This section is from the book "School Needlework. A Course of Study in Sewing designed for use in Schools", by Olive C. Hapgood. Also available from Amazon: School Needlework: A Course Of Study In Sewing Designed For Use In Schools.
Fig. 23. - Showing the stitches, and needle in position.
Practise Drill No. 4 (page 16).
1. Find one-eighth of an inch and one-fourth of an inch on the measure (page 13).
2. Place the thumb-nail on the cloth one-eighth of an inch below the raw edge. The stitches are to be of this depth, and twice as far, or one-fourth of an inch, apart.
3. Make a small knot in the thread.
4. Hold the work over the left forefinger, as in Fig. 8 (page 16).
5. Begin at the right-hand end of the seam.
6. Insert the needle one-eighth of an inch below the edge, and between the edges of the seam, in order to hide the knot.
7. Pointing the needle towards the left shoulder, take the next stitch one-fourth of an inch to the left, and over both edges of the cloth.
8. Continue, taking up the same number of threads each time, being careful to make the spaces equal.
9. Do not draw the stitches tightly, but let them lie loosely over the edge (Fig. 23).
10. To fasten the thread, draw the needle nearly through the cloth where the next stitch should come. Turn over the cloth, withdraw the needle, and fasten the thread at this point, being careful that the stitches do not show on the right side.
11. To join the thread, make a small knot in the new thread, and put the needle between the edges of the seam, through the little hole, which was made when the needle was withdrawn.
Before overcasting, take out the basting threads and trim the edges evenly. All seams whose edges ravel should be overcast, and, therefore, a selvedge seam does not need to be overcast. Overcasting is very difficult to do nicely. The above directions are for overcasting on underclothes, etc. In overcasting a dress waist, or any fine material, smaller stitches should be taken. A bias seam should be overcast from the broad part to the narrow, or with the grain of the cloth.
What is overcasting? How deep are the stitches taken? How far apart? How is the work held? At which end is the work begun? Where is the needle inserted? Why? How should the needle point? How far to the left should the next stitch be taken? How do you continue with the stitches? How is the thread fastened? How is the thread joined? What should be done before overcasting? When does a seam need to be overcast? How is a bias seam overcast?