This section is from the "The Ladies' Work-Table Book: Domestic Needlework in Nineteenth-Century America" book, by Margaret Vincent. Also available from Amazon: The Ladies' Work Table: Domestic Needlework in Nineteenth-Century America.
Various kinds of work have binding set on to them in preference to hemming them, or working them in herring-bone stitch. Flannel is generally bound; sometimes with a thin tape, made for that purpose, and called " flannel binding." It is also common to bind flannel with sarcenet ribbon. The binding is so put on, as to show but little over the edge on the right side, where it is hemmed down neatly ; on the other side, it is run on with small stitches.
Silk braid looks pretty, and is used for a variety of purposes. In putting it on, it is best to sew it with silk drawn out of the braid, as it is a better match, and the stitches will be les6 perceived.
It is of essential importance that cloths should be marked and numbered. This is often done with ink, but as some persons like to mark with silk, we shall describe the stitch. Two threads are to be taken each way of the cloth, and the needle must be passed three ways, in order that the stitch may be complete. The first is aslant from the person, toward the right hand ; the second is downward, toward you: and the third is the reverse of the first, that is, aslant from you toward the left hand. The needle is to be brought out at the corner of the stitch, nearest to that you are about to make. The shapes of the letters or figures can be learnt from an inspection of any common sampler.
This is much used in ornamenting children's and other dresses. It is made by inclosing a cord, of the proper thickness, in a stripe of silk, cut the cross-way, and must be put on as evenly as possible.
The plaits must be as even as it is possible to place them, one against another. In double plaiting they lie both ways, and meet in the middle
These require to be made even. You should have the breadth of the tuck, and also the space between each, notched on a card. They look the best run on with small and regular stitches. You must be careful to take a back-stitch constantly, as you proceed.
Cover the wire with a piece of calico, or other material of the proper size ; turn in the corners neatly, and work round the wire in button-hole stitch; work the centre like a star
Some may think that we have been too minute ; but we were desirous to omit nothing that could be generally useful; and we have had regard also to those ladies who, having been under no necessity of practising plain needlework in their earlier years, are desirous of preparing articles for their humbler fellow creatures, or by the sale of which, they procure more ample supplies for the funds of charity. We have good reason to believe, that many well-disposed persons would be glad, in this way, to aid the cause of humanity - and to devote a portion of their leisure hours to the augmenting of the resources of benevolence - but they are destitute of the practical experience necessary to enable them to do so. To all such, we hope our little manual will be an acceptable offering, and enable them, by a judicious employment of the means and talents committed to their trust, to realize the truth of the saying of the wise man, " There is that scattereth and yet increaseth."
In order to render the elementary stitches of fancy needle-work as easy of acquirement as possible, we subjoin the following dia gram ; any lady will thus be able to form the various stitches, by simply taking a piece of canvas, and counting the corresponding number of threads, necessary to form a square like the diagram ; she will perceive the lines represent the threads of the canvas, the cquare3 numbered being the holes formed by the intersection of the threads; and following the directions given in the accompanying chapter, she will soon be able to work any patterns here exhibited, and such new ones as her inventive genius may lead her to design.