DIY: Cloth Napkins

What’s fancier than having a cloth napkin? Think about it, have you ever been to a nice restaurant that sets the table with paper napkins and plastic silverware? No, of course not. So I have decided that even though the college lifestyle has been defined by paper plates and plastic cups in the past, we are a generation with more of a refined taste. (Or we should try to be at least).

On a college budget, purchasing these napkins could be a little pricing (depending on where you go), so of course, I highly suggest the option of making them for yourself.

I chose to make 16″ squares for my napkins, so with the patterned fabric, I measured and cut a 17″ square. Then with the solid fabric, I measured and cut a 16″ square. I laid out the two fabrics with the patterned side on the bottom and wrong sides together.

I then took an iron and pressed up the sides of the patterned fabric, pinning the fabric in place for the moment.

Once sitting down at the sewing machine, I folded the edge under again so the frayed edges was not visible. Then I simply straight stitched the edge.

It’s as simple as that. Now nothing is stopping you from living a life free of paper napkins and plastic forks!

Note: I used 1.5 yards of each fabric to create 5 napkins.


DIY: Apron

Sewing project #2 – The Apron

My grandmother told me that the first thing she ever made on her sewing machine was an apron, and fully appreciating her wisdom and experience, I decided to give it a shot after finishing the skirt (plus I had a friend who loves aprons and had a birthday coming up – win, win!).

So I gathered supplies and went to work. And let me tell you, if you need a confidence booster in your sewing skills, aprons are the way to go. Following the pattern was stress-free. I mean, it’s an apron, it would be pretty hard to not make it fit.

A technique I picked up during the experience was gathering. It was the first time I really played around with the settings on my sewing machine (remember this is only my second major project). I basically set the stitch length as long as it would allow and then I decreased the tension by 1. Once sewn, I carefully pulled on one of the strings until the whole line looked “gathered.”

The only issue I had was with the fabric. In the fabric store, my parents and I went back and forth about what color the dot was in the blue, patterned fabric. We decided it looked orange, and I purchased the orange fabric to compliment it. The problem was I came home and under natural light the dot was definitely red. I freaked out for maybe a minute, but then I just had to let it all go. I had already bought the fabric, and there was no turning back. So I continued on, and now with the finished product, the orange fabric makes the dots look more orange.

Oh and did I mentioned I sewed in a pocket, plus I lined it – for the win!


Painting Butterflies on a Window

The weather is making me dream of warmer days, so today I decided to pull something out of my craft vault. This summer, everyday on the way to work I passed Dave’s Goody Barn (pause for the weirdness of the name), a place that sells used construction materials as well as a bunch of random, cheap stuff. One day I decided to stop by and look around, and I came home with two old windows.

And with butterflies on my mind, the one window became my canvas!

I Made a Skirt!

Guess who can make her own clothes? That’s right, this girl! But after  2 days of sewing, I’m pretty solid in the thinking that I will continue to buy my clothes from here on out.

Don’t get me wrong, I am super pumped that I made a skirt for myself, but the facts are that (1) it’s not perfect like something you would buy at a store and (2) it was a pretty frustrating endeavor to undertake.

My biggest issue was all the instructions. They were confusing and I had to look up several terms online, and even then I was still confused. Thank the Lord for the Internet, though. I would not have been able to install a zipper without this website and its pictures

I used the pattern: Simplicity 2410 (Simplicity being the company's name).

And my work is not technically done. This morning, as I pulled on the finished garment, I couldn’t help but notice that it’s probably 2 sizes too big. So I’ll be exploring the art of alterations tomorrow, but oh well, I rather it be too big than too small.

Overall, the experience was pretty good. And if you’ve never tried sewing together a clothing pattern, I definitely think you should try it at least once. (I’m hoping that like most things, it simply gets easier with experience.) And as the over-achiever that I am, I’ve already picked out another pattern to sew… hopefully it will be as easy as the lady at JoAnn Fabrics advertised it as!