How to Make a Handkerchief Dress

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Things You'll Need

  • Two large handkerchief scarves
  • Sharp scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread
  • Coordinating shirt

Make a flirty dress with a skirt that twirls by using two large handkerchiefs or scarves -- creating a layered, zig-zag hemline. This type of dress may look complicated to put together, but in reality, it's a simple project for even a beginning sewer. Choose scarves of the same size and fabric to make for quick assembly and care. It is important to measure correctly, to prevent cutting too much from the handkerchiefs and verify the dress fits around the waist and hips properly.

Select two large handkerchief scarves that are the same size, with a dimension of 4- to 5-feet square. You can also cut fabric to this dimension, and sew a narrow hem around the circumference.

Measure your waist. Cut a circle in the center of each square to match this measurement.

Lay one handkerchief on a flat surface with the right side up. This handkerchief is the bottom layer of the dress.

Lay the second handkerchief on top, with the right side facing up, so the corners line up with the straight edges of the first handkerchief to create a star shape.

Pin the handkerchiefs together around the center hole. Sew around the edge of the hole with a basting-stitch to hold the two handkerchiefs in place.

Cut the bottom hem off a T-shirt, tank top or other coordinating shirt. Sew 1/4 inch from the bottom edge of the shirt, if it is a stretchy material.

Slide the top of the shirt through the handkerchief hold. Line the rights sides of the shirt and handkerchief together so the hem lines up with the sewn edge of the handkerchief. Pin the layers together to hold in place.

Sew the shirt to the handkerchief with a 1/2-inch straight-stitch seam. Finish the inside seam edge with a serger or zig-zag stitch to prevent fraying.

Turn the dress so the right side faces out.


  • Make tucks at the side seam of the shirt, if the circumference is larger than the handkerchief hole.


About the Author

Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Photo Credits

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