Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Handmade Holidays 2009 #2: personal accessories

I don't really like handkerchiefs myself, but I think that's because I have such bad allergies. I want a Kleenex and then I want to throw it away. But I know not everyone feels this way, and so I decided that I would make and embroider three handkerchiefs for a friend of mine who does use handkerchiefs for the holidays.

I bought the good stuff: Irish hanky linen, from I hope pale blue is okay, because it was expensive enough just buying the one colour that was on sale. I bought a half-yard, and cut three squares (12.5 inches on each side) from it. To make a rolled-edge seam, you need a good hot iron. Fold the edge over 1/8" (tricky!) and press. Fold over again and press. You now have a 1/4" rolled hem. Stitch in place - I did all of mine by hand with a blind hem stitch. Repeat on all four sides.

I also embroidered mine with colourful monograms in cotton embroidery thread (what do you think? too childish? I showed my fella and he said it was cute, but he also laughed. I'm not sure that's a good sign?), just for fun. The letter is in classic satin stitch and the accent is in back stitch. I worked each section separately, so no long tails connect any of the pieces on the back of the work - which is almost as pretty as the front. Even though it takes me a bit of extra time and caution to keep the back as neat as the front, it's a goal I strive for when I can't hide the back of the work.

To create a monogram pattern, I googled "monogram" and picked an accent that I liked and printed it out. I could see through the linen just enough to trace the monogram with a water-soluble pen. I had them all embroidered in an evening, while watching Return of the King. I think I'm done with embroidery for a while!

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