Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Give Life To Outgrown Clothes ~ Make Your Own Cloth Napkins

sewing napkins

I'm slowly phasing out all of the paper towels and napkins out of our home, replacing them with cloth napkins and the stash of flannel in my sewing cupboard is finally getting put to good use making lovely soft napkins that the kids love to use :)

sewing napkins

But I started thinking about what else I could find around the house to reuse and give new life to in the form of napkins. With three kids growing like weeds there's never a shortage of to tight pajamas or ones that accidentally got snagged on something and blew out a knee *grin*. So instead of throwing them in the rag bag I dug them out, washed them all up and headed to the cutting table.

sewing napkins

By snipping off the waistbands and cuffs and cutting out all of the seams I was left with 4 panels. Slightly odd in shape but very usable!

sewing napkins

With my rotary cutter & ruler I trimmed them up so that they had nice straight edges. A few of them had ripped knees so I had to trim them a little shorter but out of my 4 year olds pj's I was able to get a good sized 6 x 13 inch rectangle out of most of the flannel panels.

I don't get to use my serger very often so I was excited to be able to stitch, trim & hem all of the sides in seconds *grin*. Boy does that thing zip along! And it just happened that Sew Mama Sew blogged about making napkins using a rolled hem stitch with a serger so I got to brush up on my technique with her handy tutorial :)

sewing napkins

The only drawback to using my serger is those darn thread tails that it leaves behind. A quick fix is to either trim off those tails and dab fray stop or another liquid sewing glue on the corners to hold the threads together permanently or sew them in like I did in the above photo.

I thought that since they are going to get a lot washing with all of the dirty hand wiping that I'd make sure they were never going to come undone. So I took an embroidery thread with a large eye and threaded the tail through the end and then ran it back through about an inch of stitches :)

I love it! New life to old pajamas keeping them out of the landfill and those favorite pj's that your kid insisted on wearing every night to bed because he loved them sooo much are back *grin*.

Have fun reusing something out of your outgrown stash of clothes :)

~ Rosina


Molytail said...

What a fantastic idea! Those are really cute - and a good way of re-using the old pjs!

Melissa said...

My first project when I got my serger last year was napkins from the hubby's old dress shirts. It really is a great way to re-use old fabric items! Great tute! I bet the little ones love seeing their favorite characters as napkins too?

Jennifer Hoots said...

Very creative. I am getting closer to sewing. I am giving my sewing machine to my mom. That does sound odd, but let me explain. She used to sew, but doesn't have a machine. I want her to teach Grace & me, and she wants my machine to refresh her memory. I think it will work out better if she has custody of it. I don't live far and we can come often for lessons. And she can sew things for herself as well in between lessons.

Brass Paperclip said...

Great idea! We need some new napkins, so I'll have to take a peek around the house and see if there's anything I can use. Thanks for sharing!

Emmanuelle said...

This is a great idea and a great post!

Sinclair said...

That is a great idea! I have been repurposing outgrown clothes lately as well. My daughter hates to wear dresses as a rule, but she doesn't mind t-shirt dresses, so we had a few of those. She had grown so tall that the top parts didn't fit anymore. (they are size 4 and 5, and she is now a size 6)

So, I cut off the top part just below the sleeves and have made play skirts. She loves them, and can wear them over stretch pants or leggings as play skirts. Here is one of them: http://naturewithme.blogspot.com/search?q=play+skirt

I am next going to try your napkin idea because there are plenty of pants that need a new life also!

Twiggles and Trunks said...

this just sealed the deal for me. i.need.a.serger.

great post. cute napkins!

Elisa said...

Hey there! I've been wanting to make cloth diapers for FOREVER. But I sometimes procrastinate with bad little excuses like: "I don't know which fabric to use...", but now I have a good idea. I love it. I'm going to have to get on it ASAP. We are using kitchen towels..but they're way too big. I don't have a serger, but zigzag should do just fine. Thanks!! Your blog is great, I'll be peeking in often.

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