First Sewing Project: Cloth Napkins

I’ve been thinking about getting a sewing machine for about 2 years, and I finally bought one! I’ve been perusing estate sales and craigslist for months without much luck, so I decided to buy a new machine. The new machines are so fancy now – the one I bought has 100 stitches and can sew buttons (!). I doubt I’ll use all the stitches. But the machine with 100 stitch options has a bigger engine than the model with 50 stitch options, so I should be able to sew through canvas.


I decided that the best beginner project is some cloth napkins for three reasons: (i) they look pretty simple, (ii) they’re a low-cost starter project, and (iii) it’s time we’ve been more sustainable with our napkin use. There are quite a few cloth napkin tutorials online, and I chose this one because it doesn’t have mitered corners, which look somewhat challenging.

The first task was to set up the sewing machine. Luckily, the box contained a tutorial DVD outlining machine set up and basic stitches. (Mom, this machine is way easier to thread than yours!) After pausing and re-watching certain clips from the video (multiple times), I was ready to go. I don’t want to take down my set up even though it’s taking up the whole dining room table:


Sewing the cloth napkins was a multi-day process. One night was spent buying supplies. Another night was spent setting up the sewing machine. Another night was devoted to washing the material. Another night was used to cut and pin the fabric. And, finally, one more night devoted to sewing the napkins. Here’s the final product with two different plates we have:


Scott wants to make sure you all know that he helped pick out the fabric.


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