Hello everyone! Happy Tuesday. I have a quick tutorial for you today. This can become a very nice little gift for the holidays or a contemporary take on creating a potential family heirloom hanky. I have been super inspired by vintage stitches lately and thought it would be fun to create something similar to those vintage handkerchiefs I love so much.
Thanks to Floresita, our editor and fellow blogger here at Feeling Stitchy, I found this darling bird embroidery pattern at her Vintage Transfer Finds blog, and it's free! She has some great vintage patterns in her archives at VTF, but I opted for this little bird in order to place it on the corner of a hanky. I found a package of 6 handkerchiefs at Target for $5, and I will be using one of those here.
To make this sweet little hanky you will need:
-Embroidery floss in colors of your choice
-Pencil or water soluble transfer pen
Step 1: Begin by washing and pressing the handkerchief. This will take care of any shrinkage that may occur.
Step 2: Transfer your pattern to the handkerchief. The hanky is so thin, that it was very easy to see through to transfer the pattern. I used a pencil to transfer the pattern in order to keep the line thin, but it's just as easy to use a water soluble transfer pen.
Step 3: Separate the strands of floss in order to use thinner strands and create a more delicate look. I used 6 strand floss, and separated it into different strand widths throughout the pattern. For the bird, including the eye, beak and little claws, I used three strands of floss and a backstitch. The lazy daisy leaves and french knots are 4 strands of floss, and the branch is 6 strands of floss in a split stitch.
I find that it makes it easier for me to pull strands of floss apart if I pull them very slowly and I don't use a very long piece. I use the length from my finger tips to my elbow as the measurement for floss that I intend to separate.
Step 4: Stitch up the hanky. As you are stitching, make sure you tightly knot the ends of your floss and trim the excess as close to the knot as possible. I double knotted my stitches just to make sure they would not unravel during use or washing.
Step 5: This step is optional. My sister requested that I place a bow tie on the bird, so I did that, which means this hanky is being sent to her.
Step 6: In order to ensure that your embroidered hanky can stand the test of time and become a vintage or heirloom hanky in the future, it's important to care for your stitches when washing. I usually wash hand embroidered items on the delicate or hand washing cycle in the washing machine. For smaller more dainty stitches, I recommend hand washing with a mild detergent, something akin to laundry detergent for babies. If you get makeup or lipstick on your hanky, I recommend spot cleaning and then washing the whole hanky by hand. It takes a little more time to care for stitches like this, but they will last.
Step 7: Enjoy your hanky! These would make a great gift to a family member or friend, as well. It's quick, and has a very nice handmade touch.
Hope you enjoy and have a great Tuesday!