Let’s make some easy to sew cloth napkins. It’s a fun and super easy project!
I love cloth napkins and I have made so many sets of these easy to sew cloth napkins and use them almost every day! I am not fancy or anything like that I just believe there are small things I can do to make each day more special and colorful cloth napkins are one of those things I love.
As you can see from a few of the napkins in the picture they can be made with fabric in fun themes like dogs and cats, dolphins and fish you can choose stripes, plaids and solids and of course each holiday ushers in another set to set the scene to make any meal special.
Definitely a project beginners will want to try because if you can sew a straight line, you can sew cloth napkins, really it’s that easy. With the version we are making today there aren’t even any tiny seams to measure, press and turn because the seam is encased inside the two layers.
At the bottom of the post are some FAQ’s you may want to read before starting.
Supplies to sew cloth napkins:
- Fabric -to make 4 napkins you would need 21″ x 4 napkins = 84″ ÷ 36″ (one yard measurement) you would need 2 yards and 12″ or 2 1/3 yard(also see how much fabric will I need to buy in the FAQ’a below)
- Matching thread
Let’s start by putting fabric right sides together you will be cutting the two sides at once.
Use a napkin you have on hand as a sample or measure out and cut your square to your desired finished napkin size plus 1/2″ seam allowance on each side. * I always pin the two I have cut together and make sure when I sew them they were the ones cut out together making it easier to have completely matching seams to sew.
Stitch around the entire outside, turning at corners – leave an opening on one side allowing your hand to reach inside to turn the napkin right side out.
Trim seam allowance to 1/4″ all the way around the napkin but leave the area your hand will reach into for turning untrimmed – being careful not to cut into the stitching while trimming. Snip the corners to a slant to reduce bulk – again use care not to snip the stitching.
Reach in the opening and turn the entire napkin right side out. Iron edges after you have evened out seams. At the area you have left open turn in so the seam is even and iron flat – no need to sew this shut by hand it will be caught in the top stitching in the next step.
Top stitch 1/4″ from the edge all the way around the napkin and trim threads – and you are all done! Isn’t that easy and oh so pretty!
Here is a picture of my table from my Italian Dinner complete with my new spaghetti proof easy to sew cloth napkins and fun bibs made from kitchen towels that even grownups don’t mind wearing.
You can find the tutorial for the bib for grownups in the picture here.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions!
How many napkins should I make in my set?
I always make 6 for our everyday meals. Every night there are three eating dinner and at least once a week we have five eating dinner – that gives me an extra one to line the bread basket with. For holidays I always make twelve. I also have an assortment of solid color napkins I have made that I can mix in because there are always more than twelve for holidays but I can’t always anticipate the exact number. We have little ones at the table and they get a special slightly smaller cloth napkin with fabric that is more fun but even young children love to be like the grownups!
How much fabric will I need?
The standard size napkin is 18″ square. I like mine slightly larger so I use 20″square. Since they are two sided you will need one width of fabric times the size of your napkin so if your fabric is 45″ wide you will get one napkin (two pieces) from each width. If you want to make your napkins 20″ since the seam allowance is minimal you will only need a 1/2″ allowance which totals 21″ square. Let’s say you only want to make 4 napkins you would need 21″ x 4 napkins = 84″ ÷ 36″ (one yard measurement) you would need 2 yards and 12″ or 2 1/3 yard.
How should I prepare the fabric?
I know it’s so tempting to not wash the fabric before cutting and sewing because it feels so crisp and pretty but it is so important. Wash, dry and iron all fabrics before using. There are many reasons for making this the first step and among them if you sew the seams and the fabric shrinks they will look awful and the seams will be all out of whack so make sure you take the time to prepare the fabric.
Don’t they stain easily?
I have had some of these napkins for well over 10 years and most get washed weekly. I do buy better fabrics but always shop sales and closeout sections especially after holidays as I think ahead to next year. I am cautious and don’t buy anything with a white background and try to think ahead to what we will be eating for dinner. In today’s tutorial I used red and black plaid and they have now been through two spaghetti dinners. Because of the color have no spots that show but I wouldn’t want to use a light color napkin for anything messy like barbeque chicken and spaghetti sauce.