Easy to Make Napkins for Spring & Summer
As you know, I am a sucker for nice linens of any sort, but I have true penchant for table linens. In case you missed the earlier post, this linen love of mine surely is a genetic thing I inherited the gene from my linen-loving, embroidery-embellishing grandma and mom. Growing up, we ate our meals at a table with napkins sewn by Grandma and laid our head on pillowcases embroidered by Grandma. So it’s no surprise that I have a kitchen drawer filled with linen napkins that are used at each meal and another drawer in my dining room console filled with tablecloths and napkins for ‘fancy’ meals. And ever since I discovered how easy it was to make mitre-edge napkins and add a crochet edge to just about anything, the making of napkins has been in overdrive. You can see the simple, crochet-edge cocktail napkin here and the petite pom-pom edged Christmas napkin here. With winter heading out the back door and spring striding through the front, I was ready to ‘spring-up’ my every day dinner napkins. These easy to make napkins are just what I needed to bring spring to the dinner table.
And if your napkin drawer is filled (as if that would ever happen), these would make a wonderful gift …with or without the crochet edge.
The napkins are easy to make with a basic sewing knowledge, which is truly all that I have. I am not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination, but give me a straight line to sew in a basic straight stitch and I’m all over it. And the crochet pattern is very basic as well…it requires knowledge of two stitches, the chain stitch and the single crochet. I have included video from a previous project giving some visual explanation in addition to my written explanation.
What you need for 4 Easy to Make Napkins (15″ by 15″):
- 1 yard of 44′ wide fabric. I prefer 100% cotton but that’s a personal preference
- 1 skein/ball of DMC Pearl Cotton Size 5
- 1 skein/ball Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Cotton Size 3
- Sewing Machine
- Crochet Hook, size 1
- Ironing Board
- Piece of cardstock with a line drawn across 1/4″ down from stop and another 1/2″ down from top. See below for illustration.
- Disappearing Ink
Directions for Easy to Make Napkins:
- Wash your fabric before you sew, but before you wash it, run a quick stitch with your sewing machine or you will have a unraveled, knotted mess!
- Wash and dry your fabric
- Iron down, using spray starch, 1/4″ on all sides and then iron down,using spray starch, 1/2″ on all sides. I found the easiest way to do this part is to have a a piece of cardstock marked at those increments that I could fold the fabric over and iron.
- Once you have 1/4″ turned over and ironed, and then 1/2″ turned over and ironed, it’s time to make your mitred corners. Here is the link to a tutorial I did on mitred corners for another project.
- Once your mitred corners are done, you may be inclined to sew the hem down. I found it best to wait on this. If you sew it down, all your knots from sewing the backstitch will show. If you’ve starched it well, the crease will remain while you sew in the backstitch and you can sew the hem afterwards.
- I made marks every 1 cm around the perimeter of the fabric with the disappearing ink, threaded my needle with the pearl cotton and sewed the backstitch at the edge.
- If you aren’t familiar with the back stitch, it’s very simple. Come up from the back of your fabric and out point number 1. Then go in point number 2 and out point number 3. You will then go back in point number 1 and out point number 4. From point 4 you’ll go in at 3 and out at 5. Get it? Here’s an illustrated photo from an earlier project.
- Once you’ve sewn the backstitch around your napkin, you can get started with putting the crochet edge on. Work 3 single crochets into each back stitch segment. This youtube video will show you how to pick up stitches within each backstitch segment (But remember you’re only putting 3 stitches into each segment). You’ll repeat this for each backstitch segment all around your napkin. At your corners, add two extra chain stitches as your turn the corner. In other words, when you get to the last segment before the corner, after you’ve done your 3rd stitch, do two chains before you start the 1st single crochet in the first segment on the next side. Make sense?
- Once you’ve gone all the way around, it’s time to start the second row. Essentially what we’re doing on this row is doing a single crochet stitch in the middle of each of the three stitches you just did and then chaining 2 and repeating these three stitches for the entire row.
- When you get to each corner chain stitch 3-4 to give the edging the ease it needs.
- I have produced a wee video giving a glimpse of how I created the eyelet. I am a firm believer in a picture (or in this case…video) is worth a thousand words. Hope this helps.
- To finish it, use your sewing machine to sew down the hem that you had ironed and starched earlier.
Now that Spring is fully here, I’m glad to have some new napkins to add some zing to my dinner table and these easy to make napkins were a quick project.
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