A gilded lily: holiday table cover with shell rolled hem

This week’s remnant redo is a stand-in for a real project, and was labored over and produced by the mother of invention: I needed a table covering and I needed it quick.

You might think that I have an unlimited trove of table covers to pick from…they can be quick and easy to make, and cheap to buy. That’s a valid assumption; I have a TON of table covers. This project sprang from an impulse buy–check out the beautiful gold glitter-flocked organza fabric in a pine cone and holly berry print on a gleaming golden background. Not a remnant, but an “end-of-bolt” buy, and with none left to be found anywhere, it is one of a kind in my household.

corner of table cover

Of course, I bought it on sale! But it wasn’t cheap, and I didn’t want to waste any of it, so although it wasn’t a perfect fit for my table, I wanted to put a narrow hem on it and let it grace my table like a gilded lily, and prop up an upcoming feast.

pay no attention to those furry guys frolicking below the table...

holiday table for six

applied to a round table

party in full swing

Now, how to get that narrow hem?

corner, narrow hemmed

I consulted my never-fail source of sewing knowledge, the experts at A-1 Sewing. They had the right foot for the job, the 2 mm Shell Rolled Hemmer. It looks almost exactly like the 2mm Hemmer foot, one of which I also have in the drawer, so why did I go out and get the “shell” one? No real reason, except that the edge they perceived I wanted to make would have a little tiny scallop and would be a very narrow zigzag with the “shell” foot, as opposed to a straight-stitched, not scalloped edge with the plain rolled hemmer. The foot has a groove that determines the size of the hem (2 mm) and a little curl that catches the edge and folds or rolls it under just before the needle sews the narrow hem. Anyway, it produces a pretty consistent edge, a far cry from my previous attempts at narrow hemming without the specific proprietary foot. The fabric is so sheer and lightweight and fray-prone, that you will get nowhere trying to turn it under a few millimeters and iron it, then make it stay folded under the normal big cumbersome all-purpose foot, except for maybe a sweating forehead and burned fingers. So just…just get a narrow hemmer foot, shell or non-shell, and be done with it!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ethel Grogan
    Dec 09, 2011 @ 16:29:30

    Beautiful Hon! Sorry to have missed the dinner. I was Toast last night and still Toast today. I hope I in better shape tomorrow morning bright and early! See you then.


  2. Ethel Grogan
    Dec 09, 2011 @ 16:32:39

    Meant to say that I did rolled edges on half a million chair scarves for a wedding about 5 years ago but I used my serger – easy peasey. That shell hemmer is very attractive.and worth the investment in the foot.


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