Saturday, March 17, 2007

Men's Shirts as Cocktail Napkins


So, I've long liked the men's shirts at the various thrift stores I'm known to frequent. I love the stripey patterns and smooth fabric, and I usually stop to rifle through them admiringly. But I've never had any idea of what to do with them, other than buy them for my non-existent boyfriend. But recently, somewhere or other on the web, I saw that someone had refashioned a men's shirt into a pillow cover, by very cleverly taking advantage of the buttoned front placket, which does away with the need to bother sewing in a zipper. (I am perfectly incapable of sewing in zippers. I used to cajole my sister into doing it for me through flattery: "But you do zippers so well!". But she caught on pretty quickly, so that gig is up.) So that got me to thinking. Then, a week or so ago, I had a couple of friends over for cocktails. (I finally caught up with the trend, and have been very into having a bar and making cocktails lately. And, oh yeah, drinking more. Want a great cocktail book? Try this one - it's great.) I've been wanting for a while to have more nice cocktail-sized napkins - just big enough to rest a martini glass on. I've got tons and tons of dinner sized cloth napkins, so many that it usually takes a year or so to work through the stash and then spend a long evening ironing. But I didn't have enough little ones. So, I decided to make a little project out of making cocktail napkins from men's shirts. First, I bought a couple of men's shirts with the following criteria in mind: 100% cotton, pleasing pattern, really big for more fabric, and, crucially, half-price. With that in mind, I found these two shirts, for $2 each:So, I cut them up into 12 inch squares, based on some small napkins I already had. (I was somewhat surprised by how few napkins I got out of each. I have to look for even bigger shirts in the future.) Then I ironed a narrow hem all around and pinned these in place. After sewing them all around, I folded and ironed them again, and I was done. Eight new napkins to put on the bar, and an idea for easy hostess or housewarming gifts in the future.And I did this while watching "Ocean's Eleven" on tv, admiring George Clooney's shirts all the while! Now, if only I could get him to take his shirts off for me...


Valerie said...

What a fantastic idea! I too roam the men's shirt aisle at the local thrift store and fondle.
I suppose you could do the same for dinner napkins, although you might get half as many.

Valerie said...

Oh, and ditto re: George Clooney