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My Custom Hank Project

hanks handkerchief hanky

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#1 Franklion

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 01:50 PM

Almost a year ago I bought a hank to see if I was the type of guy who would want to carry one every day. Turns out I am. I've been searching for more. Etsy has some fantastic vendors and I've been curating individual hanks for months but haven't had the desire to buy any of them. I need to love them and none of them checked off enough boxes. Although I love my first hank, it is made with two patterned cotton prints and is a bit stiff, even after a few washes, and not that absorbent. With summer coming up that is important. A couple of hanks on the list have one side I dig but the other side is not my favorite. If there is a solid side the color isn't complimentary to other side, in my opinion. The stitching pattern is too plain. The stitching color is one I wouldn't have chosen. Although the theme of the hank is what I like I've seen better prints elsewhere. Referencing back to the comments I made in the "What's Better for EDC?" article I need to love what I bring into my collection. I refuse to settle.

 

Now I know what you are probably thinking at this point, which is I'm going to make my own. Kinda. I don't have a fancy sewing machine but my neighbor does and is willing to work with me on making any custom hanks I want. I can research and find prints that I love and haven't seen used anywhere else. I can experiment with having one side be organic birds eye cotton or a thin bamboo terry. I can choose my stitch pattern and thread color, as well as any additional details such as a diagonal stitch from corner to corner. I love this and it seems to make the hank more durable or at the very least unique. The shops I've seen do this tend to be more expensive at around $15-$20 a hank. I even have old tees with dope prints that I'd want to turn into hanks. This is going to be amazing and I can't wait. I'm going to find some test fabrics this week for her to try before I invest in the fabric prints I want.



#2 Franklion

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 02:41 PM

Yesterday I spent about an hour at the local Joann Fabrics looking and feeling pretty much every spool of fabric they had, twice! It was overwhelming and was disappointing because they didn't have anything that jumped out at me. They were out of stock of their birds eye cotton equivalent. The licensed cottons were the typical stuff almost every Etsy shop uses. Boring. So that I wouldn't leave empty handed and because there was a good sale I reluctantly purchased a 12x40 sheet of Adventure Time to have my neighbor try. It broke the bank at just under $3.00. The site I was going to get fabrics from is expensive at around $10.50 a fat quarter! They also sell "test samples" at 8x8 for $5. Tiny for a hank, right!? There at least two patterns (see above) that I really like so I'd be willing to drop some coin to get hanks that I love, nobody else has and to my specifications.

 

On the way back home my neighbor texted that she made a sample hank and a piece of felt with all her stitch patterns for me to pick up. She has 18 awesome stitches to choose from, with only 4 of them I've seen before. 18!!! She labeled them so when I place an order I simply tell her I want this with stitch "B" and this with stitch "R". She made the sample hank a 7.5" x 7.5" so I could see how an 8" x 8" would look like if I bought those test samples. It looks cute as a smaller size and was thinking it's not practical, but I've been handling it today and I think I'm digging the size. Yeah, it's a bit silly to compromise the size of a standard hank for a pattern you want but for my needs I'm not tied to the 10" to 12" range, so I'm okay with. Because of the size and how many I can make I could see myself carrying two 8" x 8"s versus one 11" x 11". Also, not only did she do the diagonal stitch, she did all four corners. Pretty cool, if I did an X-Men hank. The biggest surprise for me was the flannel she used on one side. I told her before I specifically didn't want to use flannel because I think of thick, red plaid shirts worn by lumberjacks. But this was "baby flannel", was super soft, thin and more absorbent than two regular cotton prints! I'm going back to Joann's after work to get that stuff in a few colors. So stoked.

 

Also, there was this idea I had a year ago that fizzled out. I was seeing about getting a Superman pattern sewn into the shape a diamond. Totally going to ask my neighbor about doing that. ;)



#3 Franklion

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:12 PM

Tuesday I went back for some of that "baby" flannel, which they call "cozy". They have a variety of colors but in the end I purchased only white. Birds eye only comes in white so my original intent was to use it on all hanks, no matter the color of the other side. I think I want to stay away from dark solids so that I can see that the hank is getting dirty, prompting me to wash it more often. The thread and stitch pattern I choose will give the white side pops of color.

 

I dropped off my first set of hanks to my neighbor. Since the pattern print (Adventure Time) had to be cut length wise only I had 40" (x 12") of it. It's enough to make 3 hanks, with different stitch patterns. On one I'm asking her to try out this funky pattern instead of the normal cross stitch. Kinda looks like a diagonally cut sandwich on a square plate. She is charging $2 more for it but if it turns out great I think I will get all of mine stitched that way as like a personal signature.

 

I found some cool fabrics from that site I mentioned before that I can buy in fat quarters or the 8x8 test samples. But what I discovered is you can actually create your own prints! Oh man!







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