Once upon a time there was a shirt. The shirt loved a boy. And the boy would wear the shirt often. He appreciated it’s light blue color and light cotton material. He wore it to barbeques, picnics and parties. The shirt protected him from sun and rain and traveled the world with him.
And the boy loved the shirt. And they were happy.
But time went by. And the boy grew older. The shirt was often alone in the closet, unworn. One day the boy came to the closet and the shirt said, “Come, Boy, choose me! Let’s go to a to a barbeque, picnic or party.” But the boy did not choose the shirt. He had moved onto other shirts that were less worn and dated.
One day the boy decided it was time to get rid of the shirt, along with others that were old and outdated. With a heavy heart, he tossed the shirt into a pile, to be donated to charity. There was a part of the boy that wanted to keep the shirt, for all the memories it held, but he found this a wasteful and foolish idea. So the boy put the shirt in the pile and wished it well.
And after a while, the boy’s wife came and took the shirt and added it to a pile of fabric. And the shirt was happy. But not really.
Christmas time came and a little girl begged to make a gift for her daddy on the sewing machine. The wife and little girl took the shirt and cut it up, along with some other shirts, and made four handkerchiefs for the boy.
On Christmas morning, the boy opened a small brown box, which held the handkerchiefs inside.
The boy smiled.
And the shirt was happy.
(Adapted from the the book The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein)
The soft cotton of a well-worn, button-up dress shirt, might just be the perfect fabric to use for a handkerchief project. It is ideal if it was once a beloved article of clothing. What better way to wipe away a child’s sniffles, tears or messy chocolate ice-cream faces? Because after all, that’s what Dad’s handkerchiefs are for, right?
How to Make a Handkerchief from a Man’s Dress Shirt
- Cut two squares of fabric from the back or sides of the shirt (anywhere from 10” x 10” to 14” x14” in size).
- Pin fabric with right sides together.
- Begin in the middle of one side and sew all the way around, stopping approximately 3” from your starting point, being sure to back-stitch at your starting and stopping point.
- Trim the corners.
- Using the opening you created, turn the fabric right-side-out and press with an iron.
- Stitch around all 4 sides, closing the opening.