I seem to be incapable of getting rid of fabric, which is why this fabric scrap cloth napkin sewing pattern exists.
It’s not so much even scrap fabric. This was a project gone awry; pair of shorts for my daughter that didn’t fit when I made them. I immediately made another pair and threw the too-small ones back into my fabric stash, where they sat for years.
I used part of the fabric a while ago to make some handwarmers, but most of the shorts (minus the elastic) were still intact.
If you don’t have a pair of shorts that needs dismantling, you can do this with any fabric scraps that are big enough to make decent sized squares.
I call these snack napkins (snack-kins? snapkins? I’m sure there’s a cute name in there somewhere) or breakfast napkins because we tend to use these little cloth napkins for breakfast or snack time.
We have store-bought cloth napkins that are vastly larger that we use for lunch and dinner, but sometimes that much napkin feels excessive.
A friend calls these bar napkins because they can be similar in size to the little cocktail napkins you might get with a drink, but they can be any size. I do try to make them square, but they can be anywhere from 6 to 10 inches (or 15 to 25.5 cm) or even bigger depending on the size of your scraps and what you like.
I was able to get seven napkins of various sizes out of the fabric left from my shorts.
Preparing the Fabric
If you’re working with uncut and unused fabric scraps, you might not need to do anything more than iron your fabric and cut it into squares of the size you want.
I had to do some seam ripping and cutting down and squaring off, but it was pretty satisfying to reuse this fabric.
Once you have your squares, fold over a quarter inch/half a centimeter on each side and iron down.
The must-have tool for this is a hot ruler, which makes it so much easier because you can iron right over the ruler and ensure you’re getting a straight edge. (I’ve made cloth napkins like this before without this tool and it takes a lot more time.)
Fold over again and press again. You can use the ruler this time or just fold over the same amount. Add clips as needed to hold everything in place.
Fabric Scrap Cloth Napkin Sewing Pattern
Now that you’ve got the napkins prepared, let’s get sewing. I used black thread because I didn’t have any dark green. Use a straight stitch and start a little bit away from a corner since these corners are so thick.
When you get to a corner, stop a little ways from the edge and hand crank the needle until its in the down position.
Lift the presser foot and turn the napkin so the next side you need to sew is lined up with the needle.
Lower the presser foot and continue sewing.
Repeat this all the way around. I sewed a little past where I started instead of doing backward stitching at the beginning but you can do that if you’d rather.
Trim any excess thread.
Making fabric scrap cloth napkins is super satisfying because it allows you to use fabric you didn’t otherwise have a use for (you can also sew pieces together and make them into napkins if you want) and brings some color and homemade flair to your table.
Have you ever made fabric scrap cloth napkins? Or any other napkins? I’d love to hear about it!