Sunday, February 05, 2012

Tablecloth Origami

I've wanted to make my own tablecloth skirt ever since Shams posted her online tablecloth skirt tutorial. I made mine a little differently.

I cut one giant 60" square of shot taffeta (brown threads in one direction, blue in the other) by folding the 2 yard piece along a diagonal on the floor. I trimmed away the excess the way I tore off the rectangle when making origami from office paper.

I then folded along the diagonal again and pinned the folds together so that they don't shift and moved the bundle over to my cutting table. I used a compass to draw a 5.25" radius circle and then cut along the pencil mark. I also used my ruler and rotary cutter to chop off 9" squares at the ends. (They look like triangles because of the way they are folded, but they are squares.)

I pinned two of the trimmed corners ready for seaming. I had to unfold and refold the fabric to pin the other two corners. I used French seams on the corners because the acetate shot taffeta was really ravelly.

A fortuitous meeting with Maggie, a cutter on the ground (pricey) floor of Britex led me to cut my circle SMALLER than my hip. Maggie was wearing a black silk taffeta tablecloth skirt with a grosgrain ribbon waist and no zipper or elastic. To put it on, she simply shimmied into it from the top and let it ride low on her waist.

Shams' hips are smaller than her shoulders so she pulls her skirts up. My shoulders are smaller than my hips so I can cut a smaller circle if I pull the skirt down.

I then applied a 35" tunnel elastic waistband with a 27" elastic band. (The 10.5" diameter opening with 3/8" seam allowances made the skirt opening too wide. In retrospect, I could have gotten away with a 10" opening.)

I washed the taffeta, which softened the fabric considerably. I don't know if the lack of edge seams in my skirt also contribute to the corner collapse disorder or if it is solely due to the limpness of the fabric.

The blue tank sweater brings out the blue in the taffeta.


  1. Thanks for your take on this. I was looking at fabric today, trying to decide what to use.

    I like the paper-folding illustrations -- how brilliant to show it in terms of origami -- now I'll be able to coast through the process fairly mindlessly.

    Actually, the color and texture of your skirt are very similar to what I had in mind. I bet it's even nicer in person!

  2. I have looked at your excellent instructions a number of times and just couldn't figure them out. Then I noticed the writing on the paper. Can't believe I missed it. Thank you for figuring this out.


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