How to Sew Cloth Napkins for Everyday Use

These napkins are a great way to use up extra quilting cottons or reuse fabric from some of your favorite vintage table covers. It's also a great way to save on the environment, teach your children how to make meals special, and they make great presents. I've even used child-like prints, such as cupcakes or action figures for napkins for my young grandchildren. If you make each napkin slightly different but coordinated, it is easy to use the napkins for several meals without having to throw them in the wash because you can't keep track of your napkin.

Steps

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    Use 100 percent cotton. If you are on a budget, you can buy cotton curtains or cotton sheets and use them. Just make sure you wash them in hot water and dry in the dryer. Very important!
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    Prewash the fabric and dry in the dryer (since you should always be drying napkins in a dryer to kill all the germs that can accumulate on them). Press the fabric to remove any wrinkles.
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    You'll need about a 1-1/4 yards of fabric for two napkins since these napkins are lined. Why the lining? It helps keep the corners from curling, which helps you avoid ironing the napkins when they come out of the dryer!
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    Cut the fabric into pieces that are squares (fat quarters, as they call them in quilting circles) -- at lest 18 inches (45.7 cm) but can be as large as 22-1/2 inch squares.
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    Once you have a pile of at least 12 squares, with the wrong sides together, pin two fabrics together. Remember, they can all be coordinated but each napkin can have two different fabrics on it.
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    Pin around all sides of the fabric, right sides together, but mark one side with a pin that is vertical -- that will be your signal to start and stop on that side.
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    Using about 12 stitches to the inch gauge, start about a third of the way down one side and sew around all the next three sides, pivoting at the corner, then sew down about a third of the way down the side you began sewing on. Your seam allowance should be slightly less than a half inch -- but more than a 1/4th of an inch.
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    Trim the corners.
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    Now turn the napkin inside out, using a corner turner or a knitting needle (be careful if you use a needle, not to tear the corner), gently push the corners out.
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    Press the napkin, pulling the seams out to be sure the seam is on the edge.
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    Now top stitch a half-inch from the edge, all around the entire napkin.
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    Enjoy!

Warnings

  • When you use these napkins, you're friends and relatives will wish they had them, too.

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Sewing