This section is from the "Hand Sewing Lessons" book, by Sarah Ewell Krolik. Also available from Amazon: Hand Sewing Lessons: A Graded Course For Schools And For The Home.
Striped gingham, or calico, 2x4 inches. Cotton, 6x8 inches.
(a) The stripes should cross the model, and be hemmed exactly on the stripes to which they belong.
Turn 1/4 inch hem. Use No. 70 thread and No. 9 needle.
(b) Fold inch hems on all sides of the cotton piece - on the long sides first. Mitre the corners at one end of the model. Use a measuring card, crease the folds, and cut the superfluous cloth from the corners. Baste these hems with 1/4 inch stitches. The sewing should show as little as possible on the right side.
To start a new thread, take a stitch back of the last one and hide the ends under the fold. Finish the hem by taking two or three stitches over each other, or by sewing through a loop of the thread.
Illustration 11 (a). Hands in position for hemming.
Illustration 11 (b). The hem carried between the second and third fingers.
The hem should be held between the left thumb and forefinger until several inches have been hemmed, then passed over the first and second fingers and under the third, but never over one finger. The second and third fingers are used to pull the work over the forefinger as the stitches are taken. The hemming must never be curved over the forefinger at the place where the needle is inserted. Slant the needle as nearly on a line with the hem as possible.
A mitred corner is formed by making a diagonal seam from the outside to the inside corner of the hem. (See illustration 12, a and b.) Make a paper model. Fold the hem, open the folds, and fold the corner at right angles on the line a-b. Cut the corner off on the dotted line 1/4 inch from a-b. Replace the folds as in Illustra-tion 12 (b). Fold and cut the cloth in the same manner, and over-hand the diagonal seam. (Illustration 12, b.)
Illustration 12. (a) Mitred corner open.
(b) Mitred corner, cut and folded.
Wide hems and hems on woolen cloth should have both folds basted.