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Monday, September 18, 2006

Sew A Pillow Sham From Vintage Hankies And Other Old Linens

Sewing Friends:

This holidays will soon be upon us and we will be racking our brains for sewing gift ideas.

How many of you have some old vintage hankies or dresser scarves or old embroidered pillow cases or crocheted doilies laying in your drawers or cedar chest in the attic somewhere? Think about what you can do to give them new life.

Make a collage and frame them; sew pillows; make a bedroom cornice, sew an apron (they are back in style), a table runner, placemats, etc. Sewing little girls dresses out of old vintage pillow cases is real trendy right now. Include them in some of your garments as well as part of a yoke or a pocket. Of course, you can also sew them into a gorgeous quilt, too. Use your imagination.

Why not put them on display by sewing a pillow sham for your bed or give it as a gift to someone you love? That's what I did for both my daughter and son when they married. And, there wasn't a whole lot of sewing to it. So, even if you don't know much about how to sew, you can do this.

I made this pillow sham for my daughter about 24 years ago. It has special meaning for her. The hankies were mine, her grandmother's and her great-grandmother's. In fact, one of the hankies was a high school graduation gift to me 50 years ago. Imagine giving a hankie as a gift to a graduate today! My daughter says this sham, which still sits on her bed, is one of her most treasured gifts. She loaned it to me to show you.

I'm not a good photographer, but you will get the idea, I hope. It really is very pretty.

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The lace I used around the edges of the pillow sham were pieces left over from her wedding gown. So, it is a 4 generation remembrance for her.

To make this sham, I simply used a purchased king size white pillow case as the base. Then, I cut and arranged the hankies where I wanted them using pieces of lace to cover any raw edges that were exposed. Pin or fuse edges to hold in place. Then sew using either a small zigzag or blindhem stitch to hold permanently. You might also try sewing some lace around the outside edges of the pillow sham to finish it off or add a ruffle made from more hankies, or some of your crocheted edges, etc.

The pillow sham that I made for my son was a collage of old embroidered dresser scarves and pillow cases with crocheted edges that his grandmother made many years ago. It was very special to him as well, as he remembers her sewing with her embroidery hoop stitching those colorful flowers and figures.

It just makes sense to use these old treasures and not hide them in the drawer. Enjoy them every day. Sew them into something useful and beautiful.

Always remember that YOU are the designer. There are no rules, just do it and have fun with it.

To Your Sewing Success,


PS: Let me know how you used your old vintage linens in your sewing projects. I would love to hear from you.

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