This section is from the book "School Needlework. A Course of Study in Sewing designed for use in Schools", by Olive C. Hapgood. Also available from Amazon: School Needlework: A Course Of Study In Sewing Designed For Use In Schools.
The pupils, when learning, should always have a sample of the required stitch. A convenient trial-piece for the lower classes is prepared, by basting together the edges of two strips of cloth, one, eighteen inches by fourteen inches, the other, eighteen inches by four inches. A sample of stitching, two inches long, is placed under the basting, above which is a sample of overcasting. A narrow hem is basted on the opposite side of the broad piece, with a sample of hemming, also a sample of coarse button-hole stitch on the fold of the hem at the opposite corner; a basted seam for overhanding is two inches from the hem, with a sample of overhanding. On the narrow piece of cloth is a sample of running. Different colored thread should be used for each stitch.
A basting lesson may be given below the row of basting, and used for practice in stitching, followed by lessons in gathering, half-backstitching, etc. The trial-pieces may be prepared by the pupils of the higher grades. It is advisable to have different shaped trial-pieces for different grades, the older classes preparing their own pieces. The trial-pieces show the pupils' ability and proficiency.
If for any cause the pupils cannot sew on a garment or their regular work, they should work on their trial-pieces. The pupils will endeavor to do their best, if the work is to be kept for exhibition.
On the trial-piece, different colored threads may represent degrees of advancement, or a different color may be used for each month's work, by which it may be easily perceived how much has been accomplished in the time. The joining of the thread in the different stitches should be shown by using different colors.