Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Linen Handkerchiefs

Every so often one must buy new handkerchiefs.  For those of us who use them daily, they do wear out, get holes, get stained.  This summer I need new hankies.  Some of my favorites are some small, women's sized linen hankies that I got from Vermont Country Store years ago.  They weren't cheap, but they are nice, the fabric feels good, and the hemstitch is simple but pretty.

When I started looking for more I didn't find linen ones at Vermont Country Store, so I did an internet search.  I was rather shocked to find that it was nearly impossible to find plain, woman's sized linen hankies, and even the mens hankies were selling for anywhere from $7.75 on up for one, $25.00 on up for 2, mostly up.  I'm too frugal for that (read cheap).  So I did some searches for handkerchief linen fabric.  Now this was better!  I found fabric for $16.24 per yard.  Shipping was a bit steep by my view, but I ended up ordering 2 yards of fabric for $42.48 with shipping.  Washed and dried twice to remove any sizing it was 55.5 inch wide not including the selvedge.  I don't like the selvedge on this fabric, so I'm removing it.

I used pulled threads to square one end of the fabric, measured and snipped then pulled more threads, giving me a straight grain for my hankies.  I cut along the pulled threads.

The first batch was 5 across, so each hankie was about 11 inches square. The next batch I decided to make smaller, to more easily fit in my pants pockets as well as giving me more hankies for the same amount of fabric.  This time I made 6 across, so they are around 9 inches square.  Plenty big enough for my purposes.

I carpool to work, and I often do some sort of handwork while riding, as well as other times as I have a chance.  It has been nice to do this simple hand work on a daily basis.

I've been doing a small rolled hem.  I started off doing a squared corner, but after the first or second one I switched to rounding them off.  It is easier to continue the rolled hem around them, and I like the way it looks.  I've already got 6 new hankies and as the days go on I'll finish more.  I consider this money very well spent.  I get nice new hankies and I get weeks worth of pleasure hemming them, giving me something useful to use as my 'fidget' while riding in the car, in meetings, or out walking.

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