This embroidered handkerchief tutorial was made in collaboration with Singer Sewing Machines. But all thoughts and opinions are completely my own! Thanks for supporting the brands that keep me blogging. 🙂

How to make a DIY embroidered handkerchief or personalised pocket square - Click through for the full tutorial How to make a DIY embroidered handkerchief or personalised pocket square - Click through for the full tutorial

One of my fave things about my Singer sewing machine is the mass of cool accessories it comes with. Honestly, there’s an accessory everything! Whether it’s a specialist foot, an extendable table, a dual needle, speed control… the list goes on. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Recently, I had the chance to use a few of these cool features in one sewing project. I made an embroidered handkerchief, featuring a personalised monogram. It’s for my Dad’s birthday next week (I think he’ll love the little bespoke detail!) – but I definitely want to make some for myself, too. They’d be perfect as pocket squares, don’t you think?!

How to make a DIY embroidered handkerchief or personalised pocket square - Click through for the full tutorial

To make the embroidered handkerchief, I used the embroidery foot of my Singer 7285Q Patchwork. With this foot, it’s super easy to add customised embroidered details to your projects. I also used the roll hem foot to add a lightweight, neat finish to the edges.

Make An Embroidered Handkerchief

Supplies and tools

  • A square of lightweight cotton or linen
  • Cotton thread
  • A sewing machine (I use the Singer 7285Q Patchwork)
  • An embroidery foot
  • A roll hem foot
  • An embroidery hoop that’s smaller than your fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • A soft pencil

Tutorial

Part 1: personalise your embroidered handkerchief

1. Start by cutting your cotton or linen to size. There’s no specific size it must be, but I’d aim for approximately 20cm by 25cm. Make sure you also add on an extra centimetre of seam allowance all the way around the edge!

2. Place your cotton into the embroidery hoop. This can be done by loosening the top screw and removing the inner hoop. Then drape the fabric over this inner hoop (making sure it completely covers the hoop). Push the outer hoop back around the inner hoop, to trap the fabric in place. Pull the fabric taught and tighten the top screw.

How to make a DIY embroidered handkerchief or personalised pocket square - Click through for the full tutorial

3. Turn the embroidery hoop upside down, so the cotton is flat against your desk. Then use a soft pencil to sketch your embroidered design, directly onto the fabric. If your fabric has a right and wrong side, you may need to draw this design back to front. (It doesn’t matter which direction you sew the embroidery from, as it will look equally neat on the front and back!).

How to make a DIY embroidered handkerchief or personalised pocket square - Click through for the full tutorial

4. Fit your sewing machine with an embroidery foot. It should also come with a small guard to cover the feed dogs – make sure you fit this too! This will stop the feed dogs on the base of the machine from pulling your fabric forward as you sew (meaning you can free-machine embroider). Set the stitch to a narrow zig-zag (approximately 0.5-1cm wide).

How to make a DIY embroidered handkerchief or personalised pocket square - Click through for the full tutorial How to make a DIY embroidered handkerchief or personalised pocket square - Click through for the full tutorialHow to make a DIY embroidered handkerchief or personalised pocket square - Click through for the full tutorial

5. Lift the sewing machine foot and slide the embroidery hoop underneath. Make sure it’s positioned with your pencil sketch facing upwards, and the fabric flat against the sewing machine.

6. Lower the foot against the fabric. Going slowly at first, sew a zig-zag along the lines of your design. Remember that the feed dogs are covered, so you will have to manually move the fabric yourself! If you’re unsure, it’s definitely worth practising on some scrap fabric.

7. Once you’ve gone over your design once, repeat the process again to make the embroidery lines thicker. When you’ve finished, remove the fabric from the embroidery hoop.

Part 2: hem the edges

There’s lots of ways you can hem your DIY embroidered handkerchief. The tutorial below tells you how to use a roll hem foot on a sewing machine – but you can use a standard foot (or even hand sew!) instead, if you’d prefer. (If using a standard foot, simply fold the edges over twice, to conceal the raw edge, and sew in place with a straight stitch).

1. Fit a roll hem foot to your sewing machine. This cool foot has a little curve of metal, which rolls the edge of the fabric tightly (kinda like a tidal wave shape). It then feeds the fabric under the needle so you can stitch it in place. The result is a super lightweight, almost invisible hem – perfect for a handmade handkerchief or pocket square!

2. With the roll hem foot in place, it’s time to prep the fabric. Fold the fabric edge over by approx. 1/4 cm. Then fold it again another 1/4 cm, to hide the raw edge. You only need to do this for the first 5-10cm of the fabric.

3. Position the folded fabric edge beneath the roll hem foot. Set your machine to a straight stitch, then sew 2-3cm of the hem. Lower your needle (to keep the fabric in position), then raise the foot. Carefully feed the rest of the folded fabric edge into the curved section of the foot.

How to make a DIY embroidered handkerchief or personalised pocket square - Click through for the full tutorial How to make a DIY embroidered handkerchief or personalised pocket square - Click through for the full tutorial

4. Lower the foot, then continue to sew. The foot should guide the edge of the fabric in, and stitch it neatly in place. Magic!! It might take a few attempts to get used to it, but stick with it. Once you’ve mastered this foot, it’ll speed up your hemming forever!

5. When you get to the end, backstitch for 1-2 cm to tie the thread in place.

6. Repeat this process with the other three edges.

How to make a DIY embroidered handkerchief or personalised pocket square - Click through for the full tutorial How to make a DIY embroidered handkerchief or personalised pocket square - Click through for the full tutorial

Overall, this project took about an hour to make and used offcuts from another project. However, the result definitely rivals anything you’d buy from a pricey menswear department! I can’t wait to give it to my Dad on his birthday (don’t worry – I’ve given him strict instructions to stay off my blog until then!).

Thanks to Singer for helping bring this project to life! Both of the feet I used in this project (the embroidery foot and the roll hem foot) come as standard with many Singer sewing machines. Alternatively, you can buy them from the Singer site. I’d definitely recommend getting the roll hem foot if you do a lot of sewing, as it’ll save you so much time. And the embroidery foot is just a cool thing to have for personalising your projects. They make a good pair!

Also, don’t forget to check out some of my other Singer sewing projects in my sewing archives.

-Mike 🙂

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How to make a DIY embroidered handkerchief or personalised pocket square - Click through for the full tutorial