Tea and lunch napkins. What makes them tea and lunch napkins? The size. Your traditional dinner napkin is around 18-20 inches. These ones are cut at 16 and finish around 15.5 inches. You could certainly use them for a more casual dinner, like tacos or lasagna, but not for something a bit more formal, like roasted lamb. Although, if you were in a pinch, a napkin is better than no napkin!
The best part about these napkins is that they are up-cycled from two high quality pillow cases I had when I was first living on my own. Don’t think gross – it’s fabric. I washed the pillowcases on hot and on the sanitary setting on my washer. Then I made them and rewashed them on the same setting – all good.
What You Need
- 2 pillow cases (or 2 yards of fabric)
- seam ripper
- co-ordinating thread
- rotary cutter
- cutting mat
- cutting guide or ruler
- fray check
- ironing board
First up – take a look at these pillowcases. They are grey and white stripped – so fun and very in right now. I’m sure they’ll be classic because of their simplicity.
Okay – if you’re working with pillowcases, you need to use your seam ripper and rip out the seam and then open the pillow case up. The downer part on this one – it has what looks like a bleach spot. It’s been there since day one – I actually got the pillow cases at winners and when I opened them one had this mark on it. I tried to find new ones, but no luck. I loved them so much I used them anyway and just had that side of the pillow case to the back.
If you have a flaw, you’ll want to be sure you measure to ensure you’ve got enough fabric. I measured and I’m good to go. The pillowcase also looks discoloured, like it’s dirty – it’s just damp from the iron and the camera seems to be highlighting it. Odd, yet I wanted you to know the pillowcase isn’t soiled – it’s clean!
Cut your pillow cases with your rotary cutter, cutting mat and guide. Cut each napkin 16×16.
Time for the serger and rolled hem.
I used a scrap of fabric and tried out 4 different lengths on my serger. In order, from the top left then clockwise is 4, 3, 2.5, and 1. If I wouldn’t have tried this out first, my instinct would have been to go with 1, keeping the seam tight. In my opinion, though, the 2.5 setting is the best and that’s what I went with.
Serge each side being sure to keep the tail out of the way so it’s not mistakenly serged under on the next pass (I’ve done this and it’s a mess).
Once each napkin is done, fray check each corner and press. Then, cut the tail off and press again. Done!
Fold them up and you’re all ready to go.
I just love this fabric and I’m so happy I was able to up-cycle into something I’ll use on a regular basis. Happy-happy!
Thanks for visiting and I hope you’re enjoying the 52 weeks of sewing as much as I am – it’s so fun. Enjoy your Sunday and I’ll see you again soon.