Expand Your Sewing Horizons

Hi Sewing Friends,
Do you find yourself avoiding projects that require challenging techniques? Those projects are exactly the ones you should be choosing to build your skills! When I was first married, perfecting my mother in laws spaghetti sauce eluded me. Each month I would try something different…a little less garlic, a little more basil, an extra slug of Cabernet, and still it never tasted like hers, even though I followed her recipe exactly.
One day I got the courage to admit to her that my sauce fell short and she told me her secret: She burned it! That’s right, every time Mary Lou made a pot of sauce it would burn slightly on the bottom and it was that error that made the sauce so unique and delicious!
Sometimes the best results come from solutions to error. If your biggest bug-a-boo is zippers, then try making a jean jacket covered in them. If it’s curves, choose a curved bottom apron with heart shaped pockets. If it’s buttonholes, make a shirtdress or blouse. By choosing projects that build skills and force you to tackle techniques you’ve been avoiding, you’ll creatively move forward and expand your sewing horizons.
The following project will develop your rolled hemming, mitered corners and topstitching skills.

The summer months are wonderful opportunities to take dining outside. Whether it’s a picnic in the park, at the beach or on a boat, bring along these easy pocket napkins. They will set the tone for any occasion; add a bit of humor or whimsy and save a tree! These washable wipes feature a handy pocket that will keep the utensils in check. Think of the pockets as ‘blank pallets’ and let your creativity loose. They can be plain, printed, appliqued or embroidered. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!


  • For every 2 napkins: 22” of 45” flat fold printed cotton
  • 2, 5 ½” x 8 ½” coordinating solid rectangles for the pockets (you may have suitable pieces in your stash)


  1. Wash, press and cut away the selvege edge of the napkin fabric. Cut on the fold to make two 22” squares.
  2. Using a straight stitch and matching thread, roll hem the edges with the wrong side facing you.
  3. STOP 2” before you get to the corner. Fold up a ¾” triangle and finger press. Now fold the next long side ¼” …and ¼” again. You should have a mitered corner. Use your stiletto to hold it in place while your stitching grabs the inside corner.
  4. STOP/Needle down/Lift presser foot/Pivot napkin/presser foot down/continue to the next corner.
  5. Repeat this for the next two sides and corners.
  6. STOP 2” before you get to the final corner. Turn up a ¾” corner triangle and double roll over the hem again forming the final miter, which includes the bottom hem already stitched in place. Stitch to the end and back tack. Trim threads.
  7. Customize the pocket to suit you. ½” Roll hem the top of the pocket. Press the sides in ½” and the bottom 1”. Pin in place onto the right bottom corner on the right side of the finished napkin.
  8. Topstitch onto napkin around both sides and bottom leaving the top open. Be sure to back-tack at the beginning and end. Bon Appetite!

When to Watch:

  • June 16th, 11 a.m.: A Special HOST PICK with Bill Green
  • June 17th, 7 a.m.: Sewing with Singer

Thanks for stopping by!

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