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PART FIRST.

CHAPTER I.

A FEW GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON NEEDLE-WORK,

"But here the needle plies its busy task."—CowPER.

SEE that the edges of the work are perfectly even before turning down, which should be done to a thread, unless the work is not cut straightwise. The needle and cotton should be adapted to the quality of the work, and when the latter is very fine, rovings taken from it, and used as thread, are very good for the purpose. The cotton should be always worked the way it unwinds from the reel, for this reason, the needle had better be threaded before cutting off the cotton. The thimble should be worn on the second finger of the right hand. The needle, while being threaded, is held in the left hand, and the cotton in the right. The scissors, when used, should have the thumb placed in the upper ring, and the third finger in the lower: they should also be held with the sharper point uppermost. When work is very strong, the thread used in making it up should be strengthened by waxing. Thread is much more durable than cotton, and it should therefore be used in working all kinds of linen. Cottons are better for calico, muslin, &c. All kinds of threads and cottons, especially when coloured, should be kept (when not in use) wrapped up in brown paper, as the air is apt to decay them. Sewing silks should be wrapped up in soft wash leather. Buttons, hooks and eyes, tapes, &c. are all better kept folded up, as they are apt to tarnish and decay. Needles, scissors, and all kinds of steel, injure materially when exposed much to the air, especially at the sea coast.

HEMMING.

Turn down the raw edge twice very evenly, and flatten it with the thumb and finger, taking care to arrange the corners nicely.

In beginning to hem, point your needle from your chest towards the right, and after drawing the thread nearly through, stroke the end under the hem, so as to keep it fast without the assistance of a knot, which is always untidy. When your needleful is used, cut off the end, leaving just sufficient to stroke under the hem. In fastening off effectually, sew several stitches close together, and cut off the thread closely. Hem from right to left.

B

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