Now the first thing you're probably going to say is, "Why make napkins when you can buy them at a reasonable price?" Well, I asked myself that same question but, as with most things, I get ready to buy something and end up saying to myself, "I can make this." Not to mention I have several old tablecloths with a few stains and worn places that I just can't part with so why not cut them up and make napkins out of them...there's certainly enough material! Plus, sometimes you just can't find the color napkins you want. I have been looking for some polka dot napkins for this summer and I can't find any anywhere, but I've found the material I can make them out of! Last week I looked for some red napkins for my daughter to use for Valentine's and could only find some that were a dark, ugly red, so I just bought some material and made them for her! Where there's a will, there's a way. So, for all you beginning sewers, and all you seasoned sewers, this is an easy project with straight seams that I hope you'll enjoy as much as I have. Here's how you do it!
First decide how large you want your napkins. Most napkins are 18" square and some are 20"...for this project I chose to go with an 18" square because I think that is large enough. You will need to cut yourself a pattern out of newspaper first. You will be adding 3" to the finished size of 18" to allow for a 1" hem and 1/2' to turn under the raw edge so draw and cut your pattern 21" x 21". If you would like another size napkin, make the adjustments in your calculations and then cut your pattern. I will say that you don't always have to have a 1" hem. Most napkins you buy have 1/2" hem but I think the 1" looks so much nicer and has a little more formal look. After cutting the pattern, layout your fabric and cut the number of napkins you will be making. I'd also like to add this little bit of info when selecting your fabric. Make sure your fabric is 100% cotton. Polyester absorbs grease stains and you'll never get them out and cotton presses and finishes up so nice! Linen makes beautiful napkins too!
Turn down 1/2" towards the wrong side of your fabric on each side and press.
Now, turn down 1" and press again. Place a pin on each side where the fabric intersects.
With right sides together, fold your napkin on the diagonal so that the pins meet, having edges even.
Draw a line from the pins to where the creases meet on the fold line. Stitch along this line backstitching at the beginning and end of the seamline. Do this on all 4 corners.
Cut the corners to about a 1/4" seam allowance on all corners.
Open up the napkin and lay it flat so that you can press open the seam allowance on each corner.
Now, turn corners back in and press making sure your corners are sharp.
Stitch close to the edge of each side. Press your napkin and you're ready to go!
I apologize that my photos are not clear. I don't have one of those fancy expensive cameras that take really good close up pictures but I think you will get the idea of what needs to be done! I hope you enjoy this simple project and let me know how yours turn out! Have a wonderful weekend!