This section is from the book "Progressive Lessons In The Art and Practice of Needlework", by Catherine F. Johnson. Also available from Amazon: Progressive Lessons In The Art And Practice Of Needlework.
Fig . 3 - Sampler No. I.
5. What is the back of the thimble? Ans. The back of the thimble is that part which covers the back of the finger.
6. Why is the needle pressed against the back of the thimble, and not against the top? Ans. Because more force can be used when both joints of the thimble finger are bent; when the top of the thimble is used, only one joint is bent. Stitches can be more rapidly and more evenly made when more force is used.
7. What is the name of the cloth on which practice stitches are made?
Ans. The cloth on which practice stitches are made is called canvas.
8. What is the name of the thread used? Ans. The thread used is called worsted.
9. How is a worsted needle threaded? Ans. To thread a worsted needle, hold it between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand, the eye pointing towards the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, between which is held a loop of the worsted. Pass the eye of the needle through this loop, and draw the worsted tightly over it. Then pull out the needle, and push the loop of worsted through its eye. (Illustrate on the blackboard.)
10. How should the scissors be held? Ans. For cutting light cloths, especially woollens, the blunt side of the scissors should be underneath; then the point will not catch in the cloth. The thumb should run through the upper bow, and the third finger through the lower, the first and second fingers supporting and guiding the scissors. (Illustrate on the blackboard.)
11. How many kinds of basting stitches are made? Ans. Three kinds of basting stitches are made.
12. How are the basting stitches made on canvas? Ans. To make basting stitches on canvas, begin at the right-hand edge, the first line of basting 1/2 in. from the upper right-hand corner. For the even stitches, pass the needle first under four threads, and then over four threads, until a line is made across the canvas. In the second line of basting, pass the needle first under four threads, and then over eight, and so on across the canvas. In the third line of basting, pass the needle first under four threads, and then over sixteen, and repeat to the end of the canvas. (Illustrate on the blackboard.)
13. Is basting begun with a knot? Ans. Yes; knot the thread to begin basting, because the basting is finally pulled out.
14. How is the thread fastened for stitching and back-stitching? Ans. To fasten the thread for stitching and back-stitching, turn the upper right-hand corner of the canvas over the first finger of the left hand, and take up two threads on the under side with the needle, and draw through all of the thread except 1/2 in., which is held down with the left-hand thumb, and take a stitch over it to prevent its loosening and drawing through. Then put the needle through to the upper side, four threads from the edge, and begin to work.
15. How is the stitching on canvas made? Ans. Begin to stitch on canvas with the needle four threads from the right-hand edge, on the upper side, and put it through to the under side, two threads nearer the edge, in a horizontal line; then take up four threads horizontally on the needle, and bring it to the upper side. This will be two threads in front of its first position. This is repeated along the whole seam. (Illustrate on the blackboard.)
16. How is back-stitching done? Ans. In back-stitching, take up six threads on the needle, then go back and take up the last two of these and four more in advance, and so on. (Illustrate on the blackboard.)
17. How is the thread joined in stitching and back-stitching? Ans. The thread in stitching and back-stitching is joined in the same way that it is fastened, beginning on the wrong side, over the second stitch from the last.
18. What is the difference between stitching and back-stitching? Ans. In stitching, the stitches touch ; and in back-stitching there is a short space between the stitches. Show the difference between stitching and back-stitching by drawings on the blackboard.
19. How are running stitches made ? Ans. Running stitches are made by taking up two threads of the canvas, then passing the needle over two threads, then taking up two more and passing over the next two, and so on.
20. How is the thread fastened and the stitch made in oversewing?
Ans. To fasten the thread and make the stitch in oversewing, put the needle from behind through the two thicknesses of the canvas, two threads from the top and two threads from the right-hand edge. Then pull all but 1/2 in. of the thread through. That 1/2 in. of thread lay over the top of the seam, and sew over it by putting the needle up from behind and two threads in advance of its first position, then pulling the thread through until the stitch is tight. Repeat this over the length of the seam. (Illustrate on the blackboard.)
21. How is a new needleful joined in oversewing? Ans. Join the thread in oversewing the same as it is fastened in beginning, taking care to begin at the second stitch from the last one made, in order to make the seam firm, and sewing over these last stitches with both ends on top. (Illustrate on the blackboard.)
22. In oversewing are the stitches straight across the top? Ans. In oversewing, the stitches slant from right to left over the top of the seam.
23. How may the oversewed seam be finished? Ans. The oversewed seam may be strongly finished by sewing back over the last four or five stitches. (Illustrate this on the blackboard.)
24. How should the thread be fastened to begin to hem, and how should the stitches be made? Ans. To fasten the thread to begin hemming, start two threads from the right-hand edge of the canvas and take up the two threads of the folded edge diagonally to the right and directly above; pull the thread of red worsted through all but 1/2 in. at the end; put this remaining 1/2 in. of thread up under the fold to the left, and hold it there with the thumb of the left hand; now bring the needle down and put it through the canvas below the fold, two threads in advance of the point at which it came out before, and pointing it to the left; take up two threads diagonally forward and upward. This is repeated for each stitch. (Illustrate on the blackboard.)
25. How is the thread joined in hemming? Ans. To join the thread in hemming, leave 1/2 in. of the old needleful, and pull this down under the fold of the hem, the edge of which is lifted to place the thread under. Then put the newly threaded needle back and under the hem, as far as the second stitch from the last, and, beginning there, hem over these last three stitches and on to the end of the seam.
26. Should hemming stitches be slanting or straight? Ans. Hemming stitches should be slanting on both upper and under sides.
27. How should a hem be finished? Ans. By taking two hemming stitches over the last stitch ; then run the needle under the hem back four stitches, draw the thread tight, and cut close. Show these steps on the blackboard.
28. In what direction is the work done in basting, overcasting, running, stitching, back-stitching and hemming? Ans. In basting, oversewing, running, stitching, back-stitching and hemming, the work is done from right to left.