Fabric Napkins—two ways!
Dinner is a great time to showcase some fun fabric napkins—they’re so easy, even a beginner can make them. Whether you make them on a conventional machine or on a serger, they’re a quick table accent sure to please. And, they make a great housewarming gift.
Napkins can be any size from 12″ square (cocktail size) up to 22″ square (dinner size), depending on their use. Cutting them 18″ square is common, as you can get four per yard of fabric.
Supplies (for four napkins):
1 yard fabric
Thread (seeTip below)
Fray protector (for serger construction)
1/4″-wide fusible web tape (for conventional construction)
Coats Trilobal Embroidery Thread creates a lustrous rolled hem edge, and it’s polyester for durability. The thread is not harmed by bleaching, so if soup spills necessitate it, you’re napkin edges are safe. For a matte finish rolled hem, try Coats Surelock, Dual Duty XP Fine or Dual Duty XP All-purpose thread. Any thread can be used for the conventional construction method.
Cut four 18″ squares. If your fabric needs a little extra body to hold its shape as a napkin, particularly if you’re doing a fancy fold, spray it with starch or starch alternative before sewing.
Set your machine for a rolled hem setting (consult your owner’s manual for adjustments) and practice on a fabric scrap to adjust tensions and stitch width for a good roll.
Serge each napkin edge with a rolled hem, trimming off 1/16″ of fabric as you stitch.
TIP: For quicker stitching, chain-sew. As one napkin edge is completed, feed in the next one and continue with that process until all edges are stitched.
Leave thread tails on the last edges. Apply fray protector to each corner on both the napkin front and back; allow to dry thoroughly, and clip the thread tails close to the corners.
Press under a double 1/4″ hem on each napkin edge. Fuse the hem in place using fusible web tape to create a firmer edge for stitching.
Topstitch each napkin 1/8″ from the outer edge on all sides.
About the Author
Linda Griepentrog is a writer, editor and designer who lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband (a long arm quilter) and dog, Frank. She loves all things fabric! Linda also leads fabric shopping tours to Hong Kong. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.