We are baking, sewing & crafting up a storm, preparing handmade gifts for this holiday season. I am sharing 30 wonderful sewn gifts from 30 amazing bloggers! Head on over to According to Kelly for 30 fabulous crafty gifts. A Southern Fairytale is spotlighting 30 edible yummies & holiday-inspired recipes.You definitely don’t want to miss a day!

Hi, I’m Sabra from Sew a Straight Line.
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I’m super excited to be here on Skip To My Lou today playing along with the Holiday Bake Craft & Sew Along.  Such a fun idea and so many amazing gift-giving ideas shares already.  I hope you enjoy my contribution.

pretty little hankies

I think one of the most challenging aspects of handmade gift-giving is coming up with something that is unique, but useful, and if possible, pretty.  So today I’m sharing with you how to make vintage-style hankies.  Though common place even thirty years ago, you don’t really see handkerchiefs much these days.  Such a shame.  But that definitely makes these gift items unique.  With all the movement towards more reusable items, they’re absolutely useful.  And by just playing around with some of the standard satin and decorative stitches on your machine, and maybe throwing in some hand stitching if you’re feeling ambitious, I promise your gifts will be pretty.
All you’re going to need is
– some cheap, thin cotton cut into two 13” squares,
-a traceable image you like.  I used clip art images I found online and transfer prints from some vintage patterns I have
-a sewing machine and fun-colored thread
-embroidery floss (optional)
Layer your two squares on top of each other, wrong sides facing.
Along the outer edge, about 1/2 inch in, sew a thick stitch all around the entire square.  I recommend a satin stitch, which is just a zig zag set to it’s tightest stitch setting.  I have a few decorative satin stitch options on my machine, so went with those
Now, as close to those thick stitches as you can, without clipping the actual stitch/threads, trim the outside edges IMG_7788 IMG_7789
All the way around
Now trace your image onto the fabric using a pencil
IMG_7821 IMG_7822
I used my light box, but you could also tape the image, then the hankie, to a well-lit window and trace that way.
After your image is traced, you have two options.

Use your machine to stitch the image
Embroider the image by hand
Choose a straight stitch.  If your machine has one, make it a thick straight.  Key “3C” on mine makes a triple thick stitch, so that’s what I went with.IMG_7824
Slowly, start following the trace lines with your machine. IMG_7825 Lift and turn frequently, to keep things as smooth as possible.IMG_7826
Switch out colors, and keep on going
Until all of your image is stitched in placeIMG_7830
Place your hankie in an embroidery hoop and use a backstitch to fill in the image by hand with embroidery floss.IMG_7878 I recommend a backstitch because whatever you sew will also be seen on the other side.  A back stitch will make the image most complete on both sides.  This is the back of the image: IMG_7888
And the front

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I like the end results of the hand embroidered better.  It looks more authentic and handmade.

But the machine “embroidered” goes much, much faster and still looks nice.  It also has the added benefit of looking nearly identical on both sides of the hankie.
Just some other options, you can also do a rolled hem on your serger for the edges of the hankie
Not as fancy, but it works and is SUPER fast.  And if you use variegated thread, it makes it more fun.
So there you go; three simple and easy options to make a unique and practical gift.

Embroider some initials, a favorite flower or two on a set and you have a wonderfully personal gift your recipient is sure to not be getting from anyone else.
And if you need a few more ideas, I’d love to have you check out my blog where I share tutorials and patterns for everything from reusable kitchen towels for your mother-in-law to fun wristlets for your girlfriends to fabric pots and pans for the kids on your list


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  2. I have a handkerchief that I need to get embroider. Can you let me know if you can do it or not. Thanks

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