How to Sew Scalloped Cocktail Napkins & Giveaway!

Tis the season! It’s never too early to start ……………🎁

The online sewing community is one of the most generous groups of people on the face of the earth! Members are always willing to share their knowledge, take time for others and lend a helping hand.

When I published the Scalloped Cocktail Napkin post, several readers with embroidering expertise realized I could use some help 😂  THANK YOU!

I took up Becky Thompson’s generous offer of help and the result is a new and improved Scalloped Cocktail Napkin ……… improved technique and easier to construct. Becky, the creator of the blog Power Tools with Threads hosts a YouTube Channel by the same name offering free embroidery tutorials.

Becky emailed a tutorial for me and then we followed up with a video call. Her advice was spot on. So let’s start again……

You Will Need:

  1. Lightweight Woven Fabric such as poplin, linen, quilting cotton, shirting, gingham etc….
  2. Water soluble stabilizer such as  Inspira Aqua Magic or Pellon 541 Wash and Gone
  3. An embroidery machine and hoop
  4. Embroidery thread
  5. Embroidery software
  6. Applique Scissors

TUTORIAL – illustrated in both white linen and cotton plaid

  1. Create your design as I outlined in the Original Tutorial.

2. Save your design as an APPLIQUE in your embroidery software. For those of you who are new to embroidery, an APPLIQUE is produced with a series of stitches in addition to the embroidery stitches.

3. Place your stabilizer in the hoop – no fabric and attach to the machine. I am using Pfaff’s Creative Metal Hoop, but feel free to use a traditional hoop.

4. The first stitch in an appliqué is the Placement Stitch, stitched directly  onto the stabilizer before placing the napkin fabric.

5. When the placement stitch is finished remove the hoop from the machine and place your fabric over the stabilizer and the placement stitch without removing the stabilizer from the hoop.

Reattach to the machine.

6. The next stitch is the Tackdown Stitch. This stitch secures the fabric to the stabilizer.

7. Remove the hoop from the machine but leave the fabric in the hoop. Since I’m using a metal hoop I freed the napkin fabric while keeping the stabilizer secure.

8. Trim around the Tackdown Stitch but not into the stabilizer. This is much easier than trimming around the embroidery stitches after the napkin is finished as I earlier suggested 😉

9. Return the hoop to the machine. The Pfaff Creative Icon stitches two outline stitches before the embroidery starts. Afterwards the embroidery stitching begins automatically. Other machines may not use the same type of outline stitch or might immediately start the Embroidery. The Embroidery is known as the Final Stitch and occurs after the Tackdown.

Below is a photo of the Outline Stitch on the Plaid Napkin. Note how the outer stitch is sewn on the stabilizer.

Final Stitch in progress

10. Once the embroidery is finished remove the hoop from the machine and the fabric from the hoop.

Trim around the design on both sides leaving approximately 1/2″ stabilizer.

11. Soak the napkin in water or soapy water for a few minutes to dissolve the stabilizer.

12. Remove and line dry or place in dryer on the gentle cycle.

13. Press.

The napkins can be programmed with and without the monogram, saving the monogram for later.  If you plan to create the napkin with the monogram or an embroidered image, I recommend using double layers of stabilizer to avoid puckering.

To save monogramming or embroidered images for another time, place the napkins on a smaller hoop with appropriate stabilizer  and embroider.

Becky’s tutorial has made a HUGE difference in the ease and quality of creating these scalloped bordered cocktail napkins. Without the monogram each napkin takes 15 minutes from start to finish and there are no worries about cutting around the border, and no need for Fray Check.


As a long time fan of Mark & Graham, I was once again inspired by their cocktail napkins and greatly enjoyed putting my spin on them. Below are a couple of my inspiration photos.



I am super pleased with the new process and  result.

The finished size is 5 1/2″ x 9 1/2″. The fabric is a lightweight cotton which I bought at Five Eighth Seams in Charleston. I do not see it on the store’s website, but Christmas plaids are plentiful at the moment.

In honor of Becky I’m giving away a set of 10 monogrammed napkins to one winner. To enter, make sure to follow Goodbye Valentino and simply leave a comment.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday, September 23.  In the meantime, follow Becky’s You Tube Channel here.  I’ve certainly joined and know where to go before I start my next project!

Thank you, Becky and good luck, Readers!

PS….. White Top is Grainline Studio’s Lark Tee







How to Sew Scalloped Cocktail Napkins & Giveaway!