Napkins and Table Settings

On Monday, I talked about how we received new plates as a wedding gift and how I wanted to make beautiful table settings to match, so I made a table runner and placemats.  All that is left now is napkins.

So, I picked out my fabric.  It is a lighter, cotton fabric, so it was pretty see through.  I decided to double up the fabric instead of just hemming the edges (Although, that is much easier to do, so if you are thinking about making napkins, look at picking out heavier fabric that is not see through.).  So instead of cutting out 8 pieces of fabric, I doubled up the fabric by folding it over and I cut through 2 pieces of fabric at a time, so I only had to cut 4 times.

sewing, napkins

I had a store-bought napkin already, so I used that to measure out my cuts.  I left a little extra room on the sides for the seam.  I just eye balled it, but it should be around a 1/2″.

sewing, napkins, diy

sewing, napkins, diy

I cut out four of those.  The particular fabric I used did not have a front or a back that I could tell, so I just pinned them as I cut them.  But if your fabric has a pretty side, make sure to pin the pretty sides facing each other.

sewing, napkins, diy

*Normally, I iron and pin at the same time, so I did to make these napkins.  But when I pulled the fabric through to flip it right side out, it got really wrinkly, so I had to iron again.  So, save you a step and do not iron now. 

So, then, I sewed all four sides leaving a tiny opening on one side to pull the fabric through.  The opening should be big enough to pull fabric through without ripping any seams, but not too big because you will have to blind stitch it later.

sewing, napkins, diy

And here I am pulling the fabric through the hole to turn it right side out:

sewing, napkins, diy

Be sure to make sure all of your corners are lying flat.  I just stuck my finger in each corner to make sure all the fabric was lying flat.

Then, I ironed out all the wrinkles from flipping it right side out.  Be sure to iron the seams, so they lay flat and the iron a crease where the hole is to help you when you get to blind stitching.

sewing, napkins, diy

And now it is time for the blind stitch.  This was only my second time doing a blind stitch and it was a little easier since the fabric was thinner, but I am still no expert, so I will leave it to WikiHow to help you again:

sewing, napkins, blind stitch, diy

And here is my blind stitch:

sewing, napkins, diy, blind stitch

Much better than last time, but still could use a little work.  And here is the final product:

sewing, napkins, diy

I promise the napkins are not as school bus yellow as they come out in the pictures.  They are more of a soft, pastel yellow.

And the Budget Breakdown:

  • 2 yds 44″ fabric-$8, $4 per yard
  • 2 packages of D-rings for napkin holders-$2, $1 per pack of 4
  • ribbon for napkin holders-$0, already owned

Total:  $10 for 4 napkins

And here is the reveal of our lovely table settings for our new plates!!!

sewing, placemats, napkins, diy

sewing, placemats, napkins, diy

sewing, placemats, napkins, diy

What do you all think!?  I LOVE it and so does the hubs!  Since we bought the dining room table, we have never ate there, but I definitely see dinner there at least once a week now!  Have you guys made a table setting recently?  Do you make them for every season and holiday or just one for all year round?  This is the first one I have made, but I would definitely like to start doing them for every holiday too!

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Making Placemats

As one of our wedding gifts, we received new dishes!  They are lovely and beautiful and I thought what better way to show how lovely and beautiful they are than by creating a beautiful table setting to match.  I had already made a table runner earlier, so all I needed was some placemats and napkins.  First up, placemats.

When I first got my sewing machine a few years ago, my mom printed me out directions on how to sew placemats from a blog she follows:  Stone Gable.  So, I dug out those instructions  and gathered up all my supplies and I was ready to start.

The first thing I did was fold my fabric in half.  The placemats are reversible, so you will need 2 pieces of fabric for each placemat.  So instead of cutting out 8 pieces of fabric, I folded the fabric in half and just cut through 2 pieces of fabric at a time, so I only had to cut 4 times.  Then, I marked the measurements out on the fabric (14.5 x 22″).

sewing, placemats, diy

The puppies even helped me measure everything out.

sewing, placemats, diy, puppies

Stone Gable said to cut 14.5 x 22″and with a 1/2″ seam it would make them 13.5 x 21″.  However, once I cut my first one out, I realized that was just too long for what I wanted.  So, I cut one 14.5 x 20″ and compared the two to see which one I liked best.

sewing, placemats, diy

I decided to go with the 14.5 x 20″ because I liked the look better and our table is smaller, so it would fit better as well.  So I trimmed 2″ off the first one I cut and cut all the rest 14.5 x 20″.

A tip to cut straight lines is to use tile grout as a reference.  Just line up your marks you made with the grout and cut inside the grout.sewing, placemats, dit

After all 4 placemats (8 pieces of fabric) were cut, I was ready to pin them together.   Pin the fabric with the two pretty sides facing each other.  *There is no need to iron your fabric at this point because when you flip the fabric, so the right side is facing out, it will just get wrinkly again.*

sewing, placemats, diy

Then, it is time for the sewing machine.  Sew a 1/2″ seam on all four sides.  However, I did not measure it out , I just eye balled it.

sewing, placemats, diy

Be sure to leave a tiny opening on one of the sides.  It should be big enough to pull the fabric through, but not too big because you will have to blind stitch it by hand later.

sewing, placemats, diy

Then, pull the fabric through that hole.  I did not get any pictures of this step because it is really a two hands process, but you will want to make sure not to pull too hard and rip any of your seams.

Now, the fabric is ready to be ironed.

sewing, placemats, diy

Be sure to iron the seams, so the placemat lays flat and also, iron a seam where the hole is to make it easier when you blind stitch it.

So, I keep talking about this blind stitch step.  This was my first time doing it.  I just got over my fear of my sewing machine, but still have very little experience sewing anything by hand, so I am not an expert at blind stitching nor very good at it.  So that being said, I will not try to give you instructions on how to do it.  However, I will give you the instructions I used from WikiHow:

sewing, placemats, diy, blind stitch

Here is my completed blind stitch:

sewing, diy, placemats, blind stitch

So it is not too pretty and I can most definately use some practice, but as long you dont look at that one corner, my placemats look pretty good!

sewing, placemats, diy

Budget Breakdown:

  • 2 yds of 54″ wide drapery fabric-$14, $7 per yard

Total:  $14 for 4 placemats

So what do you all think?  Have you tried blind stitching before?  Blind stitching and I just did not get along!  Do you have any tips?  Do you make your placemats or do you always purchase them?

*I will be back on Wednesday with the how to make the napkins and the reveal of our table setting!!

My First Time Sewing

So, I received a sewing machine over two years ago for Christmas, but I never took it out of the box.  To be honest, I was scared of it.  My only other experience sewing was in 7th grade in FACS class where we made patchwork pillows and my was a hot mess.  It had holes every where and that was with help from the only girl in the class who had sewed before.  But I asked for a sewing machine anyways because I had big plans for it once I got over my fear of it.

Well the other day, the time had come for me to get over my fear.  I had bought my material and had researched how to sew curtains in Singer’s The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing and my favorite DIY blog Young House Love.  I took the sewing machine out of the box.  But I did not know what to do next…

Thankfully, my sewing machine came with a DVD Instructional Guide that showed me how to thread the bobbin and thread the machine.  Although all sewing machines are a little different, the concept is the same, so I included a How To Video for those other beginner sewers out there.

So after I got my machine threaded and ready to go, I was on to the next scary step…  Measuring and cutting the fabric.  Even still, this is always my least favorite part because I am scared to mess up because once you cut it is final.  So after a lot of stress and research online, specifically the two references mentioned above, I decided what would work best for me was to buy 5 yards of fabric, cut it in half, and hem the 4 sides.  A great tip I have learned is to use tile grout or a rug as your reference to cut a straight line.  But since I was just cutting the fabric in half, I just folded it in half and cut down the fold.

Then, I took one panel and pinned 1/2 inch seam on one side.

sewing, curtains, DIY

Then to be extra cautious, I went back through and ironed the seam in place.  Generally, instructions will tell you to do one or the other, but this was my first time sewing, so I was a nervous wreck and wanted to make sure everything was perfect, so I did both.  And, I still do both because I feel it works best for me, but you can pick what works best for you.  The next step is to hide the rough edges of the fabric and is optional depending on how you want the backs of your curtain to look.  So, if you choose to hide the rough edges of the fabric, you will just measure and fold another 1/2 inch seam.

sewing, curtains, DIY

Then, I took my panel to the sewing machine and sewed the one side that was pinned and ironed.  Don’t mind the band-aid.  It was just a battle wound from all the pinning I was doing.  Did I mention I was extra cautious and pinned a lot!

sewing, curtains, DIY

Afterwards, I repeated folding a 1/2 seam, then folding another 1/2 seam, and sewing each side until all four sides were done.   By this time, it was getting pretty late, so Wilson wanted to help me hurry up and finish, so we could go to bed.  Here he is helping Mommy finish the curtains.

sewing, curtains, puppy

So, I took Wilson’s hint and called it a night and decided we would tackle the next panel tomorrow night.  I was scared of it anyways because it involved more of my least favorite task…  cutting fabric.  The other half of the fabric I bought was missing a chunk from when the lady had previously cut me a sample of it to match it to our bedspread before I bought it.  So before I could begin measuring and marking my 1/2 seam, I had to make sure the fabric was straight.  So I laid it out on a rug and cut off the rest of the fabric to make one straight line.

sewing, curtains, DIY

Then, I could make this panel just like the last one.  Fold, pin, and iron a 1/2 inch seam along one side.

sewing, curtains, DIY

Next, refold, pin, and iron another 1/2 seam to get rid of the rough edge.

sewing, curtains, DI

Then, sew that one side.

sewing, curtains, DIY

And then, repeat until you are finished with all four sides.  If you want you can be finished with your curtains after that step, but I wanted to add black out fabric behind them, since they were for our bedroom.  I bought 5 yards of black out fabric.  I cut the blackout fabric in half to make the two panels like we did for the curtain panels.  Then, I took one curtain panel and cut the black out fabric down to be a little smaller than the curtain panel.  I did all this as an estimate with my eyes; I did not get exact with it and measure everything out.  Then, I did the same thing with the second curtain panel and black out fabric panel.  I did not sew my curtain panel to my black out fabric.  I just clipped them together with the curtain clips.  It is not really noticeable and now I can reuse the black out fabric if I choose to make new curtains for this room, but right now I am in love with my new curtains!  Here is a picture of the back of the curtains and the black out fabric.  You can hardly tell they are not sewed together and from the front of the curtains, you can’t tell at all.

sewing, curtains, black out fabric, DIY

Here is the finished result!

sewing, curtains, DIY

sewing, curtains, DIY

Here is Wilson with the curtains.

sewing, curtains, DIY, puppy

sewing, curtains, DIY

I also bought some more fabric and made some matching pillows for the bed.

sewing, pillows, DIY, puppy

So here is the budget breakdown:

  • 5 yds of 54″ drapery fabric ($7 per yd)–$35
  • 5 yds of 54″ black out fabric ($5 per yd)–$25

Total–$60

I am very proud of my curtains, if I do say so myself, especially since they were my first sewing experience!!  And let me tell you, that black out fabric does wonderful things, like letting me sleep in on the weekends WAY past how long I should.  What do you all think?  Not too shabby for a first timer, huh?  Have you been sewing lately?  Do you have any tips for a novice sewer, such as myself?