the last valley, leaving about 2″ (5 cm) open over the curve of one scallop. Backstitch to secure your thread.
5. Trim Your Seam Allowance
Remove the placemat from your machine and use pinking shears to cut close to your stitch line, approximately ¼” (.65 cm) away. Note: I tested this project on a quilting cotton and found it to be much easier to use pinking shears than with the linen—you’ll get a hand workout trying to cut through two layers of upholstery grade fabric!
Use your fabric scissors to clip a straight line very close to your stitch line at the deepest point of your scallops, approximately 1/6″ (.4 cm) away. Make sure you don’t clip into your stitches.
5. Turn Your Placemat Right Side Out
Maneuver the fabric through the opening so the right sides are facing out. Use a chopstick or turning tool to push each of the scallops out to their rounded shape.
6. Stitch the Placemat Opening Closed
Shape the final unfinished scallop. Hand sew an invisible stitch (also known as ladder stitch) to close the opening. Iron the placemat using steam to help flatten the seams.
Repeat three more times to have a full set of placemats to enjoy.
We want to see your version of Suz’s scalloped placemats! Shop our new Belgian Linen and be sure to tag your pictures with @spoonflower and #spoonflower so we can see how you’re setting the table this season. No time to DIY? Shop one-of-kind home decor on Spoonflower.