Cross-stitch has ever proved such a valu-able friend to devotees of needlecraft that it is small matter for surprise to find it frequently used for the embellishment of the plastrons, revers, panels, straps, and bands that form such indispensable features of present-day costumes.
The quaint, sometimes crude, flat, conventional forms expressed solely by means of plain crosses upon canvas have, from far-off days when the working of a sampler, more or less elaborate, was considered an essential part of a young gentlewoman's education, possessed an interest and charm that many more intricate forms of fancy-work have failed to attain. In proof of this it is only necessary to note the high favour in which antique specimens of cross-stitch are now held, and to mark how eagerly fortunate possessors of well-preserved examples are unearthing their treasures, and having them mounted as pole-screens or chair-seats. A pincushion that takes its mission in life seriously, and is not wholly given up to the contemplation of its own frivolities of lace and ribbon, is indeed a boon, and there is a novel form of this ever useful adjunct to the dressing-table that lends itself admirably to expression in cross-stitch on single-thread coarse grey canvas. Any simple repeat pattern is suitable for such a cushion.
The one illustrated is of ample proportions, measuring fifteen and a half by four and a. half inches. It is solidly, mounted on a well-padded board, and has no trimming to soften the severity of its outline beyond a plain edging of green silk gimp. The conventional roses are worked in red embroidery thread, relieved by touches of white silk. The leaves and stems are dull green, while the inner border is carried out in blue and the outer one in red repeating the colour of the roses. This is a shape that has become exceedingly popular, any effective design showing to great advantage when thus treated.
A useful pincushion in cross-stitch, with a conventional design of roses, and a plain edging of green silk gimp
A hat buckle worked in cross-stitch, mounted on canvas. The centre strap should be worked separately and slipped between the canvas and the lining
Considerable ingenuity may be displayed, and all kinds of oddments in the way of scraps of canvas, skeins of silk and embroidery threads left over from other work, utilised in the fashioning of original devices for hats that rely on some striking or bizarre plaque, cabochon, or buckle for almost their sole adornment - for instance, a diamond-shaped ornament, worked in cross-stitch on Penelope canvas, in shades of blue and green embroidery thread. The centres of the flowers are formed of large glass jewels in amethyst (procurable at 3d. the dozen), while the edge is bordered by round, green wooden beads. Such trifles are quickly accomplished at home, though they are quite expensive items in the shops, and only require mounting upon buckram and neatly lining with silk at the back.
Fan shapes, wings, circles, squares, and huge buttons can be similarly carried out, in colours, to match any costume.
Large buckles of canvas are also quite within a worker's power, but require careful mounting, as the centres must of necessity be cut, and the superfluous canvas turned in. A favourite one is illustrated, "long and narrow" in shape. Six inches by three inches is an appropriate size, the centre strap being worked separately and slipped between the canvas and the lining during the making-up process.
Fancy triangles, with open centres, may be made in the same manner, also rings and hollow squares.
Many modern makes of canvas are so decorative in themselves that they are pressed into service as trimmings for linen and other lingerie gowns, when worked with cross-stitch patterns in reliable washing silks or threads. Plastrons, revers, panels, collars, and cuffs are frequently ornamented with floral or geometrical patterns in two or three shades of colour, as are also the stylish little straps and bands that, deftly applied by experienced modistes, suddenly put in an unexpected appearance on our gowns, only to vanish again with equal abruptness. Neat scraps of borders are just the thing for these strappings, and when hand-worked impart just the individual touch that invests an otherwise commonplace costume with individual interest.
Cross-stitch is, moreover, an ideal method for ornamenting the studiously simple yet dainty frocks and tunics in which sensible modern mothers are tastefully clothing their small children and younger daughters.
An easily worked and effective pattern for a dress trimming in canvas and cross-stitch
A bold, effective pattern for a border in cross-stitch. This embroidery is admirably suited for trimming children's frocks and tunics
It is often advisable to work a cross-stitch design upon material other than canvas - serge, for instance, cloth or linen. In this case it is an old and well-tried plan to tack the canvas (which should be an open-meshed one) over the material in question, and then work the design in cross-stitch through both, great care being exercised to avoid catching in the canvas threads during the process, as they have finally to be drawn out. one by one, leaving the pattern worked on the foundation. The work will require skilful pressing when completed, and if well done will prove durable.
Though not executed in cross-stitch, the belt that claims the attention of our readers is so prepossessing in appearance as to merit a short description. It is worked in tent-stitch on fine ecru Java canvas in Oriental
A design for a border to be used on a dress. It can be worked upon the material, the threads of the canvas being removed carefully shades, including terra-cotta, indigo, light green, deep brown, white, and pale gold, silky embroidery threads being employed.
A charming belt in tent-stitch on fine ecru Java canvas, worked in Oriental shades of colour. The belt should be lined and mounted with a handsome buckle