Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bigfoot's Cryptid Cocktail Napkins, A Journey to Miterdom

I'm a sucker for cloth napkins. We use them every day and I am inordinately satisfied when I can use them for entertaining instead of throw away paper napkins. So, when Fizzy Party and TheMistressT (that's me) collaborated on styling the Bigfoot's Cryptid Cocktail Hour, I knew I wanted to make cloth napkins. Because of the woodsy theme, I feel that we'll get lots of opportunities to use these and I was able to find just over half of my materials in my stash which was even more satisfying.

Both faux bois patterns came from my stash as well as all the thread. The green is most of a fat quarter I picked up for this project. Total out-of-pocket, under $3.

A quick look at how to make mitered cornered cloth napkins (or any other rectangle*). Apologies on the lighting, it was getting dark as I was making these.

1. Cut your squares**.
I looked up the standard size of a cocktail napkin and found 6". Well, my scraps weren't quite big enough for that, so my finished size is about 5.5" square. The seam allowance is about 1" on all sides, so I cut my squares at about 7.5" x 7.5".

2. Mark your hem on all sides using a disappearing or wash-away marker or pencil; I did 1".

3. Press a 1/4" hem all around and then press along your 1" mark all around. I took extra time and steam on the corners where the layers of fabric were building up. Then open the 1"hem leaving the 1/4" hem pressed down.

4. Fold and press all corners in to form a 45 degree angle where the 1" hem creases meet, then open them.

5. Fold the napkin diagonally, right sides together, matching up the 45 degree crease you just pressed. Pin all 4 corners. Then sew along those 45 degree creases.

6. Cut the corner hems at about 1/4" and finger press open. Cut ends to points to reduce bulk.

7. Turn all the hems so wrong sides are together, pin and sew close to the inside edge.

8. Admire all those lovely miters!

9. Pour yourself a cocktail (or mocktail); you deserve it!

Mostly I added this photo as an excuse to show off another of my woodsy-themed vintage trays that we didn't end up using in the party shoot and as an opportunity to link to the prior post about the etched rocks glasses

*Putting basic geometry class to use in everyday life: a square is a rectangle; it's an equilateral rectangle. Or at least that's how I remember it.

**Obviously, you can adjust all the measurements to suit your size of napkin or other rectangle. I think that a nice wide hem on a large dinner napkin would look very luxurious and add a nice heft, but that means using quite a bit more fabric.


  1. I always think I want to use cloth napkins...then don't. I have some just never think to use them. I really should though. It is quite wasteful to use paper. Miters scare me though! I'm not that great of a sewer, but maybe I will give these a try some time.

    1. Because I have never had any more than 2 adults to do laundry for, cloth napkins were always just an easy thing. Also, I don't care if they're wrinkly, so I don't iron them most of the time. If you want to make napkins the easiest way (w/o a serger) I like doing them two sided: just sew them wrong sides together, turn, and top stitch to close the opening and give them a finished look!


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