2 Easy Ways to Sew Table Linens

Table cloths and napkins are very easy to sew.  A specialty fabric that matches your table decor or theme adds a custom look that says “Wow”.

For example, I made these napkins for added wow on my Chevron (Finished) Tablescape.

Place Setting

I’d like to show you two simple ways you can sew the edges of table linens.

One type of edge requires only a sewing machine.  For this turned edge, begin at the corners.  Turn down the corner and press.

Corner Fold

I could go into all sorts of explanations as to how far to fold the corner, but it’s something you need a feel for.  It should be folded about 2″ from each edge.  Oh…never mind that.  You’ll see what I mean when you actually do one.

Fold one edge down 1/4-3/8″ and press.

Turn Edge and Press

Turn down again, and press.

Turn Twice and Press

Repeat along the other edge.  The corner should come out squared off nicely – if not, adjust your corner flap you pressed at the beginning.

Edge Turned Twice

Lift the pressed edges and snip the tail sticking out from under.

Corner Snipped

Re-fold and repeat along all edges and corners.

Sew a seam about 3/16″ from the folded edge, or the distance you like.  Consistency is all that really matters here.

When you get to a corner, position the flap you are sewing over the adjacent flap.

Sewing Edge

When you are in the corner, leave your needle in the fabric, lift presser foot, pivot 90°, and lower presser foot.  Continue sewing until all edges are secure.

See?  That was easy.  I’m sure some of you know all of this, but not everyone is familiar, and I want to provide instructions for lots of things, no matter how simple.

The serged edge is fairly simple.  That is, if you have the proper needle.  I recently had trouble finding my rolled hem needle.  I finally found it, but then I realized my machine setting was impossible because my machine mechanic glued a part in place for flat-lock stitches.  I was heavy into making window treatments at the time, and my machine kept slipping out of the position for the flat-lock stitch, and I was pulling my hair out.

My machine will still make the rolled hem stitch, but it is a wider stitch than most rolled hems.

After cutting your square, sew around all edges, serging just past each corner (only one stitch past), lifting needles and presser foot, pivoting 90°, and lowering presser foot to continue sewing.

Serging Napkin Edge

My presser foot is blurry, but my goal was to get a clear view of the fabric corner for you.  See how wide my rolled hem is?  Word to the wise:  don’t glue anything on your serger unless you really want it to be permanent!

After you complete serging all sides, you will leave a tail of threads at your final corner.  Dot it with hot glue and let it harden slightly.

Gluing Thread Tail

Fold the thread tail over the glue and let cool.  When cool, mash the glue and snip the thread tail at the glue dot.

Folding Thread Tail

The side with the glue dots isn’t perfect, but the “front” side looks nice and neat.

Neat Napkin Corner

I hope you’re having a fun week!

What’s the weather like in your area?  Are you working on projects this week – yard work, planting pots, or maybe some sewing?

I’m sharing this post with the following link parties.  Click the title to join the fun.

What to do Weekends

Metamorphosis Monday

Project Inspire{d}

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  1. Sheryll & Critters. says

    Great lessons. I can’t believe what some folks pay for napkins, pillows and even chair pads.

  2. says

    A friend has offered me her serger at an attractive price and I’m tempted. I would like to be able to serge knit fabrics. I have made serged napkins, but the hemmed ones are so much nicer. Thanks for sharing this post — it’s so easy to make napkins that match your tablescape!
    Jennie @ Got My Reservations recently posted…Springtime in Vienna TablescapeMy Profile

    • Kim says

      Serged napkins or not, I wouldn’t be able to pass up a good deal on a serger. They are handy for so many things! I hope you’ll let me know whether you decide to buy it.

  3. says

    Don’t ever assume that ‘we’ would know the details on how to make a perfect hemmed napkin, Kim. I’ve made quite a few napkins and none of them have that beautiful finished corner that yours does. Thank you soooo much for this wonderful tip. I’m pinning for reference. 😉
    Also….what is the cut size for the napkins before hemming? BTW…I so much prefer the hemmed napkin to the surged napkin. I don’t have a serger…maybe someday….but the surged edge never feels finished to me and uses a ton of thread…which suddenly seems to have gotten pricey. (??)
    Again…thanks for your tips and for sharing at Project Inspire{d}!!
    Diane | An Extraordinary Day recently posted…Hurry with your answer, God! | Joy Day!My Profile