Sewing Handkerchiefs

I had a good cry the other day while listening to Anne of Green Gables on Audible. It occurred to me then that the fashion of having a handkerchief on hand was useful! After an exhaustive search of ebay and Etsy, I found that vintage hankies are either highly prized or highly sought after. Or both. Suffice it to say, there was no way I was paying $4-5 dollars each for plain or holey ones, when I had both access to a fabric stash and a sewing machine! I chose my most hankie-like fabric and did a bit of research. This article at Mother Earth News is from 1979, and clearly she’s using a modern sewing machine!

I made mine a little differently. I cut 8 1/2 inch squares, which is what my fabric allowed per strip. I cut an 8 1/2 inch wide strip, then cut each square from the strip. My fabric was a little over 40 inches. I was able to get five out of one strip. (Incidentally, did you know that you can really only rely on 40 inches from selvage to selvage now? It used to be 44 inches. In the 1970’s, it was closer to 36 inches. My how the times change!)

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I went around each square with a simple zig-zag stitch, making sure my edges were finished. Then I added the bit of lace edge with the same stitch. This is lace from Joann’s that you can find for $3 a spool. I did use the whole spool, though. The lace is optional, but it’s pretty and I wanted it. Now I have a new hankie, with a lace edge, for less than the price of a holey vintage one! I can cry at audiobooks all I want.

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I plan on working on finishing the other four hankies in different ways. I want to follow the tutorial on a crocheted lace edge from Elise and Emelie for the next one! We’ll see how the others turn out!

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3 thoughts on “Sewing Handkerchiefs

  1. The hanky that you made is pretty. I like the fabric print. I used to have hankies from the 40’s given to me as a gift. I gave some away a long time ago, wish I had them now. Have fun sewing them.

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