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Handkerchief-Top Pillow

Making a Handkerchief Top

A pillow with a bit of a Victorian look can be made from four identical embroidered handkerchiefs. You will need a square of fabric for the pillow back and a top square of that same size that will show as a border around the handkerchiefs. Two rounds of ruffled lace are optional.

Planning Your Pillow

Your pillow can be any size you want. The amount of the top that is covered by the handkerchiefs will depend on the size of the embroidered design on them. Fold the hankies into squares that are a little larger than the embroidery, and place them together in a square with the embroidery at the outside corners. Move them together or farther apart until you like the effect. Determine the size you’ll want each hankie to be, adding seam allowances.

If the edges of the hankies are shaped, making it difficult to use as seam allowances, or if the embroidery is too close to the edges to allow for seams, consider putting the embroidery toward the center instead of the outside corners. The curved edges of the hankies will expose some of the border fabric between them at the center.

You will need the hankies to be connected before they are sewn on the border fabric so you can turn the edges under as one piece or ring the hankies with ruffle. To do this, sew two of the hankies next to each other to a piece of waste fabric from the hankies. Stitch close to the finished edging, but stop before the edgings curve away from each other. Trim the waste fabric so it doesn’t show.

Repeat with each joint.

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