Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cloth Napkins II

It's like a summer sequel! I actually made cloth napkins last July, too. The first were the wide, mitered-corner, fancier kind for my friend Holly. I've needed to make some for myself for at least that long; I mostly use tea towels as my napkins. I've been fantasizing about a same-size, blue set of cloth napkins, because who hasn't? These are simpler (read: immediate gratification) (disclaimer: sewing projects are never immediate; in this instance I'm using the term loosely to mean a mere few hours) - they're really simple. In fact, I don't think I need diagrams or even a jump for this post. OK, a jump.

But before the jump, I want to let you know there is a new (well, 2010, but I've just learned about it) fabric store in Boston. This is a big deal. It's fantastic, I got two of the fabrics I used for this project there. The store is Grey's Fabric and Notions and it's on the SOWA side of the South End. Seriously, this is such great news!

You'll need: Fabric (and the rest of the typical sewing supplies).

I prefer to use a woven fabric for napkins instead of a printed pattern. I think it's nice to have the same design on the front and the back. But it's up to you. I bought a half yard scrap for $2 and two half yards for $5 each.

Because I wanted to keep it simple (and cheaper) I decided to go with half a yard, though it limited the size of my napkins. The final dimensions of a dinner napkin are typically 20" x 20", but these are 17" x 17". They still cover a lap so they're fine by me.

Cut squares from your fabric as wide as you can. My raw dimensions were 18.25" square. If you have straight edges you can fold one corner in (creating a triangle) and cut to create a square.

I got two squares from each fabric, giving me six napkins total.

This next step is really all there is to the project. Fold in each edge a generous 1/4", pressing along the way. Then fold each edge in again a shy 1/2" and press again. If you feel comfortable you can eyeball this. The stripes of the fabric really help to keep things aligned. Pin your hems in place.

Stitch along the inside edge of your hems for all of the sides. Done. See, easy.


  1. These are pretty. They remind me of the napkins we had at our wedding.

  2. This might be a great use for the lovely old tablecloths I keep finding (and hording) at thrift shops.
    I might need to go out and get some can never have enough, right?!

  3. Gorgeous. I've been dying to make napkins. The fabrics you picked are perfect and thanks for the tip on the new shop!