This section is from the book "Scientific Sewing And Garment Cutting", by Antoinette Van Hoesen Wakeman. Also available from Amazon: Scientific Sewing And Garment Cutting: For Use In Schools And In The Home.
The designs being finished, the next work is the top of the model. It will be remembered that a thread of canvas was drawn, and a red basting placed to mark the limit of the designs. Draw out this red thread and one more thread of canvas, and the model is ready to be hemstitched across the ends, which later on form the top of the bag.
As has been said, each step in this course of work has been arranged, after repeated experiments and long experience with children of different ages, in accordance with the principles of a harmonious development rather than a forcing of faculties. It has been found that it is too difficult for beginners to undertake to catch the hem and learn the hemstitch at the same time, therefore there is no hem turned in this first lesson in hemstitching.
When the threads of canvas have been drawn, let the pupil first take a backstitch to secure the thread, then take up two of the warp canvas threads which have been left by pulling out the weft, catching it into one thread of the cloth below. Set the needle back two threads, and take up two threads, as in the backstitch, setting the needle each time one thread into the firm cloth.
When the ends have been hemstitched, measure down the length of the - model twelve threads from the last design, and draw two threads on each side. Turn in the edge of the model one-fourth of an inch, crease down a hem that just reaches to the drawn threads, and baste.
When this has been done, let it be hemstitched, being careful to explain that not only must two threads be taken up at each stitch, but also the edge of the hem, as in this way it is held in place.
What is the first thing to be done in hemstitching? Ans. To draw the threads.
How is the stitch taken? Ans. Two threads are taken up and the needle set back over two at every stitch.
How is the hem turned? Ans. First the edge is turned one-fourth of an inch, and the hem is then creased down so that the edge just reaches the drawn lines.
Was there a hem turned at the top of the bag? Ans. No; that was a practice hemstitch.
How is the hemstitching along the edge of the bag different from that at the top? Ans. At the side, the edge of the hem is caught with every stitch.
Is hemstitching useful? Ans. Yes; in ornamental work.
Should hemstitching be done very evenly? Ans. All stitches should be done evenly.