Wedding Reception Napkins ~ Serging a Rolled Hem

on February 27 | in Celebrations, Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 38 Comments

OK, so my video skills leave a lot to be desired.  Still, if you’re interested in using your serger to create a rolled hem for napkins, I hope this will help.

In a nutshell, here are the steps you should follow.

  1. Cut your fabric square and true using a rotary cutter.  (Don’t prewash.  See our guide for some suggested sizes.)
  2. Using a water soluble pen or pencil, draw a line 1/4″ in on all four edges (right side up.)
  3. Set your serger up for a rolled hem.  Make sure the cutting blade is lowered.  Set your upper looper thread to a low tension, the lower looper thread to a high tension, and your needle thread somewhere in the middle.  (Practice on scrap cloth until you have the look you want.)
  4. Cut the tails off after you’ve sewn each side.
  5. When you’re done with all four edges, put a dab of liquid fray stop or fabric glue on each corner and trim any remaining theads.  EDITED TO ADD:  DON”T USE THE FABRIC GLUE I USE IN THE TUTORIAL!  Fray Check will definitely work better.  The glue picked up lint and ended up looking dirty on the corners.
  6. Wash, dry and iron!

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38 Responses to Wedding Reception Napkins ~ Serging a Rolled Hem

  1. Emma Marston says:

    Great information. Just had to tweet about it. You have my support 🙂

  2. Great idea! Thanks for providing this video tutorial and for the step by step details.

  3. Becky K says:

    I can not tell you how helpful this tutorial was for me! I am still in awe that I just did a rolled hem!!!! Yay for me! Your video skills did just fine and thanks to those skills I will now keep my serger and not throw it out the window!

  4. Melissa says:

    I bought a Brother serger a few years ago (I think they are still about $200 online) and I love it! It is easy to thread and I have never had any problems with it. I have made so many Christmas presents using the rolled hem stitch. Napkins are just one of the numerous things that are easy to make! I just had a baby and I have found my serger is handy for making receiving blankets too!

  5. leela says:

    this is very helpful. my boyfriend’s grandmother has been talking about letting me have her serger….it would be nice for a lot of my projects

  6. marybeth says:

    I got a serger about a month ago and am still trying to build a relationship with it. How long will it take until I love it as I do my conventional machine? Thanks for this info! great help.

  7. Michelle says:

    Anyone in the NY, Long Island area… I’m taking a beginners course on sergers starting this Wednesday at Sew What Now, in Islip. It’s a 3 week class, Weds. nights 6-9pm. I can’t wait to learn how to use mine!!

  8. Melinda R says:

    Can a sewing machine make a rolled hem?

  9. Linda says:

    I’d love to own a serger. Any recommendations?

  10. Kelli says:

    My poor serger is collecting dust lately because I need a BIG review on how to use it correctly. I’ve ordered a book but haven’t had time to read it yet…poor serger!

  11. Shannon says:

    I’m a little confused about why you shouldn’t pre-wash the fabric. Especially for napkins, I always prewash. Can someone explain this to me? 🙂

    • Kristin says:

      Not that you can’t prewash, just that you don’t have to. You’re not sewing the fabric to anything else, and a little shrinkage won’t really matter. My point in the video, however, is that you probably want to wash them after you’ve sewn them because you want to wash out the water-soluble pencil. Plus, you want to iron before the wedding, so I say save all that washing, drying and ironing for the end.

  12. Celeste says:

    Thank you for this!

  13. 71granderue says:

    Wow I thought I was the only one with “serger phobia”….I received one for Christmas too and I’m not very confident about having to thread it… I did try some scraps on it using the thread it came threaded with….seems like it will be amazing when I get comfortable with it.
    Any suggestions on serger 101 blogs?

  14. alisha says:

    Another reason to get a serger. 🙂

  15. Rochelle says:

    I got serger for Christmas. Can’t wait to try the rolled hem!

  16. Betsy Tucker says:

    Now if only I knew how to make my serger work right – I can’t seem to get that darn tension figured out…

  17. ~Helena~ says:

    Now I know whats next on my wish list a serger. Thanks.

  18. Marcia W. says:

    Perhaps I should “borrow” my sister’s idle serger!

  19. Southern Gal says:

    I’m going to use this idea to make everyday napkins for my family. Thanks!

  20. Barbara says:

    one more reason to buy a serger !

  21. tscd says:

    My goodness getting a serger seems SO tempting right now

  22. Jennifer S. says:

    I. Want. A. Serger.

  23. duff says:

    love it. we just had a whole conversation about sergers at a sew-in tonight!

  24. Mama Lusco says:

    Thanks for the video. I’ve never dropped my cutting blade, but will try it.

  25. Kari says:

    Why not turn the corners instead of serging off and having all those tails to deal with?

  26. I haven’t made napkins for a long time, but am going to try them again with my serger and this great tutorial!

  27. sarah says:

    thanks for the video! Now….to just get a serger! 🙂

  28. nopinkhere says:

    Now I have no excuse for avoiding making napkins on my quest to reduce our paper towel use. Interesting not to wash first.

  29. Ellen says:

    I did this for my wedding 14 years ago. I used white tableclothing and cut it up for napkins. I never realized how old my serger is and it’s still working great. It’s a Juki from Omega. I use woolly nylon thread in the upper looper and place my stitches a little closer together. I love the idea of a variety of pattern for the napkins. You could always make a quilt from them afterwards. I just have a lifetime supply of white napkins.
    Invest in a serger mine has lasted many years and I still love it.

  30. Roxanne says:

    I really gotta figure out this whole serger thing.

  31. Cindy says:

    This is very interesting. My serger (Viking Huskylock 936) uses the blade to cut off a bit of fabric and roll it under for the rolled edge. So I was surprised you dropped the blade! I guess not all sergers are the same. But I love the fabrics you used. Nice video, very good job.

  32. Ramona says:

    A very useful video. Thanks.

  33. Nicole N. says:

    This might just convince me to drag my serger out of the closet and figure it out! Thanks!

  34. Christine says:

    This makes me want a serger even more.

  35. DebbieKL says:

    I’d love to invest in a serger someday – so many uses!

  36. Tong says:

    I wish I had a surger, but that certainly is an useful video.

  37. Michelle says:

    Waaah. One more reason I wish I owned a serger. Actually, I don’t need to own it, I just need to have a really good friend (who knows how to thread the crazy thing) who will let me borrow it on occasion!

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