Age : 71/2-8 Years
One yard of 36-inch wide, unbleached calico, 3d. to 6d. per yard, will give two lap-bags, torn down selvedge-wise, i.e. 36 x 18 inches. Needles, No. 3 " Scientific" sharps. Thread, No. 18 cotton embroidery thread. Cost, 3d. to 4d. each.
The Lap Bag (Diag. 6) is chosen (as a type) not in haphazard fashion ; not in commercial aspect; but as a creation from the fusion of the child's knowledge.
The tray cloth, larger in every way, is before her, and the last idea of the small bag paves the way for this expansion which suits the developing eye and gradually less feckless fingers.
Any article with straight edges might be hemmed and the stitch acquired, but needlecraft is much more than an exhibition of stitchery ; educationally the child's mind is being trained through the associative tendency of Colour and Form.
Lay double folds about 1/4 inch in depth, down the long edges; tack as in Diag. 7 and afterwards Hem- The stitchery at this period is an expansion of tacking - slanting tacking with the purpose of protecting raw edges and keeping folded material flat and neat.
The stitch is worked from right to left and shows on the one side as half of a V. At this period, six to eight hemming stitches to the inch, with a rather wide slope, is what the majority of children generally accomplish, gradually getting smaller in size and spacing as the eye nears ii years of age. Nature guides the child more happily than the teacher to the right size ; for while the eye of the child is still long-sighted, a certain percentage may have inherited myopia ; consequently the stitches demanded by nature in the growth and development of the eye will be larger in the one case than in the other, at the same distance of range.
The edge of the hem should be placed as in Diag. 7 just over the bed of the nail, and kept in position by keeping the middle of the left thumb on the edge of the hem.
The top and bottom folds may be turned to the outside, thereby gaining a pretty, decorative effect, and tacked according to the suggestion of the child's own fancy. The part turned up to form the lap-bag is top-sewed ; the initials may be marked with tacking after having been drawn in lead pencil (straight lines as in Diag. 6), though drawing with the needle and thread as the child sews is to be encouraged. A tape is run in for tying purposes, the ends of which may be tacked in pretty repeated rows of contrasting colours.
The beginnings and fastenings of thread may begin now to be tucked in neatly and sewn over; place a 1/2-inch end of thread along the top between the folds and catch in as the top sewing proceeds. If the thread has to be joined, have both ends lying along the top of the seam and catch in.
Age 7-8 Years
The wristband in varying depths and widths follows : its proportion to the neck is pointed out - the wrist being approximately half the neck.
In comparing the neck and wrist, distances are judged.
In short, the teacher is beginning to train the vision and the visual memory through short and continuously associated exercises in cutting out ; not in microscopic fashion by minute measurements, but broadly by comparing parts of the body quite apart, which suits the long sight of early childhood.