Over the past few weeks, sewers all over the U.S. raided their fabric stashes. They have been answering the call that begged for face masks. Although I hadn’t turned on my sewing machine in years, I was among those braving the depths of our fabric hoards. I found all kinds of cotton fabric that literally had me scratching my head. Obviously, I had bought this stuff, but had no idea what unfinished projects they were intended for. But, no matter, mask sewing commenced.
In going through all that fabric, aka random purchases, I found a bunch of flannel. This stuff I DO remember buying and why! WooHoo! Many moons (ok, probably almost a decade) ago, I had made a bunch of kitchen napkins. We still use these on a daily basis. They have become dinner napkins, counter scrubbers and dish washers. A napkin gets used and then tossed into whatever load of laundry is being done at the time. And let’s face it, I have three kids, so the washing machine is constantly getting a work-out.
Well, needless to say, napkins have been added to my now growing sewing pile. And what better way to celebrate Earth Day, but by making more from my already purchased materials. They are so super simple to make and the best part, is that if you goof, so what? Who is going to see them but your family who is just using them to clean something anyway. Think you don’t have any flannel to try making your own? You don’t have to run to the store, but look at the stuff you just purged from the closets. Flannel shirt no one wears, done. Flannel bed sheets that your son refuses to have on his bed because he gets too hot, you could get a bunch of napkins from those!
So, now that your ready to try, you are asking what to do. Here it goes:
- Wash everything. Just do it, then it is clean and if any shrinking is going to happen, better now than later.
- Bust out the iron and smooth out any major wrinkles. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but just enough that they aren’t going to effect any cutting or sewing later on.
- Start cutting. If you have a cutting mat, rotary cutter and yard stick, then you are a step ahead in the speed department. If you don’t, no worries, grab a sharp pair of scissors and start snipping. I typically measure 14-15” square pieces, but that is just a personal preference. I also have napkins that I had made for the kids or to use as dish rags that are much smaller. Again, the beauty is that there is no right or wrong.
- Now that you have your pieces, you need to create your hems. This usually requires an iron, ruler and pins. BUT if you don’t want to mess with that, an iron, a glue stick and a couple of eye balls can do the trick. Seriously, run the glue stick along the edge of the “wrong” side of the fabric, going in about 1/4 of an inch. Then fold the fabric over on itself. Do this on all four sides. (tip: gluing a few inches at a time and then running the hot iron over that works best). Then, repeat this process so that you don’t have any raw edges.
- It’s time to sew! Fire up that sewing machine, set the stitch for a straight line and give it a go. Remember!!! You don’t have to be perfect. Sew around all four sides. And done!
Honestly, if you do these in an assembly line fashion, they don’t take long at all to finish. I like to do about 4 at a time. This makes a great beginner project, as a matter of fact, I think the two oldest Punks learned to do these at a pretty young age.
What are you waiting for? Try it out for yourself and let me know if you have any questions.
Happy Earth Day!