Portable Tea Party

This morning I surprised the girls with a tea party linen set… placemats, napkins and a tablecloth. The whole thing is reversible…

And the best part? The tablecloth gathers up into a tidy little bag to contain all those tiny cups and treats and spoons.

If you have a gal between one and four years old, you KNOW what I’m talking about. These tea parties can get wild and before you know it, you have this on your hands!

This is a FUN project for experimenting with trims and decorative stitches because you really can’t go overboard. I mean, It’s a tea set! What’s more fancy than that!?!

Click here for the DIY Porta-Party (sometimes I can’t help myself)

A few of you have emailed asking out our playfood, most of it is Melissa and Doug brand and we highly recommend it. The cake stand was from Pier 1 Imports a while back.

And remember that the “best” comment of the week will win you that adorable train fabric!

Gather yee supplies

1 yd each of 2 fabrics, washed and ironed. They can be matchy like I used, or totally different! Can you tell that we adore Heather Ross Far Far Away yet?
4 yds ribbon for drawstring
4 – 9″x9″ squares (or circles) of thick felt. This is a nice thick wool/poly blend.
Various trims and fancies
Basic Sewing Tools – Read through entire DIY before you start to make sure you have everything!


1. Measure your two fabrics against each other and start with the smaller of the two.

2. Measure the short width of the fabric, the selvage edge. It should still be close to 36″ but doesn’t have to be. For our purposes here we will assume it is 36″. Find the center.

2. Tie a chalk pencil or disappearing ink pen to the end of a string and then measure 18″ length of the string (or half the width of your fabric) and tie the other end around a pin.

3. Make one mark 18″ in from the side (center) & 18″ down from the top. Stick your pin in that point and pull the ribbon tight. Holding the pin in place, draw a large circle with the pen.

4. Use a rotary cutter (or scissors) to cut out your large circle. Set aside the extra fabric, you will use that for your napkins later.

5. Lay your circle (right side down) on top of your second fabric (right side up) and pin in place in several locations.

6. Use your top fabric as a template and cut your second fabric circle. Set aside the extra fabric for your napkins.

7. Don’t be scared, we are going to make a button hole!
Open the edge of your pinned fabrics and on the right side of your “outside” fabric, measure in 3/4″ from the edge and then another 1/2″ and make a little line between the 2 points.

8. Make a button hole the size of the line you just drew. It’s best to use your machine manual to learn to make a button hole. They are so easy to do on new machines! But if you would like to see a tutorial, let us know. We can definitely put on together. You can also use grommets if you prefer.

If you use a seam ripper to open your button hole, place a pin across the top of the hole so you don’t cut through the stitches.

9. Pin the circles back together and sew almost all the way around the circumference of your circle with 3/8″ seam allowance. Leave about 6-8″ open for turning.

10. Remove pins and turn right-side-out.

11. Iron flat, turning in the edges at the opening. I discovered that a non-greasy pizza cardboard works great for pushing out the edge of the circle for ironing. Pause while I feel like a genius.

12. Sew all the way around, 1/8″-1/4″ in from the edge. Back stitch at start and finish.

13. Now for a fun decorative stitch if you fancy. Test some out on a scrap until you find a good one!

14. Find your button hole and, starting below the button hole, sew your decorative stitch all the way around your circle. This leaves a pocket for your drawstring. Approximately 1″ wide.

15. Attach the end of your drawstring ribbon to a safety pin and run it into the button hole, all around the circle through the casing you have created, and back out of the button hole. Tie the ends together in a tight knot.

And there you have your tablecloth/drawstring bag.


1. The remaining fabric from your tablecloth should leave you with a 36″ x 8″ strip along the bottom. From this, cut 4 squares approx 8″x8″. Cut 4 squares the same size from your second fabric.

2. Fold and iron the bottom edge under 3/8″ on both pieces.

3. If you are using the pom-pom trim (which was VERY well received by the girlies) Pin it facing in approx 1/4″ from the edge.

4. Baste stitch (the longest straight stitch, usually a 5) close to the inside edge of the “ribbon”. Remove pins.

5. Put your 2 squares together (fronts facing) and pin all around.

6. Sew the three sides leaving the bottom open (the side with the folds). When you sew the “Pom-Pom” side, be sure to sew on the basting line or even just inside it.

7. Snip the corners being careful not to cut the stitching.

8. Turn right-side-out and iron flat.

9. Sew all the way around the outside 1/8″ from edge.

And there you have your reversible napkin!

Placemats (or Plates, as Clare calls them)

1. Use a plate as a template and trace a circle onto the felt. I used 4 – 9″ circles.
You can also make them square but (1) Circles look good with the round tablecloth and (2) if you decide to do the scallop stitch like I did, the corners are annoying. Cut out your circles.

Note: if you would like to make these reversible/2-tone, cut a duplicate set of circles and pin them together.

2. Use a decorative stitch 1/2″-3/4″ in from the edge all the way around. I love the scallop but anything will work.

3. Pull all the threads through to the back side, trim, and add a dab of clear glue to secure.

And now you can be done but you can also trim a fancy edge outside your decorative stitching. It would look something like this. Very cute! but is it worth the work? I couldn’t decide so I left mine alone.

And there you have it! This would make an awesome handmade gift for any little girl. Throw in a cute tea set and some of these and you are golden!

Tea time!
Search Amazon.com for melissa and doug




I’ve started making this for my soon to be 3 yr old neighbor and I’m realizing two things that would have made cutting out the large circle easier. First use a small safety pin instead of a straight pin so you ribbon doesn’t slide off the pin. Second, fold your fabric right sides together and then only have to draw a half circle to the fold instead of a full circle, which hard to do on a small folding table that I have in my sewing room and it would be much more accurate-that it’s perfectly round. I wish I had done that because when I fold my circle in half I can tell how not round my circle is. 🙁


YAY! I finished! I think the hardest part was sewing the pom-pom trim on. I had a hard time with it not getting stuck under my presser foot. I wish there some way of posting a picture of my portable tea party. I always like to see pictures of everyone’s variation of the project.


Eeek! Super cute! I love, love, love the Owl and the Pussy Cat fabric!!! What a dreamy print (the poem is read aloud in our house most nights as the kiddos prepare to drift on into dreamland).

to get pregnant

Hi there are using WordPress for your site platform?
I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started
and set up my own. Do you need any html coding expertise to make your own blog?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Oh my gosh – I was envisioning this exact same thing for my newest grandniece. And since I am SLOW I should have it done by her 1st birthday in 11 months !!

Sonia Bowers

Thank you so much, I have loved working on this, it is ready for ribbon and wrapping – will blog about it in a week after the birthday girl has recieved it.


Leave a Reply