Purpose of the Sewing Course.

This book is written for the purpose of giving to teachers the most important principles of plain sewing. Since there is not time in the courses in normal schools for each student to make every article suitable for children it is suggested that some practice work in stitches has a justifiable place. These exercises, if desired, may be retained for use in teaching, but such work, even in training schools, must be supplemented by numerous finished articles. Younger pupils naturally need practice on stitches before beginning on an article or garment, but such practice should be continued only long enough for them to gain sufficient skill for the purpose in view. The trial piece may then be discarded. It is a mistake for children to continue to make one stitch until perfection is reached before utilizing it on some interesting object. Accuracy of thought and of action are not gained by such vain and tiresome repetitions, but rather a feeling of ennui or even a dislike of the work. Teachers do not expect that each letter of the alphabet must be made perfectly before giving instruction on the next or before teaching the classes to spell. Indeed the written word is often poorly executed throughout life and yet is indispensable. By some unknown reasoning, however, many teachers of sewing insist that each stitch must be made perfectly before allowing a pupil to begin on a new one. Many will also require students to know all of the important stitches before suggesting the use of any of them to construct articles. The unfortunate fact is that they thus keep the pupils from using the knowledge they have acquired and thereby lose a powerful ally in the spontaneous handwork which is so natural to the child. Every one who attempts to teach sewing should become familiar with the stitches, by actual experience, and should take her own work to the classes to give ideas of correct construction and neat finish. These notes for teachers and the instruction under each description of stitches afford a basis for planning courses suited to various kinds of schools and to children of different ages and conditions of development. Under the descriptive sections will be found lists of materials necessary for practice and also suggestions for application. It is expected that each teacher will practice the stitches and then apply them to the making of small finished articles suitable for children and calculated to develop their natural activity and encourage them to be creative. These articles should be mounted with the practice-pieces on the bristol-board leaves of the Interleaved Edition of the Sewing Course.