The Old School: Issue IX
Working Class started as a simple idea in a Brooklyn
apartment. We hope to be a pulse of creativity in Brooklyn,NYC and beyond.
Vultures vultures
Come Alive, Come and Drive come alive
Back in the Day with Judith Henry back in the day
Beeper Code Theatre beeper code
Circa '97 circa 97
1984 1984
The Porch 1984
Miss Barbara Blonde 1984
Willyb. 1964
A Train a train
The Skinny the skinny
Fed 5 fed 5
Guy Bourdin guy bourdin
Artist Profile: Jason A. Maas guy bourdin
The Family Tree 1964
Shoots shoots
Andrew M. Casey 1964
Crackerfarm crackerfarm
Tara McPherson tara
WC Finds juliette
Girl With Flowers juliette
Suave and Debonair suave
1964 1964
Ella 1964
Printed Pattern patterns
Toppers patterns
New Canvas:
Jessica Repetto
Old School Bohemians old bohemians
When would you want
to live in New York?
Business Profile: Dandelion Wine diy
Store Profile: Saffron diy
At Home with ... Mike Mabes home
A Winter Feast diy
DIY diy
The Haunted Lady:
Interview with Juliette Lewis
Issue VII, The Faith Issue
Issue VIII, The Summer of Love
Issue VII, The Faith Issue
Issue VII, The Faith Issue

Issue VI, The Smut Issue

Issue V, Us v. Them

Issue IV, The Political Issue

Issue III, The I Love You Issue

Issue II, The Me Issue

Issue I, The Launch Issue

DIY: Placemats

Whether it’s the economy that’s got you staying in for the holidays, you’re celebrating with friends, or making that trip out of the city, why not make some elegant place settings with handmade placemats and napkins. You can make them flamboyantly holiday-themed or a little more classic for extended use.


Materials + Tools Needed:

1. fabric, 2 yrds (1 for top, 1 for bottom) yields 6 napkins,  $7 -- $14/yrd 
2. 1 yrd of fusible fleece or Insul-Bright if you’ll need insulation from cold or   
     heat (optional) $ 3/yrd
3. thread & needle
4. Stitch Witchery (a fabric adhesive) $2.75 or sewing pins $3
5. fabric chalk or regular chalk…preferably white $3.50/box
6. sewing machine…or do it by hand for an extra rustic & (dare I say it?)  
    “handmade” look!
7. tape measure
8. scissors
9. clothes iron
10. small damp towel (preferably white so that no color from the towel transfers to
      your fabric)

OPTIONAL:  cute trimming!

Makin’ It Happen:

1. Choose a fabric. You want one that isn’t too stretchy. This bright patterned
    Teflon was my choice. It has a nice smooth surface for easy cleaning. I   
    purchased it from the friendly staff of Fabric Barn on Grand St.
    Fabric Barn
    582 Grand St (between Leonard St & Lorimer St)
    Brooklyn, NY 11211
    (718) 384-3448582

2. Make a template for your place matt out of cardboard, poster board, or for
    those of us who have 1/8” ply board lying around, that’ll do just fine too.
    I did the 16.5”x 11.5” template. So, that’s what we’ll be going on.

3. Press your fabric with your iron before starting. Then using your template,
   place your fabric print side down with your template on top. Using fabric chalk
   (or regular white chalk), mark about 1/2” to 1” bigger than your template on
   all 4 sides of your fabric. Draw 6 placemat outlines on each 1 yrd of
   If you have a small household like many of us Brooklynites do, you can use
   just 1 yrd of fabric to make 3 placemats. In either case, measure at least 2
   pieces of fabric (1 piece for the top, 1 piece for the bottom) 17.5” x 12.5” sq.

4. Optional: Using the same template, cut 6 pieces of fusible fleece or
   Insul-Bright to fit inside the placemats.

5. Optional: Use Stitch Witchery or fabric pins to hold fabric (and the fusible
   fleece or Insul-Bright) in place for sewing seam. I opted for pins…visually
   made more sense.

  If using pins:

  • place the 2 pieces of fabric right sides facing each other. The wrong side (or non-patterned side) will be on your table top surface.
  • Use your chalk to outline your template
  • Remove template & place pins through both fabrics ¼” away from the fabric’s edge.
  • Cut your corners (literally!) diagonally to get rid of excess fabric.


6. Now you’re ready to sew! Either use a machine if you have access to one, or
    you can hand stitch. In either case, sew along the chalk

7. Sew almost all the way around the matt. Leave a 5” opening so that you can
    turn the matt inside out.

8. Use the blunt end of a crocheting or knitting needle to poke the corners out.

9. Close the 5” whole by hand.

10. Aaaannndd you’re done!

TIP: You can add some fabulous trimming to your placemats to make them even more noticeable.




Home / About / Contact / Links / Subscribe / Past Issues
© Copyright 2009 Working Class Magazine