Tutorial on How to Sew a Table Runner and Napkins Using Mitered Corners
I am beyond excited for this week’s tutorial because it gives me all the fall feels! I teamed up with Joanna from JMS Entertaining to create a stunning fall tablescape which is perfect for Thanksgiving! We went with an olive green, gold and white theme for this fall inspired tablescape and I could not be more in love! With my handmade table runner and napkins and Joanna’s decor and entertaining genius, this tablescape came together seamlessly. The olive green just gives such warmth to the table and really makes all the white and gold accents pop!
The DIY elements gives a special touch and what better way to choose a personalized colour scheme than to sew these a matching table runner and napkin set yourself. The tutorial on how to make the runner and napkins can be found at the end. Head on over to JMS Entertaining next Monday to find out where all the accessories and table decor can be purchased for your own fall entertaining!
Thanksgiving and Fall Decor
How is it already Thanksgiving? Well here in Canada, it happens to be next week which is earlier than usual! I absolutely love the fall and particularly Thanksgiving time because it means spending time with family and friends over good food. Not only this, but holidays incorporate so many special traditional touches.
It may seem like Thanksgiving traditions have been in our family for years, but it was not until I met Marcus, my husband, that I actually began celebrating this holiday. My Sri Lankan Buddhist heritage meant that we did not participate in the festivities of Thanksgiving in our home growing up. We of course, had our own special celebrations to give thanks and it never really felt like I was missing out. I, like many others still enjoyed all the pumpkin pies, pumpkin spice lattes, hitting up the pumpkin patches and apple orchards. When Marcus and I’s cultures and traditions merged, I can tell you I was all over it! This tablescape does not scream Thanksgiving which I love in particular, because it can be used for any dinner or event that is hosted during the fall season.
Macrame Table Runner
For the optional macrame detailing on the sides, I was inspired by the macrame pillow that Wendy from with Wendy created for the DIY Dorm Decor series with the Sorry Girls. I followed her macrame design that you can find here with a few minor adjustments for spacing and length. I included only one of the designs on either side of the table runner to add an extra special touch to the table runner! Later on this month, there will be a tutorial on the blog showing you how to add alternative macrame patterns to your projects!
Benefits of Cloth Napkins
As you may know if you follow me over on Instagram, I have been trying to minimize my impact on the environment. This of course is no easy task and really takes small steps forward, a bit of back tracking and then trying again.
When Joanna and I came up with this collaboration, I knew I had to make napkins that I could personally use for guests. The benefits of cloth napkins is that they are durable, they look nicer, they help the environment and over time they cost less. I cannot wait to start using these olive green ones when we have company over. I will definitely have to sew a few more for everyday use and incorporate it into our life.
The Mitered Corners
Mitered corners is a technique that you can use when hemming two edges that meet. This type of corner helps avoid the multiple folds that pile up when you do the standard hem. Really, the benefit is that they reduce the bulk which allow the edges to meet neatly and evenly. I have to say when I sewed the napkins and table runner using this technique it was incredibly satisfying and left me feeling pretty proud with how it turned out.
Okay let’s get started with this tutorial shall we?
Table Runner and Napkin Tutorial
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
For a set of 4 Napkins and a Table Runner you will need the following:
- 2 1/2 yards of cotton or woven fabric (e.g. linen)
- Scissors or Rotary Cutter Ballpoint
- Matching Thread
- Sewing Machine
- Chalk (optional- I find it helpful)
The fabric and thread cost about $25 which is cheaper than any runner that I have purchased in stores. The fabric I used was a 100% cotton called Essential Cotton Pine by Free Spirit Solids.
How to Sew a Napkin
Let me tell you, looking up what dimensions napkins should be, actually surprised me. I thought there was one standard size, but I was completely wrong! Well folks, the size of the napkin depends on whether it is for lunch or dinner or how formal your event or place setting is. They generally vary between 18″x18″ to 20″x20″. Personally, I thought a 20″x20″ napkin was excessive, so for this tutorial I decided to make them 18″x18″.
Step 1: Cut your napkin to your desired size. Since I wanted a final napkin size of 18″x18″, I cut a 20″x20″ square. This gives you a one inch seam allowance to make those perfect mitered corners.
Step 2: Fold over the edge by one inch on each side of the napkin and press using an iron.
Tip: As you know, my golden rule is to iron the seams! This step not only saves you frustration later when you sew but it gives a nice is nice crisp and clean edge as well as a straight stitch line.
Step 3: Open the edge that you just pressed down and fold over a half inch. This should mean that the edge of your fabric is lined up with the crease that you just created in step 2.
Now that you have pressed all your edges, open up the pressed folds. You will have something that looks like a tic-tac-toe grid.
Note: I used the chalk to outline these folds so you can see it more clearly.
Step 4: Draw a line diagonally with a piece of chalk as shown below. Once you get a hang of this, you can skip the chalk but I find it helpful.
Step 5: Fold the fabric over with the right sides together so the edges of the diagonal chalk line up.
Then fold the outer edges inward by a half inch. Using chalk draw a line on the outer side following the same diagonal line. Pin and then sew a straight stitch along this line. Cut the excess fabric off.
Step 6: Push the edge out. All the edges will have lined up and you are left with the perfect mitered corner! Repeat the same technique for the remaining corners.
Step 7: Fold over the edges and pin in place. Then sew a 1/4 inch straight stitch all the way around.
It’s easy as that! These corners are stunning and make the napkins look incredibly polished! As always, tag me in your table runner and napkin makes at #kukarudesigns so I can see your beautiful tablescapes!
How to Sew a Table Runner
For the table runner you follow the exact same techniques with a few minor adjustments.
- Measure the length of your table and add between 6 to 12 inches overhang on either side. In this tutorial, the length of my table was 63″. I used the the entire 2.5 yards (90 inches) of fabric. This allows about 12 inches of overhang on either side.
- Add two inches for the seam allowance to your the width and length. Cut the fabric so that you have a piece of fabric that measures desired length (in this case 90″) x 16″. The final width of the runner will be 14″.
- Follow steps 1 to 7 for all four corners of your runner.
PLEASE PIN THE IMAGE BELOW FOR YOUR PINTEREST BOARDS