"Then she spread a very clean white table-cloth, and set out her best china tea-set, which she took out of a wall-cupboard near the fireplace. The tea-cups were white with a pattern of pink roses; and the dinner-plates were white and blue."
~ Beatrix Potter, The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan
It is confession time... You see dear reader, Ribby and I have something in common! We are not very good nor very patient seamstresses. Yet she still needs the proper pieces to set a pretty tea table (and so do I for that matter)! She was after all, a respectable and feminine sort of feline! When she prepares a sewing project, it is always very simple (some samples are here). No measuring and no fuss is her mantra. And thus, we are brought to our tutorial today for an easy set of "shabby cottage style" tea napkins using a farmhouse classic -- flour sack towels!
Simple Supply List:
- flour sack towels (1 towel will make 4 tea napkins) (make sure they are square shaped)
- lace (or other decorative edging such as ribbon, rick-rack, etc., mine came from grandmother)
- sewing pins
- sewing machine (or needle and thread)
Simple Step-by-Step Directions:
1. Fold flour sack towel in half. Snip at the half-way point.
2. Tear towel in half using the snip you made. Fold the remaining two pieces in half. Snip at half-way point and tear towel in half one more time.
3. You should now have four square pieces of the same size.
4. Fold fabric down on the two raw sides (the same width as your lace) and press down with iron. Real seamstresses would miter the corners but we have already established that this isn't the case with Ribby and I. Do as you choose she says.
5. Fold the hems you made one more time over and iron down once again. Pin in place.
6. Place the lace along one side of the napkin and snip to size (making sure to allow a quarter-inch or so overage on each side). Tuck the lace into the hem or fold under itself to finish it neatly. Pin lace in place.
7. Sew the lace and the remaining hem down at the edges. I sewed down two lines on each side to keep it in place using a jagged-like design.
8. Your napkin is finished! Just iron it for a final touch if you like.
What makes this little sewing project easy is that you don't need to measure. It is an "eye-ball it" project which allows for a few little flaws under the name of "shabby". Also, there are only two sides to hem on each napkin which is a time-saver.
I really like the look of the flour sack towels. To me, they have a sort of shabby chic feeling to them. After the wash when they are a bit crumpled, it will just add to the style.
Another nice feature to Ribby's tutorial is that 3 flour sack towels will make a dozen napkins. That isn't too "shabby" either...
Thank you for taking the time to call! Other posts shared thus far in the "patty-pan" spring series include a printable coloring book, printable gift tags, printable recipe sheets, a pie and the patty-pan pantry pie crust mix kit and quaint cottage homemaking musings and music. Have a lovely weekend!
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