Andrew carries a handkerchief, but we've had troubling finding ones that have an interesting design. The solution? Fat quarters! It is so much easier to look through a rack of fat quarters than it is to hunt through aisles of fabric on bolts.
Of course you can also get a 1/2 yard of fabric off the bolt, like the fantastic Alexander Hamilton Día de Muertos fabric. With a 1/2 yard cut, you'll get two fat quarters to use for handkerchiefs.
This tutorial is similar to my face cloth
tutorial, which is for napkins/kitchen cloths. The difference is that I pre-iron the folds for the handkerchiefs before I sew the side hems.You need:
- sewing machine
- tape measure
(text is above its corresponding photo)
1) Cut your fabric into the size you want your handkerchief to be. I took the fat quarter
and squared it off to 18" square.
2) This step is optional, but highly recommended. Take any scrap you have of your fabric, and follow this tutorial for one edge and test out your sewing machine. Sewing along the edge of fabric can be tricky. Fabric can buckle or get chewed up by your feed dogs if the tension on your machine isn't right for the project at hand. For this project, I also wanted to try out some decorative and zigzag stitches. I decided to go with the a plain old straight stitch.
3) Fold over 1/8" (one-eighth inch) and iron (wrong sides together) on all four sides of the fabric.
4) Fold over another 1/8" (one-eighth inch) and iron on all four sides of the fabric.
5) Unfold all the edges. For crisp iron folds, let your fabric cool first.
6) Use the iron marks as a guide for cutting off the corner. The bottom of your triangle cuts through the square (corner to corner) made by the two 1/8" iron marks. In photo 6b, the red line is the cut line - see how it diagonally bisects the white square?
We cut off the corner to keep the corners from being too bulky. But that now means we have to be careful to not expose too much of the fabric's raw edge where we cut off the corner. When folding the edge hems, pay special attention to the corners and tuck in raw edges when you can.
7) Fold in both 1/8" folds on the left.
8) Fold in the two 1/8" folds on the right.
9) Pin the corner to secure it for sewing.
10) Sew along the edge a-little-bit-less-than 1/8" so you catch the edge of your 1/8" folds. Leave your needle in the fabric at the corners and turn your fabric. Sew all for sides without stopping.
11) (not pictured) Hand tie and bury your thread ends in the hem of the handkerchief (instructions here
12) Enjoy your handkerchiefs!