This section is from the book "Educational Needlecraft", by Margaret Swanson And Ann MacBeth. Also available from Amazon: Educational Needlecraft.
Age : 10-11 Years
Again, the mat (Diag. 32A) or collar (Diag. 33) may become a base for the practice of stitching - the strongest of all stitches.
This form of stitchery is associated in the child's mind with a former experience in " finishing off," where repeated stitchery meant security like the occasional "back stitch' in running and herring-boning; while the appearance recalls the filled in tacking stitch (the original stitch discovered by the child, and possessing always a native interest for her).
As the best form of construction and decoration means strength and beauty, a thread should never be drawn in order to keep a straight line.
Work from right to left.
At this stage the practice is on single material, yet it must be borne in mind that this stitch (containing the idea of strength) is obviously used with double material for joining seams, and finishing the overlapping of openings in garments, strengthening neck and wristbands.
Slip the needle from back to front, leaving a sufficient length of thread to return to and secure neatly (Diags. 41 and 32 a).
Place the needle back 1/8 inch from where the thread came out and bring out 1/8 inch in front of the thread, making 1/4 inch in all.
Repeat all stitches in the same way. Avoid drawing the thread too tightly, and at each stitch keep the thread either to the right or left of the needle. Fasten off all threads by top-sewing the last few stitches on the wrong side and bring up the new thread 1/8 inch in front of the last stitch.
Stitches will vary at this period according to the muscular sensibility of the eye : gradually 1/16 inch size of stitchery is sewn with comparative ease. All finer stitching should be done by machine.
Back-Stitching wrought likewise leaves a space varying from half the size of the stitch to the exact size of the stitch on the right side, and is much used in dressmaking.
The turn-over collar in Diag. 35 shows a pattern of stitched circles - an approach to one method of sewing on buttons at a later stage.
The colour scheme may be different for each girl, and her own choice of colour will give added interest and stimulus, which is not temporary, when she feels herself responsible for the construction of something.