four cloth napkins in differnt coulours on wooden background

Cloth napkins

Dressing a table with cloth napkins brings a high-end, opulent feel to any meal. Washable and reusable, they’re also super sustainable.

We’ve designed this napkin sewing project to be double-sided. Two layers of fabric is much more luxurious. Two differently coloured sides means they’re more hardwearing, and more versatile.

To add to the lavish feel of these napkins we’ve trimmed them with some glitzy metallic thread stitching.

Want to dress your festive table to impress this year? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with matching napkin holders, quilted table runner, mini treat pouches and hanging star ornaments.

Materials needed

  • Two pieces of 50 x 50cm fabric in two colours for each napkin - we chose four colours from our Festive Brights palette and backed them with white and gold prints*
  • Sewing thread in neutral colour
  • Metallic threads of your choice for topstitching – we used Madeira.
    * if you’re following our Festive Brights colour scheme you can download the list of fabrics and threads used here.

Equipment needed

  • Sewing machine
  • Sharp scissors
  • Rotary cutter
  • Cutting mat
  • Quilter’s ruler (or other ruler)
  • Point turner – or you can improvise with a crochet hook, knitting needle etc
  • Metallic needle for your sewing machine
  • Iron finger or small seam roll (optional)
  • Iron
  • Hand sewing needle

Step 1

Wash and press your fabrics.

Tip: pre-washing fabrics (if you can) is an important step in any project. Pre-washing means your fabric won’t warp when you first wash your project after you have made it.

Step 2

Trim your fabrics to 50 x 50cm, making sure the corners are exactly square. You will need two 50 x 50cm pieces of fabric for each napkin. Using a rotary cutter, cutting mat and quilter’s ruler will help you get this right. 

Step 3

Lay the two layers of your napkin right sides facing, and sew all around, leaving a gap of about 20cm on one side. 

Step 4

Clip corners to reduce bulk. Be careful not to cut through your stitches.

Step 5

Press all the seams open.

Tip: using an Iron Finger or small seam roll will make this much easier and neater. Insert the Iron Finger between the layers, pull the seam over the finger and press open using the tip of the iron.

Step 6

Turn out, carefully easing the corners out with a point turner, or whatever you are using in its place.

Step 7

Hand sew the 20cm opening closed.

Step 8

Press well and make sure the edges are well aligned. You don’t want fabric from one side showing on the other.

Tip: if you have small ‘quilting’ iron, you may find it easier to use this for getting the edges perfect.

Step 9

Topstitch with a decorative thread.

two small upcycled blue denim pocket bags on white background

Another way to make these napkins feel very high-end is to use one of the decorative stitches on your sewing machine instead of a straight topstitch. You could even make your own stitch design if your machine has the My Custom StitchTM feature.

Tip: when sewing decorative stitches, it can be difficult to get a neat corner. Instead of trying to get your pattern to match in the corners, just sew right to the end of the napkin and reinforce/backstitch. Start the next side just on the edge of the napkin, reinforce and sew the rest of that side. You can leave long tails of thread, tie them and bury them using a hand sewing needle for an extra neat finish.


We can’t wait to see what you make! Remember to tag in Brother on Instagram and Facebook so we can share your makes and inspire others.


Sewn by Sue Williams, Contributor at Handzon

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