I was given a set of blue damask napkins by a visitor years ago. I do like fabric napkins, but I confess I don't get them out very often. Noone at my table seems to use napkins very much, so it seems superfluous putting them out. Maybe I should turn them into little placemats? Or make them into mini-table cloths? They are rather big, almost 60 x 60 cm. Who has a gob that big???
Whatever - since they are not an essential item at my table I felt I could experiment with them. I had seen an easy design somewhere that I have tried to recreate. The outcome is a little Christmassy, as you can see on the left. It is, in fact, not a Christmas tree but a simple leaf design, very slightly inspired by Orla Kiely's stem designs. Here is what I did:
First I marked a rough guideline along which I could sew my design. I simply drew with a pencil on the fabric (I assume that will come out in the wash...). Then I started out by sewing half of the top leaf and continuing all the way down with the stem.
For the pairs of leaves I found it worked best if you start in the middle, i.e. on the stem, then sew one leaf, crossing over in one continuous line to the other leaf. Continue to do that with as many leaf pairs as you need for the length of your fabric. The design will be a little bit irregular, unless you draw the complete design onto the fabric. However, the irregularity will add to the charm of your design (says Sonja, pretending she didn't want her leaves more uniform...) It might be an idea to practice this once with an off-cut!
I am quite happy with my result. Best is, that the design looks as neat on the back as on the front of the fabric. No tatty backside that needs to be hidden... One napkin will take between 30 mins and an hour to be made - depending on your sewing skills, I guess. My dining table will be spruced up with a spruce, so.
PS: Fabric without an in-woven design is probably better for this project. In my napkins it kind of interferes with the sprucy leaves...