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Half-Circle Napkins

December 22nd, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Need a quick, last-minute gift?  These napkins are fast and easy to make and can be folded in a number of ways, depending on your mood, or whatever is going on at the table.  If you use appropriate colors, you can achieve a “Christmas tree” effect, which is how you’ve probably seen them done around this time of year.

To make them, I drew an 18 inch circle on paper, then folded it in half.  I cut the circle along the fold, took one half, and added a seam allowance to it.  I used a one-quarter inch allowance, because I think it makes a nicer edge, and I didn’t want to trim the seam after I’d sewn it.

Then I cut my pattern out of cardstock, and used it as a template to mark the shape on my fabric.  In this case, since I wanted something festive, durable, and quick-drying, I used two tablecloths with a damask-like texture for my fabric.  Tracing the template made the cutting go very quickly, and was quite accurate, as well.

I sewed them up, right side to right side, all around, leaving a small opening to turn. Then I edge-stitched all around, closing the opening in the process.

Most of the folds are simple to figure out, but the tree fold is little tricky.  Start with the half-circle, laid out flat, and then fold about a third of it underneath, on the right side.

Then imagine two lines from the point of the napkin to the outer edge, equally spaced.  Make a fold along the imaginary line that is closest to the left upper edge of the napkin, bringing the fold to the top of the napkin.

Do the same with the next imaginary line, also bringing that fold to the top, straight, edge of the napkin.

That’s it!

I thought that “half” napkins would be too small to be practical, but discovered just the opposite.  These are nice and big, and stay on laps much better than similarly-sized square napkins.

Wouldn’t these be charming as smaller cocktail or tapas napkins?  There’s no reason they couldn’t be all one color, either, or any of hundreds of other variations, in prints or solids of all types.  Anyone could work the evergreen theme by using this red and green, or green and brown, if yours isn’t a Chrismas household.  A couple of shades of blue,  or blue and silver, would be nice for Chanukkah, too.

Here’s a close-up look at the folds.  I’m sure there are many more variations; this is just what I did immediately.

A fan fold, red side:

The same fold, green side up:

Side pleat:

Bishop’s mitre:

And the tree, right side up:

I actually purchased a single-sheet pattern at the fabric store; it was a little silly, since these aren’t difficult to make, but I like to support entrepreneurial pattern makers.

However, when I got home, I discovered that, though the page was nicely produced, the instructions weren’t very helpful.  Instead of using half-circles, the author’s layout used full circles, which wastes a lot of fabric, and I found her directions for folding to be incomprehensible.  Sigh.  At least she got an “A” for effort, and whatever profit she made on the single sale, even if I can’t recommend her pattern here.

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  1. December 24th, 2011 at 09:54 | #1

    What a festive idea, dearest Noile!
    Wishing you and Mr. Noile and all your furry friends happy Christmas!

  2. Shams
    December 22nd, 2011 at 20:24 | #2

    Very cute! I like the different ways they can be folded.

    • December 22nd, 2011 at 20:36 | #3

      Hmm, I’d love to see what you’d do with these, Shams. You’ve got just the geometric imagination to tackle this . . . now that I’ve covered the conventional bases!

  3. Beth
    December 22nd, 2011 at 19:45 | #4

    Very cool, thanks for posting.


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