Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Self Binding Napkin Tutorial

One of the suggested tutorials for the Table Top swap was for these lovely Linen Thanksgiving napkins at the Purl Bee.  I loved the look but wasn't up for the burned fingers I knew I'd end up with after all that folding.  Instead, I decided to make mine like a mini self binding blanket.  For more details on this technique check out this fabulous Magic Binding Blanket tutorial at Fabric, Family, Fun.  You can also check out my tips for sewing with linen before you get started.  Finished size 15 1/2".

For each napkin cut the following:

(1) 14" square of linen
(1) 18" square of printed fabric 

Seam allowance 1/4"

Fold each of your squares in to quarters to find the center points of each side.  Starting on 1 side with right sides together match the center points and pin.  Stitch along the side.  On the first side I don't bother starting 1/4" from the edge.  I stitch along the full length of the linen.

Repeat matching the center points and stitching for the remaining 3 sides leaving a small hole on the last side for turning.  I start sewing/stop directly at the previously sewn seam if there is one already.  Otherwise, I sew to the end of the linen.  You will get something lumpy looking like this where the excess fabric is puffed up in the corners.

Miter the corners by lining up the sewn seams of a corner and pressing it flat.  Place a line on your ruler on the folded edge and draw a line from the edge to the end of your sewn seam line.   Repeat on all 4 corners.

Sew along the drawn line and trim the corner for all 4 sides. 

Turn your napkin right side out through the hole you left.  Push out your corners with a chopstick and press your napkin flat.  Topstich along the inside edge of your printed fabric close to the seam line making sure you've closed the hole you left for turning.


  1. Thanks for posting - the miters are perfect. Question: where do you draw the line to sew on for the corners? Are you measuring or going up to where the linen is underneath the printed fabric? Thanks.

  2. Shut UP! This is so simple and perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Aimee, I mark my drawn line at the end of my stitching line making sure the ruler is lined up straight on the fold. The angle of the point between the folded line and the bottom edge of the fabric should be 45°.

  4. Cute idea, thanks for sharing!

  5. a great idea, thanks for sharing :)

  6. I love your simple tutorial, I've been meaning to make some napkins for ages and now have a glorious new set of 8, thanks so much!

  7. Adorei,muito bem ilustradinho. Obrigada.

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