Monday, July 28, 2008

Tutorial: Napkins with Rik Rak Trim

This is a pretty easy project. It's great if you've dusted off your grandmother's old sewing machine and are trying to get started learning how to use it.

Itty Bitty Bird (aka Chelsea Ann) contacted me a couple of weeks ago after she spotted some cute fabric in my etsy shop. She wanted me to make napkins for her out of it and add some ric rak around the edge. It was a fun project and I love the fabric she chose. In fact, after I mentioned it to my husband, he was excited about the idea of using cloth napkins so that we can cut down on our paper napkin use and I made an extra four for our household. It's a green project too!

Here's a picture of what the final napkin can look like.

The final product is between 12 and 13 inches squared.

The best part comes first: choose and buy a yard of fabric and 6 yards of matching rik rak. (This is enough for a set of four napkins.)

Wash and dry the fabric! (This will make your napkins machine washable once they're completed.)

Iron. Iron. Iron. (As with most sewing projects, ironing is a key step to this one.)

Cut the fabric into 14" x 14" pieces (four of them).

Use your ruler and your sewing pen (with disappearing ink) and mark the fabric on the right side 1/2 inch inside of each edge.

Starting in the middle of one side, sew the rik rak onto the front of the napkin following the one inch line. (Some people like to pin the rik rak before they sew, but I prefer not t0.) Be sure to backstitch a few stitches at the beginning.

At each corner, leave the needle in the down position and turn the rik rak 90 degrees to that it runs parallel to the next side. (i.e. The rik rak is done in one continuous piece and not cut into four pieces.)

Backstitch a few stitches at the end.

(Sorry about the sudden change in rik rak color in the following pictures.)

Iron the edge of the napkin to create a crease along the stitch line so that the rik rak is now on the backside of the napkin with the edge of the rik rak peeking out on the right side.

With the wrong side facing you, turn the raw edge down 1/4 inch so that it meets the 1/2 inch crease line. Iron.

Turn down the 1/2 inch crease again and iron once more.

Basically, you've just folded over the edge of the napkin twice to create a clean edge that won't unravel.

Stitch the edge in place.

Iron again. Voila!


Wendy said...

These are so sweet! I just made a set of plainer cloth napkins and think I'll make another set with ric-rac now.

Rhena said...

Thanks, Wendy! They're fun and super easy to make!

Amy said...

I did a google search for exactly this tutorial. Nicely done and thanks very much.