accessories, sewing

Gifts to Sew: Cloth Napkins Tutorial {Blog Tour}


It’s Ti’s birthday today (Happy Birthday Ti!), so we’re celebrating with the “Gifts to Sew” Blog Tour this week!

My initial plan for this tour was to make some American Girl Doll clothes but time got away from me, so I decided to share a tutorial for making cloth napkins (serviettes) instead. Cloth napkins make great gifts and are so easy to make!

A few years ago I got sick of buying the huge Costco sized pack of napkins and decided to use up some of my quilting cotton stash to make my own. These days, the only time I pull out our paper ones is when we have more guests than clean napkins – and the paper napkins that we DO have are remnants from the last batch we got at Costco before making the switch – which must have been at least 4 years ago!

My husband and I are both pretty handy – he’s an amazing woodworker – so there are times when we have nixed the wedding registry and together made gifts for our friends’ weddings (usually a wooden chopping board and a set of napkins and/or placemats).

The Ingredients:

To make these napkins, you’ll need –

(*contains affiliate links)

  • A serger with 3 cones of thread (I love the Juki 654DE*)
  • Quilting Cotton (Quilt shop quality is best, but you can use any kind that you like. To make 8 fat quarter sized napkins, you’ll need 2 yards. If you’re OK with smaller napkins, you can squeeze 6 out of a yard instead). You can also use pre-cut “fat quarters”.
  • Quilting ruler, cutting mat, rotary cutter*
  • Fray Check*


Since people learn in different ways, I’ve put together a photo tutorial and a video. The video is a little over 8 minutes – I’m a much better photographer than I am videographer so apologies in advance for my arm blocking some of the shots! 😂😂

  1. Iron your fabric. Remove selvedge and measure the length and width of the fabric. If using yardage, divide evenly and cut with ruler and rotary cutter. You may want to fold your fabric in half and cut evenly over two layers so that everything fits on your cutting mat. Mine measured approximately 13″ x 14″.
  2. Set up your serger for rolled hem. On my Juki I use the following settings:
    • right needle (remove and unthread left needle)
    • needle tension: 4
    • Upper looper tension: 4
    • Lower looper tension: 9
    • Stitch finger – off
    • Stitch length: 1
    • Differential feed: N
  3. Test to make sure the stitch looks good, then start stitching the edge of the napkins. Serge close to the edge, cutting just a scant amount so you’re not wasting fabric.
  4. Once you are close to the end of the first side, use your hand wheel to get the needle to the very end of the fabric. Then lift your presser foot, tug gently and turn on a 45 degree angle. Put your presser foot back down, make sure your needle is right at the edge and continue stitching.
  5. Once you get to the end of the 4th edge, lift the presser foot and turn the fabric upside down and angled so that just the corner is underneath the needle. Stitch JUST the corner. None of your fabric should be anywhere near the blade.
  6. Stitch off the edge of the fabric, and clip.
  7. Use fray check on the clipped end to ensure nothing comes undone.



Need more inspiration? Visit each of these blogs for more gift ideas!

Sunday, April 22nd: Sewing By Ti (intro), With Love In Every Stitch, Sewing With D

23rd: Stitched By Jennie, Tales from a Southern Mom, Aurora Design Fabrics

24th: Sewjourns, Big Fly Notions, Sewing Blue, JOT Designs USA

25th: Sewing By Ti, Auschick Sews, Hazelnut Handmade

26th: Sewing With D, EYMM, Middle River Studio, Aurora Design Fabrics

27th: Our Play Palace, My Sewing Roots, Make it Sew with the Bear and Pea, Seams Sew Lo


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