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!


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!

I keep my [felt] hearts on a string

With my new sewing machine, I’ve been waiting for something to inspire me. Playing around, I sewed together a heart, and the idea hit me – hearts of a string.

With 2 squares of off-white felt, quilt backing, gold thread and grey yarn, I made this project in about an hour.

I liked this project because it doesn’t have to be perfect. My first heart was far from having an even seam, so I sewed another stitch and the imperfectness made it look really cute!

I’m thinking with some pink and red felt, this project will make the perfect Valentine’s Day decor!

(And shout out to the birthday girl and my friend who received these hearts – Carmen! It’s just a small token of how much your friendship means to me.)