How to Sew Cloth Napkins – the regular method and the speed method


Learn how to sew cloth napkins with fat quarters! I love cloth napkins. They are classy and impressive for any meal, and your friends don’t have to know that you simply ran out of paper napkins. Or stopped buying them because you have a drawerful of beautiful cloth napkins that you made yourself, right?

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There really is no difference in the way that the cloth napkins turn out. But the speed method (lol) will make them much faster.

For each cloth napkin, cut a square of fabric at least 15” x 15”. Restaurant napkins are sometimes bigger, but I think this is a good size, especially if kids will be using them.

90% of the work for cloth napkins is done at the ironing board. First press a 1/4” hem on each side of the napkin. I like to use the straight side of my Dritz Ezy-Hem to make it nice and even.

Unfold each corner. I drew a red arrow pointing to the inside corner where you will fold it in. But first trim away 1/2”.

Fold the straight edge (cut off corner) in by 1/4” and re-fold the sides. This can be done without glue, but using the SuperStik from Thermoweb makes the corner stay put until you sew it.


And for the last 10% of this project, zip around the hems with your sewing machine. All done!

So, I was enjoying my afternoon, pressing and gluing and listening to Pandora, when suddenly I looked at the clock and sheesh! I had a huge pile of cloth napkin squares left to press and sew, and not very long before the kids came home from school. That’s when this speed method came to me.


And guess what? The ‘speed sewn’ napkins look exactly the same as the ‘slow method’ napkins. Maybe they are even neater! Check it out…

Begin with the same 15” squares. Then cut 1/2” off each corner. From the picture, you can see that I measured 1/2” from the tip of the corner toward the center of the square.

To make this really speedy, I stacked and cut the corners off 4 cloth napkins at a time.

At the ironing board, first press in the corner edges 1/4”. Then press 1/4” hems just like the previous method. See? Just as neat. Finish sewing them the same way as the first method.

And we are ready to eat!

Happy Sewing!


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