Come in Handky

I have a lot of ivory satin leftover from – well – from lots of stuff. …The guest book, my handbag, the ring box… I also have a bit of blue satin (which turned out to be obstropolously stretchy) from cutting off the train on my dress (yay! No train! I am free to move!), and decided I would make handkerchiefs out of it. Perhaps, had I known that I would stay up until the early hours shouting at my bobbin (which whom I have a fractuous relationship) I might not have embarked upon it, but I was afraid that if I didn’t finish them that night, my frustrations with the bobbin would cause an eternal procrastination.

Here’s a photograph of the set up from before things went to pot:

Of course, you can do all this by hand, but a sewing machine saves a lot of time (and it took me long enough as it is!) and gives stronger, sturdier stitches. I selected a running stitch, with very small length, since the material I was sewing was thin, and I wanted the edges to be sturdy.

The stitches show up quite prettily on the “up” side, although it is less pretty on the back.



I was making 8 pocket squares – 3 in blue, and 5 in ivory. I cut out the squares a little big – and all the same size by drawing round each other. I drew on the reverse side of the fabric, using pencil for the ivory fabric, and chalk on the blue. I used nice, big, fabric scissors to cut out the fabric with large, smooth, straight cuts. I have about 11 pairs of fabric scissors, and they’re really lovely, but quite frankly ordinary scissors will do, so long as they’re not gunked up with glue and bits of sellotape as mine are, and can cut a bit of fabric without tearing it.

Thread I selected from another large collection, which was given to me by my grandma, along with the sewing machine and several of the scissors.

I have about 6 of these boxes, and can usually find a good shade to match things. You can also use direct contrast to make things look good – e.g. blue on the ivory – but I prefer to use similar colours which obscure bunched up bits of thread where I had a quarrel with my bobbin.

Here are the threads I selected and cut out squares of blue satin next to the machine, open at the bobbin case during part of the battle when I decided I would take a break and use it for photographs!:

To sew down the edges of the pocket squares, the Fiance folded them over about 1/3 cm (always fold over the minimum amount and less than you think, as ironing flattens it out and the overlap increases. If you’re not careful, you might lose fabric). He then ironed down the edge, folded over again and ironed down again, so that the frayed edge was hidden. We then ran pins down the edge to hold it in place, and I sewed along the line, being careful about the corners to try to keep it neat.

All my pictures are of the ivory pocket squares because being stretchy caused the blue ones to ripple and look a little un-neat. I think I shall have to persuade the Fiance to iron his before he uses it.

I thought at first that the stretchy material of the blue satin was at fault, but time proved it just to be the fault of a very demanding bobbin, which, having once clotted up all my thread, wanted to do it again. It’s not the first time it’s misbehaved, but this was probably it’s most hysterical tantrum.

The finished products:

I’m not sure what the women are going to do with them, but I thought I might as well provide them, even if they just get shoved in handbags.


About RowenaFW

I am a Fish. But you wouldn't know it just from looking at me. View all posts by RowenaFW

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