Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Made by hand: napkins

I thought I'd post about a few of the handmade projects we worked on for our wedding. We wanted to be as environmentally responsible as possible, do a lot of reusing, and keep throw-away stuff to a minimum... so we decided to hand sew napkins for the table settings, and then make an extra set to give away to guests as a gift (since we had a very small wedding this was manageable). That way we wouldn't be throwing away a lot of paper napkins, and people would have a nice memento from the day.

At first I thought I'd recycle fabric from thrift stores, but couldn't find enough of any one fabric for the job, or a mix of patterns that went well together. So instead I did some searching around online and ended up falling in LOVE with Amy Butler fabric. Her color palettes vintage inspired patterns are so so lovely. I ended up buying a yard of about 30 different designs (though I wanted a whole apartment full).

I estimated about 6 napkins per yard for a 13 x 16" size when hemmed. Finished and folded the napkins looked like this:

How did I have time to do all that sewing before the wedding you ask? I didn't! My mom pitched in and did the bulk of it, thank goodness. She is a much better and faster seamstress than I.

Once they were done I assembled my lady friends and we put them all together, tied with a bit of ribbon.

It was fun to see them all laid out- our color palette for the wedding was shades of yellow and blue and green...

Most of them went into a basket for the gift table.

And the rest went on the dinner tables (the runners were sewn by hand too, with fabric from Ikea).

They were a big hit; the basket was emptied and most of the table napkins went home with folks too! But we do have a nice set left to use and remember the day by.


Kate said...

Oh, what a great idea! They are wonderful!

Anne Broyles said...

Gorgeous colors! We've used only cloth napkins for our entire 32-year marriage. One of my favorite places to get napkin fabric: in Amish country, the quilting shops sell squares that are easy to hem for a nice napkin size. I choose lots of different fabrics, so guests get to choose whatever color and pattern they're in the mood for.

Everything about your wedding looked beautiful. I'm so happy for you!

LadyD said...

Simple, elegant and beautiful!

Anna Alter said...

Thanks all!

Good tip about the quilting fabric.

Julia Denos said...

This is so inspiring! I love handmade weddings, you did a terrific job Anna! The tables looked gorgeous.

maetosh said...

I love this idea! Sending you all my best wishes Anna! Lovelove!