Since we just returned from our whirlwind trip to Texas and Tennessee, I haven't been too crafty in recent days. Instead, I thought I'd pull a project from my "archives" to share with you. This is a housewarming gift I made for our friend Steve last year: a set of placemats and napkins. It is such an easy project (all straight lines, my favorite!) and if you find some fun coordinating fabrics, it can turn out really cute.
Steve is a fan of all things tiki and kitshy (or almost). Searching for "tiki" and "hula" fabrics, I found this cool Alexander Henry print featuring hula girls and tropical images in a retro design. Perfect! I went shopping for a coordinating print with which to make napkins and found this teal and green print that reminded me of 60's mod designs. The colors perfectly coordinated with the tiki fabric, it was a go!
For the placemats, I simply measured some I had at home and cut the fabric to fit those measurements. I was a bit bummed that the amount of fabric I purchased did not give me the option to center the hula girls in the middle of each placemat. I can't remember if I got just 1 yard or 1.5 yard, but it was barely enough to make 6 placemats.
The placemats I own are 17.5 inches by 13 inches, which means you'd want to cut rectangles of fabric 18.5 inches by 14 inches and sew with a 1/2" allowance. I used a plain green fabric on the bottom of the placemats, and I believe I padded the whole thing with a layer of flannel re-purposed from thrifted sheets. My placemats were slightly smaller than the measurements I just mentioned due to the fabric shortage. I stitched all around with a 1/2 inch allowance, leaving a 3 inch gap to turn the placemats inside out. I clipped the corners before turning them out. I ironed them flat, hand-stitched the opening closed, then top-stitched with a contrasting green thread about 1 inch from the border all the way around.
For the napkins, I used the Fat Quarter Napkin pattern from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing book. Super easy, and pretty much the same process as with the placemats, except with a square instead of a rectangle. I really like how substantial the napkins are, they feel "fancy".
This is definitely a gift I will make again for a housewarming or a wedding. What do you think?
Love the patterns together! I have some fabric that would be perfect for napkins and placemats, I need to do this. For some reason I thought I needed a serger for the napkins?
Your photos in this post are amazing! Lovely. The light was coming in the windows just right.......