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Made by a Fabricista: Handkerchief Hems



I've always been fond of unusual hemlines- high/low, asymmetric, and handkerchief.  This month, I was particularly drawn to handkerchief hems, and tried out new to me patterns in a top, skirt and shirtdress.  A handkerchief hem has four corners- as if you had cut a hole in the middle of a handkerchief and put it over your head.   It's been around since the ancient Greeks, and had a heyday in the 1920's. 


This handkerchief hem knit top is from out of print Vogue 8651, and I used a coral bamboo knit to make it with along with Milly notions of coral ribbon and gold beads.



Fabric Mart is out of this knit, but I think any of the rayon/lycra knits would have a similar drape.  I got the idea of making an attached necklace from another reviewer on Patternreview.com.  I only purchased this ribbon in coral, and now I wish I had gotten several colors, as I've found many uses for it, as you'll see!


How I created this look was by taking three lengths of ribbon, and then spacing the gold beads on the ribbon until I had a pleasing arrangement.  To hold them in place, I put a dot of hot glue on the inside of each bead.


To make sure that I didn't get any hot glue on the shirt, I stuck a heavy canvas bag in between, as I left the top on the dress form.  I then sewed the ribbon into the shoulder seam, and I reinforced the shoulder seam with a piece of twill tape.  The beads are actually pretty heavy.  I imagine that I will have to hand wash this one.  But I don't mind- I like how it turned out!


My next project was a skirt from out of print McCalls 6126, View A, using this floral peachskin.





The top that I'm wearing was a knit tank dress, that I had a permanent oil stain on the front of the skirt.  So, I chopped off the stained part and made a handkerchief hem tank!  For this skirt, I accentuated the handkerchief hem by adding the coral ribbon around the perimeter.  I used Steam-a-Seam strips to do this, rather than sewing the ribbon in place. You just put the strips where you want the ribbon to go, press the ribbon on top, and then iron it in place.  It's very sturdy.


To be honest, when I first got this fabric, I had been expecting to make a dress out of it, but it felt like a nylon windbreaker fabric, and I just couldn't envision it as a dress.  It is fine for this skirt, as the style isn't too close fitting.  So when my sewing plans changed directions, I had enough left over to actually make a windbreaker from it too!


The wide legged crop pants are from Simplicity 8556, that I had made a couple of years ago out of a white twill. I used the ribbon again as a drawstring for the hood, and the beads at each end.  I also put the ribbon on the hood seamlines.




And here is the jacket with some more athletic wear.  I wasn't sure if I'd like the floral in a sporty style, but I really do!  I used Butterick 6533 for the jacket, with modifications of putting in zippered pockets, ribbed knit cuffs, and elastic waistband.


My last handkerchief hem item is a shirt dress, using a stretch poplin with a double border.  I love getting a piece of fabric like this where you really have to use your imagination to figure out how to use the border, and in this case, stripes too!   Fabric Mart is sold out of it, but this is what it looked like before I cut into it.  It had a bit of a stretch to it in one way, so I used that stretch to go horizontally around the bodice.  But if I wanted the border to show on the hem, I had to place the skirt so that the stripes went horizontally.  I also place the front band, and the sleeve hems on the solid part of the fabric.  I used these buttons.




Here is a photo of the dress in-process.  Sometimes I get people who don't believe that I really made something, so I take a picture of it in-process on the dress form for proof!  For the pattern, I used McCalls 7351.

I didn't have a belt to go with it, so I used a red and white striped webbing and two of the Milly gold rings.  Fabric Mart is out of the specific rings that I used, but they have others in the  Buttons and Findings category.  One of the more frustrating aspects of being a home seamstress is not being able to find good quality notions.   I can often find beautiful fabric, and the perfect pattern, but am left without the little extras that really make a garment pop.  The Milly notions that have been available have been so exciting for that very reason.  I've bought quite a few of them because you just never know if you will see something like that available again.  Check them out if you haven't already.



I'll leave you with this peaceful image of a bleeding heart flower in my garden.  I have to say that writing a blog post about sewing during this time of intense social upheaval feels very strange.  The photos of myself smiling for this post belie the fact that my heart is breaking for the black community and the injustice that they have had to endure.  I stand with the protesters and support change in our justice system and equality for black lives in our society. 

With compassion,

Ann


Comments

  1. Another fabulous collection Ann! It's hard to pick a favorite, but the poplin was just made for the handkerchief hem, and the added necklace is so inventive!

    ReplyDelete
  2. All of your makes are beautiful and well done. The standout for me is the floral jacket. It is so pretty and in transitional seasons can be worn everyday.

    ReplyDelete

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