Materials For Practice

No. 1. Narrow Striped Gingham, 4x4 Inches. No. 2. Damask, 4x4 Inches. No. 3. White Muslin, Two selvage strips, 4x2 in. Torchon Lace, 1/2 in. wide, 9 1/2 Inches.

White Cotton, No. 80 or 100.

White Cotton, No. 80 or 100.

White Cotton, No. 80 or 100.

Needle, No. 10 or 11. Needle, No. 10 or 11. Needle, No. 10 or 12.


Pinballs, holders, napkins and cases of various kinds, bee

Fig. 40.


To so fasten together two pieces of material that the joining will scarcely be visible, yet the seam will be strong, as in a patch; uniting seams and selvages for underclothing and bed linen; hemming table linen and sewing on lace.


The close stitch is strong, while the form makes it almost invisible.


Place together and baste the two pieces of material to be over-handed. If the edges are raw, a small fold should be turned on each piece; if selvages, they can be placed exactly together. The direction of the sewing is from right to left (it is sometimes worked from left to right). The form of the stitch is a slanting line meeting a straight one. See Fig. 14. It is better to work the stitch on the wrong side of the material, as it places the slanting part of the stitch on the wrong side. The straight part falls in the direction in which the threads are woven, and thus shows less. In over-handing a patch to a garment, however, it is easier to insert the patch from the right side, the slight imperfection arising from the showing of the slanting part of the stitch is offset by the greater difficulty of setting the patch in satisfactorily from the wrong side. In overhanding, the material is held horizontally in the left hand, with the edges lying along the first finger; the thumb and first finger keep the material in place; the right elbow should be raised from the side, and the needle should point to the chest in each stitch; a knot may be used, but often interferes with a neat finish. The thread can be fastened down by the first stitches, in which case begin by pointing the needle to the right, and taking the first stitch in the fold at the extreme right end. Leave an end of thread along the fold, to be fastened down by the first few stitches. The stitches should be a couple of threads deep and should not be crowded, that a flat seam may result. This is especially important in selvages, as, if the stitch is too deep, it makes an ugly ridge. In very fine work when a new thread is necessary the short end of the old one may be taken out of the fold nearest the worker and a new one inserted in the same hole; both threads should lie together between the folds or selvages to be held down by the next stitches. Finish off by sewing back a few stitches. Take the basting thread out and open the seam with the nail. It should lie perfectly flat and the stitches should be scarcely visible.

Fig. 14.   Overhanding.

Fig. 14. - Overhanding.


First practice piece. Overhanding a seam. Take a piece of narrow striped gingham, 4x4 inches, cut it apart between the stripes about an inch from one side; turn narrow folds on the cut edges, matching the stripes so that the pattern will be perfect on the right side; lay the right sides together and baste if necessary. Overhand together according to the rule for overhanding. If more practice is needed cut from one of the corners of the practice piece a diagonal 1 1/2 inches along the straight sides; cut from another piece of the same kind of material a bias piece to match in pattern and overhand together, being careful not to stretch the bias edges while sewing.

Second Practice Piece

Napery stitch, or overhanding on linen. Ordinary hemming is not strong enough for damask, and overhanding is used in its place. Take a piece of damask 4x4 inches, turn as narrow a hem as possible (the narrower the hem the better the effect). When the hem is turned turn it back again on itself the exact width of the hem; overhand the fold to the main body of the material.

Third Practice Piece

Overhanding selvages and overhanding lace. In bed linen and underclothing, selvages are frequently overhanded together. Take two selvage strips of muslin 4x2 inches, overhand carefully together, not taking too deep a stitch, or an ugly seam will result. On completing the seam, fold 1/8 inch hem along two adjoining sides of the practice piece, mitering the corner. (See Miter No. 2.) Overhand narrow lace along these two sides. The lace should be held toward the worker; it should be held loosely, but not full, if it is held too tight it will not launder well. When the corner is reached, twice the width of the lace should be allowed at the turn, so it will not draw; this fullness may be held in 1/4 of an inch space on each side of the corner.


The form of the overhanding is attractive, and may be used as decoration in the canvas work adapted to the early grades. (See No. 2.) Overhanding fine material together is too hard for young children. It is especially difficult for them to unite the selvages, as the turn back of the woof thread in the weaving makes an unequal and stiff edge for the needle to push through, but a deep stitch is incorrect. Overhanding on the bias requires precision and neatness in completing the pattern, if there is one. It may be practiced by the pupils, if necessary. Children should not be allowed to make the stitch incorrectly. It is better, therefore, to wait until they are capable of doing fine work before teaching it to them. As soon as they learn it they should utilize it. Many things can be made with the stitch such as needlebooks and pin cases, where two pieces of cardboard can be covered with material and overhanded together; table-cloths; napkins; pillow and bolster cases; book-covers; lined bags, and pin cushions. Children enjoy making them and quickly realize that they can be of use at home or to the people they know. By using the art lessons in connection extremely attractive and often original designs can be secured.