Basting is done by taking long stitches to keep the cloth in place for sewing.


No. 8 needle, No. 50 colored thread, pins, and a half-yard strip of cotton cloth, with one of the long sides creased.

Fig, 12.

Fig, 12. - Showing even basting stitches, needle inserted.

In even basting, make the stitches short and alike on both sides. This method of basting is used for the seams of a dress-waist, or for several thicknesses of cloth.

Fig. 13.

Fig. 13. - Showing uneven basting stitches, needle in position.

In uneven basting, take stitches half-an-inch long on the upper side, and as small as possible on the under side. This is the proper basting for ordinary work, as the stitches serve for a guide in sewing.

The basting, in Fig. 14, is done by taking one long and two short stitches alternately.

Fig. 14.

Fig. 14. - Showing a method of basting used on heavy cloth, needle in the proper position for putting away the work.

Practise Drill No. 3 (page 15).

1. Make a knot in the thread to hold it securely.

2. Begin at the right-hand side of the cloth.

3. Place the right-hand corners exactly together, having the sharp edge of the crease towards you.

Fig. 15.

Fig. 15. - Showing the needle in position for beginning.

4. Insert the needle on the crease one-eighth of an inch from the end of the cloth, and take up a few threads (Fig. 15).

5. Let the needle remain in the cloth, and pin the opposite ends together, by placing a pin vertically through the cloth.

6. Put a pin in the middle vertically.

7. Draw the needle through, and proceed with the basting required, holding the work as in Fig. 7 (page 15), taking each stitch on the crease, and keeping the edges even.

8. Fasten the thread securely by taking three or four stitches in the same place.


Never sew without basting, or when the threads are loose. If a child tries to sew without having the work basted, it will pucker, and must be ripped out. The short stitches on the under side keep the cloth in place, and prevent it from slipping. Take short basting stitches for hand work, but longer stitches may be taken for machine sewing. When learning to baste, only one stitch at a time should be taken, but later several stitches can be taken before drawing the needle through. Basting threads should be taken out when the work is finished.

How is basting done? How are the stitches made in even basting? For what purpose is even basting used? How should uneven basting stitches be taken? What is the first step in basting? Where begin? What should be done to the corners? How must the edges be held? Where do you insert the needle? Before drawing it through, what should be done? Where should each stitch be taken? How should the thread be fastened? What purpose do the short stitches on the under side serve? When the work is finished, what should be done?