Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cloth Napkins

I feel like I've been working on this project forevah!  I finally finished a set of cloth napkins! 

This was not at all a difficult project and the sewing portion of it didn't take long at all, but the cutting took a bit of time and then I spent what felt like decades pressing the seams!  I actually had to split it up into three sittings. 

Also, I learned that starch is your bestie when doing something like this.  I'm still feeling my way around sewing and being such a beginner I don't realize some things that apparently everyone else just KNOWS like the fact that if you don't starch a seam like this during pressing it's going to take twice as long AND once you discover starch, you're going to have to go back and redo all the pitiful seams you did originally. 


Don't forget it.  You'll thank me later.

So anyway, yes, the pressing took a long time, but obviously this is yet another learning experience for me and I'm quite happy with how things turned out!  I've been wanting to make some cloth napkins for quite a while.  We use cloth paper towels (that's an oxymoron, but you know what I mean), or the more trendy name: "unpaper towels", and are so happy with them, but we've been continuing to throw money away on paper napkins because I knew that I wanted to DIY a set for us and hadn't made time for it before now. 


Because look at these babies!  Aren't they the cutest cloth napkins you've ever seen?! 

I even chose a fabric that matched our kitchen. 

And another reason that it took so long is that I made FIFTEEN of them.  That's a lot of napkins.  But I wanted to be sure that we had enough and you have to think, some days we eat 3 meals as a family, so we could easily go through 6-9 napkins right there and I don't want to have to wash them everyday. 

I even did some very fancy schmancy (to me, at least!) mitered corners on these.  Definitely a learning experience, this project. 

I highly, highly recommend whipping up a set of these.  Cloth is where it's at.  They're not at all difficult and you'll end up with something very useful, cute, and inexpensive that will save you money!

This whole project cost under $5.  I never would have been able to purchase 15 napkins for that price.  I bought 2 yards of 100% cotton fabric (Originally $4.98, on sale for 50% off) and I had all the rest of the supplies including coordinating thread (look at me building my sewing stash!).  I used Skip to My Lou's tutorial.  I cut my fabric into 12" x 12" squares, which left me with a finished size of  11" x 11".  I'm finding it to be a good size, and it maximizes the number of napkins you can get out of a yard (or two) of fabric.

Here's what they look like opened up from the back:

And my fancy mitered corners:

And in their new home ready to go:

Oh, and another tip if you're planning to do this project, don't forget to pre-wash your fabric!  That way you don't end up with any unexpected shrinkage or wonky seams or anything.  I discovered that tip in time for my last project :D

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