Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Draped Tablecloth from Vintage Hankies

Here is another vintage hanky project (I can’t seem to stop using them!!).   The undercloth I used was a very old hanky with a wide (about 2 inch) border of very delicate lace.  The overcloth was one with an appliqué design, probably linen or very fine batiste cotton.  For both I had to cut the square hankies down to fit the height of the table. (I didn’t photograph these steps)
background shows lace hanky before cutting

Vintage hankies
Table (I used Chrysnbon round oak table F-270)
Round tube or carton (like oatmeal or bread crumbs come in) the same size as (or a little smaller than) your table
Saran wrap
Sewing pins
Flat paintbrush, ½ inch or smaller

Cut your hankies to fit the size of your table with some length to drape down on all sides.  On the undercloth I cut off the lace border on part of the hanky and re-glued it to a smaller central linen square so the finished cloth still had the wide border all around but a smaller inner square.  You can’t even tell I made it smaller since the border lace was kept intact.

On the overcloth I just chose the best corner of the design to be the front point and cut off the excess to make a smaller square.  I glued a double hem on both the cut off sides (you can see this in the photo of the back of the tablecloth).

cardboard form and table
If your cardboard can is smaller than your table top then cut a circle of cardboard the same size as the table top and glue it to the bottom of the can.  I used a Progresso bread crumb can (upside down) and a slightly larger circle of cardboard for the Chrysnbon table.  Cover this with saran wrap and tape it down so it is below where the tablecloth will fall.

Find the center of your tablecloth and place it on the center of the cardboard.  Secure it with a pin through the cloth and cardboard.  Dip a large paintbrush in glue then in a few drops of water to make a diluted glue solution.  ‘Paint’ the lace with the glue solution (it shouldn’t discolor the lace especially if it is already dingy or yellow from age).  I hardly had to pin the undercloth to the carton because the glue just made it drape nicely.  I kind of arranged the folds and pulled down on them so they looked natural.  Let dry overnight.

When dry, remove the center pin and position the overcloth on top and arrange it so the nicest side is aligned with the nicest side of the undercloth (always keep this as the front).  Glue the overcloth to the undercloth on the top circle of the table.  Now you can gently coax the folds of the overcloth into the folds of the undercloth and glue with a little glue.  I find a glue syringe helps to reach up under the last few folds.  Let this dry again (overnight is best).
Front of tablecloth
Back of tablecloth

Carefully remove the whole tablecloth by pulling it away from the saran wrap.  Glue to your table.

While the tablecloth was drying I reinforced my table underneath with lots of glue so it wouldn’t slide apart (it is meant to slide open so you can insert leaves).
Reinforce with glue so it won't separate

Here is a photo of all the projects I have made so far with vintage hankies.  I hope to write up how to do the curtains and linen rack soon.
Several vintage hanky projects in 1 inch scale

Monday, November 10, 2014

Throw Pillows from Embroidered Hankies

I wanted to put on my blog how to make these lovely throw pillows.  I have already written about making bed pillows and pillowcases out of old hankies so here I will just give a few notes about these smaller pillows that are made much the same way.

Close up to show lace detail

Below are some of the pillows shown with the cut up hankies used to make them.  Mostly I used the lace from the hankies but also embroidery and cutwork designs.   Silk ribbon, 2mm and 4mm were woven into the lace or just glued on top of the finished pillows for embellishment.

Here are a few notes on these throw pillows:

Backing:  Hankies are usually very old and frail and don’t hold up to sewing and stuffing by themselves (especially stuffing with sand).  So I make the pillow from a solid color or tiny check fabric.  Then the hanky part is overlaid on the solid and sandwiched between the colored fabric layers (much the same way you would sew on a ruffle or piping).  This just means you have to position the piece of hanky between the right sides of the pillow before sewing so that when turned inside out the hanky will show.

Sewing: Just like the bed pillows in my previous blog, I sew all around the pillow without leaving an opening.  Then I cut the thread in the center of the bottom seam (where it won’t show when closed) and remove a few stitches to turn inside out.  This allows all four corners to look consistent (refer to that same link for trimming corners and turning).

Filling: I use a small funnel and white craft sand, “Scenic Sand” to fill the throw pillows.  The sand makes the pillows sit up like a real feather pillow.  I put a small line of glue inside the folded opening (see photo) then press closed and hold a minute or two.  You have to be careful to completely close the opening so no sand leaks out.  Most tightly woven cotton quilt fabrics should hold the sand OK.
Scenic sand, funnel and how full to fill it!
Put a line of glue inside the opening fold

Press, hold, finished!
Embellishments: I used silk ribbon, 2mm and 4mm width to make tiny silk roses and bows.  Where ribbon wraps around the entire pillow I put the glue only on the back since glue soaks through silk ribbon very easily and makes a stain.   I have a bowmaker I made many years ago from nails and a piece of wood that I use to tie tiny bows (similar to this link but using two nails in a block of wood).  The tiny buckle is a vintage doll buckle I purchased many years ago.

There is a very good tutorial on Cynthia Howe’s website on how to make silk ribbon roses.  Click here.

I hope my blog may inspire you to try to make something from all the beautiful embroidered hankies you can find on Ebay.  Enjoy!