Feather or Brier Stitch.

This stitch is used as a pretty finish in all kinds of sewing, and is frequently used to take the place of backstitch-ing, as it is so much less of a strain on the eye.


ILL. 90. - Single and Double Brier Stitch.

The pattern may be varied by taking a slanting instead of a straight stitch; and also by making two, three, or even four stitches on each side. See Illustration No. 90.

Materials. - The materials required in learning the feather stitch are: A quarter of a yard of flannel; embroidery silk; needles, either a zephyr needle or "sharps"; scissors ; the stitch is usually worked in crochet or embroidery cotton, on cotton goods; in silk or woolen thread, on woolen goods; and in silk, linen floss, or flourishing thread, on linen.

1.   Use a small knot.

2.   Bring the needle up from underneath.

3.   Work on the right side of the material.

4.  Hold the thread down with the thumb of the left hand.

5.   Take a stitch, pointing the needle towards you.

6.   Carry the thread under the needle so as to form a loop-stitch.

7.  Always draw out the thread towards you.

8.   Take a stitch alternately on the right and left of the thread held down. See Illustration No. 90.

9.   In mending the thread, take the needle- down close to the last stitch and fasten it securely on the wrong side.

10.   Bring the new thread up from underneath inside of the notch formed by the last stitch, so that no break may appear in the work.


The catch-stitch is principally used on flannel or woolen material to keep the seam flat after it has been sewed and pressed.

It is sometimes used in patching (see page 114) ; in fastening whalebones to the seam of a dress; in tacking interlining together; and is frequently associated with outline stitch in fancy work.


ILL. 92. -Seam Pressed Open and the Raw Edges Catch-Stitched on Each

Side to the Flannel.

8. By pressing both edges of the seam down together on the garment and securing them with one row of catch-stitching. See Illustration No. 93.


ILL. 93. - Both Edges of the Seam Pressed to One Side and Catch-Stitched.


ILL. 94. - Seam Pressed Open and Catch-Stitched down the Centre.

9. By opening and pressing the seam quite flat and catch-stitching it down the centre. See Illustration No. 94.


The blanket-stitch is used to secure and ornament the edges of woolen materials, especially blankets. It closely resembles a buttonhole stitch, the single purled edge being the only difference. If made without any intervening space, it is used in embroidering scallops and sometimes takes the place of overcasting.

Materials. - The materials required are the same as for the brier stitch.

1.   Begin at the left-hand side and work towards the right.

2.   On the wrong side of the material, take two running stitches, pointing the needle to the left; these should be taken one-eighth of an inch above the edge of the material.


ILL. 95. - Buttonhole or Blanket-Stitch, with the Needle in Position,

3.  Bring the needle through to the right side, pointing the needle towards you.

4.   Hold the thread down with the left thumb; insert the needle one-eighth of an inch to the right and parallel with the first stitch.

5.   Do not draw the thread tightly. See Illustration No. 95.

6.   Fasten the thread by taking the needle through to the wrong side and making a few running stitches to the left. These should not show through on the right side.

7.   Care should be taken, in fastening and beginning new threads, to preserve the regularity of the stitch.

8.   The stitch may be varied by following the suggestions found in the illustrations numbered 96, 97, and 98.


The chain-stitch is an ornamental stitch, resembling the links in a chain. The chain-stitch should be made loosely.


ILL. 96. - Buttonhole Stitch unevenly Spaced.

Materials. - The materials required are the same as for the brier stitch.

1.   Work towards you, holding the material over the first finger of the left hand.

2.   Make a very small knot.

3.   Bring the needle up from underneath.


ILL. 97. - Showing How the Buttonhole Stitch may he Varied.


ILL. 98. - Buttonhole Stitch Used in Fancy Work.

4. Hold the thread to the left with the thumb; put the needle back into exactly the same place where the thread comes out, and take a stitch through and over the thread. A loop stitch will be the result.

5.   In making each new stitch, the needle must be put inside the loop into exactly the same hole from which the thread comes out, taking the same amount of material on the needle for each stitch. See Illustration No. 99.

6.   Fasten on the wrong side with a backstitch. 144


ILL. 99. - The Chain-Stitch.

Cable-Chain Stitch.

The cable-chain stitch is a slight variation of the ordinary chain-stitch. Instead of putting the needle through the last stitch made, it is put in just outside of the loop; this gives a much richer effect.

Outline or Stem-Stitch.

The outline - stitch is frequently used in embroidery for defining delicate lines and emphasizing the edges of designs.

In outlining a circle, always work it so that the silk, when drawn through, lies toward the inside of the curve, when you are about to take the next stitch.

To avoid puckering, be careful that the material held over the first finger of the left hand is perfectly smooth and straight. Never hold the material on the bias, no matter what the direction of the line that is being followed.

Materials. - The materials required are: A piece of "art linen"; embroidery or sharp needles; linen floss or filoselle.

1.   Work from you; hold the material over the first finger of the left hand.

2.   Make a small backstitch on the wrong side.

3.   Bring the needle up from underneath and make a


ILL. 100. - Outline or Stem-Stitch.

slanting stitch, pointing the needle towards you. See Illustration No. 100.

4.   Take a long stitch forward on the upper side and a short stitch backward on the under side.

5.   Keep the thread to the right of the needle.

6.   Study sample for size of stitch.

7.  Do not draw the stitches tightly.

8.   Fasten on the wrong side with a backstitch.


This stitch is used for marking undergarments and household linen, and in dressmaking as an ornamental method of sewing in waist bands.

Materials. - The materials required are: Coarse canvas ; zephyr and zephyr needles; scissors.

1.   Do not use knots.

2.   Leave an end of thread on the wrong side to be held in place by the first stitches made.


ILL. 101. - Cross-Stiteh Used in Marking. 146


ILL. 102. - Letters for Marking.

3.  All stitches must cross in the same direction.

4.   Bring the needle up from underneath at the lower left-hand corner of the square of canvas intended for the stitch.

5.   Take the needle down at the upper right-hand corner, and bring it out at the upper left-hand corner.

6.   Take the needle down at the lower right-hand corner, and bring it out at the lower left-hand corner of the next stitch. See Illustration No. 101. Or,

7.   Bring the needle up from underneath at 1, taking it down at 2 and bringing it out at 3. Cross over to 4, and bring it again out at 5, thus completing one stitch.

8.   Be careful to have the back of the work look neat.

9.   In patterns and marking where upright rows of stitches occur, it saves time to work the entire number to the top with half stitches and then come back over each one to the bottom.


Hemstitching is a fancy method of stitching hems in which threads of the material are drawn and separated.

The number of threads drawn will depend largely upon the coarseness or fineness of the material.

If the fabric is much stiffened, rubbing it between the hands will take out the stiffening and make the threads easier to draw.

Materials. - The materials required are: Linen crash or canvas; "between" needles; cotton suitable to material.

1. Draw one thread at a time, and draw it the entire length of the cloth.

2.  After the proper number of threads have been drawn, turn and baste the hem close to the line thus made.

3.   Baste with even basting.

4.   Sew on the wrong side.

5.   Hold it along the first finger of the left hand with the hem towards you.

6.   Begin at the right-hand side and secure the ends of the thread as in ordinary hemming.

7.   Point the needle towards you and take up three threads and draw it through. Hold the thread firmly with the left thumb. See Illustration No. 103.


ILL. 103 - Hemstitching (the Needle in Position).

8.  Draw the cotton tightly and take an ordinary hemming stitch to the left, close to the threads just drawn together.

9.  Proceed in like manner the entire length of the hem.

French Knot or Seeding.

This stitch is used in embroidery to represent the seeds in flowers, and is frequently combined with other decorative stitches in geometric or other conventional designs.

If the material is heavy, carry the thread from knot to knot without breaking it. If the knot is made on sheer material, where the thread would show through, the thread must be fastened at each knot.

Materials. — The materials required are: A piece of flannel or "art linen"; linen floss or embroidery silk; "sharps" or embroidery needles; scissors.

1.  Bring the needle up from the wrong side.

2.  Make a small backstitch.

3.  Hold the silk in the left hand a few inches away from the material.

4.   Take the needle in the right hand and twist it around this portion of the embroidery silk three or four times. See Illustration No. 104.

5.  With the silk still held firmly in the left hand, carry the point of the needle back two or three threads beyond where the silk was first brought through.

6.  Hold the knot in place with the left hand and pull the underneath silk quite tight, so as to secure the knot on the wrong side,


ILL. 104. - French Knots.