Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Napkins – Part 2– Cutting out Napkins

This is Part 2 – Napkins - Part 1 was posted last month. I actually call them lapkins as they will cover your entire lap.


For a lapkin you will use 1/2 of the width of a piece of fabric cut off of the bolt. This will vary slightly, but the average is approximately 22”. Purchase 5/8’ for every two lapkins. Although most of my dinner parties are for six, I always make enough for eight guests. So I purchase 2 1/2 yards.

The extra two can be used for a bread basket, under the centerpiece or tied around the water pitcher to catch condensation.

I used one under the centerpiece for my Oh Canada tablescape.


I do not prewash my fabric before cutting. I like the hand of the fabric off of the bolt. 
I will also starch my fabric with Mary Ellen’s Best Press before cutting. This is not your Grandmother’s starch. It comes in a multitude of lovely scents or unscented, and does not leave any white chalky residue on the item being ironed. My favorite scent is Caribbean Beach.


To get a good straight of grain hold the fabric up and shift the selvedges back and forth until there is no bias showing. Lay the fabric on the ironing board and press along the fold, Best Pressing as you go. I like the  crispness you get and it gives the blade a good finish for trimming.

I double my fabric so I am cutting four lapkins at a time. Place the fabric on the cutting mat with the folded edge next to your body. This way when you cut away from yourself, you are cutting towards an opening. Don’t worry about laying your fabric along a line on the mat.

First square up your cutting edge. Lay a triangle bottom on the folded edge .


Slide a 24” long ruler so it sits snug against the triangle. You can see in the photo below that the fabric under the 24” ruler isn’t straight. After trimming you will have a nice square corner.


Move the triangle out of the way and make the cut. When you are done cutting --- CLOSE the cutter.


Measure the width of your folded fabric to determine the usable width. Be sure to subtract the unusable selvedge edge. Some selvedges have holes in where the fabric was held while running through the presses.  You really don’t want to see those when you are all done.

A close up of the holes.


Then using multiple rulers or a large square ruler if you have one, cut a 21 1/2” (insert your measurement here) strip.


Carefully turn the fabric so as not to misalign your edges.


Trim off selvedges using the triangle  and 24” ruler once more.


If need be use two or more rulers to get the desired size. Trim the folded edge last and you are ready to serge the edges.


In Napkins – Part 3 I  will show you how I set up my Bernina 1150 MDA for a great finished rolled hem.

Stitch at you Soon, Dawna

Linking to Stone Gable - Tutorials,Tips & Tidbits

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tutorial, Dawna! I love those reticulated plates!...Christine


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