Updating favorite blouses gives them a second life. Taking inspiration from the second issue of Classic Sewing, Hankie Hem version of Millie, this plain white blouse shows a creative use for vintage hankie reproduction.

  1. Wash and dry blouse, if new. Hand wash and dry the handkerchiefs.
  2. Iron the hankies. Cut off the 4 corners of each hankie, saving the center fabric to use for covering buttons. For the blouse shown, the widest side of the triangle is 5”.  You can adjust this to your style.
  3. If the hem of your blouse is shaped, cut to straighten.
  4. Make a hankie chain, overlapping each hankie to the center of the next one. Sew a basting stitch along the top edge to connect.
  5. With right sides together, attach the hankies to the hemline of the blouse, serge or edge finish.

Press the seam to the inside of the blouse (Photo 1) and top stitch along the bottom of the blouse to hold the seam in place (Photo 2).

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Placket and Buttons
For this blouse, larger buttons were used on the “new” blouse to replace the original smaller buttons on the “old” blouse. If you are replacing the same size buttons, then omit this step.
Use the following directions if you are replacing the smaller buttons with larger ones, it will be necessary for you to reverse the plackets putting the “new” buttons on the “old” buttonhole side of the placket.

  1. With a tiny zigzag stitch by machine or by hand, close the original buttons holes (Photo 3). This side of the placket will now be where the buttons are stitched. This side will not show when the blouse is buttoned.
  2. On the “old” button side of the placket, remove the original buttons and work the new buttonholes.
  3. Attached buttons over the “old” buttonholes.
  4. If your blouse has a pocket, you can sew a hankie point into the pocket or on the edge of the pocket.

Let you creative juices flow!

Happy Sewing – Phyllis & Kathy