How to Hand Sew a Hankerchief (AKA Snot Rag)

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About: My name is Kimberly and I love crafting and getting my hands dirty!

I have both constant allergies and a love for the past, so for the longest time I have been on the search for a hanky! Not just a boring old white one, though, and also not a pocket square! Pocket squares are usually silky and no good for nose blowing, despite frequently being mistaken for a hanky. Anyways, I finially decided to take matters into my own hands!

Supplies:

· A needle
· A spool of thread, color is up to you
· A piece of fabric that is absorbent, cotton is usually suggested but old t-shirts are good too!
· An iron/hair straightener/hot pot with water and tinfoil (anything to make creases)
· Something to cut fabric and thread
· Patience

Optional:
· Helpful cat
. A fun edge like lace or ribbon
· A good podcast or audio book

Step 1: Measuring and Cutting!

The first thing you want to do is to cut your fabric to size. A good size that I have heard is 13 inches by 13 inches, however I am no good with numbers and so I go by looks. I have also been known to use a folded piece of printer paper as a guide. You'll want to remember that this is going to, most likely, be going into your pocket and so you don't want it too big!

Step 2: Creating a Hem

A hem's purpose is so that you don't end up with any unruly and frayed fabric edges. To create a hem you're going to fold the edge of the fabric over once about one-fourth of an inch. Repeat the step again so that you now have it folded over twice. Once you have it folded over twice you're going to want to iron the fold so that it has a nice crease and it lies flat. This will be what you are sewing and what people will see for the edges of your hanky, so take care to really notice and create a straight edge as your ironing.

Step 3: Sewing the Hem!

Now it's time to start sewing! You can get fancy with stitches if you like but the best way I have found for myself is to do a simple running stitch, with one row of stitching near the top of the crease and one near the bottom. A running stitch is essentially what you think of when you think of sewing: the person puts the needle in and then out and then in and then out, over and over. You're going to do this all around the edge of the fabric.

If you have chosen to add an edge such as a ribbon or lace you're going to do the same thing except with ribbon or lace in the way. The hanky that I was working on and took pictures of for this Instructable does not have lace and so I'll provide a picture of one that I made before that does have lace. If you look closely at the stitching with the lace I did the exact same thing I did for the plain hem just literally with the lace in the way. The way I finished the lace when I came to the end of the hanky was that I cut a little extra of the lace and then as I finished the sewing I tucked that extra piece of lace behind the original, which I will also provide a picture of. I also hate fraying, and so I took a lighter and carefully finished the edges of the lace. If you do this be careful as lace is super flammable.

Step 4: Appriciate Your Hanky!

You did it! You now have a fully functioning hankerchief, and can now go out into the world confident that, be it spill, a perspiring brow, flagging down a taxi, or allergy season, you are prepared! Be proud!

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    7 Discussions

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    Kimmy889attosa

    Reply 9 days ago

    They are handy! Especially Harper, because she's a talker who likes to give her input!

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    mtbike2

    14 days ago

    This is great! I always get a little tickled when I see someone else use a hankie; I thought I was the only young person who used them. Then you go and add lace trim....Love it.

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    Kimmy889mtbike2

    Reply 9 days ago

    I've always loved those types of things! My friend said that she wouldn't have been surprised if I said I also carry a pocket watch, to which I got to gleefully reply that I have been since I was 15!

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    StringGoddess

    10 days ago

    I've been making my own linen hankies for years, but I cheat and use my serger to make a thin rolled hem.

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    Kimmy889audreyobscura

    Reply 17 days ago

    Thank you so much! My mother in law helped me pick it out at Jo Ann's, it worked great because im a huge book person!

    Her name is Harper and she also says thank you!