Friday, March 20, 2015

DIY Handkerchiefs make sneezing look good.

YAY for Spring!

It's finally here!.... If there is a downside to the shiny newness of Spring, it comes in the form of sniffles, sneezes and itchy eyes.  At least, that is the case in the Sutton house.

So, if you have to fight your allergies, why not use something pretty?  Who wants a paper tissue rubbing your nose raw when you can have a bright, soft and happy handkerchief?

Here is my last selling point on handkerchiefs...

When the world says:

Why not carry something that will say it no matter how many times you sneeze?...

I have always had a soft spot for special handkerchiefs... they always remind me of the wonderful women in my family:

Since a lot of these feel too special to use, I wanted to try to make some of my own. Who says hankies are only for weddings? (Although, I think it's an awesome idea to make fun handkerchiefs for a bridal party or special family members! For the happy tears!)

When I think of embroidered handkerchiefs, I usually think of incredibly detailed or delicate designs like these:

I wanted to make something a little more fun, like these I found on Etsy:

This project is great for even the most beginner sewer. (like me) 
The handkerchiefs were incredibly simple to make.  
You can basically follow our fabric napkin tutorial, just cutting smaller squares of fabric (12"x12".)

Here is a great tutorial from PurlBee that I used to get started:

I followed this tutorial for the basics of measuring, cutting and ironing, but did a couple things differently.

Here are the fabrics I chose:

Make sure you check the care instructions on the bolt of fabric-- you want to be able to throw these hankies in the wash without any worries!

Happy fabrics to make your nose happy!
Cut and ready for ironing, folding and sewing!

For my purposes, I decided to sew the hems on each side with the machine rather than by hand.  Let's be real, who has time for that? 
(If you do have the energy to spare, go for the hand-stitching!  Maybe try one of these blanket stitch variations.)

Fold according to the tutorial

Rather than using pins and hand-sewing, I used a straight stitch with a fun gold thread to make the seams.

9 handkerchiefs ready for personalization :)

After sewing each handkerchief, I decided to personalize them with embroidery. 
You could add monograms or any fun design that you like. (I loved the simple cross-stitch monograms from the PurlBee tutorial.)  
 Either draw your design on the fabric with a water-soluble fabric marker or use an iron-on transfer! 
Once you have the design on the fabric, embroider with whatever stitch you like!  Have fun. :)
(Check out your craft or fabric store for all kinds of fun designs-- I remember my mom using some of these Aunt Martha's designs for projects when I was a kid!)

The transfers are easy to use-- just follow the instructions on the package!

I definitely recommend pinning the transfer stamp to your fabric.  This will help prevent it wiggling, giving you a fuzzy transfer.

ready to stitch!

Embroidery is a great way to stay busy when you're waiting at a doctor's office!


Side note: If you want to do a special monogram, check out this Monogram Etiquette by Mark and Graham.

Here are a few more I finished!

Now, get to it! You can make as many or as few as you like!... and why not make one or two for a fellow allergy-sufferer!

Happy Spring!

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