Monday, January 16, 2012

Crafty Christmas & How to Make Handkerchiefs

I went minimalist this Christmas: nuclear family only, all homemade, nothing fancy.  I didn't post any process photos, since let's face it the primary audience for this blog is my mom and I didn't want to spoil anybody, but now that Christmas is well over, here's a recap of what I made!

For my mom, I made a clutch/makeup bag out of sari fabric, with this tutorial (except I put the zip along the 9" side and omitted the bow).  She loves the color red and South Asian textile designs, so that was kind of a duh choice. (Not pictured; I think it wasn't finished at the time I took the photos.)

For my dad, I made two handkerchiefs embroidered with a red chili pepper and a habenero.  He's Cajun, so he treats cooking with hot peppers with the reverence that other people reserve for football or major religious holidays.

For my brother, a flannel pillowcase with cute frogs on it.  He's hard to buy for and everybody loves frogs and sleeping. (Also not pictured but you know what frogs look like.)

And for Dear Fiancée, I made a flannel pillowcase with psychedelic owls (this is one of her favorite videos ever) and a handkerchief embroidered with her Twitter profile pic.  (I copied it by bending my laptop screen down flat, turning the brightness way up, and holding the fabric flat over the screen while I traced the design with a very fine Sharpie the same color as the embroidery thread.  Pretty easy!)

I did most of this in a couple of afternoons while watching Stephen Fry In America, and apparently there is no stopping me when I'm on a roll, because I got obsessed with handkerchiefs and made five more just for myself, four plain and one embroidered with 'nfr-mdw,' an Egyptian word meaning literature or language (literally "good speech"):

Try it yourself!  Just measure a 12"-by-12" square of cotton muslin (or handkerchief linen) and use a hot iron to press the edges over about a quarter of an inch.  Then fold them over another half inch and press again.  These two fold lines will intersect to form a tiny square in each corner--snip it out with tiny scissors, like this:

Then fold your edges back over to form a very narrow hem, and stitch all the way around.  Bam!  Handkerchief!

Coming soon: I totally finished a real live Sew Weekly challenge, no kidding.

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