Saturday, September 24, 2016

How to make simple cloth napkins - 3 edge options included

Today, we are going to make simple cloth napkins for our kitchen tables.  I love cloth napkins.  There is something elegant about using a cloth napkin at the table.  Early in our marriage, I made us some that we used for a while.  Then, when they wore out, I went back to paper for a while.  Recently, I decided I missed having cloth on the table and decided to make some more.   They are very simple to make and only require a few things.

Supplies needed:

Fabric - I used 4 different small print calicos I had on hand.  If you need to get some fabric, 1 yard will make approximately 6 napkins.  So base how much fabric you need on that calculation.
Matching Thread
Optional - Cutting mat, Rotary cutter, Quilting ruler
Sewing Machine 
Optional - Serger

First you want to make your pattern.  Any type of paper will do (even wrapping paper)  You will need a square 13 inches by 13 inches.


Make sure all your fabrics are pressed.  This photo was taken pre-pressing.  It is easier to work with unwrinkled fabric.  Fold each fabric in half, long ways (or selvage to selvage).  

Lay your pattern on top of fabric.  This is where a quilting ruler comes in handy (but not necessary).  You lay it on top of the fabric and pattern lining up the edge of it with the pattern.  Then, using a rotary cutter, you just cut through the fabric on the edge.  A cutting mat is an absolute must with a rotary cutter or you will damage your cutting surface.  However, if you have no rotary cutter, no mat, and no ruler, scissors are a great option.  You should be able to cut 2 napkins out.  Then open it up, and you should be able to cut one more.  Keep cutting until you have all the napkins you need.  We have a large family so I made 3 dozen napkins.  These last for about 4 days before we run low and I need to run a load of wash.

The next couple of steps are only useful to you if you have a serger.  These can be made without one, so keep reading.  At your serger, you have 2 options.  You could set your serger for a rolled edge, serge a 1/4" all the way around and then you are done.  I like my napkins to have a folded over edge to hide the stitches, so I like to use an overlock stitch.  Again, I serge about a 1/4" off the edge.

For those with just a sewing machine, you can fold your edges over 1/4" and then 1/4" again to hide the raw edges.  Then, proceed to sew with a straight stitch all the way around the napkin.  Once your done all your napkins this way, you are done!

For those who used a serger first and did not use a rolled edge, take your napkins to your sewing machine and finish off the edges by folding over 1/4" and stitching with a straight stitch all the way around.   Once you're done all your napkins, you are done!

I love all the colors and the tiny prints in these calicos!

Happy Sewing!  Have a question, post in the comments below.

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