Practice Hankies – making and using

For most of our Cotswold dances, we use hankies. They’re fun and go swish!

At danceouts, along with the other kit the Kit Monitor looks after, the KM hands out beautifully made hankies. At practices, some people use the group practice hankies, and some use practice hankies they’ve made themselves.

In the current situation, it’s a bit harder to lend out practice hankies; so here’s my post on how to make your own!

Making

Using

Making

There are varying levels of effort you can go to to make your hankies look nice, but that’s all to do with how you hem them.

Cutting

To start, you need two pieces of fabric, each an 18 inch square plus hem allowance. (hem allowance ~= 1 inch)

These can be made of whatever material you like! Most of the Uni Morris ones are made from (new) white sheets, but people’s individual ones are often done by buying a half metre of fabric.

Fabric comes in 40″ or 60″. If you have a half-metre of 40″ wide, you can just cut it in half. If it’s 60″, either play with thirds or find a ruler.
For cutting up larger amounts of fabric, I highly recommend the ruler.

You now have two unhemmed practice hankies!

Hemming

You can use your hankies fine without hemming. Hemming makes them fray less and look neater, but it’s not essential.

If you’re hemming, the next few paragraphs are a guide on how to hem either a simple or rolled hem.

Simple Hem: fold each edge over by your hem allowance and sew them down.

Rolled Hem: fold each edge by slightly less than half your hem allowance twice, and sew down. This means the raw edge is completely encased.

Sewing: for hand sewing, running stitch or back stitch will work; the internet has countless tutorials on these, so I suggest finding one that works for you.
If you’ve got access to a sewing machine, use a straight stitch.

Ironing: we’ve found a use for that iron in your flat! The Kit Monitor made me try it and ironing the folds really does make them easier to sew.

Using

There’s a trick to holding your hankies so you can even forget you’re holding them.

  1. Put one corner in your palm
  2. Thread the rest between your second and third fingers
  3. Bring back towards your palm between third and fourth fingers
  4. Thread back between your first and second fingers
Video tutorial on holding hankies

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Now to try dancing! We’ll be uploading more dance tutorials over the semester so have a go!