This section is from the book "Text-Book On Domestic Art", by Carrie Crane Ingalls. Also available from Amazon: Textbook On Domestic Art: With Illustrations And Drafts.
On three sides of cut sampler, turn a 1/4 inch hem. Crease and fold in opposite direction, where edge of hem meets. This method of turning and sewing a hem, is called French hemming, and is used on handkerchiefs, napkins, tablecloths, etc. It is the most satisfactory way of finishing narrow hems.
One-half inch up from raw edge of sampler, draw 7 scollops, using for a guide, a spool of No. 24 cotton thread. Start from either end of raw edge, making center scollop smaller if necessary to fit space. Back (whole) stitch the lower edge, using a No. 5 needle and crochet luster cotton to contrast with background.
The embroidery buttonhole is worked to finish off this edge. It differs from the tailor's buttonhole, in direction of stitch, as well as method of working, - is easier and more quickly done, but will not bear much strain.
Start with a few running stitches at left edge of sampler (knots are not used for embroidery stitches), coming up on right side of material. Work toward right edge of sampler, with thread always to left of needle. Take straight or vertical stitch 1/4 inch deep, coming out on scollop line. With thread under needle, hold it down with thumb of left hand, and pull thru firmly. Take next stitch in same manner, and so on to edge of sampler. Keep edge even at top as well as bottom, with each stitch parallel with the first stitch.
This method of finishing a raw edge, is used for towels, doilies, collars, etc., when a hem is not desired. Variations of this buttonholing may be used, by making one short stitch and one long stitch, alternating, or graduating the depth of stitches, with lines converging toward center of each scollop.
Above and in center of each scollop, make, with a stiletto or round pointed instrument, an eyelet or round hole to be embroidered. Overcast or make running stitch around edge of each eyelet.
An eyelet stitch is a close over and over stitch, pulled firm in order to keep the proper shape.
No space is left between each stitch. Finish on wrong side, with same direction of stitch as the preceding one, so join will not be visible. Begin each eyelet in a different part of circle or oval, as joins on lace are made.
Eyelet embroidery is the simplest and most effective of all embroideries, and wears well. Our Colonial mothers became experts in it.
In center of sampler, write pupil's last name lightly in pencil, spacing evenly from outside edges. This is outlined, starting first stitch at end of last letter, working toward front, to let the crossings come as in writing.
In upper half of sampler, make 11 vertical lines for the most important embroidery stitches, namely: Crewel (2 kinds), couching, stem, chain, herring-bone, cross stitch, herring-bone cat stitch, single feather, double feather, triple feather or coral and ladder or Creton.
Space these first 5 lines, 1/2 inch apart, the remaining lines, marking double (1/4 inch apart) 1/2 inch from each outside line.
The first Crewel stitch is started at base of line, and worked upwards. With a few running stitches to start, come up on right side. Take one long stitch 3/8 or 1/4 inch long, with thread to right of needle as illustrated. Pull thru, take next stitch 1/2 as long, sticking needle 1/8 inch above last stitch and half way between first stitch, to right of it. Repeat to top of line, finishing on wrong side of sampler with an over and over stitch. The wrong side of stitching resembles the whole back stitch.
The second Crewel stitch is worked like the first Crewel, only the thread is held to left of the needle, instead of right, giving a reverse slant to the stitch.
Couching is overcasting over two or more strands of thread, silk, cotton, gold or silver cord, etc., on a line to be outlined. The strands may lie flat or twisted, but on this sampler use 3 strands of the luster cotton, and couch with fine white thread. Start at base of line, holding strands flat and firm, and take small slanting overcast stitches 1/8 inch apart. Couching in different colored thread tends to blend colors too closely if stitches are too close, so the couch thread is usually the color of the background of the material, or the color of the cord to be couched. The Japanese and Chinese show the greatest skill in this mode of embroidery, using it for outline or solid and generally with gold or silver cord, couched in the same shade with fine cotton thread or silk.
The stem stitch is similar to the first Crewel stitch and can also be reversed as in the second. It is worked slanting instead of vertical, giving a broader outline than either of the Crewel stitches.
It may be worked almost horizontal, resembling the satin stitch. Start at base of line and finish as with other stitches on wrong side at top.
The chain stitch commences at top of line, and worked down. Coming up on right side, take a stitch 1/4 inch long leaving a loop of thread on right side, before pulling up or taking next stitch.