How to Make a Hanky Baby Bonnet
Many people have seen this old-fashioned gift at baby showers. It's a baby bonnet...it's a wedding hanky...it's both! And it's sweet and sentimental, and people just love it.
To begin, you will need a hemstitched 10 x 10 (inches) hankerchief. I use white but there are other colors as well. Tat an edging (my favorite, from an old Workbasket, looks like a daisy chain and is quick and simple to make). You can either tat directly onto the hanky, or sew it on when you have completed it. I prefer to tat directly onto the hanky, just because it takes must less time to do it that way.
Once the edging is completed and attached to the hanky, lay the hanky flat on an ironing board (you may wish to gently hand-wash the hanky before this step and that is fine). Fold one end of the hanky back about a half inch, and press the fold through a cloth. Then fold the opposite edge of the hanky back about two and a half inches, then fold that edge back one inch. The result is a little accordion fold (see picture for help). Press this through a cloth as well.
Now you will need a needle and white thread (assuming your hanky is white). With a very long basting stitch, sew your thread through the half inch fold that you made first. Gather the fabric tightly and tie the threads together in a knot. This makes it easy for the mom to snip the thread later. Then, I sew little ribbon rosebuds to the double fold at the front of the bonnet (again, see picture). The ribbon ties are secured with a quick "X" stitch, then I tack the rosebuds over the ribbon ties. Leave a longish thread after you knot it so the baby's mom can find it later.
And that's it! It's quick and easy and well-appreciated for baby's baptism, christening, or trip home from the hospital. I print out one of the following poems on a sheet of white paper and wrap it in the box with the bonnet.
Hanky Bonnet Poems:
THE MAGIC HANKYI am just a little hankie, as square as can be;
but with a stitch or two, they've made a bonnet out of me.
I'll be worn home from the hospital, and on special days,
and then I'll be carefully pressed and neatly packed away.
Then on the Wedding, I have been told,
every well dressed Bride
must have something old.
So what would be more fitting than to find Little Old Me,
a few stitches snipped and a Wedding Handkerchief I Will Be!
And if per chance, it is a boy, someday he still will Wed.
So to his Bride he can present
the "Magic Handkerchief"
once worn upon his head.
OR:This bonnet at first seems small in your hands,
A treasure of lace and ribbon bands.
But this gift is more than linen and charms
For the sweet baby who rests in Mother's arms.
From boxes long sealed, she will search for the hat,
Snip off the ribbons, and after that
Hand over this handkerchief with a smile
To her grown-up daughter, who will walk down the aisle.
Or to maybe her son, a young handsome groom,
She will hand him a gift, a family heirloom.
He will give it to the girl who holds his heart
To have and to hold, till death do they part.
AN HEIRLOOMA tiny square of linen
And a dainty edge of lace,
Designed into a bonnet,
To frame your baby’s face.
After baby’s worn it
Fold and tuck away...
And it becomes a hanky
For your daughter’s Wedding Day.
Or if the baby is a boy,
On the day he marries,
This can be the “something old”
His joyful bride will carry.
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