Embroidered Liberty print napkins

I’m off to Germany this morning for the Designers’ Open and I was thinking about what I could take on the plane to keep me occupied. Embroidery came to mind and I remembered a tutorial that I made and Katharine Peachey shot for me ages and ages ago. The tutorial was originally shared over at 91 Magazine but I thought it would be nice to share it here, too, as it is one of my favourites. All you need is an old sheet to make these sweet embroidered napkins so it may be a good weekend project for you, especially now it is colder and the evenings are darker – all the more time for embroidery!

This was my first ever embroidery project so I practised by using a design by Jenny Hart for the Kin Community and I changed the colours to the faded blues of my beloved Hydrangeas. I used their video tutorials to learn how to do French Knots and I found them so helpful whilst learning basic stitches. Once I had gained a bit of confidence and got inspired I designed the other napkin motifs myself.

How to make embroidered napkins | Vintage style Liberty print napkins tutorial | Quick and easy sewing project | Apartment Apothecary

You will need:

A set of four plain napkins OR 40cm x 40cm pieces of white cotton fabric for each napkin (or even an old cotton bed sheet)

Four pieces of Tana Lawn Liberty print of an equal size to your napkins/white cotton

Embroidery hoop, needle and floss in a variety of colours

Sewing machine and thread

Fabric scissors and pins

Pencil

Embroidered napkin tutorial | Liberty print napkins | Sewing tutorial | Photos by KatharinePeachey.co.uk

You will need

Step by step:

1. If you are recycling old napkins, then press well and use fabric scissors to cut four matching pieces of Liberty print fabric – these will form the back of each napkin. If you are using white cotton, cut pieces of this and your Liberty fabric to approx. 40cm x 40cm.

Embroidered napkin tutorial | Liberty print napkins | Sewing tutorial | Photos by KatharinePeachey.co.uk

Step 1

2. Get creative! Find inspiration from your favourite flower or floral fabric to help design a floral motif for each napkin. Draw your embroidery design with pencil onto the left hand corner of each piece of white cotton, or wherever you would like to sew it. You can do a different design on each napkin or the same in different colours.

Embroidered napkin tutorial | Liberty print napkins | Sewing tutorial | Photos by KatharinePeachey.co.uk

Step 2

3. Decide which embroidery stitch best suits the petals and leaves of each flower. If you are unsure about embroidery stitches, try watching video tutorials online. It’s much easier than it looks, I promise! I used ‘French Knots’ for the petals of this design and a ‘Lazy Daisy’ stitch for the leaves. I took inspiration from one of my favourite flowers, the Hydrangea, so used a variety of faded blues.

Embroidered napkin tutorial | Liberty print napkins | Sewing tutorial | Photos by KatharinePeachey.co.uk

Step 3

4. Once you have completed your design, pin the white cotton fabric and Liberty fabric right sides together.

How to make embroidered napkins | Vintage style Liberty print napkins tutorial | Quick and easy sewing project | Apartment Apothecary

Step 4

5. Sew the two pieces of fabric together leaving a 5cm gap open on one side so you can turn it inside out. Turn inside out and press the napkin well. Finally, using a contrasting thread, top stitch around all four sides of the napkin, ensuring to sew up the 5cm gap.

How to make embroidered napkins | Vintage style Liberty print napkins tutorial | Quick and easy sewing project | Apartment Apothecary

Step 5

Aren’t they pretty? Definitely one of my most treasured makes because of the time that went into that embroidery.

Embroidered napkin tutorial | Liberty print napkins | Sewing tutorial | Photos by KatharinePeachey.co.uk

How to make embroidered napkins | Vintage style Liberty print napkins tutorial | Quick and easy sewing project | Apartment Apothecary

Have you got any sewing projects planned? Happy weekend!

Katy x

*All images by Katharine Peachey.

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6 Comments

  1. Molly 26th October 2015 / 1:14 am

    Oh they are so lovely!

  2. Helene 27th October 2015 / 3:38 pm

    So very, very beautiful! I wish I had the patience for embroidery – how long did they take you to make?? x

  3. Wendy Bradley 30th March 2016 / 5:35 pm

    What is Liberty fabric? Is it just a linen?

    • Katy 31st March 2016 / 8:01 am

      Hi Wendy. Liberty is a very famous shop in London that designs fabric. So, fabric designed by Liberty is commonly referred to as ‘Liberty fabric’. x

  4. Embroidery Blog 2nd May 2016 / 2:36 pm

    It looks so cute!This is the first time I have visited your blog, and I really love all of your design 😀

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