How to Care for Your Stockings. - It will not be necessary to mend our stockings so frequently if we take good care of them. For example, perspiration from the feet sometimes causes the threads in your stockings to weaken and wear through sooner than is necessary if the stockings are properly cared for. They should be washed frequently in order to remove the perspiration. Some girls wash their stockings every night. The girl who is careful of her appearance watches to see that there are no holes or "runs" in her stockings. Why should a broken thread in the leg of the stocking be mended as soon as possible? If by accident, a "run" is permitted to go the length of the stocking, turn the stocking wrong side out and catch the edges of the run together with small stitches. Be sure to catch the loop at the end of the "run" to prevent further "running."

There are other ways to prevent stockings from wearing out too rapidly. First, select stockings that are durable and will wear well. It is desirable to select stockings that are reinforced at the heel and toe because this is where the holes generally first appear. Second, stockings should be long enough in the foot. Third, watch out for rough places and nails on the inside of the shoes. A new leather surface at the heel of the shoe put in by the repair man may save darning. Fourth, toe nails that are too long may punch holes in the stockings. Fifth, when putting a stocking on do not merely take hold of the top of the stocking and push your foot down through it. It is better to gather the leg of the stocking and hold it in your fingers so that your foot can be pushed directly into the foot of the stocking.

The best way to mend holes in the foot of the stocking is to watch for danger signals and mend the thin places before the hole appears. "A stitch in time saves nine, and sometimes ninety-nine." It is not always worth while to mend a stocking after the heel and toe have become very much worn because the stocking will not last long enough to pay for the trouble of mending it. You must learn to judge when it is best to mend and when not to mend.

Stocking Day at School. - For your next lesson bring to school a stocking that needs mending, also a darner, darning needle and darning cotton. Study the following directions and pictures in Fig. 114 before beginning to darn your stocking.

Fig. 114.

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1. The thread should match the color of the stocking and

. not be too heavy for the stocking.

2. There should be no knot at the end of the thread. Begin by taking a few stitches and drawing the thread through the cloth so that only a tiny end is left out.

3. The darning stitch is made so that the thread goes in and out of the cloth as shown in Picture 1, Fig. 114. The threads should be drawn back and forth across the hole as shown in the picture. Be sure to have them extend far enough so that they will not pull out.

4. Make the stitches the other way of the cloth, weaving your darning thread in and out so as to form a plain weave through the hole. See Picture 2, Fig. 114.

5. In darning some people find it convenient to slip something hard and round inside of the stocking, a darner, if you have one. Then you can pull the stocking smooth over the darner and take your stitches more easily. Other people prefer to slip their hand into the stocking while they darn the hole. 7. Fasten the thread by simply cutting it off close to the cloth. Darning may also be done on the sewing machine. If you have this darning attachment at home or at school you should learn to use it. Inspection of Your Darning. - Answer these questions about your own work. Then ask someone else the same questions about your work.

1. Is the darn thick and clumsy?

2. Does the darn extend far enough beyond the hole to take in the worn part?

3. Are the threads pulled too tightly?

4. Is the thread woven in and out evenly?

5. Are you trying to increase your speed in darning? It is important to be able to do one's darning as speedily as possible. Other Uses for Darning. - Suppose that instead of your stocking it was your dress or coat that had a hole in it or was accidentally torn. Can you see how these also might be mended by darning? Have you ever seen your mother darn a hole in a tablecloth? The stitch is exactly the same as you used in darning your stocking. In choosing a thread to darn a hole in a wool dress, you would, of course, choose a thread that is the same color as the dress, and you should also choose a thread that is as nearly like the thread in the cloth as possible. Sometimes you can ravel some threads from a seam or hem of the garment itself and use them to darn the hole in the dress. This makes the darn less conspicuous than if you use a different kind of thread. Another way to make the darn inconspicuous is to take very small stitches. A third way to make the darn inconspicuous is to make the stitches go in the same direction as the threads of the cloth. Can you see how this is done in Fig. 115? How are the darns in Pictures 1 and 2 different from the darn in

Fig. 115.

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Picture 3? Why is it necessary for the darning stitches to cross each other in the third tear?

Patching Is Another Way to Mend Holes. - Sometimes we wish to mend holes by putting on patches instead of darning them. Can you find out how to put on a patch by studying pictures 1 to 6 in Fig. 116, and answering the following questions? The right side of the cloth is shown in color.

Fig. 116.

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1. Can you see why the patch pinned over the hole, as shown in Picture 2, is cut so much larger than the hole as shown in Picture 1 ?

2. Why is the patch pinned in place before it is basted on?

Fig. 116.

How To Patch And Darn 240

Fig. ii6.

How To Patch And Darn 241

3. Picture 3 shows the right side. The hole has been cut square and the edges turned in. Why is it important to have the basting which holds these edges in place come close to the edge? What will have to be done at each corner before the edges will turn in?

4. In Picture 4 you are looking at the wrong side of the patch. What has been done to the edges of the patch? Why? What makes the small square of stitches in the middle?

5. In Picture 5 (wrong side) the edges of patch have been stitched down on machine and the basting threads pulled out. If you should prefer to hem down the edges of the patch by hand with the hemming stitch you can find out how to take the stitch on page 177. When do you think it would be more satisfactory to use the hemming stitch than to use machine stitching? Why?

Fig. 116.

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6. How is the right side of the patch finished as shown in Picture 6?

A Home Problem. - Who does the darning and mending in your family? Whose duty is it to see that your clothes are mended? For the next two weeks consider that it is your problem to do as much of the family darning and mending as it is possible for you to do. Make a written report of what you have been able to accomplish. Bring your best piece of work to school for criticism.

Fig. 116.

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Fig. 116.

How To Patch And Darn 244