How to Make an Heirloom Lace-Edged Hanky for the Bride-to-Becomments (10) May 16th, 2009
Among my repertoire of handcraft techniques, heirloom sewing holds a special place in my heart. It seems to me that the only time I delve into my box of french laces, batiste, and fine cotton sewing thread is when I'm making something extra special...for someone else. My favorite projects have been the christening gowns that I've designed for my girls and my sisters' children, each an heirloom that will be handed down to their children. Another project I love to make is a lace-edged hanky for a friend who's getting married. I can pick my laces, stitch them together to create a fancy band, and use it to trim a plain square of cotton batiste in a single afternoon (unlike the christening gowns that are "slightly" more involved!). An embroidered initial of the bride's first name adds a final personal touch. I'm going to show you how to make a simple "fancy band" of french cotton lace, but feel free to get as fancy as you want. It's therapeutic to sit in front of the sewing machine and lace together, so you may want to add a few more rows. I machine-embroidered my first initial in the corner of this hanky...I might be needing it in the near future! If you don't have an embroidery machine, you can hand-embroider a simple initial.
One of my super-talented friends, Pam, sends a sweet note with each hanky she gives to a bride—to let her know that the lace hanky can be stitched into a baby bonnet. When her daugter grows up and gets married, the stitches can be taken out and she can carry the hanky down the aisle with her. If she had a son, it would make a lovely gift for his bride.
Here's what you'll need:
- A 16-inch square of cotton batiste (I've put links to the Martha Pullen Co. above—excellent selection of fabric and lace!)
- 2-1/2 yards of cotton lace insertion (both sides are straight)
- 2-1/2 yards of cotton lace edging (one side is straight and the other side has a pretty edge)
- Spray starch (I use Niagara, which you can get at the grocery store)
- 60-weight white fine cotton sewing thread
- A size 10 needle
- Embroidery supplies and thread of your choice (I used wash-away stabilizer and baby blue rayon embroidery thread)
- A CLEAN iron and ironing board (If you haven't looked at the sole plate of your iron in a while, check it out to be sure it's not dirty. You'll be amazed how easy "stuff" can get on white fabric and lace. If the board has seen better days, like mine, put a piece of white cotton fabric over it.)
Rip a 16-inch square of batiste. Press and lightly starch the fabric. Instead of cutting across the fabric to make your square, clip in 1/2 inch along the edge and tear the fabric.
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery
Find ideas to create the ultimate DIY Wedding and to help plan any showers and parties this spring.