Ok, who am I kidding? I will probably make napkins for every bridal shower/wedding forever.
I went to a dear college friend’s bridal shower this weekend and I made her a set of 8 cloth napkins, 4 coasters, and 2 oven mitts. I used this fantastic Michael Miller Edges Ombre print. I really cannot resist when Fabrics.com sends 15% off coupons or runs sales on Michael Miller.
I used three yards total, and three yards of a navy kona cotton. Making cloth napkins, by the way, is NOT cheaper than buying them unless you insist on buying Williams-Sonoma napkins at 4 for $50. I estimate I spent about $45 for the whole package – just so you get an idea of how much you’ll spend if you use designer fabric. You could probably do it for a lot less but I like to splurge a bit if it’s going to be a present.
It took absolutely every ounce of energy and determination to finish this present, by the way.
I made four napkins. Then I took a picture, put the napkins away so I wouldn’t have to look at them, and sewed something for myself. I think it was my Staple Dress because I can see it in the background.
Then it was back to napkins. I noticed at some point that if I started and ended the topstitching on a dark blue dot you can hardly see the backstitching! Excellent! (Is that not exciting enough for an exclamation point? I don’t care.)
Aaaaaand done! As always, I do love a stack of freshly pressed napkins. I just hate getting there.
The coasters were way easier on my nerves. Partly because I only made four of them, and partly because they’re only four-inch squares rather than SEVENTEEN. Damn the napkins! We were visiting Kev’s super crafty cousin sometime last year and I noticed her cute coasters – she said they were super easy so I Googled them as soon as I got home. I think I used this tutorial (they’re SO easy you never need a pattern or tutorial again if you just do them once), except I don’t use fusible web and I substitute in a layer of Insul-Bright or thin batting.
Side note: I just found this tutorial for a triangle variation, adorbs! I might need some of these.
The oven mitts were less simple. I sewed them up easily the first time, with an inside and outside fabric and a layer of Insul-Bright. Then I tried them on and couldn’t help but notice how THIN they felt. Not good. I had to unpick them all – and let me tell you, unpicking seams out of Insul-Bright SUCKS. Even if you do it from the fabric side, you get fuzz EVERYWHERE.
I added two layers of low-loft 100% COTTON batting (no polyester, you don’t want melty oven mitts) and resewed, very grudgingly. No good! This time they were so thick that the mitts became tiny. It was around this time that I sounded my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. I unpicked them again – batting is even worse to unpick seams out of and I was proportionally furious with myself. I sewed them up again, with an outside fabric, Insul-Bright, cotton batting, and inside fabric. I forgot to take a picture but I made extra wide bias tape out of the navy kona cotton and bound the layers together with that.
And, FINALLY! Cutie pie oven mitts. I will probably make some for myself someday but I’m going to need some recovery time. I’m ashamed to admit that I seriously considered only making one oven mitt but thankfully I convinced myself (probably with a very large glass of iced coffee) that I needed to make the second one. At this point I was so done with it that I don’t think I took a picture of all the presents together.
No need tell the bride-to-be how much angry swearing when into her gift. I promise, if you get cloth napkins from me as a gift, you’re clearly high up on my list. (And if you don’t… it probably just means I ran out of time and had to run out and buy something instead. Which has definitely happened. Sorry.)
I have to note – the bridal shower invitation had a blank recipe card enclosed and we were supposed to fill in our favorite recipe to help the couple start a collection of recipes for their new home. So sweet! I chose our favorite recipe for cream of mushroom soup, which is the reason why I never need to buy canned cream of mushroom soup ever again. It’s really quick and so delicious!
Also, no one could believe I made those cloth napkins. I promise, if you make them, everyone will think you’re a hero. A hero with… sewing capabilities? You can even make your own cape.