Unlike paper tissues, a cloth handkerchief is less likely to be dropped carelessly on the floor or ground. It will be treasured and used for many things. Handkerchiefs have a history all their own, and were commonly seen in a man's pocket or a woman's purse.
A handkerchief is a good beginner sewing project because it is small and works up quickly, even for the most inexperienced with a needle.
For a pattern, you can open up a square paper napkin and lay it on the fabric, cutting around it and allowing an extra half inch on each edge of the napkin, for hemming.
Where the lace ends overlap, turn one side into a corner by pressing the edge to the inside. Click on for a closer view, and click again for extra large.
Just turn in the edge of one side of the lace to form an angle or triangle. If you are not sure how to do this, just try different ways until you have a look that you prefer. There are other ways of doing this, but for the sake of simplicity and time, for beginners, this is the one I prefer.
As in previous beginner sewing posts, you need to have your iron heated up to cotton and linen, or very hot, with steam. Then iron the square down one-fourth inch on all sides, pressing firmly so that the creases are permanent. Then, fold that ironed down hem again, one fourth inch and press firmly. That way, it will stay in place while you stitch, and the raw edges and stray threads will be hidden inside the hem.
A boy's handkerchief can be made of any cotton print that suits a boy, or white muslin, as shown. I have used dark thread to show where you should stitch: close to that inside folded edge, catching in the main part of the handkerchief also. That will be 3 layers you are sewing through, all the way around.
If you have a little experience, you can stitch an initial in the corner. Just use your straight stitch for now, if you like.
After hemming all around, finish off in a knot. Lay the lace along side the finished handkerchief and cut four pieces of flat lace an inch longer on each end. When ironing this finished piece, you cannot use a hot iron if the flat lace is synthetic.
Here is what it looks like when lace is attached, but even with a ladies handkerchief, the lace is not necessary.
A way to get all your old mis-matched lampshades to look alike, is to make a simple cover for them, and you can do this by hand. I've used muslin here, with ball fringe.
I need to pause for a second and tell you about Singer's large-eyed sewing needles, which makes threading easier. They come on a magnetic strip.
I use quilting thread for these hand-sewn projects, because it is thicker, and usually all cotton.
To get the right size for your lamp shade, just lay the fabric on the side of the lamp and mark the depth with a pencil, leaving an inch at the top for the casing. Use the selvage for the bottom, so that you will not need to hem it. Use the raw edge at the top, where you will be ironing down a large fold. To find out how much you need to go around your lamp shade, wrap the fabric around it twice. It is better to have a little more, than less.
You will need a piece of ribbon to put through the casing. To make a casing, iron down the raw top edge one fourth inch as usual. Then fold down again an inch or so, and lay your ribbon on top. Make the fold a little larger than the ribbon, so you can pull it through easily. Press that down, and sew along that inside edge, leaving the ends open to insert the ribbon. (See above photo)
Cut a piece of ribbon a few inches longer than the long piece of fabric. Attach a safety pin, and run it through the casing, by manipulating with both fingers, pulling the fabric in one direction and the safety pin and ribbon in another. It will gather as you go.
If you did not use the selvage on the lower edge, now is the time to hem it, tucking in stray threads and pressing down, then stitching. Add your trim or fringe by stitching it on the outside edge.
This is what the finished shade looks like when done in the fabric that I have been using for this series on hand sewing. I cut a lot more ribbon so that I could tie it on to the lamp in a bow. You don't have to let the ribbon show, and it can be tucked into the opening edges. You have just learned as simple skill that will help you make curtains, skirts, and many other things.
I am nearing the end this fabric, so I hope to show you what you can do with all those little left-over pieces. I hope you have not thrown anything away. I forgot to tell you that when I first began the beginner sewing instructions: that the scraps can be used for something. You do not have to always save them but it is important to know what to do with them if you ever need to be resourceful.