It all began with this fabric that I purchased as the overlay tablecloths for Lindsey's wedding reception. (Once again I went to SAS!)
This is 12 yards of chocolate brown chiffon. It was $2.99 per yard at SAS. It is 59" wide. So, here was my dilemma, did I need to add to the width of the fabric? The tables are 60" in diameter. I wanted an overhang at the corners. Did I need to add to the length or should I make it a 59 x 59 " square? How long would the over hang be?
Well, between my son (a senior in HS who is starting AP Calculus this year), and my daughter (who took AP Calculus while in HS), we came up with what we hope are the right calculations that will make these tablecloths look great. Actually, I shouldn't say "we", but "they". I did remember some geometry formulas, but not necessarily the ones I needed. Here is the work as Madalynn recorded it:
The final outcome was that if I cut the fabric into 59" squares, I would have an almost 12" overhang. I decided that would be acceptable so that is what I did.
I measured down the fabric 59" and made a snip. Then I realized that cutting this slippery fabric was going to be tricky. I called Madalynn once again for help. She sat at the opposite side of the table and measured and snipped at that side. The cutting was still going to be a problem. I don't have a large enough self healing mat to use my rotary cutter. Then I realized that at the fabric store, they ripped the fabric. So, I tried it! And do you know that it ripped from my snip to Madalynn's snip almost perfectly! Problem solved.
This chiffon fabric really frays. Plus, it is so silky and fine that I worried that it would get chewed up in my sewing machine if I tried to hem it regularly. Or, there would be puckering. So, what I had seen done on this kind of fabric was melting the edges to stop the fraying and to keep the edges light. So, I called my friend Diane and got some advice from her. She suggested various methods. I had already tested the fabric and I knew that it would melt rather than just catch fire and burn my house down. So, the method I decided to use was a large, stable candle. I started with a large pillar, but the wick was too short and I kept smothering it out. I then switched to a large jar candle with a long wick. The slippery glass worked great to slide the fabric across quickly as I melted the edge.