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Making Cloth Napkins August 26, 2010

Completed stack of napkins, and a napkin/utensil roll with ribbon tie (made because Ava liked the lady bug material, but I only had an oblong piece).

Because of my desire to make Ava’s lunches as waste free as possible, I decided to make cloth napkins.  Being a person who sews for fun & relaxation, I have a lot of scrap fabric on hand.  Due to the physical pain I experience from Lipedema, I haven’t felt like sewing much lately, so this easy task gave me a reason to create something useful without requiring a lot of time or materials.

For this simple project we went through my scrap stock and decided on three different cotton and cotton/poly blend fabrics that seemed to be large enough to cut napkin sized squares.  I knew that I wanted the finished napkins to be kid sized (somewhere between 14″ and 15″ square), so we tried to select scraps that were large enough even after being trimmed to square.

Even for a sewing novice, this is a fast and easy sewing project.  Here is how to make your own:

Step 1 - Use a straight edge, rotary cutter, and cutting mat.

I cut the fabric on all sides, making sure each was straight and the same length.  You will want the cut square to measure about 1″ larger than the finished size you desire.

Step 2 - Use straight pins to hold the fold in place until sewn closed.

I created a hem by folding over one edge of the fabric (approximately 1/2″), and  folding it over again (another 1/2″) to completely encase the raw edge.  I pinned all along the edge of the fabric to hold the fold in place until it is sewed.

Step 3

In order to speed the process, I folded and pinned the “hem” on the opposite raw edge as well.

Step 4 - Sew each "hem" in place.

Once two edges are folded and pinned, I used a straight stitch on the sewing machine (I pulled the pins out as I sewed in order to prevent them from damaging my machine).

Step 5

Once each of the two edges are sewn in place, the napkin will look like this.

Step 6 - Fold, pin, and then sew the two remaining raw edges.

Next, it’s time to fold over and pin the other two raw edges as outlined above in steps 1 thru 4.

Finished Napkin!

Success!  Now repeat the process for as many napkins as you want to make.

I appliqued Spongebog on the top two napkins since I didn't have enough Spongebob fabric for an entire napkin, I simply cut them out sewed them onto the turquoise material).

You can be as creative as you want to be in your choice of fabric, applique, and trims.

 

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