This section is from the "The Ladies' Work-Table Book: Domestic Needlework in Nineteenth-Century America" book, by Margaret Vincent. Also available from Amazon: The Ladies' Work Table: Domestic Needlework in Nineteenth-Century America.
This is done with thick, loosely-twisted cotton, or bobbin, and is worked from left to right, as shown in the accompanying engraving. It has a very neat and pretty appearance, when worked near the edge of hems, robings, etc. Fancy Bobbin Edging. - This is formed by a succession of loops made in the following manner: Make a knot at the end, and put the needle through to the right side, just below the hem. Bring the bobbin over the hem, and, putting the needle in at the wrong side, bring it through to the right. Draw the loop to the size you desire, pass the bobbin through it, and commence the next stitch, proceeding as before.
Chain Stitch, on Gathers. - This looks well, if worked in colored worsted, or in cord. Two gathers are taken up for each stitch, taking care always to take one of the previous stitches and one new gather on the needle at the same time.
This requires great accuracy in the working, and it is advisable for the inexperienced to run lines, in long stitches, to fix the middle and outsides of the pattern. It may be best understood by the engraving, merely observing that the stitch is begun on the left hand, and continued alternately from left to right, always pointing the needle toward the centre. It is very suitable for the waist-bands of children's frocks, the tops of broad hems, etc.
This is exceedingly pretty, and is much employed for children's dresses. It is worked with the hand, being sewn on to the material when made. Take the cord, knot it so as to form a loop at the end; then pass the other end through the loop, toward the front, to form another loop to the right hand ; continue passing the bobbin through the loop on one side, then through the loop on the other, directing the cord so as to pass from the side of the work invariably towards the inner, or that part next the work. Biassing. - In this operation, the first part of the stitch is the same as gathering You then stitch down; and upon the right side of the gather, you lay a thread a good deal thicker than the one you used for gathering thread. Over this thread you sew, taking care to take hold also of the gathering thread. The needle is always to be pointed toward your chest. You may work two or three rows in this way, on
the sleeves and shoulders of dresses, etc., which has a handsome effect. You must take grest care to bring the needle out between each one of the gathers. Honey Combing. - The material may be velvet, silk, etc.; and the mode of working is as follows: The piece you intend honey-combing, must be creased in regular folds, taking care that they are as even as possible. Then make the folds he closely together, by tacking them with a strong thread, and in long stitches. You then take silk of the right color; stitch together at equal and proper distances the two first folds, and proceed, with each succeeding two, in the same manner, only taking the stitches in the intermediate spaces. Thus the stitches of each alternate row will correspond together. Draw out the thread, when the work is finished, and on pulling it open, it will form diamonds on the right side. This work is proper for the inside of work-boxes, and is sometimes employed to ornament the tops of beds. It looks well, if carefully executed.
A perfect acquaintance with these various stitches, will enable the practical needlewoman to pursue her occupation with ease and pleasure.