Step 1: Procrastinate for 4-6 weeks or until your town sells out of seersucker, whichever comes first, then pace wild-eyed through the nearest fabric store and seriously consider making denim napkins* before stumbling upon something called plisse, which is sort of a fake seersucker. Ask the associate at the cutting table if 24″ square napkins, as Martha recommends, aren’t just a touch overboard (to which the associate MIGHT reply “Perhaps Martha’s friends’ laps are too big,” which sends you and everyone else in line into hysterics even though everyone else in line would probably need a 24″ square napkin) and anyway shouldn’t napkins really be 18″ square, thereby fitting neatly 2-up within a yard of fabric and saving you some serious coin?
Wait another six days before determining that using a straight pin to “create a fringed border” on each napkin would take WAY longer than you’re willing to devote to this project (and also doesn’t really work), call one’s mother (again), who brilliantly suggests cutting the edges with pinking shears, which are those heavy, jagged scissors that always used to scare you when you were little and are a real bitch to operate but create a pretty, vintage-y edge that doesn’t require a sewing machine. Win.
Wait two more days. Take fabric to your mom’s house, where there are two sets of pinking shears and a much better-behaved cat, and coerce her to help you cut 14 squares using a giant ruler borrowed from work and discover to your delight that she is one million times better at pinking than you are and also has dinner ready. You take a picture of her while she’s pinking but screw it up, possibly because your hand is covered in blisters at that point, but you nevertheless want to thank her for all of her hard work so you post an alternative picture** of her, grab the napkins and the over-sized ruler and head home in triumph.
Verdict: These are easy, and even though technically departed from the original project still function very much in the spirit of seersucker napkins with a fringed edge. They will debut at a special event to be held in the very near future. Let’s hope they pass muster.
*Denim napkins actually would be really cool, and there was plenty of fabric from which to choose, but denim is expensive, and I am cheap.
**Alternative picture of one’s mother, holding a monkey, in France. Just go with it.