How To Sew Rolled Hem Napkins

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We have a fun new sewing tutorial for you! Today on Happiest Camper, we show you How To Sew Rolled Hem Napkins! Cut back on the paper waste in your home with these beautiful fabric napkins. The rolled hem gives them an elegant aesthetic. If you don’t know, a rolled hem is a way to finish a fabric edge so that all of the seam allowances inside the hem. This technique is great for finishing super thin and light fabrics as well. The hem can get too bulky if you use heavier fabric so just be aware. The rolled hem lets you hide the fraying edges of your fabric while having only one stitch going down the face of your fabric. I wanted some napkins to host a nice dinner with my parents and these are perfect. You can make these for so much cheaper than you can purchase in a store. If you need custom napkins for an event, these should be your go-to DIY napkins. The rolled hem is a more involved process, so estimate around 20 minutes or so per napkin. I love how these turned out and will be making several of these in the coming weeks so I can have three full sets of different cloth napkins.

rolled hem napkins top photo

So, break out the ironing board, the sewing machine, and pick out your fabric. I went this this fun print fabric, but you could use some solid color fabric. I recommend making a few different sets that will coordinate with the decor you already have. You’ll need a few other basic supplies, so just gather up what you need from the list below and let’s get started on this fun sewing tutorial!

How To Sew Rolled Hem Napkins

What You’ll Need:

How To Sew Rolled Hem Napkins

cut out fabric for rolled hem napkins

Start this how to sew rolled hem napkins tutorial by washing, drying, and pressing your fabric. This process acts as a preshrink for your fabric so that your stitches don’t pull out the first time you wash your napkins. Pressing the fabric helps up get clean, crisp cuts. Once you have done that, cut the fabric into 18” squares. We will start on one side of the square and move to the opposite side next. We will also work on the “wrong” side of the fabric for this project. After those two sides are complete, we will complete the remaining opposite (and parallel) sides. Start hemming!

use tape to make a straightedge

We will be stitching straight lines for these napkins, so you’ll need to make yourself a guide. Some machines have attachments to use as guides, but mine doesn’t. I found my ¼” mark on the sewing plate and used a simple piece of masking tape to make a straight-line guide.

sew along one side of your napkin

It’s time to sew our first stitches on this rolled napkin tutorial. Stitch a straight line ¼” from the raw edge along one side of the square.

use a hem gauge to fold over fabric.

Next on this how to sew rolled hem napkins tutorial, go to your ironing board (there will be a TON of back and forth!) and fold your edge over just past your stitched line. A helpful tip I’ll mention is to use a piece of cardstock as a straight edge guide for pressing! Also, a hem gauge is very helpful if you’re trying to achieve a specific measurement as you can see from the photo. Press your hem so you have a crisp edge line. If you press well, you won’t even need pins! The hems will be too small to fit one in any way.

Go back to the sewing machine and stitch this hem down. Your sewing should be very close to your previously sewn line, if not right on top of it.

Using fabric scissors, carefully snip off the remaining raw edge of your folded and sewn hem. Take your time here so you don’t accidentally cut into your stitching. We are about halfway through this how to sew rolled hem napkins tutorial!

Back to the ironing board! Fold your hem over one more time just far enough to have your stitched edge be on the underside of the fabric – we will be encasing the raw edge now – and press again. The cardstock will come in handy here as well to have something to press against.

Now go back to the sewing machine…Stitch close to your previous stitches to secure your hem.

Repeat these steps again for the opposite side of the square.

Now on this how to sew rolled hem napkins tutorial, after those two sides are complete, we will complete the remaining opposite (and parallel) sides. Be careful when stitching across the bulky corners. You may need to hand-crank your machine and guide the fabric through the presser foot and feed dogs a little more forcefully than usual. It will also be helpful to trim off a tiny bit of the corners when folding over the hems. This will create less bulk and make it easier to sew over the corners. (see photo!)

finished rolled hem napkins

Repeat this process for however many napkins you desire! This process works very well to hem the bottom of skirts or dresses, as well as to hem more “slippery” type fabrics such as satin. 

Easy Sew Rolled Hem Napkins

If you liked learning how to sew rolled hem napkins, make sure to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board or share it with friends on social media. If you decide to make this simple project on your own, make certain that you take a picture afterward and tag us on social media as we love seeing the fabrics and color choices that people use!

Yield: 1

How To Sew Rolled Hem Napkins

Rolled Hem Napkins Create Card

Make your own rolled hem napkins with this easy tutorial. Just toss them in the washer when they get dirty and they'll be good as new!

Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $1.50

Instructions

  1. Wash, dry, and iron fabric. It helps to start with a clean slate!
  2. Cut the fabric into 18” squares.
  3. Start on one side of the square and move to the opposite side next. We will also work on the “wrong” side of the fabric for this project. . Start hemming!
  4. We will be stitching straight lines for these napkins, so you’ll need to make yourself a guide. Some machines have attachments to use as guides, but mine doesn’t. I found my ¼” mark on the sewing plate and used a simple piece of masking tape to make a straight-line guide.
  5. Stitch a straight line ¼” from the raw edge along one side of the square.
  6. Go to your ironing board (there will be a TON of back and forth!) and fold your edge over just past your stitched line.
  7. Go back to the sewing machine and stitch this hem down. Your sewing should be very close to your previously sewn line, if not right on top of it.
  8. Using fabric scissors, carefully snip off the remaining raw edge of your folded and sewn hem.
  9. Fold your hem over one more time just far enough to have your stitched edge be on the underside of the fabric – we will be encasing the raw edge now – and press again.
  10. Stitch close to your previous stitches to secure your hem.
  11. Repeat steps again for the opposite side of the square. After those two sides are complete, we will complete the remaining opposite (and parallel) sides
  12. Trim off a tiny bit of the corners when folding over the hems. 
  13. Repeat this process for however many napkins you desire!

Notes

Be careful when stitching across the bulky corners. You may need to hand-crank your machine and guide the fabric through the presser foot and feed dogs a little more forcefully than usual.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of pressing well. If you press well, you won’t even need pins! (the hems will be too small to fit one in any way)

This process works very well to hem the bottom of skirts or dresses, as well as to hem more “slippery” type fabrics such as satin. 

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1 thought on “How To Sew Rolled Hem Napkins”

  1. I have made these with Christmas fabric, in different patterns, so everyone can have their own for the whole day (thus saving on washing) making certain that there are plenty of spares in case of spills. I will be making another set in Easter fabric ready for the next large family get-together.
    The grandchildren took theirs home, so I thought that named ones might be an idea for the future.

    Reply

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