Another way to eliminate the need to hem a tablecloth is to make it reversible. To do this, you will need to cut two tablecloths the same size out of coordinating fabrics. Test your fabric choices before you buy them to check that when they are placed wrong sides together, neither fabric shows through the other.
Piece your tablecloths if needed and cut them to the proper shape. You will only need to allow ½″ for the lower seam, which will replace the hem. Carefully arrange the two tablecloths together with the right sides together. Be sure the piecing seams match, if there are any, and that both layers are smooth.
Stitch around the tablecloth ½″ from the edge, leaving 6″ to 12″ open for turning. The larger the tablecloth, the wider this gap should be. Backstitching at the beginning and the end of your stitches will keep them from pulling out with the stress of turning. If you are making a square or rectangular tablecloth, take a diagonal stitch or two across the corners to make the points sharper.
Grade the seam allowances by trimming one to half the depth of the other. Clip the corners and cut Vs close to the stitching along curves, including the allowance of the gap. If your fabric has a tendency to fray, stitch along the seam lines inside the gap before you clip. Turn the tablecloth right side out. Use the blunt end of a seam ripper or something similar to poke the corners out of the points. Don't use anything sharp like scissor points, or you might poke a hole in your fabric.
Press the tablecloth flat. Blind-stitch the gap closed as described in Chapter 4. Topstitching around the edge might keep the edges sharp. Topstitching is a row or sometimes two rows of straight stitches taken on the top of the fabric close to a finished edge. It is sometimes done with contrasting thread.
If you want to put a ruffle on a reversible tablecloth, be sure it is attractive from both the front and the back. Sew it to one circle, matching the raw edges with the bottom edge of the ruffle pointed toward the center. Sew the circles together, turn, press, and blind-stitch.