Wednesday, May 17, 2017

DIY Easy Shabby Cottage Tea Napkins Using Flour Sack Towels ~ A Pie and the Patty-Pan Project


"Then she spread a very clean white table-cloth, and set out her best china tea-set, which she took out of a wall-cupboard near the fireplace. The tea-cups were white with a pattern of pink roses; and the dinner-plates were white and blue."


It is confession time... You see dear reader, Ribby and I have something in common! We are not very good nor very patient seamstresses. Yet she still needs the proper pieces to set a pretty tea table (and so do I for that matter)! She was after all, a respectable and feminine sort of feline! When she prepares a sewing project, it is always very simple (some samples are here). No measuring and no fuss is her mantra. And thus, we are brought to our tutorial today for an easy set of "shabby cottage style" tea napkins using a farmhouse classic -- flour sack towels! 


Simple Supply List:
  • flour sack towels (1 towel will make 4 tea napkins) (make sure they are square shaped)
  • lace (or other decorative edging such as ribbon, rick-rack, etc., mine came from grandmother)
  • scissors
  • sewing pins
  • sewing machine (or needle and thread)

Simple Step-by-Step Directions:

1. Fold flour sack towel in half. Snip at the half-way point.

2. Tear towel in half using the snip you made. Fold the remaining two pieces in half. Snip at half-way point and tear towel in half one more time. 

3. You should now have four square pieces of the same size.

4. Fold fabric down on the two raw sides (the same width as your lace) and press down with iron. Real seamstresses would miter the corners but we have already established that this isn't the case with Ribby and I. Do as you choose she says.


5. Fold the hems you made one more time over and iron down once again. Pin in place.

6. Place the lace along one side of the napkin and snip to size (making sure to allow a quarter-inch or so overage on each side). Tuck the lace into the hem or fold under itself to finish it neatly. Pin lace in place.

7. Sew the lace and the remaining hem down at the edges. I sewed down two lines on each side to keep it in place using a jagged-like design. 

8. Your napkin is finished! Just iron it for a final touch if you like.


What makes this little sewing project easy is that you don't need to measure. It is an "eye-ball it" project which allows for a few little flaws under the name of "shabby". Also, there are only two sides to hem on each napkin which is a time-saver. 


I really like the look of the flour sack towels. To me, they have a sort of shabby chic feeling to them. After the wash when they are a bit crumpled, it will just add to the style. 


Another nice feature to Ribby's tutorial is that 3 flour sack towels will make a dozen napkins. That isn't too "shabby" either...


Thank you for taking the time to call! Other posts shared thus far in the "patty-pan" spring series include a printable coloring bookprintable gift tagsprintable recipe sheets, a pie and the patty-pan pantry pie crust mix kit and quaint cottage homemaking musings and music. Have a lovely weekend!
All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsGood Morning Mondays,  The Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link Up and Create, Bake, Grow & Gather. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them). 
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35 comments:

  1. So pretty and such a great idea! :)

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  2. This looks great! So simple and lovely. I would love to try this, and I think I might actually have some lace upstairs that would look perfect. When you say "flour sack towels," are you talking about the plain kitchen towels that are not terry cloth? Where did you find plain white ones? I have seen kitchen towels like this at Walmart but they always have obnoxious designs in bright colours like black, red and tan - not my style at all!

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    1. Hi Laura, YES the plain white ones (not terry cloth) -- mine are from Target! Just the classic flour sack ones... Send me pictures if you make them! :)

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  3. Very lovely and elegant looking!

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  4. Oh! I love this idea!! I have some flour sack towels in my sewing room. I hope to make some tea napkins like this soon. : )

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    1. I am sure yours will be lovely with your wonderful sewing abilities! :)

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  5. These are beautiful! I am inspired! :)

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  6. Thank you for sharing. This my be a simple sewing project that even I can accomplish 😊🌼

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    1. Yes Shelley! You, Ribby and I are definitely capable! :)

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  7. Oh, Love this idea!! I am on this sewing project this summer! It will make a great gift idea! I will pick the towels up today as it is shopping day today, so glad I stopped in to read your blog this morning!
    You always inspire us to create our homes and hearth...
    Always, Roxy Happy Planting... xo

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    1. Thanks Roxy for sprinkling some kindness here today! :)

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  8. Oh, I need to make some of these! I am clearing out my mother's fabric stash and came upon a whole package of flour-sack towels. I already had some, but couldn't resist keeping these. These napkins would be a lovely way to use some of them. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. This would be a wonderful way to use them (instead of simply wiping dishes)! :)

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  9. Absolutely beautiful, my friend. I love adding lace to the napkins I make and yours is stunning.

    HUgs!

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    1. Thanks Stephanie. Your sewing projects are always so perfect, I am a bit embarrassed to share mine! :)

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  10. Love those napkins. The lace really makes them special. I sew, but it's not my favorite pastime so I tend to rush through and don't embellish much.
    Have a great day!

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    1. Thanks! Sewing isn't my favorite hobby either but I do enjoy the results of the simpler projects! :)

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  11. I like the crinkled homespun look and the trim is such an elegant contrast. Beautiful.

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  12. Jes, you underestimate your skills. Those are just beautiful! I love how they turned out.

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  13. Such a lovely project! I must make these! One must always have some extra beautiful napkins on hand. I use square kitchen dishcloths- blah! But these are elegant for teatime with the good china set!
    Thank you, T

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  14. What a sweetness you're sharing with us today, darling JES, that's surely a great idea, thank you !

    Wishing you a most lovely weekend to come,
    I'm sending hugs and blessings to you

    XOXO Dany

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  15. So pretty, JES, and useful! We use paper napkins daily which I cut on the fold to make 2 out of 1. :-) But these would look so lovely at mealtime, teatime, etc! And it looks like a project that is simple enough to do in snippets of time and also a good and fun way to use fabric from my stash!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Have a lovely day ~
    ~ Lynne

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  16. JES,
    These are so sweet and I love them! I too am an impatient seamstress I am much better with quick projects. I have flour sacks for a project if I ever get to it, but I am thinking if I have extra I will be making some of these. Thanks for the inspiration!
    XOXO
    Vicky

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  17. These are lovely. I have flour sack towels I bought from Walmart. They seem thin and a little wrinkled so am wondering if they are the right kind? I like simple projects too and enjoy the ideas you share. Nancy

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    1. Hi Nancy, YES, those are the right kind! :)

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  18. Hmmm, flour sack towels? I am not sure we have them in Australia, JES. They do look very pretty though. Well done.

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  19. So pretty and I'm not very patient with sewing either, so simple is best - thankyou :)

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  20. I'm hoping to be a bit more frugal and homemade this year for Christmas - I wrote this idea down as something to make for gifts. I also have a wedding shower coming up in the Fall and homemade napkins would be really pretty (maybe with a couple of pretty teacups as well?). : ) Thank you again for your posts - I always look forward to reading them. Mary S.

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  21. These are so pretty! I just love Mary's idea about these being a wedding gift. A little girl I used to baby sit is getting married this summer. What a sweet sentimental gift these would be! Thank you for the tutorial! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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  22. As you know, I love a little shabby in my life Jes and I think these napkins are totally gorgeous. Thank you for sharing them at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I'm delighted to be featuring these pretties at tonight's party.
    Hugs,
    Kerryanne

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  23. Oh these are just lovely! Pinning! Lynda @ RCHReview

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