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July 2019

Cloth Napkins with Mitered Corners

If you've been following me on Instagram (suzanne_zingg) then you know I'm into doing tablescapes and table top decor. I love pretty dishes with coordinating table linen but because I sometimes have trouble finding just the perfect cloth napkins, I decided to try making them. My nicer commercially made cloth napkins have mitered corners so I knew those were the ones I wanted to make. 

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I'm going to attempt to share the directions for making these with you here. Writing directions is not my favorite thing to do so if you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Purchasing your fabric:

My napkins finished at 20" square. You can make any size but I personally like a larger napkin. You will want to determine the finished size before you purchase your fabric. I got four 20" square napkins from a yard and a third of fabric.

A note about the fabric:

I look for cotton, linen or a cotton blend when selecting fabric. Remember that these need to be absorbent if you actually plan to use them as napkins and don't use them strictly as decoration. Although I did not prewash my fabric here, you may want too. It's that old prewash debate. You, just do you.😂 K?

Cutting your fabric:

Cut each fabric square 3" larger than your desired finished size (you will have a 1 1/2" hem around all four sides). Regardless of your desired finished size, you will add 3" for the hem.

I am illustrating these directions with paper as well as cloth in hopes that you can see what I'm trying to show a bit better. 

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Take your square of fabric to the ironing board and press a 1/2" fold around all four sides. I do not mark this fold but do use a seam gauge to check the size of my fold.



Now fold and press it again on all four sides, this time turning it a full 1". 



At this point you will not see any raw edges but there will be bulky ugly corners. We're going to fix that now.


*that should read, "Draw line from each MARK*

Unfold that last 1" fold and measuring up from the point and make a mark 2" from the point - one to the left of the point and one to the right. Then draw a line connecting the two marks as shown.


Please ignore my need for a manicure.😃




With right sides together, fold fabric as shown, lining up the marked line and pin. Sew on the drawn line.


Trim the point off 1/4" beyond the stitched line.


Repeat on all four corners.

Turn right side out using a point turner or chopstick to gently poke out the points.


Press well then simply stitch the folded edge down all the way around close to the inner fold as shown.


That's it, a finished napkin with beautifully mitered corners and no unsightly bulky unfinished corners.

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Here are some helpful hints, not necessary but more advanced sewists might find them helpful:

1. I use a Microtex sharp needle in my machine for a prettier straight stitch. Select needle size according to weight of fabric.

2. Use a straight stitch plate and a top stitch foot for best results.

3. Match thread (in bobbin and on top) to fabric as closely as possible.

4. Give your napkins a light spray starch for a professional finish.

The above hints are just that, things that work best for me but are not at all necessary. If you don't have those things please don't let them keep you from trying these napkins. 

Happy Sewing!

Encourage one another,



Woodlands Camping Party


Several friends and I got together recently to do a dollar store challenge. The assignment was to come up with a DIY project or decor look using primarily items found at a dollar store, the Target Dollar Spot or Goodwill.


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The inspiration for my Woodlands Camping Party started at Target in the Dollar Spot with this adorable backpack and canteen. I picked up the tin mugs while I was there on the chance that I could do something with them. Later that same week I found these fabulous tin plates from Goodwill for a dollar each. My idea was born.  I simply layered them with placemats and tree slice chargers that I already had. I clipped some greens from my yard and finished the look with some of my Christmas pine trees and moss for a center piece.

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My napkins are Dollar Tree dish cloths 2/$1 tied with Dollar Tree rope for napkin rings.


The campfire is just three 6" squares of orange and yellow tissue paper. I layered them, then scrunched and gathered them around a small battery votive (all from Dollar Tree). Then I nestled the wrapped candle in a bed of rocks from my yard and added some twigs. It even flickers!

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I'm excited to make a life size campfire with a large battery candle and big sheets of tissue. Wouldn't that be cute at Christmas surrounded by flocked trees and buffalo plaid?

Of course I served S'mores.

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I hope this post has inspired you. Parties don't have to be expensive to be fun and sometimes a party for no reason other than celebrating the everyday is the best reason of all.

Encourage one another,