Materials For Practice

Linen (very fine and sheer), 4x4 Inches.

Linen (moderately fine for drawing threads), 5x4 Inches.

Cotton, No. 100-150.

Needle, No. 10-12.


On handkerchieis, collars and cufts, towels, doilies and fancy articles.


For an ornamental finish for hems on handkerchiefs, household articles, such as towels, bureau scarfs and table covers; bed linen; fine baby clothes and underwear. Designs in Drawn Work more or less elaborate are used to decorate surfaces as well as hems. Hemstitching is used as a foundation for these designs.

Rule For Hemstitching

There are many ways of making the stitch which are equally good. Some of the more rapid ways do not hold the threads as distinctly apart as as the slower ones. The method selected is strong and satisfactory. In hems for handkerchiefs it is not desirable to draw many threads as the washing will loosen the undrawn ones and keep the stitch from looking distinct. Each stitch should have a clear wedge-shape. Determine the width of the hem and draw out carefully several threads from the material where the double fold of the hem will come (i. e., allow for double the width of the hem and also for the little fold on the edge). Turn a hem on the linen to the edge of these drawn threads and baste carefully. If corners have to be folded the drawn threads in the hems will be double. The corners need not be mitered. Unnecessary material may be cut from underneath (see Miter No. 1), the ends squared and overhanded neatly. Begin as in hemming on the wrong side of the material. Decide the number of threads to be taken up each time and keep to that number (it is not necessary to count the threads, the eye may be the guide). Fasten the thread in the fold without a knot. Hold the work as in hemming or turn the hem toward the body and draw the stitch well up to it. The object is to keep each stitch distinct from the other; some workers prefer one position and some another. Put the needle under the number of threads selected and bring it out without catching it in the threads. Put it back over these same threads and under again as at first, but this time the needle should go through the folded hem beside the last thread. (Fig. 43.) The following stitches are taken in the same way. In hemstitching the corners of handkerchiefs more threads must be taken as the threads here are double. Make the hemstitching in the corners look as distinct as possible.

Rule For Drawn Work

The basis of drawn work is hemstitching. The threads are drawn and fastened down on each edge with hemstitching. They may then be fastened or woven together in various ways to form a lacework.

Fig. 43. Hemstitching.

Fig. 43.-Hemstitching.

The following description is of three simple patterns. No. 1.-Draw 1/8 of an inch of threads, hemstitch across both edges taking up the same threads on each side. The effect will be a series of upright posts. No. 2.-Draw a little over 1/8 of an inch of threads. Make a double row of hemstitching as in the first pattern. One thread will connect the entire line in the finishing of the pattern. To accomplish this fasten the thread in the middle of the first bar or post, put the needle across two bars beyond, let it go over the third, then under, and back first over and then under the second. This will twist the third bar over the second with the thread through it. Twist the fifth bar over the fourth the same way and continue across the drawn threads. Fasten off in the last bar. No. 3.-Draw 1/8 of an inch of threads, hemstitch across one side. On the other edge take for the first stitch but half of the stitch below; for the second, make one stitch out of the halves of two of the stitches below. This will give a sort of herringbone effect. These three patterns may make an attractive border by leaving 1/4 of an inch of plain material between them.


First practice piece. A small hemstitched handkerchief. Take sheer linen 4x4 inches. A half inch hem is to be placed on all four sides. Allow for the hem and small fold in the material (1 1/8 inches) and draw threads (between 1-16 and 1/8 of an inch in fine material), on all four sides. Turn in a hem to the drawn threads. Baste carefully, especially at the corners, cut out some of the material from under them if necessary (Miter No. 1), but square and overhand them neatly. Follow the rule for hemstitching.

Second Practice Piece

Take linen 5x4 inches. A 1 inch hem is to be placed at the bottom and several rows of drawn work will ornament the material above the hem. The hem will be held by one pattern. Draw 1/8 of an inch of threads 2 1/8 inches from one end. Fold the hem to the edge of the drawn threads and baste carefully. Hemstitch the hem down with a moderately fine stitch. Complete the opposite side of the drawn threads according to the pattern described under No. 1. Skip 1/4 of an inch of linen and use No. 2 for the second pattern; again skip 1/4 of an inch of linen and use No. 3 for the final design. Fine feather stitching may be placed on the plain linen between the patterns, if desired.


Hemstitching may be learned very readily on canvas. It may be used in a number of ways. Coarse linen for toweling may be purchased and little towels with hemstitched hems may be made by the children. Simple drawn work may also be used in this way. The towels may be marked by using cross stitch, chain stitch or satin stitch for the letters. A letter may also be embroidered on the handkerchief.

All the hems in the apron described under Whipped Hem may be hemstitched. The stitch may also be used on small sheets, pillow cases, collars, cuffs and lingerie. Rows of simple drawn work with feather stitching between make a most attractive finish for small linen articles such as cases of various kinds, bureau covers and tea table linen.

Fig. 44. Drawn Work.

Fig. 44.-Drawn Work.