Sunday, May 15, 2011

How to Succeed in Napkin Making Without Really Trying...

I decided months ago that I wanted to sew the napkins needed for the wedding.  I began collecting fabric, got a tutorial from my extremely talented Aunt Diane, then, froze with fear. I was so intimidated by the process - mainly the number of steps - that I've been procrastinating on the matter. 
Finally, I sat down yesterday and forced myself to commit to making one napkin for better or for worse.  And, as it turns out, it's really not that hard.  Really.

Start with a sewing machine and two 18x18 squares of fabric (I like using
contrasting patterns to go with our rustic, homemade theme).
Optional: a cup of coffee and a pair of sunglasses*.
*I almost lost an eye from a rogue broken needle, so I wear
my shades while I sew.  Nobody wants to be the bride wearing an eye patch.

Pair the fabric back to back and "inside out".  You're going to turn it "outside in" later.  You can pin the fabrics together, or not.  I started to, but got lazy almost immediately, so I stopped.

Still life with pin cushion.

Sew about a quarter of an inch from the edge.  My fabric pieces were way off (my bad) in terms of measurements, so, though it looks like I'm sewing a seam that's almost an inch from the edge, just know that if you flipped the fabric over, it would make sense.

Go all around the edges of the napkin, leaving a few inches not sewn so that you can flip the insides out.

Flipping, and what not.

After you've flipped, trim your scraps.  If you're anything like me you'll notice that your 18x18 napkin is now more like 17x16.5.  No matter.  Rustic.  Homemade.

Once it's flipped, the edges look a lot like a pillowcase.  Hey!  Now I know how to make a pillowcase!


If you like, switch your straight stitch to a ...

zig zag!

Sew a top stitch all around the four sides of the napkin.  Be sure to sew together the edges of the space you used to flip the napkin.  I missed it, so it looks funky.  Who cares?  Rustic!  Homemade!

Give it one final press, and relax in the knowledge that it doesn't have to be perfect.  After all, we're talking about something that will soon be used to wipe salsa and guacamole from hands and mouths.
~ the green/green bride


  1. These are sweet napkins! I think the imperfections give them that warm, homemade touch.