Cloth Napkins: A Beginner’s Sewing Project
I think everyone can agree that these past few months of the pandemic has given us a lot of time to think. Whether thinking about if we’ll ever get to go on vacation again or thinking about what things in our lives matter the most, spending my days inside has given me time to consider how I can be more intentional in my life. It’s also given me time to pick up a new craft: sewing. Specifically, sewing cloth napkins.
Though I took sewing in high school, I thought of it as an outdated art. Why sew when I could buy? In the time of fast fashion, kitchen, and dining products, I once thought that I’d find more joy in a trip to Forever 21 or Home Goods than making anything on my own. Over these past few months, I’ve completely changed my interest in buying and instead discovered a desire to make. I have since picked up a needle and thread (and a pair of sewing scissors, to cut up one of those fast fashion dresses).
This inspiration was sparked from my hope to live a waste-minimum lifestyle with the lack of availability to buy paper products. It only took a few meals after not being able to find paper napkins at any grocery store for me to realize that, if we are to live in this new world that lacks availability to these things, I must adapt.
I first ordered the most basic sewing kit I could find. While waiting for it to be delivered, I decluttered my closet. Amongst the excess, I found a dress that I thought would make the perfect cloth napkins—and it did.
Once my sewing kit arrived, I cut the dress into five squares. I sewed the scraps together then hemmed the edges of all of the cloth squares. After a wash and a quick iron, 6 of the 9 napkins held together—fortunately I’m working on giving myself grace and wasn’t too upset about this. I’ve learned many lessons from my new project, such as to use quality fabrics, tools to help me, and maybe I should follow a tutorial next time. But something that will not change as I take on my next project is that I will continue to make with intention.
My partner and I have been using our cloth napkins for about a week now. We each use one for breakfast, lunch, and dinner then wash them in a garment bag with a load of like colors. We expect to save about $50 a year on paper napkins and don’t feel too bad about using resources to wash since we will throw them in with along with a batch of laundry.
The imperfections of my cloth napkins remind me daily that we are all learning how to live in this new world right now. Though mistakes will happen, as long as we are doing with intention, we at Lost Creative Fabrics believe that it is better to do than to do nothing at all.