Today, I'm sharing how to make a table napkin from fabric. This is a quick and easy sewing tutorial and a great project for beginner sewers. This kind of project gives you a quick win and the confidence to move on to bigger and better projects. You get to perfect your hems on these small fabric napkins so you won't be afraid to tackle the 'next big thing'.
If you love the look of these linen napkins but don't fancy making your own, take a look below for similar options to buy.
Do you remember the tutorial I did a few weeks back where I showed you how to shorten linen curtains? Well, today, I'm using the fabric remnants from that project to make these easy linen napkins.
A QUICK REMINDER: When attempting any DIY project, please take care to undertake the necessary safety precautions. You should always follow the manufacturer’s safety recommendations when using any product or tool. When following my instructions for a DIY project, you are doing so at your own risk.
Materials to make a table napkin
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Thread to match your fabric
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Cut out squares of fabric
First, I cut each length of fabric remnant into three squares measuring 17 x 17 inches or 43 x 43cm. You can make a table napkin whatever size you want. If you already have some napkins at home, you could use one as a template. That's what I did when I was making these fabric napkins. I allowed two inches extra for making the seam so the cut line was at nineteen inches.
I would advise you to wash your fabric before starting this fabric napkin sewing project. Washing will remove any shrinkage before you start. I'm using pre-washed fabric from a previous project.
Make a table napkin - seam allowance
One long edge of the fabric remnant already had a hem which I decided to use so as not to waste fabric. If the material you are using doesn't already have a hem, you can make the hem however wide you like. The hem was not mitred, so for the sake of consistency, I'm not going to mitre the rest of the hems either. I'm sure I'll be making more of these napkins at some point and when I do, I will do a tutorial on how to mitre the corners. For now, though, we are going down the easier route of making a napkin with square folded corners.
The previous hem was around three-quarters of an inch wide. I used my DIY hemming gauge to mark out the lines for the hem.
First, I folded up the fabric to the three-quarter line and ironed it along the edge to make it nice and crisp.
Next, I folded the fabric up to the two-inch line and ironed the edge flat again.
Now, all I have to do is fold up the fabric along the three quarter inch line and then again to the two-inch line. Then, I'm ironing that flat again and pinning the hem as I work my way around the fabric. You do the same thing with all of the napkins. Once all the napkin hems have been pinned, we are ready to make a table napkin so it's time to take them to the sewing machine.
Make a table napkin - sewing
If you saw my curtain hemming tutorial, you will already be familiar with my method of squaring off the corners of the seams. Basically, all I'm doing is sewing a small box or square where two seams meet. It reinforces the hems at the corners and makes them stronger. Take a look at my curtain hemming video on YouTube to see the process in more detail.
After you've sewn a square, it's just a matter of sewing down the length of the seam as close as you can to the edge of the fabric on the inner side, removing the pins as you go.
Each time you reach a corner, make the box again and carry on sewing down the length of the next seam until you've sewn all the way around and you are back at where you started.
Make a table napkin - ironing
Once you've sewn all of the hems, it's time to take the fabric napkins to the ironing board once again. Iron the seams flat and that's it, you're finished how easy was that?
As mentioned above, if you love the look of these linen napkins but don't fancy making your own, here are some similar options to buy.
Save for Later
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