It's summer and wedding season is in full swing! I still get lots of requests to make keepsake wedding handkerchiefs. These are very personal and are the very best gift for the bride or groom to give to the special people in their life on the special day. Many people like to give them at the rehearsal dinner so they can be put to good use at the wedding!
This all started with the original poem intended to be given by the bride to the mother of the groom. I have now made others for the groom to give to the mother of the bride, and for each to give to their own mothers or a special friend.
The wording for the original goes like this:
Your son is such a special man
And I know that it is true
He would not be the man I love
If it were not for you.
So if upon our wedding day,
You shed a happy tear,
Just save it in this handkerchief
And know I hold you dear.
Once I made one of these for a bride-to-be named Cynthia. When I saw her after her wedding, I asked her how her new mother-in-law liked her handkerchief. She said, "Honey, I could rob banks and she wouldn't care." I took that to mean it was a hit!
Here are my instructions on making the handkerchief. I buy my blanks from various sources, including
Embroidering A Keepsake Hankdkerchief
Select a nice quality cotton handkerchief with a suitable embroidery area. I use a size 13” square for most of my handkerchief embroidery. It is best to use a handkerchief of at least this dimension so that it can be secured in the hoop on all edges. This helps prevent dips or wavy lettering on this lightweight fabric.
Print a template of the wedding poem from your embroidery software. Cut off the excess paper margins. Use this as a guide to help position the handkerchief in the hoop. The poem versions almost fill the hoop for which it was composed, so it is not possible to include a dedication or closing to stitch with the poem in a single hooping. The personalization portions require additional hooping steps. While it would be possible to hoop the handkerchief in a larger hoop and include the personalizations, the resulting embroidery will not be as high-quality. It is important to hold the handkerchief securely in a two ring hoop for best results.
If you will add a dedication and signature line to the poem, leave more margin above the hoop than below the hoop. The dedication (Dear _____ ) requires only one line, but the closing requires three lines of text (Love, Name and Date). For best results, print separate templates for the dedications as well as the poem.
Hoop the handkerchief with mid-weight water-soluble stabilizer below the handkerchief, secured in the hoop along with the handkerchief. Aside from suitable lettering, this is the most important key to your successful project. There are three weights of water-soluble stabilizer in most complete stabilizer product lines. For example, in the Sulky product line, the three weights are:
Solvy – Lightweight
Super Solvy – Mid-weight
Ultra-Solvy – Heavy-weight
Load the poem into your machine. Rotate to the direction that you have hooped your handkerchief. Place the hooped handkerchief in the machine and use your trace function to trace the design or lettering area for your lettering or design. If your machine does not trim between lines of lettering, stop the machine at the end of each line and clip the thread before beginning the next line. This will prevent thread from becoming trapped under the next line of stitching.
When the poem is complete, remove it from the hoop. The handkerchief should lie flat, without puckers. If your handkerchief is puckered, loosen your top tension before stitching another. Work with your tensions and hooping technique to achieve a pucker-free result.
Pull away large pieces of stabilizer. Use the tips of your embroidery scissors to release the stabilizer between the lines of the poem. You do not need to wet the handkerchief to remove the small bits of stabilizer because they are transparent.
After you have removed the stabilizer, press the reverse side of the handkerchief using a warm iron and a pressing cloth. If you add personalizations, rehoop with a smaller hoop, using the midweight water-soluble stabilizer.
Present in pretty tissue wrapping and gift box.
You can find five versions of wedding poems available for sale at my website, www.myembroiderymentor.com
You can purchase them for download or as a kit with three handkerchiefs. I hope you will enjoy stitching these poems for your family and friends on their special day as much as I do.
May embroidery always bring you joy,
See you in a couple of weeks,