We’ve used cloth napkins for quite a while, long enough to be on a second set. The first set from World Market was so off grain they never folded up nicely; the second set from Crate and Barrell had a deep hem that warped and crumpled the minute it was washed.
I spent way too long over the weekend looking for replacement napkins online, only to worry that they, too, would be off grain, or have weird hems, or be exorbitantly expensive for something you’re going to use to wipe tomato sauce off your face. I definitely spent longer shopping for napkins than I took to actually make napkins–once I realized I could make them exactly how I wanted.
I got four napkins from a yard of Japanese dobby I had leftover from making a serger cover and ironing board cover back in April. They ended up 18 inches square and they are indeed on grain–I ripped the fabric vs. cutting (very satisfying). To finish, I tried out the rolled hem on my serger for the first time, using wooly nylon thread I had on hand from sewing gym tights. I didn’t have to press in tedious narrow hems and they should look just fine after washing. Boom!
I’m going to make another set of four today, since the serger’s all set up and I have an old shower curtain that would mix and match with this print. (All of my thrifty Midwestern ancestors are looking down on me and smiling right now.)