By: Jessica Rhodes
Table skirts have been coming back in a big way in the past few years, along with a trend toward traditionalism in general. Using a table skirt in a room is a great way to add another element of texture, color, or pattern for that rich, layered look. They are also a practical way to hide additional storage, disguise an unattractive piece of furniture, or simply change your decor with the seasons.
I decided to make two different types of inverted box pleated table skirts - a round one for our entryway table and a rectangular one with trim for a custom-size console table underneath our television.(You can find the tutorial for the Inverted Box Pleated Table Skirt here.)
Both were new-to-me projects -- here’s how I made the console table cover, step by step.
Here is what this corner looked like before - with the sturdy but not very pretty table, and lots of cords.
Inverted Pleat Console Table Skirt with Trim
The second table skirt proved more difficult than the first because of the addition of trim. But the final product was worth the extra work -- it looks very tailored with the trim outlining the panels.
Measure, Plan, and Calculate Yardage
I had my husband build a table that is exactly 6 feet (72 inches) long, 14 inches deep, and 36 inches (3 feet) high to perfectly ground the large television and help that area look a little bit more put together. The table skirt could double as a way to hide unsightly cords or video game consoles as well.
I knew that the back and sides of the table would have a single pleat at each corner, while the front would have 2 additional pleats -- creating a large center panel with two smaller side panels on the front facade. I decided to leave 8 inches of fabric for each pleat, to make them more full. Because the fabric I chose, this beautiful green linen, was 55 inches wide, I realized I could run the fabric horizontally around the table.
That meant that, rounding to the full yard, I would need 5 yards of fabric to surround the table (a total of 172 inches) plus 2 yards to account for the pleats (a total of 48 inches) -- 7 yards in total. Because the fabric is 55 inches wide, I realized I could cut the width for the skirt (36 inches plus 3 inches for hems and seams - 39 inches total) and have enough fabric leftover for the top of the table (a 16 inch panel that would be finished to 14 inches). Therefore, I didn’t need to account for extra yardage for the top of the table skirt. Here is the series of drawings I used to figure out my plan:
The trim that would surround the panels would run from the top to the bottom, along the bottom edge, and back to the top between each pleat. I needed a total of 17 yards of trim.
Cut Out the Top
I measured all along my 7 yards of fabric to cut out a 16 inch wide strip. I then trimmed it to 74 inches and set it aside for later.
Create the Pleats
I began by measuring half of the back of the table skirt, plus 1 inch. I planned for the skirt to have an open slit up the back for fishing wires inside. From the edge of the fabric, I measured 37 inches.
Then, I pressed along that line to create the first pleat at the back corner of the table. I measured 8 inches from that pressed line, and pressed again. That completed the first pleat.
Next, I measured 14 inches for the panel at the side of the table. I pressed, measured 8 inches, and pressed again, to create the pleat at the front corner of the table.
I continued to do this process, measuring 18 for the first small panel on the front, 8 for the pleat, 36 for the large center front panel, 8 for the pleat, 18 for the second small panel, 8 for the pleat, 14 for the next side, 8 for the pleat, and then 37 again for the second half of the back panel. As I created each pleat, I pinned them shut .
Once all the pleats are created, stitch 1 inch down along the top to hold the pleats in place.
Measure for the Hem
This step is mainly to help with trim placement. Measure from the stitched line across the top, down 36 inches (or whatever your finished table skirt length will be), and draw a line along the bottom of the fabric.
Add the Trim
Pin the trim pieces along each panel along the pleats. Start at the top edge, a little bit above the line you sewed to hold the pleats. I eyeballed the placement to leave a tiny 1/8 inch reveal between the edge of the pleat and the beginning of the trim.
When you reach the bottom, create a mitered edge fold to turn the corner. Again, run the trim slightly above the marked hem line. Turn the corner again, and pin the trim along the second edge all the way to the top.
For the back panel, run a length of trim down from the top on each end, and along the bottom. Both sides will terminate where the panel is open in the back. Stitch the trim to the skirt. This part will be tricky for a few reasons:
- The typical sewing machine will be small for the size of the table skirt. It was helpful to me to roll the fabric to the point I was sewing so it could pass through the machine more easily.
- You must open up the pleats (if they are pinned closed) so that your trim is only being sewn to the top layer of fabric (not to the fabric within the pleat). It will be difficult to sew all the way up the top with the pleat flattened -- I hand stitched the trim to the skirt in those spots.
Hem the Back Edges
Where the two edges of the back panel of the table skirt will come together, fold the edges over twice (for a total of 1 inch on each side), and stitch them closed.
Pin and Sew the Skirt to the Top
Lay the top, right side down, on the console table.
Start pinning the table skirt to the top with the wrong side facing out. Pin along the stitched line at the top. You may have to balance your pins at first, one on each side of the table, to avoid the heavy skirt pulling the table top panel off as you are pinning it. Just as you did with the round table skirt, mark the edge of the table with a pencil all the way around to give yourself a stitching line.
Take the table skirt off and sew along the marked line. Try it on the table right side out and make any adjustments necessary. I had to rip out a few stitches in two areas where the seam wasn’t laying correctly. Don’t be afraid to do that to make it lay perfectly. I hand stitched one of the corners to make sure it was laying correctly.
After making adjustments, sew another line on the inside of the table skirt, parallel to the last one connecting the skirt to the top, for extra durability.
Hem the Skirt
Put the skirt back on the table. Use straight pins to mark where the skirt meets the floor all along the bottom of the table skirt.
Take the table skirt off and use the iron to press the hem up along the line the pins are marking. Fold the raw edge under and sew the hem shut.
Place your Skirt on the Table
And you're done!