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Cloth Napkins

The contents of this page will be changing quite often.  If there is an idea or project that you like, you may want to make note of it as it may not be here the next time you check back!

Cloth napkins an easy project that even a beginner at sewing can make.  To make a cloth napkin, you need only a nice durable fabric that will stand up to many washings.  Many of your finer cloth napkins are made with linen or a damask fabric.  I prefer a heavy linen fabric as it is sturdy, yet very absorbant.
When making napkins, I prefer ones that are very generous in size.  I start with an 18 inch square of fabric. This allows for me to be able to fold over all edges 1/4 inch twice to make a nice clean rolled hem edging. 
To make the corners a bit less bulky, ont the wrong side of the fabric, I lightly pencil a line 1/4 inch from the edges near each corner.  I then trim away the tip of the corner, making sure not to cut past the marked line. 
Next, fold each side down 1/4 inch and press.  Fold each side again, mitering the corners as you go.  Press and pin in place.  Top stitch around all sides to hold the hem in place.  Your finished napkin should be about 17 inches square.
You can use this same idea and make your own handkerchiefs.  Decide on the size you want, then cut a square 1 inch larger than the finished handkerchief will be to give yourself the 1/2 inch for making the rolled hem.  Choose a soft linen or other cotton fabric for your handkerchief.  These make wonderful gifts also.
To make the project faster, you can use a serger/overloc machine to finish the edges.  A rolled hem specialty foot for your sewing machine would also make the task faster.
For a 2 sided napkin, you can use one of the following methods.
*For a sewing machine:  Cut the fabric to allow for a 1/2 inch seam around each side.  Place your 2 fabrics right sides together and sew around all edges, leaving about 2-3 inches open for turning.  Clip the corners.  Turn to the right side and press flat.  Fold in the edges at the opening and top-stitch around all edges to give a nice finished appearance and close the opening.
* For a serger:  Cut the fabric as directed above.  Stack your 2 fabrics together with wrong sides together.  Serge around all sides and finish off the end.