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simple sewing :: super soaker napkins

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napkinsTOPWe’re well past the bib-wearing stage in our house, but at almost every single meal we have a spill that requires more than just one napkin. We’re also cloth napkin people, so requiring more than one napkin per person can add quite a bit to the laundry. So I decided to make my own super-absorbent napkins. My plan was to buy some cotton fabric and coordinating terry cloth, but I couldn’t find terry cloth to match the cotton print I’d chosen. But I really, really liked the pattern so I took a gamble and bought two yards of the cotton print at the fabric store and then headed to the department store next door. I was excited when I found towels to match and even more excited when I got to the checkout and found out I had points on my loyalty card. Two towels for only $3 total! Yes! From two yards of fabric and two towels I was able to make 18 12″x12″ napkins for about $14! And it was really simple.

Start by cutting out 18 12″x12″ squares from your cotton print fabric and 18 12″x12″ squares from your towel (or terry cloth fabric). Take one square of the cotton fabric and place the printed side (the ‘right’ side) on top of a square of terry cloth.
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Sew almost all the way around all 4 edges. Make sure you STOP before you sew up the entire last side. You’ll need space to turn the whole thing right-side-out! (I like to leave enough space for me to fit my hand in, but a smaller space will work as well. It just takes a little more patience.) Then pull the fabric through the hole so that the printed side of the fabric is now on the outside.
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Now you need to sew up the hole! Fold in a little bit of both fabrics towards each other and sew along the edge. You can stop once you’ve sewn up the hole, but I like to go all the way around the entire napkin. It gives it more of a finished look and makes it look less like a washcloth.
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You’re done! These are perfect for dinner with kids but they also make great replacements for paper towels if you’re trying to go paper-free. Or you can easily use them as dish cloths!

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  • Laurie
    February 1, 2014 at 10:59 am

    These look great! We have gone (mostly) paper-free in the kitchen too…I wish I could sew!