Thursday, January 26, 2012

{Sew} Get Started: Easy Napkin Tutorial

Today I am really excited to introduce you to my great friend Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts. Jennifer and I bonded over quilts and sewing chat via email last year, and we went on to jointly host the Across the Sea Quiltalong last Autumn. If you've never visited Jennifer's blog, you should pop over and take some time to have a look around. She has beautiful quilts to inspire you, not to mention a collection of great tutorials. This fabulous Starflower quilt is one of my faves, and she has a great tute if you want to make it yourself (which I do!):

So, on to the main event. Jennifer has done a great tutorial for super easy table napkins for your home. This is part of the {Sew} Get Started: Beginner Sewing Tutorials series. Full list of tutorials and links can be found by clicking the link below.

FairyFace Designs

I love this tute and am definitely going to make some of these myself. They are a perfect beginner project, simple to make and yet packing a great punch in terms of impact. Just wait till your guests start asking where you bought them and you get that little glow...the one you get when you tell someone "I made it myself" and you watch their reaction. Happy sewing everyone!

I'm really excited and honored to be here at Fairy Face Designs today sharing a super easy and quick napkin tutorial with you. These are a great beginner project that look great and add a lovely decorative touch to your table.  If you can sew a straight stitch, you can do this!

Let's get started! 
First things first- wash and press your fabric. 
Materials needed: 
1 yard of fabric = 4 napkins
rotary cutter
long quilting ruler
cutting mat
coordinating thread
sewing machine
Please read through all directions before getting started!
1. Since you washed your fabric first, you will need to fold your fabric in half matching the selvages. Press with your iron, along the fold. Next, fold your fabric in half from the side so that the fold remains at the top and the selvages at the bottom. Line up your fabric on your cutting mat and using your rotary cutter and trim to remove the selvages. 
Now, unfold your fabric so you have your 1 yard of fabric flat on your cutting mat. Keeping your edges together, line up your fabric with the 0 on the mat and using your ruler, cut your fabric at the 15" mark and again at the 30" mark.  You should now have two pieces, each 15" wide and approximately 20-21" tall. 
Next, turn your fabric so the fold is on your right and lined up with lines on your cutting mat. 
Trim your fabric to 15" x 19." Repeat. You should now have 4 pieces
OK, that was the hardest part!

2. Now, take your fabric to your ironing board and fold down each side of the fabric 1/4" and press into place. (Don't iron back and forth- just lift and press.) 
Work your way around all 4 sides of the napkin then repeat.

Fold that 1/4" hem over once again to have a nice finished edge, and press all the way around the napkin. It helps to use some starch!

Insert a pin in the corner to hold in place. (Take those out when you sew.)

3. Now, it's time to sew!  Place your fabric face down and start stitching at a corner. Backstitch a few stitches to anchor your thread then keeping a 1/4" seam allowance, sew along each side of the napkin. 
The 1/4" seam is important because you want to catch enough of the corners to keep them turned in and tight. 
Once you get to a corner, leave your needle down, lift the presser foot, and pivot your fabric. Put your presser foot down once more and continue sewing along that side.

Continue until you reach where you started, backstitching once again to anchor your stitch. Cut your threads and you are done!
  • stitch another line beside the one you just sewed to create a double topstitch
  • use a zigzag stitch instead of a straight stitch for a decorative touch
See, easy, right?!

I hope you enjoy making something beautiful for your home. Grab your favorite fabric and get started! You can do it!
Feel free to email me with any questions. You can find many more of my tutorials, including the double sided placemats, here.
Thanks Sarah for hosting me! 

Thanks so much Jennifer - don't forget everyone if you make napkins from this tute to upload them in the {Sew} Get Started Flickr group. Next week Irina will be sharing another great, easy tutorial for making baby burp clothes - a fab gift for a new mum, or a nice addition to your own baby supplies, so check back then!


SewHappyGeek said...

What a wonderful, clear tutorial! Great job Sarah and Ellie! I can't believe it hadn't occurred to me to use starch for making napkins, esp given how much I use when piecing! lol

SewHappyGeek said...

Sorry, I meant Jennifer! Shouldn't be talking & typing simultaneously!

Unknown said...

Great tute Jen! Simple but lovely :-)

Archie The Wonder Dog said...

Great tutorial!

Leanne said...

Wonderful tutorial, the pictures are great and I may be inspired to make some new napkins.

Miranda said...

Super cute and simple!

Mrs Flying Blind... said...

Fabric in the vicinity of food - cold sweat time!!

Canadian Abroad said...

Great tuturial and the series is going wonderfully well.

sarah said...

Cant wait to make these, I keep daydreaming about what fabric I will use.....!

felicity said...

Cloth napkins are a fantastic idea, and this is a fabulous tutorial!

dan scarfo said...

I like your style: brief and informative. Good job!