This section is from the book "Clothing And Health. An Elementary Textbook Of Home Making", by Helen Kinne. Also available from Amazon: Clothing And Health.
Do you know that some girls are often confused and call the hemstitch, the hemming stitch? Barbara Oakes used to, but understands now. You have learned the hemming stitch; now you will try the hemstitch.
See if you can discover the difference between the hemming stitch and the hemstitch? Both are used at the top of the hem to hold it in place, but often the hemstitch is used in other places, too. It is necessary to draw out some threads of the cloth or linen, before the stitch can be made. For the hemstitched towel, measure for your hem. From the raw edge, it will be twice the width of the finished hem plus one turning of 1/4 inch. How much, then, will you measure for a hem one inch when finished? At the point measured, place a pin. Draw out three or four of the woof threads very carefully. Be sure to pull out the whole thread all the way across, when it breaks. Remember how the filling thread passes at the selvedge, and remove it there as it turns. Then baste the hem very carefully, turning to wrong side. Baste close to first drawn thread. Hold work over fingers of left hand in vertical position. Place needle in edge of hem, and draw thread without a knot under the edge of hem just exactly as plain hemming is started (Fig. 89). Throw thread away from the worker; take up a bundle of the threads by passing the needle under them and pointing it towards the worker along the edge of the hem. Again pass the needle under the same bundle of threads, but this time pass the needle through the under cloth and also through the edge of the turned hem, just beyond the bundle. This stitch should come between two bundles of thread. Make the next stitch by taking up a second bundle of threads. At first, one should count the number of threads so as to have the bundles uniform; but with practice this is not necessary. As a rule, the coarser the material, the fewer the number of threads taken up. This is a simple way of hemstitching. There are other ways. Double hemstitching means to hemstitch the other side opposite the hem, by taking up the same bundles. Marjorie Allen made Grandmother Allen a lovely hemstitched towel for Christmas. She was very much surprised and delighted to have some of Marjorie's own work. Marjorie tied it up very daintily in white tissue paper and used some Christmas seals to hold it fast.
Fig. 89. - The hemstitch.
1. Now that you know the hemstitch, you can use it in many places. Can you tell how it differs from the hemming stitch?
2. Think of some useful things on which this stitch can be made besides those mentioned below:-