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using in your needle; you then sew over this thread, taking hold, at the same time, of the gathering thread, and pointing your needle to your chest; you must be very careful to put your needle between every gather: the thick thread, thus worked upon the gathering, has a very meat effect, and adds much to its strength; two or three rows of it, at short distances from each other, look very well: it is particularly suitable for the shoulders and sleeves of dresses, and for children's saccarines, pelisses, &c. It is a good plan to bias with sewing and netting silk, in preference to thread, as it is much stronger.
This is very suitable for the fronts of children's dresses, and the tops of the cuffs of sleeves; it is done as follows. Take up the stitches at regular intervals of half an inch, for the first row. For the second, continue doing the same; letting the needle, however, take up the intermediate parts. The third row resembles the first, and so on. For the purpose of securing the gathers firmly, work them as follows, with very strong netting silk. Take on your needle the two first gathers, and the thread on which they run, pulling your thread firmly through. For the next stitch, again take two gathers and the thread upon your needle, letting the first of them be the last gather that was taken up at the former stitch, so that the work proceeds but by one gather at a time. Observe to draw the netting silk as tightly as possible, so as to make the stitches lie very closely together, in a slanting position.
This sort of work is much used for the inside of the tops of work-boxes, and sometimes for the tops and heads of beds; it is usually done with silk, satin, or velvet, for the former; and highly-glazed chintz or calico, for the latter. Crease your material in even folds, taking care to have them very regular, and of a proper depth to suit the purpose for which it is intended; with a strong thread, tack the folds together with long stitches, so as to make them lie compactly one against another; then, with sewing silk of the proper colour, stitch firmly together, at moderate equal distances, the first and second folds: afterwards, stitch the second and third folds, at equal distances, taking your stitches in the intermediate intervals (see Plate 1, Fig. 10 and 11). The third and fourth folds are only repetitions of the first and second, and by continuing your work in this way, the stitches of the alternate rows will accord with each other. When the piece is completed, and the tacking thread drawn out, pull your work open, and it will form puffings, in the shape of diamonds, on the right side.
Flannel is generally bound with sarsenet ribbon, or a kind of thin tape called flannel binding. This is generally put on so as merely to shew a little way over the edge on the right side, and should be meatly and firmly hemmed down. On the other side, run the binding down with small neat stitches, so as to look very tidy on the right side. Some people, in binding flannel, turn half on the other side of the edge, but this is not nearly so neat in appearance.
Is generally employed for coverlets, silk shoes, cushions, linings of work-baskets and boxes; also, for babies' bonnets, hoods, &c. &c.; and is well adapted to those purposes for which warmth and softmess are essential.
It is done in the following manner. Lay a piece of flannel, demet, or other soft substance, between the satin (or other material forming the outside) and the lining of whatever you are going to make. Run it firmly together, taking care that the stitches go through, not only the satin, but the flannel and lining. The running is done in diamonds, squares, octagons, or any other pattern with very small stitches, in silk the same colour as the material. Coverlets are often quilted with patterns of birds, fishes, stars, &c. &c. Another kind of quilting, which looks very neat, is done as follows. Baste the piece of work in diamonds, with very long stitches of thread, and then, with your needle, work a little star at each of the intersections or points of the diamonds, putting in your needle between the material and the lining, when the thread is ready to be carried from one star to another, to conceal the stitches.
These are used for trimming dresses, capes, &c., and are made of satin, silk, or velvet, in the following manner. Cut pieces of the material crosswise, about one or more nails, and join a sufficient number of them to form the length required; after which double the strip in two, on the wrong side, and run along near the edge. When you have got to the end, see that your needle is fastened firmly, with strong thread to it, and turn your needle inside the roll, running it through as you would a bodkin, and, on pulling it gently out, it will pull the rouleau inside out, and make it look neat; after which, draw sufficient wool through the rouleau to fill it.
This kind of braid is bought in knots, and resembles Fig. 10, Plate 1. In putting it on frocks, it may be sewn in various patterns of leaves, &c.; it looks pretty, and both wears and washes well. (See
Plate 5, Fig. 28, 29.)
This is often put on infants' frock bodies, it looks neat and washes remarkably well. It is sewn on in waves, diamonds, vandykes, or any other pattern. The thread for sewing it on should be fine, and
the stitches very small.
It is a kind of ornamental work, which, as it is often used in frock bodies for children, will be here explained; together with some othet fancy stitches, although they do not strictly come under the head of plain work.
Chain stitch is done as follows. Thread your needle with fine round union cord, braid, or bobbin; tie a knot at the end of it, and draw the cord through to the right side of your work. Let your cord hang loosely in front, while you stick in your needle, as in the Plate, and bring it out below, inclining it a little to the left, passing your needle over your thread as you draw it out, so as to form a loop. Draw out the needle, taking care not to pull the stitch tightly, and repeat the same, putting the needle in a little higher, and to the right hand of the place where it was last drawn out: thus each new loop begins within the lower part of the preceding one, and you produce the effect of a chain.
FANCY CHAIN STITCH.,
This is a very pretty stitch for ornamenting babies' dresses, and especially their hats, and should be worked in netting silk, silk cord, or braid. The stitch resembles that of the common chain stitch above mentioned, excepting that very little is taken up on the needle at a time, and the stitches made far apart. The stitch may be varied according to whether the needle slants little or much. If it is made to lie quite horizontally before the work, it becomes button-hole stitch at once.
CHAIN STITCH ON GATHERS.
This has a remarkably meat effect, and if done with coloured worsted upon Holland dresses, when biassed or gaged, it will wash and wear well. Take up two gathers at a time for each stitch, always taking one old, and one new gather on the needle at a time.
FANCY BOBB IN EDGING.
This is pretty for the edges of frocks and robings, and is a very simple stitch, which wears well. After hemming the edge, tie a knot at the end of your bobbin, and draw it through to the right side of the work, just below the hem. Carry the bobbin over the hem, by sticking in your needle at the wrong side, bringing it through ; after which, on drawing the loop to the proper size, pass your bobbin through it, and begin the next stitch, and so on, forming a succession of loops.
This stitch resembles that of the common herring-bone, except that it is worked perpendicularly instead of from left to right, and the thread is brought round behind the needle, as represented in Plate 5, which gives a greater finish to the stitch.
PLATE 5. FIG. 27.
This pattern is too intricate to describe, farther than by saying it is a kind of double herring-bone on each side. The Plate gives a tolerably accurate idea of the stitch. As great care is requisite to keep the pattern even, it is better to run a tacking-thread, as a guide, down the middle of it.
THE ANGULAR STITCH.
This is a neat ornament for capes, cuffs, and the skirts of children's pelisses, and resembles the button-hole stitch, but is carried angularly from right to left, to form the pattern. Care should be taken to make the pattern of equal width and very even and straight, as much of its merit depends upon its regularity.
THE SERPENTINE STITCH.
This is a peculiarly pretty work, and much employed for children's dresses. It is worked with the hand, and sewn on to the material when made. Take the cord, knot it so as to form a loop at one end, and pass the other end through the loop towards the front, to form another loop to the right hand; continue passing the bobbin first through the loop on one side, and then through the loop on the other, directing the cord so as to pass from the outer side of the work invariably towards the inner, or that part next the work. The Plate will give a clearer representation of this than can be easily done by words.
THE HORSE-SHOE STITCH.
This stitch is worked from left to right, as seen in the Plate, and is pretty when worked near to the edge of robings, hems, &c. The Plate gives so clear a representation of the way to hold the needle and thread, that no explanation is necessary. It is done with thick loosely twisted cotton or bobbin.
FANCY BUTTON-HOLE STITCH.
This is very pretty for the fronts of bodies, also for the bands and shoulder-bits, and above the broad hems or tucks of frocks. It resembles a very wide button-hole stitch. It washes and wears well.
PLATE 5. FIG. 26.
This pattern is particularly suitable for the tops of broad hems, or the waistbands of children's frocks. It requires great accuracy in the working; and if attempted by an inexperienced person, it would be desirable to run lines, in long stitches, to determine the middle and outer sides of the pattern. It can be best understood by reference to the Plate, merely remarking that the stitch is begun on the left hand, and continued alternately from left to right, always pointing the needle towards the centre.
GENERAL RULES FOR COMPLETING WORK.
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In making up dresses, all openings of pocket-holes, of sleeves near the wrist, &c. &c., should be very firmly fastened off, as they are apt to tear. There are two or three modes of making them strong: one is by working round the part in button-hole stitch, and also by making a bar from one side to the other, by passing the needle backwards and forwards several times, working the button-hole stitch upon the bar; a second is by sewing a piece of strong tape upon the hem, about an inch on each side from the bottom; and a third way, which can only be done when the pocket-hole is in a seam, is by making one side lap over the other considerably, by which means the slit is not only strengthened, but it does not gape open, which always has an untidy appearance. To prevent dresses from opening at the slit below the band, it is a good plan to extend the gathers, on one side, an inch beyond the band, by joining a piece of strong tape to the end of it, and sewing the gathers neatly upon it. This piece of tape must be contrived so as to hook or button on to the band on the other side, so as to lap over the slit, and thus prevent its opening.
In fastening on tapes, sew firmly in close small stitches round the three outer sides, and back-stitch across the fourth.
In sewing on buttons, it is best to put the needle in and out, so as to form a cross stitch in the centre over and over again, till firmly fastened.
In sewing on the long tapes to the bands of petticoats, gowns, &c., it is an excellect plan to make a large button-hole near one end, through which the tape of the other end is passed, before brought to tie in front.
The gussets of sleeves, &c., are put in as follows. Take the piece intended for the gusset and prove, by folding it crosswise, that it is a perfect square; after which, it is the best and most durable plan to hem it all round: next hem the two ends of the sleeve, and fix on the gusset by sewing one end of the sleeve firmly to one side of the gusset, aud the other end of the sleeve to the next side of the gusset, immediately round the corner. The easiest mode of ascertaining which sides of the gusset are joined to the sleeve, is by folding the gusset corner-wise, and the two sides that lie one above the other are sewn to the two ends of the sleeve, and the other two sides, lying also one above the other, form that part of the sleeve fastened to the body of the dress. Sometimes the gusset is cut out much smaller than the ends of the sleeve, especially for baby clothes, in which case the sides of the gusset forming the part fastened to the skirt, ought to be still placed so as to continue in a line with those sides of the sleeve sewn on to the skirt. That part of the ends of the sleeve which is longer than the gusset should be sewn together.
Some sleeves are cut with the gussets in one length, so that it is only necessary to turn up the one corner of the piece, like a half handkerchief, so as to make it lie upon the side of the strip which is folded just in half, and when the second end is sewn to that part which meets it, the sleeve is formed, and only requires hemming at the bottom to complete it, before putting it in.
In setting a long sleeve, such as a shirt or night-gown sleeve, into a wristband, let the slit be sufficiently long to admit of the wristband being laid open and easily ironed. The gathers at the top of the sleeve should be set into a space exactly the same as the wristband, to make it lie flat also. These little attentions are a great assistance to the washer-woman.
“Many have been ruined by buying good pennyworths."—Poor RICHARD.
It is very bad economy to purchase, for articles of clothing, cheap bargains. They generally consist of damaged goods, or are otherwise inferior in their quality, as it stands to reason that no mercer would feel inclined to sell his stock at a lower rate than its worth.
The only parts of dress which it may be sometimes advisable to purchase at a cheap rate, are gloves, ribbons, and such articles as are easily soiled long before being worn out, and cannot well be cleaned : in large towns and dirty neighbourhoods they are soon discoloured, and therefore their durability is of little consequence.
Linens, calicoes, woollens, prints, &c., should be carefully chosen from the best, as they are in constant wash and wear, and would soon become worn and threadbare if not good and strong. Two sets of good linen will wear out three or four sets of inferior, which, when the expense of making up is considered, becomes, in its turn, far more expensive, besides the extra trouble and time, both of which are well worth saving.
Observe that the cloth is the proper width for the articles wanted, so as to cut out to the best advantage. Much waste may arise from its being one nail too wide or too narrow. Take notice that the selvages, and also the threads, are even and good both ways.