Fri-DIY-day: Clever, Clever Napkins

I have these champagne flutes, which I love for many reasons -- they are elegant and fun and may be easily arranged in rainbow order. Also, the fact that they are each a different color means that once you choose your hue, there will be no losing your drink or mixing up your champagne with someone else's for the rest of the evening. Fisticuffs averted!

The clever use of color inspired me to make some cloth napkins that work the same way -- each is edged in a different hue, so the people in your family can choose one and use it for however many meals and not confuse it for anyone else's. Neato right?

And also potentially a really great gift that your friends and family can and will actually use. Which makes them the king of all gifts.

OK, so here's how it's done.

What You Need, What You Need

  • Some fabric -- a soft but sturdy natural fabric works best cause no one wants to wipe their lips on polyester. You can make ~ 6 napkins from a yard of 48" wide material
  • Some bias tape in co-ordinating/contrasting colors. I took my inspiration from my favorite champagne flutes
  • Your usual cutting and sewing supplies (thread, machine, scissors, ruler, etc.)

How To

1. Start by deciding how big you want your napkins to be and how many of them you want. Then add an inch for folding the edges over and cut them out. Mine are about 11" x 11" -- I would've made them bigger but I didn't have enough fabric.

2. Working from the wrong side of the fabric, unfold one edge of your bias tape and pin it to the back of the fabric as shown here. Match up the edge of the napkin with the unfolded edge of the tape.

3. Stitch along the fold in the bias tape to attach it to the napkin.

4. Roll the bias tape around so the widest part is on the front of the napkin and press/pin in place.

5. Stitch the bias tape down to the front of the napkin right along the edge of the tape.

6. Once the bias tape is on, they look like this.

7. Now, working from the wrong side and starting with the edge opposite the bias tape, fold the fabric in 1/2" and press. I marked some lines on a pastry knife to help me.

8. Once your 1/2" fold is in, tuck the inside edge under so that all the raw fabric edges are hidden. Press and pin.

9. Once that edge is done, repeat on the other 2 edges. Make sure the corners are neat and no threads or raw edges are hanging out.

10. OK, now you just need to stitch these folds in place. Start at the top right corner and stitch down to the bottom right. Pivot, stitch to the bottom left, pivot, and up to the top left. Be careful going around the corners -- you're stitching through a lot of layers of fabric so go slow and keep an eye on it. Make sure you don't let any raw edges fall out as you are stitching.

11. And then, my exquisite creature, you are done! Guzzle some champagne and dab your lip because you are dainty, dammit!