The Following suggestions to teachers are intended to give a broad conception of the underlying principles upon which this text is founded and to offer means by which it can be made most effective in the hands of the student. It is not the intention to curtail the possibilities nor any of the originality or initiative of the teacher, but rather to relieve her as much as possible of the drudgery and minor details which fall to the lot of one who must constantly be a source of information and advice to her classes. In practically all other school subjects the teacher has the advantage of being able to place in the hands of her students some sort of literature from which they may gather the essential facts of the subject-matter. In proper justice to the teacher of sewing, as well as to the student, these classes should be provided with some means by which they may gather pertinent information and direct their own activities by their own powers of research. This will conserve the teacher's time and energy, allowing it to be devoted to the more important functions of studying the case of each individual student and then prescribing work suitable to meet those needs.
This book is divided into six sections and each section presents ten projects in detail, and offers suggestions for optional modifications which may be used in the construction of three or four times as many additional projects. It is not the intention that any one student should be required to make every project in each section, but the aim has been rather to set forth an abundance of work from which the teacher may direct the choice of each student, after considering carefully her individual tastes and needs. No attempt has been made throughout the different sections to grade the projects and present them in the exact order of the sequence of processes, but rather to present a series of projects dealing with kindred principles, thus offering an opportunity of appealing to the various tastes of the students. It will be found, however, that the sections are somewhat sequential from the standpoint of difficulty. It is therefore suggested, that for the most part, the work should be taken up in the order presented in the text.
When a student has completed one project, by a careful grading of the finished product as well as by a thoughtful consideration of the capability of the student, the teacher should advise her what project she is to undertake next. In making these selections the personal wishes of the student should be carefully considered, and the selection should be made in such a way as to give each girl further training on the particular processes which she did not do satisfactorily in her last project. In this way it will be possible for the teacher to strengthen the weaker points of the student by review without losing any of the interest which comes with undertaking a new project. It will be observed that in each section there are offered projects of such a nature as to appeal to the interest of almost any girl.
The introduction to each section should be carefully perused by the teacher in order that she may have a fairly clear idea of what that section embodies. It would be well for the teacher to acquaint herself with the processes set forth in each project before allowing the girls to undertake any of them. The student who has not sufficiently mastered the work of one section should not be permitted to pass to the next, but should be given further work, either from the regular lessons, or from the suggestions for optional modifications until she has proven her capability of undertaking the processes set forth in the next section. It is not necessary that all students of the class be working on one project or even projects from the same section at the same time; in fact, too much emphasis can not be laid upon the matter of giving to each girl the work best adapted to her personal development, regardless of what the other members of the class may be doing at that particular time. One of the principal reasons for placing the textbook in the hands of the student is to make it possible for this plan to be carried out.
On the opening page of each lesson is given a half-tone illustration to enable the student to visualize the essential points of the thing which she is about to undertake. These illustrations will also be found useful in guiding the teacher and students in making a wise choice of projects. With each lesson will be set forth the amount of material required for its construction. A suitable kind of material is suggested; this does not mean that that kind of material is the only one suitable, for in a great many of the projects a very wide latitude of choice is allowed. However, the material recommended is very commonly used and will give excellent results.
Following the name of the material will be found paragraph references. These references refer to the supplement at the close of the text. By referring to these paragraphs a discussion of the different kinds of cloth will be found. These discussions will afford material for research work, and it is urgently advised that teachers require their students to make a careful study of these references.
No attempt is made to give a technical discussion of the various fabrics, but merely to cover the points of general information which will be found of practical value in the average home. This reading may be done outside the regular sewing period, it may be used as the basis for language or composition work, or used in a number of ways which will no doubt suggest themselves to the thoughtful teacher.
On the first page of each lesson will be found the "Introductory Statement." The purpose of the introductory statement is to enable the student to realize that the thing set forth deals with a home problem. While no effort is made to give the child a full comprehension of the home problem which the project of that lesson helps to solve, yet the introductory statement is made sufficiently exhaustive to bring to the mind of the student the fact that such a problem exists in the average home. Throughout the text it has been the policy to offer no project which does not have a real function in home life. Students should read the introductory statement of each project which they make. It would also be well to have all the introductory statements read and discussed in class regardless of the projects which the class is to undertake. This consideration of these introductory statements will develop the judgment and awaken the interest of the students in a way which would not be possible if they were omitted.