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How to Sew Placemats – Learn to Sew Series

How to Sew Placemats – Learn to Sew Series

Thank you so much for sharing!

Today, I am teaching you how to sew placemats, our first easy sewing project from the Learn to Sew Series! In the last video of the series, we talked about how to use a sewing machine in case you missed that one.

This series, and this video is meant for absolute beginners, although of course anyone can benefit. I am trying not to gloss over details that beginners might not know, which is why these videos are a bit longer.

How to Sew Placemats

*Full 20 minute tutorial embedded at the end of this post

I specifically picked this project so that you can make something useful while you practice your basic sewing skills. We are cutting yardage, adding interfacing, pressing fabric and doing several straight seams in this tutorial.

How to Sew Placemats

I made my placemats reversible which is super cool! I go through all the steps to help you do that. You can also use the same fabric on both side.

How to Sew placemats

This particular beginner sewing project will create 4 placemats from 2 yards of fabric. I recommend a natural fiber for this project, cotton linen blends are my favorite.

Is this your first sewing project? Then you’re in the right place! I created this how to sew placemats video and tutorial with absolute beginners in mind.

I go through all the steps and don’t assume that you know any sewing basics, making this a great first sewing project.

If you would like all the the learn to sew patterns and videos in 1 spot, I created an ebook with everything in there for you! I also have a pattern with no photos to make it easy on your printer. Get your Ebook Here.

ebook image

Written Instructions for Placemats

Yield: 4 Reversible Placemats

How to Sew Placemats - Learn to Sew Series for beginners

How to Sew Placemats

Learn how to sew placemats in the first tutorial of the Learn to Sew Series! This is a great first sewing project, and I walk you through all the steps to help beginners.

Active Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Difficulty absolute beginner


  • 1 yard Color A (I recommend a natural fiber like cotton or lined)
  • 1 yard Color B
  • Coordinating Thread Color
  • 1 3/4 yard of SF101 Interfacing


  • Rotary cutter and Mat
  • Pins
  • Marking Tool
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Iron and Ironing Board
  • Sewing Machine


  1. Prewash your fabric so that the placemats can be washed and dried without any shrinking or distortion. I like to run a zig zag over the cut side of the fabric (not the selvedge) before washing to preserve as much fabric as possible. Wash on gentle cycle on cold, and tumble dry low.
  2. Press/Iron washed fabric well and get as many wrinkles out as possible. How to Sew Placemats
  3. Line up selvedge edges of Color A and smooth out fabric so there are no bubbles and fabric lays flat and natural. Cut the right edge to trim off frayed threads and zig zag stitch from the washing process. How to Sew Placemats
  4. Flip fabric over and line up the fresh cut with your mat. Measure over 14 inches and cut. Do this again at 14 inches so you have 2 cuts that are 14 inches wide by the total width of fabric (selvedge to selvedge). How to Sew Placemats
  5. Open up the 14 inch piece, trim off selvedges and cut into (2) 14 x 20 inch pieces. Repeat for other piece. You should have (4) 14 x 20 inch pieces of fabric from Color A. Repeat the process for Color B. How to Sew Placemats
  6. Take you SF101 interfacing and cut into (4) 13 3/4 x 19 3/4 pieces. We want the interfacing piece to be 1/4 smaller than our fabric pieces to reduce bulk in the seam. How to Sew Placemats
  7. Following the manufacturer instructions for the interfacing, adhere it to all 4 of either Color A or Color B fabric on the wrong side. I adhered mine to the grey linen because it was had a little looser weave and I wanted the interfacing to hold it all in. We will only have interfacing on 1 of the fabrics for the placemats. How to Sew Placemats
  8. Take (1) Color A piece and (1) Color B piece and place the right sides together. Pin in place and create 2 marks 4 inches apart to remind yourself to leave that large of an opening for flipping right side out later. How to Sew Placemats
  9. Head to the sewing machine and stitch all the way around the placemat with a 3/8 inch seam allowance backing stitching at the marks to leave an opening. How to Sew Placemats
  10. Use fabric scissors to trim corners.How to Sew Placemats
  11. Flip placemat right side out, pop out corners with your finger nail, pen cap or chopstick.How to Sew Placemats
  12. Roll the seams with your fingers to flatten out and press. Also, press the 4 inch opening to prep for top stitching. Don't rush on this step, it will really help make sure the placemat has a good finished look. How to Sew Placemats
  13. Take to sewing machine and top stitch. I put my stitch length up to 2.8 and moved my needle position over to the right. Using my presser foot as a guide, stitch all the way around. How to Sew Placemats
  14. Optional: I went around a 2nd time, but the placemat is secure so you don't need to do this. How to Sew Placemat


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Did you make this project?

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Are you looking for some more simple sewing projects? Here are some great ones!

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Full Length YouTube Version

Catherine A Aragon

Sunday 23rd of February 2020

Do you have a tutorial for making a pillow case?


Sunday 23rd of February 2020

I have this kind of pillow cover...


Saturday 22nd of February 2020

Hi Melanie! Where do you get your fabrics?


Sunday 23rd of February 2020

These particular fabrics I got from Superbuzzy. Here's a great list of sources I compiled!

Diana Hickman

Friday 21st of February 2020

Thank you Melanie! I am very excited to begin sewing and I believe you are the best person to teach me. By the way, I have also watched your crochet videos and learned a lot from those also. Blessings to you!


Sunday 23rd of February 2020

That's so awesome, thank you so much!

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