When it comes to the holidays, I really think cloth napkins are in order, whether you’re sharing your meal or having a very quiet one on your own. Nothing takes a celebration to the next level in the way that having a festive and just-a-little-fancy napkin can do. Sometimes I take the easy route–just serging or overcasting the edges of some fun holiday fabric:
Adding a simple serged or overcast edge allows me to maximize the number of napkins I can get from hoarded yardage, but also means I can make fresh napkins quickly from fabric I most want to see right now.
Other times, I want to take my napkins up a notch and sew mitered corners to make napkins of which even my mother-in-law would approve. You can do the same using our Mitered Napkin lesson here at the League:
The advantage of a mitered hem that compensates for the greater amounts of fabric required is that it gives more weight and heft to the finished napkin, meaning that even when I’m just packing one in my husband’s lunch to take with him to the office, it feels like a small gift, a treat for an ordinary moment that helps us be more mindful of the gratitude we want to express on regular days.
No matter what you choose, make sure you’re working with really great fabric. Whether it’s traditional, selected to match your holiday china, or novelty, a set of lovely napkins are something your guests can see and remark upon and enjoy while they wait for the meal to be served–or something that you can use to scale up a quiet holiday meal.