Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Decorating for Valentine's Day with Vintage Hankies

Here are few more quick and easy Valentine's Day decorating ideas using vintage hankies! I don't know any handkerchief collector who doesn't adore Valentine hankies. I want to share with you a few ways that you can show off your collection.


Use your hankies as decorative shelf edging. As you can see, I also enjoy collecting jadite and dog figurines. My dogs are all interspersed amongst my favorite dishes. They stand silently and faithfully guarding my treasures. Cats would be just as sweet - if you are a cat person.

So much for the dining room. Now, let's move on into the bathroom. You've probably seen my hanky bouquets before, but you have never seen this! Yup, I've been holding out on you...


The Hanky Dress Lady even decorates her TP with vintage hankies!!!


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Valentine Hanky Dresses for Shelley

What fun I had making Valentine Hanky Dresses for Shelley. Pictured below is the fabulous collection of Valentine's Day hankies she sent for me to use. Need I say I was in heaven when these lovelies arrived in the mail!

The red dress above is very special and I think it is probably my favorite. (I say, "think" because it is so hard for me to decide...I really like them all.) It was made from an older and more delicate hanky than the others. The border is actually a sheer transparent fabric. I chose pretty carved mother of pearl buttons to embellish this sweet Valentine dress.

Below you can see the completed Hanky Dresses. Can you match up the hankies with the finished dresses? Which one is your favorite? See how hard it is to decide!

She also asked me to make some dresses from the pattern I sell. If you click on the photo and zoom in you can see the imitation rhinestone embellishments used. I didn't have enough valentine hankies for four dresses. So, I improvised and used pretty little white hankies for the skirts and added the Valentine aprons for more color. I managed to make all of the aprons from one Valentine hanky.

I have made dresses for Shelley before, and it is always a pleasure. She uses them for party decor and gifts; and has kept several for herself to frame and hopefully share with grand daughters one day.

This is one of the hankies Shelley sent to me. When I told her that it was a puzzle hanky and also that I collect these, she gave it to me for my collection. I simply love it and every time I see it I remember Shelley and smile! 

Click this link to learn more:    Valentine Puzzle Hankies

Monday, February 1, 2016

Easy Valentine Hanky Dress Display Idea

This is a quick and easy way to show off those Hanky Dresses you've been making.
I thought of this when I was taking my Christmas decorations down. This is just a shabby white frame with red satin ribbon strung from side to side around small nails hammered into the back of the frame. I made it to display my Christmas cards. You can attach it to the wall using removable adhesive Command wall hooks. Patterns can be purchased from my Etsy Shop.

Valentine Hanky Dress Display

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Super Bowl 50 Bronco Hanky Dresses For Sale


I like to say there is a Hanky Dress for every season and a Hanky Dress for every reason.

Living in Colorado I am, most heartedly, a Broncos fan and I made these two Hanky Dresses specifically for that reason!

Now, you may be asking, “What on earth is a Hanky Dress.” Well, I am going to tell you what on earth a Hanky Dress is. It is a piece of art created from grandma’s treasured vintage hanky. I take grandma’s hankies and fold them into the shape of a dress in various styles. Then I carefully stitch and embellish each one and hang it on a little handmade hanger that I coerce my husband to make for me. Each hanger must be made to fit each dress and must meet my rigorous standards. From time to time I find it necessary to reject a hanger. And, I can tell you when that happens, it does not make for a happy home around here.

I’ve done this with wedding hankies, Christmas hankies, Valentine hankies, fancy hankies…polka-dotted, plaid, and plain hankies. The fact is, these hankies have memories attached to them. Some were so precious they were never used. They had been tucked away in a drawer for safe keeping, while others were faded and worn. Some had even been passed down from generation to generation. They were childhood hankies and lover’s hankies. Many might be considered quite ordinary and every day, but they all had one thing in common. They reminded my customers of someone they loved.

Super Bowl 50 will happen only once. This is my way of commemorating the event. I have used two vintage 1950’s Burmel linen hankies with hand rolled white hems to create these very special Hanky Dresses. They are embellished with vintage rickrack and buttons from the same era and measure approximately 11-12 inches shoulder to hem. These hankies are most likely of the never used variety that I spoke of earlier. I can tell because the colors are vividly bright and the linen is nice and crisp.

Surely, there is some philanthropic millionaire out there who would like to own these and give my little Hanky Dress business a boost. Available online through my Hanky Dresses Etsy Shop. If you happen to live in Denver, they can be viewed in person at Frame It located at Broadway and Ridge Road in Littleton.

Etsy About Page          Facebook          Pinterest            Blog Home           Frame It          Shop

Super Bowl 50 Bronco Hanky Dresses - The Hanky Dress Lady 

Friday, January 22, 2016

I Have a Treasured Hanky - Part 3 - Look What Susie Did

This is picture of Susie's kitchen and where she hung her other Hanky Dresses I made for her. 
I think that is just the sweetest idea she came up with!  And notice that unique piece of trim above her doorway.

Pictured here is Susie with her granddaughter Chandler and daughter in law Jami. They are just two of her crafting and baking "partners in crime." She has two other granddaughters, Macie and Hanna, who join her in her these adventures, as well. Susie is a retired professional baker and has traveled to Paris to for lessons. While there she enjoys visiting Paris street markets too. (I secretly want to stow away with you next time.)

Susie made these bags from fabric scraps and vintage hankies. The fringe on the bags and the rug were made from damaged hankies.

The rugs she makes are an old style that originally was created with 2-inch strips of fabric woven with an old toothbrush cut off at the brush end and filed to a point at the other end. The fabric strips are threaded through the hole and worked in a fashion similar to how you do a buttonhole stitch. There are several variations on this theme.

So creative! 

I just love that rug.  

Thanks so much for sharing with us.

Monday, January 18, 2016

I Have a Treasured Hanky – Part Two

This Hanky Dress was made from an antique silk and lace handkerchief. I remember my joy when I first saw it. The lace is very fine and delicate. The silk is a lovely pale green and the lace is cream. There are places where it has been repaired and I could see that the thread used for the repair was larger than the thread that was used to originally stitch the handkerchief together. In the past, thread was made really fine so I knew this was quite old. I had guessed at least 1920's. And now we know that it was likely older.

The handkerchief was given to Susie by her cousin Cindy who told Susie that the hanky had belonged to her great grandmother. Cindy remembered hearing that it was from England or Ireland; maybe, something that was brought over when they immigrated. She said it had always been treasured by her family.

The Hanky Dress Lady

The Hanky Dress Lady

The Hanky Dress Lady

I do not usually work with silk hankies because they are too soft; however this one had such a beautiful wide lace border that I thought I just might be able to make it work. Furthermore, I have never made a dress with this configuration of folds and I really don’t know that I could ever do it again. It all just sort of fell into place.

Susie had a grand plan for this dress….she wanted to surprise Cindy and give it to her for Christmas. Susie has since let me know that Cindy was surprised and pleased with her gift, but, Cindy told her that she should really be the one to have it because of her love of things old. The two haven't seen each other since they were young and hope to get together this spring or summer.

Here are a couple of close-up pictures of the handkerchief.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

I Have a Treasured Hanky

This is what Susie said when she contacted me last September to ask me if I do custom work?”

Wow! Did she ever have a treasured hanky…several treasured hankies, as a matter of fact. I am only going to share the first two with you in this blog post because they are so special.

This is a simply splendid example of a Madeira embroidered handkerchief. Just look at the detail in this handkerchief!

It was given to her by her Japanese mother-in-law in 1968 when she and her husband were married and she thinks it may have been made in China in the 1940’s to 50’s.

The Hanky Dress Ldy

The Hanky Dress Lady

The Hanky Dress Lady
Here is the dress I made for her.

The Hanky Dress Lady

And...this second hanky was given to her by her best friend who said, "Here, this is old, you'll like it!" Ha! Ha! Yes it is old. My research would indicate that this is a fine example of punchwork from around 1920. This was a technique commonly used for wedding handkerchiefs.

The Hanky Dress Lady

You will notice this dress is made a little differently. Each of my Hanky Dresses is created to show off the handkerchief to its best advantage.

The Hanky Dress Lady
Second Hanky Dress I made for Susie

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Framed Vintage Christmas Santa Handkerchief

#Santahanky, #TheHankyDressLadyI wanted to create something special with this very special vintage Christmas handkerchief. When I found this wonderful frame I was on my way. The edging on the frame coordinated wonderfully with the edging design on the hanky and with the Damask piece I found for the background.

#TheHankyDressLady, #SantahankyThe vintage hanky dictated playfulness and fun. So I decided to paint some snowflakes on the inside of the glass. There was, of course, a lot of plotting and planning before I took paint brush to glass. The lovely shadow effect is created because there is a space between the glass and the framed hanky. Click on the photos for an enlarged view and a better look at the details.

#TheHankyDressLadyI just knew this would look beautiful in someone's entryway and could be used instead of a Christmas wreath. And, what a joy, it would be to use it year after year!
I almost didn't give this one up. I really wanted to keep it for myself. But, I decided to leave it up to God and the universe to decide what was best. You can imagine my joy when Cynthia (the purchaser) told me she was also a Santa Collector. It always makes me feel good when I know one of my pieces is going to a good home! Thank you Cynthia...and, thank you for the photos.

Cynthia's beautiful Christmas Tree

Monday, December 7, 2015

New Display at Willow Artisans' Market

Next time you're in downtown Littleton be sure to stop in at the Willow to check out my new Hanky Dress display which I will be changing seasonally. 
You can use this same concept in your home...a changeable shadow box is the secret. 

If you have something specific in mind that you don't see in the shop or have a family hanky you would like to have made into a dress - Just ask Helen...I do custom orders all the time.

Willow Artisans' Market is located on SW corner of Prince and Main in historic downtown Littleton, Colorado.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Rue de Noel 2015

I will will have Christmas Hanky Dresses and some other new items to share with you at the show. Hope you'll be there!