(See illustration on page 76.) The herringbone or catch stitch is a cross stitch used to finish the raw edges of flannel or heavy material. It serves both the purpose of overcasting over a raw edge and that of hemming. It is used on raw edged hems to avoid the ridge formed by the first fold of a hem, on the flannel patch and for finishing the flannel seam, which may be pressed open and both single edges herringbone stitched, or both folded to one side and finished over the double edge. In most cases the open seam looks better.
The stitch consists of single, alternating running stitches made first to the right and then to the left, working from you instead of toward you as in ordinary running. The thread being carried across from one stitch to another, gives the appearance of a cross stitch. The stitches on each side must be in straight rows, with the outer row just over the edge of the flannel. The stitch should be no deeper than necessary to prevent pulling out. A good rule for beginners is to make the top of each stitch even with the bottom of the last stitch. Point the needle toward you in making the stitch, but work away from you. The edge of the flannel must be kept smooth. This being a cross stitch the thread of one part of the stitch is on top and the other underneath. Be sure that this is regular, those slanting in the same direction should be always either to the top or to the bottom.