Oh, sheet!

Over the years you will have gathered that I find it almost impossible to throw things away that “might be useful”. This means that our house is full of stuff, and that can be challenge sometimes. However, there are occasions when a particular item turns out to be exactly what I need… which is just what happened recently.

A while back, when one of our large fitted cotton sheets wore through, I laundered it and put it in my fabric stash thinking that the more robust parts would be useful for lining bags, or something. This meant that when I bought a dress pattern that I was unsure about, I had plenty of old sheet to make a toile (an early attempt at a pattern in cheap fabric) and play about with length and pocket placement before cutting into the linen I had bought for the final version.

This gave me the confidence to cut my bought fabric, knowing that the final dress would actually fit. It’s not finished yet, but I’m making progress.

Because of the size of the sheet, even once the dress was cut out, there was still lots of fabric left, which turned out to be a good job. Recently Mr Snail’s hayfever has been extremely bad, and he has been using handkerchiefs very rapidly, so I shouldn’t have been surprised this morning when he announced that there were no more clean ones in the drawer. Remembering Kate’s recent post and comments on an earlier post of mine about making handkerchiefs out of old sheets/pillowcases, I set to work. I didn’t worry too much about exact sizes, although I aimed for about 35-38 cm square. If it hadn’t been an emergency, I would have hemmed them, but for speed, I overlocked the edges. This means they are a bit scratchy, but better than nothing. And the result, in less than an hour, was 11 large hankies.

Ignoring the fact that they could do with ironing, I’m rather pleased with myself.

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21 Comments

  1. Poor Mr Snail… I’m sure he’ll appreciate your efforts! The Husband of Chiconia says that the ones I made him out of old bed linen are some of the nicest ones he has. He’s rather looking forward to the day (in the distant future, I hope) when we wear out our 1200 thread count bamboo sheets, as they’re wonderfully soft and would be very kind on a sore nose.

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  2. Hankies – such a gentlemanly thing 🙂 Andrew also always carries one with him, I find it quite endearing.
    Isn’t it great when you’ve kept something old for yonks because you never know when you’ll find a use for it —- and then you do?!

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    • I really do love it when I eventually find a use for something that has been hanging around for an age.
      The last lot of new hankies we had came, I think, from my sister after her husband died (he had piles of new ones that people had given him and that she wouldn’t let him use because she dislikes them). That’s 11 years ago… so they’ve lasted well, but clearly the sheet’s time had come!

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  3. I used an old sheet for hankies too, and my hayfever has been bothering me today too, so I totally sympathise with himself. Well done on the hankies. 🙂

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  4. Excellent use of an old sheet. I have always wondered why hankies are so expensive (for what they are) but never considered making my own. Thanks for opening my (currently streaming – yes, hayfever here too) eyes 😊

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    • Commiserations on the hayfever – Mr Snail is especially bad this year and I have been suffering a bit too. I really recommend using old sheets for hankies – cheap and really, really soft.

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  5. I am looking forward to seeing the new dress. I am afraid that I am too impatient to make a toile….and then I get grumpy when the garment doesn’t sit properly!

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    • This is actually my first toile, but the pattern is so strange – cut in a single piece on the bias – and the linen is so nice, that I was extremely nervous about taking my scissors to it. Anyway, it’s cut out now, and would have been further along had the hankie-making not taken priority.

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    • Oh, and I also meant to say that you might recognise the picture in the background of the picture of the toile on Mimi!

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  6. nice idea…useful as well, I doubt if the user cared much about whether they had been ironed…I’m fond of soft flannelette sheeting for nose needs, but mine have never been hemmed so they gracefully fray each time in the washer…

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    • I did consider not edging them, but the overlocker was already set up, so it was no trouble, and it’s really quick to do.
      I think, however, that I may be gracefully fraying!

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  7. My commiserations to Mr S. When I was little and had a bad cold my Mum would give me one of my Dad’s old hankies because they were both large and very soft for a sore nose. I am sure an old sheet has the same softness and now he has so many Mr S can have a nice clean dry one whenever he needs. Personally I hate tissues and ladies hankies are so small and often scratchy so I always buy myself men’s ones!

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  8. I have lots of cotton vintage sheets I bought for possible quilt backings. Mostly floral but they would make excellent hankies – and take up less room.

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  9. Nice job – the hankies and the draft dress. I made a dress from a duvet cover last year – it was almost a success but not quite, but it gave me a lot of practice and I’d been challenged by a friend to make something from a charity shop purchase. Little did she think I would choose a charity shop duvet cover with enough to make much more than a dress! I intend to use another part as quilt backing one day. That’s ‘one day’ in the long distant future. I have a house of things I’ll use ‘one day’ !

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  1. Biased | The Snail of Happiness

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