Sewing 101: Mitered Napkins


Hello again everyone, it’s Theresa from the Sewing 101 class! If you’re just starting out, a simple cloth napkin is a great first project for new sewers. I’ve given these as housewarming gifts and they never disappoint. The mitered technique gives them a nice, clean edge and you can opt for contrasting colored thread for an extra design detail.

What You Need (Makes 4)

* 1-1/3 yd. cotton fabric
* Coordinating thread
* Flat 18″ ruler
* Marking pen
* Fabric scissors and/or rotary cutter
* Iron/ironing board
* Sewing machine
* Sewing gauge (optional)



1. Make sure to prewash/preshrink your fabric before sewing so you can wash it after sewing without it puckering and losing shape. Test that your marking tool washes away by marking a corner of your fabric before washing. Once dry, press your fabric flat.

2. Using your marking tool and ruler, measure four 20×20 inch squares (two across the width of your fabric and two along the length) on the Wrong side of the fabric. Cut out squares.

3. Press all four corners of one square 1-1/2″ toward the Wrong side.


4. Snip 1/2″ from each corner.


5. Fold 1/2″ along all sides toward Wrong side and press flat. Fold over 1/2″ again toward Wrong side, so that the corners meet. Press flat.


6. Pin in place and top-stitch 1/8″ along all four sides. When you top-stitch, you want to make sure the Right side is facing up when feeding the fabric into the machine. The bobbin thread will show on the Wrong side (where the folded edges are).




7. Make sure to pivot at the corners, keeping the needle pierced into the fabric as you turn and making sure the edge continues to line up at the 1/8″ mark.


8. Top-stitch again at the 3/8″ mark (if your machine does not have measurements near the needle, use your marking tool and ruler to mark these points from the edge). Approach the corners at a slow speed and pivot at the 3/8″ mark.


9. Clip any extra threads and press napkin flat. Repeat on other 3 squares.


For more sewing tips and techniques, sign up for my next session of Sewing 101 starting in August!

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