Materials For Practice

Bleached or Unbleached Muslin, 4x2 1/2 Inches (2 pieces)

Colored Cotton, No. 60. Needle, No. .9.


Beanbag or pan lifter. See also Nos. 21, 22, 23. Use.-Where strength is required for seams, holding bands, tapes and hems. The stitching stitch is also used ornamentally.


As double stitches they are strong and adapted to purposes where durability is required as in seams.

Rule For Stitching

The stitch is worked from right to left on double material. First baste carefully together the two materials; the basting may serve as a guide to the worker, and also keep the materials from slipping apart. A seam should be made far enough from the edge of the cloth to avoid the danger of raveling. Begin by a small knot or by a few running stitches on the wrong side, which may be held down later by the stitching stitches, and bring the thread to the right side of the material about 1/8 of an inch from the end of the cloth where the work is to begin. Take a short stitch back on the upper side of the cloth and a stitch twice as long forward on the wrong side. When the thread again comes to the surface make a stitch back to meet the stitch already made. The effect on the right side is a series of short stitches, one meeting the other (see Fig. 7, a), and on the wrong side a cord-like effect, made by the folding over of the long stitches (see Fig. 7, 6). This is especially the fact if the stitch is made very carefully. Hold the work over the first finger of the left hand, and slant the needle toward the left shoulder.

Rule For Backstitching

The same rule applies to backstitching as to stitching, except that the stitches on the right side, instead of exactly meeting have a space between as they go but. half way back (see Fig. 8). This makes the stitch on the back three times the length of the one on the right side. The names of these stitches are often confused, as the terms are used indiscriminately. The explanation is given that the name of the stitching stitch was originally backstitching, and the other stitch was called half-backstitching; for brevity each stitch was relieved of half its title, and confusion of ideas resulted.

Fig. 7.   Stitching.

Fig. 7. - Stitching.

Fig. 8.   Backstitching.

Fig. 8. - Backstitching.


Take two pieces of unbleached muslin, 4x2 1/2 inches, baste them carefully together into a seam 1/4 of an inch from the raw edges. Make a line of stitching one-half way across in colored thread, directly above or below the basting line. Let the stitches be small enough for strength, but large enough for their regularity or irregularity to be distinctly seen. Having made one-half of the seam with stitching, the backstitching may be used for the other half, so that the appearance of the two stitches may be compared.


It is not necessary at first to insist that a beginner should make the stitch mechanically perfect. If it is even and strong enough for its purpose it should be accepted and utilized on an article. Stitching is an attractive and simple stitch on canvas, and can be thus given to young pupils. They should notice the rope-like effect at the back and also that it may be marred by a change in the way the needle is inserted. Care in this coarse work will help in gaining the technical skill needed later. Stitching is not difficult, for the movements are simple and practice soon renders them easy.

Coarse, soft, unbleached muslin is good for practicing the stitches. A basted or creased line may help in the first attempt to make an even Beam. A pencil line, a stamped stitch or a drawn thread should not be used as a guide, for the judgment of the children should be trained. It is better for them to make mistakes and correct them than to be given helps which do not develop their own powers. The stitch should be utilized as soon as it can be made sufficiently well for a seam, as the skill needed will come better through making some article than by many repetitions of the practice piece. Doll's clothing, clothing cases and bags of various kinds may be made.