Monday, March 7, 2016

Tatted Hanky

Sewing the tatting to the hanky
I've been tatting a bit, lately and made a tatted edging for a linen hanky that I also made. The linen is very fine handkerchief linen, with a simple folded hem. The tatting pattern is a very simple one from a book that is now in storage, so I can't give you the details. I used DMC Cordonnet size 60 thread and sewed it on with Madeira Cotona size 80 thread, all materials are white.

This is the first time I've used this shuttle. It has a bobbin and a crochet hook on the edge. It took me a while to get used to it, but now I love it. Sometimes I catch the hook on the tatting thread, but I've been diligently trying to train myself not to do this.

Completed hanky
 I like sewing the tatting on to the hanky instead of tatting right into the edge. First, it is a bit easier to get to the corner correctly, as you can change the spacing just enough to get it right to the edge without any ruffling. This would be much harder, as least for a newbie like me, to do this while tatting into the hanky. Second, both the sewing thread and the fabric are much weaker than the tatting, so if the hanky gets stained or torn I can easily remove the tatting and put it on another hanky. I learned this from Jeannie Baumeister of Old Fashioned Baby (see the link to her site on my blog list). She always uses a very fine thread to attach lace to fabric so if there are any stresses on the garment the thread, not the very expensive lace or fabric, will break and so will be easily mended. I've never tried this to see if it works, but it makes sense!

Closeup of corner detail
Now it's time to try a more complicated pattern, something with more picots and in a smaller thread. I'm comfortable with size 60 so I'd like to move on to size 80, the really tiny thread.


  1. Absolutely. After all the effort that goes into tatting the lace, it would be so annoying to lose the lace if the garment or piece it was embellishing became irrecoverable!

  2. Your tatting is beautiful; it's very even and consistent. The idea of making the tatting first and then sewing it onto the hanky makes a lot of sense. I know how fragile fine linen is, and this seems like a practical solution.

    I would love to know how that shuttle works. I inherited an antique shuttle from my grandmother, (who was very serious about her crochet work and her tatting) that I wasn't even quite sure what it was until I read your blog just now. Thanks for the info.

    1. There are several tatting blogs out there, plus a lot of Youtube videos with lessons for both shuttle and needle tatting. It's interesting that your grandmother did both tatting and crochet, as you have to hold the fingers just slightly differently for each technique.

    2. Quite honestly, I don't know a lot about tatting. Most of what my grandmother did was crochet, in the form of lace tablecloths, doilies, collars, etc. But I have some edgings for pillowcases and hankies that look more like tatting then crochet. And, I do have that antique shuttle, that you have just enlightened me about. Either way, I love the work you're doing, and it makes me understand and appreciate my grandmother's work even more.

  3. I really love this project, Cynthia! There's something so satisfying about the simple linen and delicate lace. Great finish!


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