My research was sporadic and disheartening. There weren’t, and probably still aren’t, many places to buy cloth napkins, nor were there a variety of choices of napkins. And I am very particular about shelling out money, between $4 and $5 per napkin, for something I could easily make, if I had the time. As for the mama, who is even cheaper than me, I imagined her hiding a paper napkin amongst the expensive cloth one and pulling it out to wipe her mouth when I wasn’t looking.
A couple months ago, I finally did walk my talk. It was fun and a hoot putting my foot to the metal of my mom’s Singer treadle sewing machine, after some 15 years. I also forgot how much I enjoyed shopping for fabric. I bought a few fat quarters at the local quilt store, Homespun Harbor, and a bunch of material in quarter-yard increments online at Sew, Mama, Sew. Heaven!
The end result: Nine cloth napkins! I want to make at least 21 more.
Using a fat quarter is the simplest and quickest way for making a cloth napkin. All you need to do is hem it. Here’s what I did:
- Press a pre-washed fat quarter.
- Place the fabric on a surface with the wrong side facing you. With each side of the material, fold the raw edge about 1/8 inch. Press in place.
- Fold the edge of each side again, about 1/4inch. Press.
- Sew. Voila—your napkin!