Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shabby Chic Napkins

I have loved Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic style since she published her first book.  One of the things she had in her books I have had my eye on for years.  She has shabby white linen napkins with a ruffle, so pretty, so informal, but yet formal.  I just love the style. 
1 and 1/2 yd of white linen or linen look fabric
white thread
fabric marking pencil
8 and 1/2 yd of 3/8" white satin ribbon 

Click on any picture to enlarge.
I finally got to a sale at the fabric store and got the linen to make these napkins.  Now I will show you how.
I believe the standard dinner napkin is a 21 inch square.  I laid my linen out and cut a 20 inch square.  The ruffle will be the extra inch all around. 

Next, I laid out the linen and marked off 2 and 1/2 inch strips with a fabric marking pencil.   The linen was 54 inches wide; and marking and cutting these strips on the width, you will need 2 strips per napkin.

After cutting the napkin and the strips out, take the strips and fold them in half and iron.  This will be your ruffles.

 Next, you will take the strips and sew a basting stitch on the unfolded edge about a 1/4 from the edge.
You will next pull your basting strings and make the ruffle.

You then pin the the ruffle to the napkin square so as when you turn the ruffle out it will hide the seam.

 When you get to the end of the ruffle you will sew the next strip to it.
I sewed the two ruffle pieces together and then made basting stitches up to the seam.  I don't have a great basting stitch on this machine so I make several basting stitches all around the ruffle and then gather them up as even as I can.

I then have the entire ruffle pinned all around the napkin. The end edges will meet up at one corner as shown above.

I then sew those two ruffle ends together and trim the seam. Pin it in place and you are ready to sew the ruffle in place.

Sewing ruffle in place.

The pressure foot is my guide to how big I make this ruffle seam.  I sew with the pressure foot right on the edge of the ruffle for a uniform finish.

When you turn the corners just follow edge of ruffle.  Go back later and trim this square corner off.

Trim off threads.  Turn ruffle out and press.

Now, turn your napkin back over to the exposed seam on the underneath side and pin your 3/8" ribbon to cover the seam and sew in place.

Sew the other side of the ribbon in place and the napkin looks as good on the front as it does on the back.

 You are now ready to have a shabby style table.  I have seen 4 of these napkins for sale for $80 and with some work at the sewing machine you can have your shabby napkins for a fraction of that cost.  Mine were just the cost of the fabric $6, the ribbon $2, and my time.
I am linking this up to Kathleen's Faded Charm Cottage for White Wednesday, Jen's The Thrifty Home for her Penny Pinching Party, and for Blue Cricket Design's Show and Tell Wednesday.


Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Sherry, Thank you for this wonderful tutorial. I posted how to make mitered cornered napkins just a week and a half ago.
Yours are so pretty and feminine. I'll make these. I'm thinking they would look lovely for a tea party. Could you see them in yellow or pink linen?
Very well done instructions. Fabulous post!

Vintage Market Place said...

They turned out so pretty, I love them
I wish I still had time to sit and sew.
I miss it, I would make those in a heartbeat.

oldgreymare said...

Great tutorial!

Fresh air post for WW. Thank you!


Miss Gracie's House said...

Those ruffles are really *in*...great job...maybe I'll dig out my sewing machine:)
Happy WW!

Amy Kinser said...

Those napkins are lovely. What a great job you did on them and a great tutorial on how to make them. Now if I could only sew...

EnchantedBella said...

Very cute, I would love to learn to sew one day. I think you could make such lovely things when you can sew. Happy WW


Marianne said...

They look really great. Have fun having dinner with these!

Victoria said...

You are wonderfully talented! beautiful work!
Happy WW!

Jeannie B. said...

So pretty!

Nice and Easy Antiques said...

Thank you for the tut! I must try this...I love your ruffles!

Ticking and Toile said...

Very cute! Wow I want to make those right now! Just found your blog & I'm excited to look around and see what other fun stuff you're up too!


Faded Charm said...

Beautiful napkins. I love the style. Thanks for joining in today.

Happy WW.


VA Boutique said...

Oh my goodness these are adorable, so pretty.

BGndr said...

Adorable! Wish I could sew!

Unknown said...

These are lovely...I must make some soon!

bj said...

O girl...these are awesome. i love them and could NEVER, in a million years, make them.
xo bj

Sandi said...

Very nice job on the napkins!! I need to sew more too! Happy WW!!

Frugal Home Designs said...

Those are very pretty. Good job. Thanks for the tutorial.

Jen said...

Those are beautiful and I love that plate.

Meadowsweet Cottage said...

The ribbon is an easy and lovely way to finish off the raw seams--great job!

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Gorgeous job!


Wendy said...

Oh my gosh! These are fabulous! Going to have to give this a try! Thanks for all the great posts. I have been having so much fun reading through them! Happy to become a follower and added your button to my page! Have a great weekend :)