22 Jul How to Sew Linen Dinner Napkins
I confess to my growing fondness for creating posh napkins, and blame it all on the pandemic. If you follow my Instagram account, you know what I mean….
A table set with crisp linen napkins is a lovely sight. Once reserved for formal dinners, linen napkins have found their way to more relaxed environments as part of the casual elegance movement. I love this style, yet my only linen napkins were white and formal.
After the wedding of our youngest daughter, Mimi, our final wedding 🎉🥂🍾🎉‼️ we invested in a set of Royal Copenhagen china for everyday use. My goal was to create a set of linen napkins to use with the china.
Creating linen dinner napkins was trickier than I initially expected, but I quickly learned to handle the fabric with care.
I ordered a lightweight white linen from Mood Fabrics and dyed it with Rit Dye Denim Blue powder. In a perfect world, I would find the exact color of linen I’m looking for, but this is the next best thing. 😉 Rit’s webpage is very helpful with instructions, color formulas and offers lots of useful tips.
- For best results, cut the fabric into pieces slightly larger than you need for each napkin. Small pieces are easier to dye.
The finished napkins are 20 x 20″.
I cut each piece 22 x 22″. Two yards of fabric = 6 napkins.
I believe a mitered corner is a must for linen napkins and it is easy to make.
After cutting the napkin, I placed it on a grid to check for accuracy. I marked 1/2″ around the edge with a Frixion marker and pressed along the marked line. Again I rechecked for accuracy on the grid and carefully made adjustments.
Since linen can stretch it’s important not to pull or tug.
folded the corner, matched the lines and stitched.
This is all very easy, but the tricky part was turning the corner without stretching the fabric. After sadly sacrificing my first napkin due to stretched out edges and other mishaps, I understood the importance of handling with care.
For the perfectly turned corner:
- Snip the seam allowance leaving approximately 1/4″.
2. Cut the corner at a right angle.
3. Open with your fingers the 1/4″ seam allowance and trim each side separately close to the seam.
It will look like this.
5. Lightly press into place.
Once the corners were turned, I pressed the 3/4″ hem with the assistance of the Clover Hot Hemmer.
No matter the project, embellishment is always the most fun for me! With the exception of the holidays, I keep a blue and white dotted tablecloth on our round table and decided to have a little fun with a dotted monogram.
Before monogramming the napkin I stitched the hem. The Pfaff Creative Icon offers every imaginable decorative stitch. I selected a simple stitch, compatible with the monogram for the hem around the perimeter.
The hem needed be at the edge of the fold. Yes, I could use the edge foot and stitch on the underside , but I wanted the with the bobbin thread on the bottom of the napkin .
I pinned from the underside of the napkin to mark the fold and serve as a supplemental guide, and also to hold the fabric in place.
Below is the hem on the underside of the napkin.
For the napkins, I used the Petite 100 x 100 Hoop. The fabric is secured to the hoop by magnets, eliminating the need for adhesives and hooping.
I used a mid weight tear away stabilizer and lightly marked the fabric before embroidering.
Decisions, decisions……………. Did you know many retailers allow you to select only one color monogram for you napkins?
I chose light blue, grass green, cobalt blue and white using Coats & Clark embroidery thread 😊