Friday, April 10, 2015

Make Your Own Handkerchiefs {DIY} ~ A Tiggy-winkle Tutorial


"Once upon a time there was a little girl called Lucie, who lived at a farm called Little-town. She was a good little girl—only she was always losing her pocket-handkerchiefs!"

Poor Little Lucie! Always in the habit of losing her precious handkerchiefs! What was to be done if they were not recovered? Mrs. Tiggy-winkle suggests that she should learn to make her own. What a resourceful little hedgehog homemaker she is!


Small handiwork projects are wonderful for the young ladies in your life (and you!). My daughter likes to keep something in her energetic hands as I do our homeschool read-alouds. Making up these little hankies are a fun way to prepare something productive while learning new skills (she made the one in the picture, though not perfect, she is getting better each time).


To begin, it helps to have a pattern book for transfers. I like the Dover Transfer Little Books since they have smaller designs that are perfect for small projects like handkerchiefs or decorative table runners. They are only a few dollars and you get quite a bit of designs. Just iron them to your fabric and the little hands are ready to work with the needle! For this project, we used the Small Flowers book.


The other supplies you will need are a square piece of cotton (ours was a generous 14 by 14 inches) which you will need to hem. You will also need an embroidery hoop, embroidery floss and embroidery needles (these can all be found at your local craft store). The simple stem stitch is really all that is necessary for a beginner project to outline a flower (directions for this stitch is shared below). For convenience, you can also use a plain handkerchief, iron on your design and begin embroidering.


"The first stitch which is taught to a beginner is the “stem stitch”. It is most useful in work done in the hand, and especially in outlines of flowers, unshaded leaves, and arabesque, and all conventional designs.

STEM STITCH

"It may be best described as a long stitch forward on the surface, and a shorter one backward on the under side of the fabric, the stitches following each other almost in line from left to right... A leaf worked in outline should be begun at the lower or stalk end, and worked round the right side to the top, taking care that the needle is to the left of the thread as it is drawn out. When the point of the leaf is reached, it is best to reverse the operation in working down the left side towards the stalk again, so as to keep the needle to the right of the thread instead of to the left, as in going up."


Handiwork and handkerchiefs are both becoming a lost art and it is something I wish to preserve in our home. I think they also make a wonderful handmade gift! These can easily be sent with an encouraging letter in the mail. We use our decorative hankies to cover our ferments for a prettier look in the kitchen. We also use them as dresser scarfs and doilies to place under vases of flower and such. Of course, the traditional use of the hankie is also appreciated. Do you utilize handkerchiefs in your home? What do you use them for? You may also be interested in making your own spray starch (another Tiggy-winkle Tutorial). For more Beatrix Potter inspired projects, visit here.

                                                      

All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link Up and Create, Bake, Grow & Gather. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).




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32 comments:

  1. What a sweet project! My sisters and I loved embroidering handkerchiefs as children, if fact I have that same little book of iron-on transfers. : ) Hand embroidery is becoming a lost art.

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  2. I have some iron on transfers from my Mom's stash. These would be so nice to do. Although we no longer use hankie's like we used to it's always nice to have some around.

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  3. Oh, your daughter's work is really lovely! I love embroidery on anything. I've done a few projects, but I'm really lacking in that department. Our youngest though was once paid two hundred dollars for embroidering Scottish thistles on a reproduction lady's "pocket". There is money is skill as long as you are in the right circle. ;)
    Have a fabulous weekend! I'm planning on having large mocha frappès and some intense knitting. ;)

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  4. Hello JES and a happy Friday!
    Such a darling project for little homemakers, and I love how your daughter works in her needlework while you read!
    I love embroidery...it is so relaxing to do and also rewarding!
    Much love and blessings!

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  5. I didn't know Dover sells transfers like that! We do use handkercheives, all of us including my husband. In fact, it was so ingrained in my mind about my own dad carrying one that when I was first pregnant with our oldest, i gave my husband a box of handkerchieves telling him "Daddies carry them, and you're going to be a daddy."

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  6. Good Morning JES! What a lovely idea, and your daughters work is just beautiful.
    I enjoy embroidery work but haven't done it in awhile, maybe I need to start again. :-)
    You have inspired me.
    I appreciated you sharing some resources as iron on patterns are hard to come by where I live and especially small details.
    What a nice visit this was.

    Enjoy your week end
    Debbie

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  7. If I remember correctly I think I learned to do embroidery on a handkerchief when I was young. My Mother had so many beautiful ones she had made herself. I love to do embroidery but just do not seem to get the time. What a lovely post - enjoyed it very much. Cathy

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  8. Your daughter is quite the embroiderer! Very pretty work...please tell her I said so :) I love this idea and we love hankies! I have been purchasing them whenever I see good ones at flea markets and antique store...I have some beauties, clean and very inexpensive!
    Have a wonderful weekend! Sorry I haven't been linking...I found out I have been experiencing MS symptoms as well as Lyme's, but we know what to do now and I'm getting to the root of the problem with detoxing :) Praise God!
    Love you, JES :)
    J

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  9. This is a lovely project! I embroider and we use hankies. My husband too. Like Katie above my Dad always had a handy and still does. It wiped many tears! (mostly mine)
    My youngest daughter is Lucy. She had this book about Mrs. Tiggywinkle when she was little. She is having a baby now and I have given her the book for her nursery. So sweet and lovely! Thank you this was gorgeous to read. Xxx

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  10. I love to embroider, but haven't done any hankies. But I love the idea of it! Your daughter did a lovely job! And Mrs. Tiggy-winkle is one of my favorite Beatrix Potter characters. The other one is Mrs. Tittlemouse. Apparently, I like home-keeping critters. lol Have a lovely weekend, JES!

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  11. What a great project. I use to do embroidery as a young girl....haven't in many years. Thank you for sharing this tutorial.

    Blessings,
    Connie

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  12. Your daughter did a beautiful job with her embroidery! We learned to embroider as kids, and it has been years since I have done it. There is something so satisfying about crafting with a needle in your hands, I can't really explain it. I have many pillows that I embroidered, and also ones from my mothers and aunts as well. What a beautiful post all the way around :) Blessings to you and your family today JES!

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  13. What a great idea for getting young ladies some practice with embroidery. I think I (a not so young lady) could also benefit from the practice!

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  14. Dear Jes, Your daughter is doing a wonderful job! I wrote a comment the other day, but it would not post from an internet connection that kept dropping. But I just had to say how much this inspired me. This has become a lost art, but we all love having something so wonderfully embroidered! They become keepsakes, I have a towel my daughter made me, with an onion on it and I treasure it!
    So tell her we look forward to seeing another project in the future!
    Hugs, Roxy

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  15. JES, I have been trying to pick out just the right pattern for one last set of handkerchiefs to get done before spring "hits." Love this inspiration! Your daughter did a beautiful job :-) .
    Blessings,

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  16. What a lovely post. The Beatrix Potter story is so cute. I love the embroidered handkerchief ! Your daughter did a great job.
    A good idea, inspiring !

    Blessings to you,
    Wilma. Shabby Royale.

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  17. I love hankies and plan on making some in the near future. Embroidery is so relaxing to do. Beautiful work your daughter is doing. Thank you for sharing and Have a Fabulous Day!!

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  18. I love projects that are pretty and pratical! Thanks for posting. Hello from Farmgirl Friday.

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  19. Love hankies. Embroidery is something I want to learn to do at some point in my life.

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  20. My sweet friend, this is simply precious! I admire those that embroider - it's such a beautiful gift. I must tell you something.... embroidery is not my favorite thing to do. I know, shocking isn't it :) But I must say that you have inspired me, dear JES :) Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs to you!

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  21. Beautiful, thank you for sharing this with us at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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  22. Hankies are such a lovely thing to share, especially when embroidered like these. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick
    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  23. I love embroidering hankies. They are a quick small project, and so muck easier on the nose than tissues.

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    1. Very true! We have piles of them over here and are using them in so many ways. Thank you for sharing here today :)

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  24. I learned to candlewick when I was in third grade and branched out from there into a variety of other embroidery. I was just thinking the other day that my one "truly useless/useful" gift is being able to do needlework. But then, maybe it's a blessing that I can pass on to my granddaughters some day. (I have all boys.)

    My hankie story though is about my grandma--she always had a hankie tucked under her watch on her wrist, which irritated my mother for some reason I never understood. She died when I was 8 or so, and when I moved out and married, my mother sent me all her handkerchiefs that she had tucked away. I tucked them away too for a while, and then one day a couple of years ago, I pulled them out and realized that my MaMa was still with me...and they've been a tangible bit of her that I treasure every time I pull one out. It's a totally random little story but this post reminded me of her too.

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    1. I love random stories :) Thank you for sharing this sweet memory!

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  25. Jes, I am loving the wisdom you share!!! It's like your my virtual Titus 2 woman. I stumbled across a couple of good deals for handkerchiefs on eBay so that might be an option for women who aren't desiring to make their own. I also think it would be fun to do a handkerchief mail exchange. Maybe one day I'll stumble across one of those. Do you quilt or sew?

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    1. Hi Robin, thank you for taking the time to leave such a kind comment! A handkerchief exchange does sound lovely! As far as my sewing skills, they are quite basic I am afraid. I tend to do the quick projects that only take a few hours. Patience isn't a virtue in that area yet :( Do you sew?

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  26. My expertise in sewing is basic indeed. And like you, I am not very patient with that craft. Though I am working on it. Thank you for replying back.

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    1. I tend to enjoy more embroidery projects as it is not about being precise and you can pick it up and work on it without thinking... I hope you have a lovely week! :)

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  27. My favorite B. Potter tale! Adorable project.

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  28. Oh Jes, handmade handkerchiefs remind me of my great grandmother making linens from bleached flour sacks. Her embroidered embellishments were gorgeous. I hope we never lose these old traditions and the necessities of the previous generations.
    Thank you for sharing your love of homemade at Create, Bake, Grow and Gather.
    I'm delighted to be featuring this post at today's party.
    Hugs, Kerryanne

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