This section is from the "Hand Sewing Lessons" book, by Sarah Ewell Krolik. Also available from Amazon: Hand Sewing Lessons: A Graded Course For Schools And For The Home.
The correct position of the hands, implements, and work for sewing are of great importance.
The exercise of threading a needle and tying a knot should be given when the class opens. When it is well learned, others may be taught, as pupil's advance.
First Exercise - Threading a Needle and Tying a Knot.
Use a medium size thread with a coarse needle that will thread easily.
(a) Sit upright and hold the thread up in the left hand.
(b) Roll the end of the thread between the right thumb and forefinger to twist it.
(V) Hold up the eye of the needle between the tips of the right thumb and forefinger, with thread in the left hand in the same manner.
(d) Put the thread into the eye of the needle, and draw through J/3 of its length with the left thumb and forefinger.
(e) Catch both threads and swing the needle under the middle . joint of the thimble finger.
(/) Slide the left thumb and forefinger to the long end of the thread and pass it to the right thumb and forefinger.
g) Wind it once around the finger, roll it slightly with the thumb, and draw it up with the third finger.
Repeat this exercise until a knot can be well made.
Second Exercise - The Position of the Needle and Thimble for the Overhand Stitch.
Place the folded edge of a piece of cloth between the left thumb and forefinger, and a thimble on the thimble finger. Use a threaded needle without a knot.
(a) Hold the needle at the tips of the right thumb and forefinger.
(b) Put the needle against the thimble.
(c) Insert the needle in the folded edge of the cloth (see Model 2 (Overhanding) (a), and point directly toward you.
(d) Use the side of the thimble and push the needle through the cloth. Repeat this exercise.
Illustration 48. The thimble finger holding the needle, while the thumb and forefinger are tying the knot, or preparing work.
Third Exercise - Making the Running Stitch.
The thread should have no knot. Take two or three running stitches in a piece of cloth.
(a) Hold the piece up in the right hand, with the forefinger on one side of the edge and the thumb on the other, holding the needle and edge closely between them.
(b) Push the needle with the thimble and take up stitches at the same time, using the left thumb and forefinger as a guide for the stitches and to hold the cloth, and not to fill the needle.
(c) Draw the thread through. Repeat this exercise at each lesson until it is well learned.
Drills on the other stitches may be given in the same manner, as pupils advance. In giving drills, the teacher stands with her left side to the class and holds her hands to the right, so that all can see the movements.
Illustration 49. Basting - One-quarter inch stitches, with one-inch spaces.