First Grade.

Coarse canvas mat.

Needlebook of card-board.

Fringed towel.

Napkin-ring of canvas.

Book-marker of canvas.









Bag of canvas.


NOTE-The way In which an Elementary School can make its selection of occupations from this list, arrange a course for eight grades and thus further its aim as shown In Appendix A. A one year course of work for the High School follows in Appendix B. This is adapted to the first or second year of the general High School.

Second Grade.

Table cover decorated with coarse stitches. Making and decorating moccasins. Doll's blanket and bed-spread. Making articles for work-basket.



Pin-cushion. Weather flags and flags of nations. Articles for the ironing table.


Cover for ironing-board.

Clothes-pin bag. Bags for carrying books or for gymnasium shoes. Dress of primitive people. Pencil-case.

Mat, curtains, hangings for doll house. Book-cover.

Bead-work on chain or belt. Stuffed animal and doll cutting and making. Third Grade.

Bags with decorations in coarse needlework. Sewing-on buttons. Mending sweaters. Ball covers.




Coarse applique for portfolio, book-cover, or table mat.

Bag for gymnasium shoes or books.

Braiding and decorating belts.


Decorating woven material for pillow.

Bead-work for decorating articles or for chains and belts.

Roller towel marked.

Coarse work-apron.

Dress of peoples; such as Indians, Greeks, Romans.

Trimmed hat of raffia.


Table center. Fourth Grade.

(I) Articles which may be needed for use in the

1. Home, such as simple upholstery, rugs, curtains, pillows, towels, washcloths, tray-cloths; simple garments, table-covers, napkin-rings, button-bag, needlebook, pin-cushions, dust-cap, work-aprons.

2. Laundry - such as bags, holders, covers.

3. School - working-aprons, bags, book-covers, notebook-covers, pencil-cases.

4. Play - tents, dramatic work, toys.

(II) Repairing, mending sweaters and sewing-on buttons. (Ill) Decoration and art - book-covers, pillows, tray-covers, applique on table and bureau-covers, needlebooks and pin-cushions. Fifth Grade.

I. Sewing.

(I) Doll's house.

Articles which may be needed such as mattress, sheets, pillowcases, cover for couch, wicker chairs, waste-baskets, curtains, scarfs and covers. (II) Doll's clothing.

Hat, cap, sack or sweater, underclothing and outer clothing.

(III) Articles for baby - bib, sachet, flannel jacket.

(IV) Home.

1. Repairing - mending stockings and sweaters, patching clothing, cane-seating chairs.

2. Neatness - shoe bags, laundry bags, cooking and workaprons, comb and brush-cases, dusters, wash-cloths, clothes-pin apron, sweeping-cap.

3. Linen closet - sheets, pillow-cases, towels with hangers doilies, marking linen with ink or needle, simple lettering, napkins.

4. The girl's own room, belts, cuffs, collars, needlecase, emery-holder, pin-cushion, pin-case.

5. Supplies for emergency, flannel bag, bandages, poultice.

6. Fitting out a work basket - pinballs or cushions, needlecase, emeries, scissors-guard. (V) Millinery - making and trimming simple raffia hats for dolls. (VI) School - badges and banners, school-bags for books or gymnasium shoes, cooperative weaving for rug for school. II. Pattern making.

Free cutting of patterns for articles, for doll's or baby's clothing. III. Crocheting and knitting - wristlets, caps, hoods and jackets.

Sixth Grade.

I. Sewing.

(I) Aprons, cuffs and caps for cooking, embroidery apron. (II) Neckties, collars and cuffs for dresses, embroidered or hemstitched.

(III) Simple underclothing, combing towel or short kimono jacket.

(IV) Towels, workbags, tray-covers and doilies embroidered and marked, with the needle, hemstitched cloths, doilies and napkins, table-covers with applique design. (V) Pads, sachets, small travelling-cases for embroidery silks, money, handkerchiefs, veils or gloves, large cases for shirtwaists or night-dresses. (VI) Costumes of historic times in small size or for dramatic work. (VII) Darning, patching and repairing on real articles. (VIII) Embroidered book-covers, table-covers, aprons, sofa-pillows, chatelain pocket. (IX) Bags for laundry, broom, shoes, sponge, or traveling. (X) The care of tools and supplies with holders for keeping them. II. Crocheting or knitting.

Bedroom slippers, tarn o'shanter of wool.

III. Home.

(I) Study of rooms and their care.

Useful things to make for them. (II) Care of clothing, brushing, cleaning and folding, choice and cost. (Ill) Textiles - materials, their cost, properties and values.

IV. Laundry - How to launder simple pieces of table linen and embroidered dress decoration. Cost of laundering elaborate articles and clothing. V. Millinery.

Hats of raffia, lingerie, or bought straw hats simply trimmed. VI. Cutting.

Simple pattern making and free-hand drafting of articles and clothing.


In sections of large cities where the children will leave school early to go to work, it is well to give sewing which may be of immediate use to them either in the market or in their homes.

Seventh Grade.

1. Sewing and Machine Work.

(I) Apron or bag - straight stitching. (II) Garment making.

Underclothing, children's pinafores and simple guimpe dresses, baby clothing.

(III) Embroidery and decorative work.

Traveling-case for money or jewelry. Table and tray-covers.

Opera-glass case of leather, chamois or silk. Napkins and doilies, pillows and book-covers.

(IV) Repairing, darning and patching garments of cotton and flannel.

Darning stockinet, linen and silk. Repairing worn places in sleeves, under-arm and elbow. Frayed skirts cut and rebound, lengthening skirts. (V) Personal use.

Stocks, collars, cuffs, and handkerchiefs hemstitched and embroidered. (VI) Millinery.

Renovating of old materials, curling feathers, bow and frame, making, trimming. (VII) Cutting and fitting.

Learning the use of bought patterns, freehand drafting, cutting and fitting clothing. (VIII) Textile suggestions - Visits to Museums.

Embroideries, tapestries, laces and drawn-work of foreign nations. Cleansing and dyeing.

Primitive examples of coloring, dyeing and designing. Visits to stores. Choice of textiles. Cost of textiles. (See note under VI grade outline.)

Eighth Grade.

I. Sewing and Machine Work. (I) Dressmaking.

Summer blouse, graduating dress, shirt-waist suit, children's dresses and baby-clothing. (II) Embroidery and decorative work.

Stencilling and block-printing in materials for book covers, scarfs, hangings or clothing, lingerie embroidery for hat or blouse.

(III) Making over, cleaning and repairing, ripping, cleaning, dyeing or renovating, recutting, lengthening and making over dresses.

(IV) Upholstery.

Chairs, cushions and couch-covers, repairing mattresses or upholstered chairs. (V) Cutting and pattern making - use and adjustment of patterns.

Pattern modelling and economical cutting. (VI) Millinery.

Frame making and trimming. (VII) Cooperative work.

Cleaning and making over a dress, upholstering a chair, weaving a rug or stencilling a hanging for the school. (VIII) Textile and social suggestions.

The old textiles, as used in embroideries and weavings for costume, historic costume, simple decorative designs, present costume for women (good and bad points), factory and sweat-shop garments, preparation for employment, wages, conditions. Betterment. (IX) The Home - Organization, improvement, accounts, how to live. (See Note under VI grade outline.)

The Lesson Plan.

Every lesson should be carefully planned beforehand that the subject matter may be reviewed and the best method of teaching may be decided upon. A teacher whose method is solely that of dictation, or else to show each pupil individually, will not accomplish as much as will the one who relies chiefly on class discussions combined with such guiding and suggestions as may be necessary. Clearer ideas of construction and a widening of interest in industrial questions, important for each child to know, will also result from a carefully prepared discussion. This holds good even if the subject has been taught many times before. No two classes are alike and the best results are obtained only when a lesson has been planned in relation to the characteristics and needs of any group. Handwork becomes automatic to the expert and the details of the way by which the end was reached fade from the mind and often require an effort to recall. Therefore, the teacher should test beforehand her own knowledge of the necessary steps in the making of any article, that every detail may be clear. Such a review will enable her to choose the best order of procedure in any particular instance and to eliminate unnecessary or confusing ideas. Economy of effort follows the working out of the contingencies beforehand, whereas in the unprepared lesson unexpected knowledge or ignorance will lead to waste of time in unprofitable discussion. The sewing teacher should make her lesson plan as carefully as does the teacher of academic subjects. She should look for such results as individual initiative on the part of each pupil, enthusiasm in her subject, and a gradual increase of intelligence in industrial matters. Every lesson, or series of lessons, therefore, should be preceded by some such survey as the following - (1) The most important aim to be accomplished, (2) The complete article which will best serve this purpose and (3) The connected thought which may add to its efficiency. A conscientious investigation of these points will quickly make it evident that the kind of handwork which is best for any class depends on a variety of circumstances, no matter how good the series of exercises, which a teacher may have in mind, it will seldom prove of like advantage in two groups of equal age, or even in the same grade in two successive years. And again, if perchance the series she has followed before is again the best, the method of presenting the subject and the thought which should be connected with it will seldom be the same. Lists of articles and garments need to be supplemented or changed continually, and the manner of decorating or constructing must also keep in touch with the present if the greatest impetus to work is to come through the lesson.

After the selection of the aim of the lesson, and the handwork best adapted to realize it, there remains the arrangement of the background of thought which she wishes to develop in the class. A knowledge of the relation of handwork to the world's development and, again, of each individual to the industrial conditions of to-day come with difficulty to the child if she must find them out for herself. The teacher can render valuable service by so presenting these subjects that interest is aroused and practical results are assured through the development of intelligence in every day needs. She has a wide field open to her of both cultural and industrial interests, but must choose those only which are in close relation to her aim, which will give worth-while results, and can be dealt with satisfactorily in brief discussions. The short period which most schools devote to handwork must be well utilized, actual work in construction should cover the greater part of the time, leaving ten or at most fifteen minutes for all presentation of new subjects.

There are many ways of giving handwork lessons. The teacher must each time select the one best adapted to secure the results she wishes. She must review in thought the knowledge already existing in the class upon which she can lay the foundation for her new lesson. She must plan a series of good, leading questions to bring out the constructive ideas she wishes, or such related facts as are directly needed by her. Having thus in thought prepared her ground, she is ready to sow the new seed, and must plan to present such salient points as will give clear ideas to the pupils and by the aid of which they can quickly begin on the construction of the new article. To aid in emphasizing the points she wishes to make she will usually find it advantageous to select illustrations in materials, pictures, articles, garments, blackboard or demonstration-frame designs which she can use in the class.

When a teacher has clearly in view her own many-sided aim, she is ready to formulate a special aim for the pupils which may, from the start, gain their enthusiasm. The ethical, industrial or social aspects of her plan are too abstract for them, and are for her alone. Children are interested in what they are to do, and she must present the subject of the day to them in a few interesting words. She should give it, if possible, in the form of a problem, which from the first may arouse their curiosity and set them to thinking. Even a dull subject may be so stated that it appeals to the interest of a class, and they are eager to try it.

The necessary materials and tools must also be decided upon and made ready before the class hour. As the teacher reviews her subject matter and surveys such conditions as the needs of the quick, the backward, the new or the returning children she can make mental notes of her equipment needs.

Following each lesson there must be a review of results that the next one may emphasize the good points or overcome the poor ones.

As an illustration of how a simple sewing lesson may be planned in accordance with the above suggestions the following outline and running comment are added Lesson Subject - Making of a dust-cloth.

Grade V (fifth school year),

Ages 9-10. Number 30.


Class already know fairly well such stitches as Running, Hemming, Cross-stitch and Blanket-stitch.


Poor section of large city where lessons in neatness and cleanliness are greatly needed.

Outside Preparation.

Materials - Cheese-cloth and other soft cotton cloth, white or colored, sufficient for the work. Some of it cut into 1/2 -yard squares and the rest uncut. Cotton thread - white and colored. Zephyr (single) - in colors. Tools. - All necessary for cutting, measuring and sewing. Illustrations. - Examples of several materials which may be used for dust-cloths, such as cheese-cloth, unbleached muslin, and dark unfinished cotton cloth. Dusters finished in various ways. Blackboard or demonstration frame designs showing dust-cloths finished with the stitches already known to the class. Note. - The pupils are supposed to have work-boxes or bags containing their thimbles, needles, needle-cases, pin-cushions and, if possible,scissors.

The Teacher's own aims :

1. The cutting, folding and making of a dust-cloth.

2. The reason a well-finished cloth is better than one with ragged edges.

3. The best materials for the purpose.

4. Various ways a dust-cloth may be finished.

5. The danger to health in dust.

6. The way to dust.

7- The care of the dust-cloth.

8. Disciplinary training.

(1) Careful listening and thinking.

(2) Ready, accurate replies.

(3) Neat work.

(4) Responsible action showing the promise of executive ability.

(5) No waste of time or motion.

(6) Increasing satisfaction at well-done work. Preparing the Class.

A few suggestive questions - the class response will bring out further questions. How many have used a dust cloth ?

Have you cloths like this at home ? (Showing various kinds.) Why do we have to dust?

What is the best way to do it that we may leave the room clean ? What need is there for care in the making and keeping of a dust-cloth? What materials are good for them and why ?

The Statement of the Aim to the Class.

How many know the way they would like to make a dust-cloth that will work well; look well; wear well and wash well?

You already know how to make the Running, Hemming, Cross-stitch and Blanket-stitch. Each girl may choose one of these materials for the cloth and select one of the stitches she knows to finish the edge. Each must give her reasons for the choice to the rest of the class.

The first ones who decide and have good reasons may help me with the cutting, which is not yet complete.

The Lesson.

The Selection

What material will each select and why? (Takes note of the various decisions.)

The Cutting. Howv to Measure. - How large shall we cut the cloth? How can we be sure the edge is straight so that we can finish it more easily and neatly?

Accurate Folding. Holding in the Ravellings. - How shall we fold in or cover the raw edges? What stitches will best hold the edge from ravelling?

Selection of Stitches. How to make the ones Chosen. - Class selects and tells reason for choice and how to proceed with the work. The teacher brings the children who decide first and wisely to the cutting table (a desk will be satisfactory), and puts them to work to complete the cutting.

Giving Out The Necessary Materials

Will the cutters when they have completed that work help to give out the cloth, thread and yarn?

The Sewing.

The teacher answers questions, or walks about the class noting difficulties or giving advice.

The Closing of the Lesson.

How many have completed the dust cloth ?

How many feel their work is strong and good?

What material have you at home which can be used for a dust-cloth?

If you have no material at home what will you buy? How much should it cost ?

How many could make one at home?

How will you go to work?

Will each one lay her work on her desk and will all walk quietly about Looking at each dust-cloth and judging of its worth?

Questions on results.

Careful putting away of the work.

The Cost of Maintenance.

The cost of introduction and the yearly maintenance of a course of sewing varies greatly in the different cities of the United States. The tools and the materials can be brought from home by the children and the subject can be taught by the regular grade teachers, if it is desirable to eliminate all expense. There are many objections, however, to this method, as the materials are apt to be unsuitable and the result of the teaching unsatisfactory. The subject can be made extremely valuable, even where the children provide their own equipment, if the School Board can afford a good supervisor of sewing. Such a supervisor can train the grade teachers to conduct the work; study the needs of the families of the children; decide on course of sewing which will include the very articles desired in the homes, and send for samples of material from which the classes can choose, having computed the cost. The children can thus be taught to shop wisely, as as well as to work skillfully. Even the poorest families are willing to spend money on needed articles. The salary of a good supervisor of sewing ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per annum (eight to ten months), but is a wise expense. In those cities where materials are provided by the Board of Education the cost of maintaining courses of study usually ranges from .01 to .15 per capita per annum. The first amount given covers only the price of needles and practice cloth; the last amount, if the school system is large and the money economically expended, provides for much application in small articles made from inexpensive material. If full-sized garments are to be made it is usual for each child to supply her own material.

The Equipment.

The necessary equipment in tools must be provided, either by the School Board or by the pupils. Each child must have her own thimble and a pair of scissors. She can make herself a pin-cushion and a needle-case. Tape measures, emeries, wax, stillettos, and such scissors as buttonhole, very fine cutting, or long shears, should also be on hand, but need not be given to every pupil. If the appropriation is small, the teacher can carry the tools in her supply box from grade to grade, thus making one set serve for all classes. Some means of keeping the work should be provided, substantial boxes are preferable to bags or envelopes, as the work and tools can be kept with greater neatness.

A good inexpensive equipment in tools and necessary articles for a class of 20 children can be bought at retail price for $9.00. This would purchase

20 boxes (cloth-covered) at 7c................................. $1.40

1 supply box.......................................................35

24 prs. small school scissors at 12 1/2c........................ 3.00

6 prs. good cutting scissors at 50c........................... 3.00

1 pr. buttonhole scissors........................................35

1/2 doz. tape measures.............................................20

1/2 doz. emeries....................................................20

2 doz. thimbles..................................................50 $9.00

The Sewing Laboratory.

In the early grades of the school the sewing is usually conducted in the regular classrooms. A special room for the later grades is desirable, however, for cutting, fitting and work on large garments can be more readily undertaken. Such a room should be light, well-ventilated and cheery. The furniture can be very simple, but should be suited to its purpose. It should contain work-tables; a cutting and ironing table; comfortable low broad-seated chairs for the handwork; stools for use at the cutting table; cabinets for holding stock, or for finished or half finished work; cases for the exhibition of illustrative material and for finished garments; sewing machines; a blackboard; a gas stove, and several pressing irons. It is well also to add other articles illustrative of household art, such as old spinning wheels, reels or winders, processes of manufacture, or representative handwork of various kinds.

A useful sewing laboratory can be furnished at very small expense. To equip it for twenty pupils simply, but not handsomely, however, will cost at least $285.00. The following list will show the necessary expenditures for an adequate equipment. Extra exhibits and the cases for them will add to the cost, but they can be provided from time to time as the means will allow.

Teacher's desk............................................. $ 9.00

Revolving chair................................................ 2.50

Wooden chairs - 2 doz..................................... 24.00

6 tables for work - long kitchen........................... 15.00

4 sewing machines........................................... 120.00

Wardrobe ..................................................... 35.00

Locker............................................................ 25.00

6 skirt forms................................................... 12.00

6 waist forms................................................. 3.00

Stove - oil or gas............................................. 2.50

3 flat irons...................................................... 1.00

Poles and curtain - for fitting room....................... 15.00

Long looking glass............................................ 20.00 $285.00

The Annual Exhibit and Supplementary Work. Annual exhibits are held in many of the public and private schools. These serve many purposes such as (1) the encouraging of the pupils, (2) the interesting of the parents, and (3) the training of the public. Handwork is usually a great feature of these occasions. It has become customary, therefore, to retain all of the completed work of the classes until the end of the school year. This has an unfortunate side for it eliminates effectually any opportunity for immediate utilization of the articles made. It is useless to plan each article for some direct service to the home, or to the school, if the purpose cannot be carried out and the result discussed when the interest is at its height. Each school must consider for itself the best way to meet this difficulty. The following plans have been carried out in different cities. (1) Some students in each class will sew more rapidly than others and supplementary work must be provided for them. It is well to select, for this purpose, articles of especial interest as they serve as an impetus to the slower members of the class. The quicker ones can work for the exhibit by repeating in a more interesting form the exercises just completed or by being allowed to plan and to make some attractive new articles. (2) After a series of articles have been made in a class a vote can be taken by the members as to which ones will be retained to represent them at the exhibit. These few can be kept to be returned to the makers after the exhibit, or material can be given to each worker to make a similar article at home. (3) Purchasing from the children the work desired for the exhibit.

Warp and Woof.

The threads running the entire length of the material are called the warp threads. The woof, weft or filling threads are those which cross and interlace with the warp and form the selvage on each side of the goods. The warp threads are each as long as the cloth will be and they are put first in the loom. The woof thread is thrown back and forth across the width of the warp threads by a shuttle and is one continuous thread. The warp threads are usually stronger than the woof threads as they have to bear a heavier strain. This strain is apt to make them straighter than the cross threads, which fact can be clearly seen in the ravel-lings of some kinds of cloth. Garments are usually cut along the length or warp way of the cloth as they wear better than when cut across the goods. When material is torn across the warp threads it gives out a shrill sound but a dull sound accompanies the tearing of the woof threads. It is necessary sometimes to know which is the warp way of a piece of cloth from which the selvage has been removed. The eye can often tell one from the other by the softer, less wiry, and less even appearance of the woof. The way the threads break and the sound they give also indicate the difference.

Sewing for Boys.

In the first three or four years of the school it is well for the boys and the girls to be taught the same kinds of handwork. The selection should be made from many fields and sewing (coarse) should be included among the crafts chosen.

Experience has proved that boys are greatly interested in sewing when it is connected with their pursuits. Such constructive work as bags of coarse canvas for shoes or books, ball covers, sails, flags and badges, moccasins, sweater mending, sewing on buttons and simple repairing are illustrations of interests which concern both boys and girls. As sewing is one of the most important of the industries it is well for boys to gain some practical experience of its difficulties as well as of its usefulness. They will thus be better prepared to appreciate the conditions of labor in occupations employing the great mass of wage-earning women as well as large numbers of men. Sewing, itself, will also prove useful to them now and later and the class of neat adjustment which it requires has proved advantageous as a preliminary training of the hand for many of the skilled occupations of men.

Illustrations on the Board or the Frame.

The blackboard may be of much assistance in the presentation of a lesson. An illustration of the way a stitch is made, or several designs for an article may be drawn by the teacher before or during the class period. The illustrations in the Sewing Course are for suggestions for board work. Any teacher can train herself to do this simple drawing, even if she has had no art training, but a trained hand can make such illustrations a powerful ally. The demonstration frame offers another means of showing the way a stitch is made. It is a large embroidery frame, covered with coarse canvas and raised on a standard so the class can see it. The teacher makes the stitch on the canvas in large size with colored wool as she describes it. Such frames can be made easily by any carpenter or by boys who are taking manual training.

Different Ways of Making Stitches.

Opinions differ as to the best way of making many of the stitches. The teacher should know all of these methods, but it is not necessary for her to confuse with such details the minds of children who are learning to sew. In giving a new lesson, she should select the form of stitch which she prefers and teach that. If it happens that any one of the class has already learned to make the stitch in a different, but satisfactory, manner, it is better for her to continue to work in the way to which she is accustomed. When older students are preparing for teaching, or for trade work, they should consider the various methods of procedure, as they may be called upon to know them in their chosen vocation. Left-handed children, unless corrected very early, would better continue to use their left hands, unless the teacher desires to make them ambidextrous.

Neat Finish and Rapid Work.

Beginners should work slowly at first but dawdling should never be allowed. The teacher must herself discover the best way to keep each class sewing industriously. In some groups the setting of a time limit for the completion of articles is an incentive, while in others the very impulse to rush through is followed by slackness and poor results. The finish of each exercise must be as beautiful as the child should or can do. Frayed edges and unfinished interiors are not only ugly but indicative of a lack of care in the worker. The most simple article may have the beauty of neatness, and even a child can be trained to see it. A class should learn to work well without any waste of time. Rapidity is desirable if the result can be satisfactory.

The Tape Measure.

The use of a tape measure or a rule should begin early. Very young children can be taught to make their own measures by marking off the divisions on strips of paper or bristol board. They can keep the accurate ones in their workboxes for use later. Older girls should gradually learn to depend upon themselves when small dimensions are required. This is especially important when such students expect to enter any of the trades requiring careful measurements. Such accurate judgment leads to economy of time which has frequently a money value.

Length of Thread.

Children usually take too long a thread in sewing. They must be taught the right length, which is about one half or three quarters of a yard, though in basting a longer thread is advisable. The usual directions are to measure the thread from shoulder to shoulder, or across the body from waist line to shoulder, or from the end of the finger to the elbow. The thread should never be bitten off, for it harms the enamel of the teeth. Fine cotton thread may be broken, but coarse thread would better be cut. It is well therefore for every child to have her own scissors in her workbox.

Fastening the Thread.

As children seldom make knots neatly, they should be taught how to fasten the thread strongly without them. The knot, however, should be practised, for it is necessary in basting, overcasting and gathering, and useful always. A small, well-made knot, concealed in the material is permissible. Skilled workers usually prefer to use them as it saves time.

Position in Sewing.

The position for sewing is an upright one, bending the body forward from the waist, if necessary, but never hanging the head downward to the work. Physical injury results from such an attitude, and it is also impossible for a pupil to be as attentive and alert when sitting in a slouching position.


Clean hands and clothing should be obligatory in sewing classes, for good work may be spoiled by lack of neatness. The teacher of sewing should take occasion to discuss hygienic living, and should train her pupils to realize the direct moral effect of care and cleanliness of person and product.