This section is from the book "Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction", by Laura I. Baldt. Also available from Amazon: Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction.
To make: Use a small knot, take up very small stitch on under side of fold of hem, and only part of the thread in the cloth. Looks like a running stitch, if edge of hem is turned back. Not a strong sewing, but desirable for exquisitely fine finishing (Fig. 115).
To work: Hold strip for ruffle with the wrong side toward the worker, turn edge and roll between thumb and first finger of left hand, rolling only about an inch or two at a time. Stitches pass under roll, not through. Use short threads. Ruffles which are whipped are afterward overhanded to the garment. Each stitch should take up one fold or gather made in the whipping (Fig. 116).
Fig. 116. - Whipping.
Feather, chain, catch, cross, blanket-stitch, see under "Embroidery."
Buttonholes (Fig. 117). - The following points must be considered when making buttonholes: (1) marking; (2) size; (3) cutting: (a) with buttonhole scissors; (b) with ordinary scissors; (4) working: (a) overcasting; (b) buttonhole stitch; (c) fan; (d) bar.
1. The position of the buttonholes should be marked on the garment with a pin or basting, giving due regard to the spacing between the buttonholes and the distance of each from the edge of hem or band.
Fig. 117. - Buttonholes.
2. The size should be about one-sixteenth inch more than the diameter of the button which is to pass through the hole.
3. The buttonhole must be cut exactly along the thread of the material, otherwise the edge will be uneven and hard to work and the finished buttonhole unsightly ; (a) if the holes are to be cut at right angles to the edge of garment, buttonhole scissors may be used; (b) if these are not available, the extreme ends of buttonhole may be marked with a large pinhole, and the buttonhole cut by inserting the sharp point of a small pair of scissors in one pinhole and cutting toward the other one. If the buttonholes are cut parallel to the edge of the garment, as in the box-plait on the front of a shirtwaist, the second method of cutting must be used.
4. Working: Buttonholes must be worked from right to left. (a) Overcasting: Since buttonholes are always cut through two or more thicknesses of material, they must first be overcasted in order to hold the edges evenly together and to prevent their fraying while being worked. To work: Hold the slit diagonally across the cushion of the first finger of left hand; at the inside right hand end of the buttonhole, insert the needle between the two layers of cloth and bring it out exactly below the end of the slit; the distance from the edge will be governed by the size of the buttonhole and the kind of material. From three to five overcasting stitches should be made on each side of the buttonhole, according to its length, (b) Buttonhole stitch. The last overcasting stitch (Fig. 117) will be exactly opposite to the first one; now bring the needle through immediately below the first overcasting stitch which should bring the thread into position for the first buttonhole stitch at the inner end of the slit (if the latter is cut at right angles to the edge of garment); pass the needle through the slit and bring it up through the cloth exactly beside the last stitch; while the needle is still in the cloth, pass the double strand of thread from the eye of the needle around the point of the needle, from right to left, then pull the needle through the cloth and straight up from the edge of the slit (not at an angle) in order to place the stitch properly with the purl or twist right on the raw edge of cloth, being careful not to pull cloth too tight, which would pucker cloth and make the edge of buttonhole uneven. Repeat the buttonhole stitch until the first side has been worked, (c) The outer end of buttonhole may be finished as a fan by continuing the buttonhole stitches around the end (usually five or seven to complete the turn), letting the. purl of each stitch lie very close to the preceding one in the end of the slit, and the other ends of the stitches radiate from the end of the buttonhole like the stick of a folding fan, the center stitch should extend straight out from the end of slit. Now the buttonhole stitch may be continued along the second side of buttonhole toward the inner end, which is to be finished with a bar. (d) When the last buttonhole stitch has been made, bring the needle through as if for another buttonhole stitch, but do not pass the thread around the point of the needle, pull it through and put the needle down in the hole made by the first buttonhole stitch on the opposite side of slit, thus laying a straight stitch across the end of the slit; make two or three stitches the same way, exactly on top of each other, then turn the buttonhole around so it lies straight across the cushion of first finger and work tiny blanket stitches (Fig. 117) over the long stitches just made; so that the twist or purl of the blanket stitch is toward the buttonhole, catch each stitch in the cloth behind the bar, and work them close enough together to completely cover the bar; fasten the thread by running it back under the stitches on the wrong side of the work. The buttonholes (unless very long) may be worked with one thread throughout, but should it be neces-15 sary to piece the thread, run the old thread back under the stitches on the wrong side; then run the new thread forward under the same stitches and bring the needle up through the purl of the last buttonhole stitch, so as to keep the finished edge of the buttonhole unbroken.