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Super easy DIY frayed edge napkins – a fun beginner sewing project.
This week I took the plunge and bought a sewing machine.
I know, I know.
I always say how much I hate sewing. But there are a lot of projects I want to do that require a sewing machine, so when I saw that a small local sewing machine shop was having a huge sale, I decided to just bite the bullet and buy one.
(Shout out to the wonderful older gentleman who owned the store. He answered all of my stupid questions and told me hilarious stories about being a machine salesman in the 1980s.)
I should mention that this isn’t the first sewing machine I’ve ever owned. I once was the not-so-proud owner of a $100 machine that spent more time jamming than it did sewing (I swear that machine had it out for me). But it’s the first proper machine I’ve owned.
And oh boy. There are a lot of buttons and knobs and do-whats.
Now, I’m not a “read the instructions” kind of woman. I learn best by doing. So this week I decided to familiarise myself with this new machine of mine by sewing a few simple things. First up was these frayed edge napkins:
I sewed these frayed edge napkins to test out the zig zag stitch function on my machine. I’d never used the zig zag stitch before (sewing newb alert), but it was way less scary than I thought it would be. As a result, these napkins were super duper easy to sew, even for a beginner like me.
Now, if you’re willing to put your faith in a woman who bought a sewing machine this week, I’d like to show you how you can make your own DIY frayed edge napkins.
Quick and easy DIY frayed edge napkins
- Fabric square.
- I used painter’s drop cloth which I had pre-bleached and washed (see below).
- A sewing machine. I use a Janome DC2050, which is similar to this machine.
- A measuring tape, air-dry/water soluble marker, and fabric scissors.
Preparing the drop cloth (if applicable):
You can use the drop cloth straight out of the packet, but whenever I get a new drop cloth, I pre-emptively bleach and wash it so it’s nicer to work with.
If you would like to bleach your drop cloth before sewing your napkins, make sure you get a drop cloth that is 100% cotton. Some drop cloths are made with a cotton-polyester mix and won’t bleach properly. You can find 100% cotton drop cloths here on Amazon. I use method 1 in this post to bleach my drop cloths.
You can soften your drop cloth by washing it (with or without fabric softener) a few times. In between washes, I like to remove the drop cloth and scrunch it with my hands a bit, as I find this helps loosen the threads.
Cut out a 17″ x 17″ inch piece of fabric.
Set your sewing machine to sew a zig zag stitch. Here’s a picture of the settings on my sewing machine for reference.
Leaving a 1/2″ border, sew a zig-zag stitch around all four sides of your fabric square, as per the diagram below. This should take no more than a minute and a half.
Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. If you use the right colour thread, the stitch blends in to the fabric anyway.
Next, trim along the zig-zag stitch on all four sides, leaving about a 1/4″ overhang. This gives you another chance to hide any wonky sewing. Not that I would know anything about that.
Finally, create the frayed edge by using your finger to gently pick at the fabric until it frays. Keep going until you have frayed all four sides of your napkins.
And that’s it!
Fancy new napkins and I didn’t even blow anything up. I’m calling that a win.