August 24, 2015

A Beginner Sews: Napkins

My favourite part about cooking dinner every night for my little family (basically me and the Englishman so far) is setting the table. No, it's not slicing the carrots or boiling the potatoes or whatever else, I have to do to get us a healthy, hearty dish for supper. It's the five minutes I spend decorating the table, arranging the napkins and placing the cutlery.

Usually, only to find everything destroyed five minutes after serving and despite the Englishman's regular complaints about the "unnecessary" use of paper napkins, as it's "only" dinner (his words not mine, obviously!) while wiping his beard from gravy sauce.

I love a good, wholesome meal. I think it’s important to eat as much home-cooked, fresh food as possible and that usually means someone (me) has to make it. However, I don’t enjoy it. I don’t hate it either; it’s just more like a chore than a pleasure. Setting the table on the other hand is a pleasure and it makes the whole cooking so much more worthwhile. The Englishman might not realise, how he automatically puts his phone down, when sitting down at a nicely set out table or how much longer and more relaxed our conversations are. It’s the quality time that the set table sparks that makes me like the cooking, because there is nothing better than a good conversation over a good, hearty, healthy meal. And I really don’t mind providing that meal.

He is right though about the paper napkins. They are a bit of a problem, which is why I decided to make my own. It's more environmentally friendly and (of course) prettier. Win-win.

It's easy, too (triple win) and taught me a new skill: How to sew mitered corners. I mainly followed this tutorial (great photos!), but changed the dimensions to cm; so hop over to designmom or wiggle your way through my instructions.

Either way, happy sewing and Guten Appetit!



Napkins (40x40cm, standard size)

4x square fabric pieces (46cmx46xm)
Colour matching thread
Sewing machine
Scissors (Fabric and normal)
Iron & Iron Board

1. Wash, dry and iron your fabric. Sometimes fabric, especially linen, shrink, so that step is to make sure that the measurements are correct in the end.
2. With an iron, press a 1.5cm fold along one side of the square pieces then fold again and press.
3. Unfold the second fold, but leave the crease.
4. Repeat the previous two steps on all sides.
5. Fold all corners inwards so that the corner edges line up with the crease of the second fold and press the corners down.
6. Unfold the corners again and leave the crease.
7. Starting with once corner, fold the whole fabric backwards (right side inwards) so that the edges are lined up and the corner crease lies on top of itself.
8. Sew along the crease with a straight stitch.
9. Repeat the two steps with the three remaining corners.
10. Cut the corners off and press the remaining edges down (seams open).
11. Turn the napkin inside out, use a pen or point turner to push out the corners.
12. Press the edges down once more.
13. Then sew along the edge as close as possible to the inner fold.
14. Repeat steps 2 – 13 with the other three pieces of fabric.
15. Admire your neat, new napkins!


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