I love the way in which crafting things for 'home' can truly impact the most basic, simple and mundane everyday moments - adding just a bit of comfort in the form of something handmade. Washcloths. Diapers. Quilts. I'm definitely drawn to utilitarian, functional home sewing like that. And this latest project fits right in line with that. A handkerchief bag!
I'm a huge fan of cloth handkerchiefs for many of the obvious reasons - environmental, of course; definitely because they feel better than paper on my nose; but also, um, because they're pretty. I have many of my grandmother's, and great grandmother's, and lots that I've picked up along the way thrifting. I love the sweet, beautiful details that have been hand-stitched onto many of them. So much work that goes into some of them, really. And to imagine that their function is then to have noses wiped on them? Well, as a crafter of diapers and washcloths and other things that get used and used and used...I get that. I really do. It's what they're made for!
But enough waxing about the beauty of handkerchiefs, the practical point of the matter is that we use them every day around here, that I send my babies out with one stuffed in their pockets whenever they leave the house...and yet, they've never really found a perfect 'home' within our home. I tried giving everyone their own to manage, but that just became too complicated at laundry-sorting time. I've also kept them in open baskets, but then they're exposed to dust and stuff, and well blowing your nose into a dusty handkerchief is kinda gross, and also? Defeats the purpose.
So...this bag was what my brain finally puzzled out to solve the problem of 'where' to put those handkerchiefs. The "bag" has a zipper in the back, which opens the full length to place many handkerchiefs in at once. Here I will confess to you, and you can see that our handkerchiefs do not get ironed...or even folded. They are often wrinkled masses of fabric. (Except for the times when one of the children tells me they need something to do. Sometimes a little mindless/mindful ironing is just what anyone needs - truly! Try it next time you're feeling unsettled. It'll calm you right down.)
And on the front, well, this is where I thought myself quite clever (indulge a Mama, would you?). I tried to make a 'dispenser' of sorts - where you could pull one out at a time, without opening the whole bag. And, it works! (Both front pieces are doubled, with the 'fold' of each meeting up in the center. I hand stitched them together - reinforcing securely at either side for the enthusiastic hankie-grabbers amongst us - leaving a 4" gap for the opening. The fabric, by the way, is from Lotta Jansdotter.)
The very best part is that my boys tell me that it feels like they're a magician pulling something out of a hat each time. But then they pull it out, and it's a handkerchief! "For boogers!" Voila! (I'll take it as a compliment.)