(See coloured frontispiece in this issue)
By Mrs. F. Nevill Jackson
The Uses of Transfer Patterns - How to Employ Them - Some Suggestions as to a Variety of Practical and Artistic Ways in Which Our Pattern May be Used - Embroidering the Yokes of Frocks - Embroidering Cushions, Tablecloths, Curtains, etc. - The Making of Buttons, etc.
It is often desirable to finish the yoke of a child's frock, the collar and wristbands of a blouse, or a frilled cushion cover with a little dainty embroidery; but, while we wonder what sort of design is suitable, or doubt lest a good selection may be found, the moment passes when such decoration can be done, and we have missed an opportunity for beautifying cur handiwork.
it is easy to embroider borders which are sold ready prepared with sketched-out pattern and materials for working, but if we want a pattern on stuff already in our possession, the matter is much more difficult. Tracing out designs, moreover, on a blouse-front or pretty petticoat costs a good deal of money, for such special work cannot be done except by experts.
It is on these occasions that iron-off patterns are useful. The iron should not be too hot, and must be placed on the design in exactly the spot required. After this there is nothing to do but to sew over the lines in wool, silk, flax thread, coloured cotton, chenille, or ribbon according to taste and the use to which the embroidery is to be put.
The very large place taken by needlework in the dress trimming of the day would alone be sufficient to render the presentation of our pattern most opportune, especially as the more desirable forms of all such needle-craft are worked on the stuff directly.
The transfer can be ironed-off on to any material, and, if liked, specially adapted to the needs of the moment.
Such adaptation gives scope for individual taste, and the home designer will soon get into the knack of adapting a practical pattern to her own particular needs.
It is an excellent plan, if you are contemplating the decoration of a certain room, to adopt a spray or special pattern, which you maintain as a kind of family possession, and which you gradually extend throughout your house.
For instance, in the dining-room the sofa cushions would be of Roman satin, in the colour which best harmonises with the other decoration of the room. The roses would be embroidered in natural colours in Mallard floss, the flowers well padded. On the side-board cloth of white damask in the same room the embroidery would be in white flax thread, Mountmellick stitches being used for stems and foliage.
On the curtains of silk or wool, damask, or of cream Bolton sheeting the pattern might be quickly done in applique, rose linen being used for the flowers, green linen for the foliage, and a coarse brown crewel wool for the stem and thorns. Worked in this way, a handsome stencil effect would be obtained, and the broad result of the pattern with many repeats would be most artistic.
Short plain muslin blinds, with the rose pattern utilised as a frieze or dado, and out-ined in white embroidery cotton, would give a dainty individual touch to the outside as well as the inside of the house, and the rose room would be a place of special interest.
Butterflies are given with our rose pattern. They are not intended to be worked at the side of the rose design, but are placed there so that the novice in the art of ironing-off may test the heat of the iron and use it just at the moment when the best results are to be obtained. If the iron is very hot, the blue marking-ink will disappear, and leave no mark on the fabric beneath; if the iron is too cool, no impression will be made on the material, and the blue ink will remain intact on the paper.
The pattern must be placed on the material and tacked or pinned down, with the blue ink side against the material; a fairly hot iron should then be pressed firmly on the paper, and held for a few seconds. The result should be that the blue outline once on the paper is absolutely transferred to the material.
These test patterns, however, will prove useful for decorating a dainty handbag, for working on a traycloth in white thread, or in ornamenting a brocade book-cover or doyley. For such small things the butterflies are eminently suited.
The rose design will appeal to those who like broad effects; it is drawn on strictly conventional lines, and lends itself to a great variety of results in working. In the coloured plate the simple flat effect of one colour only is shown on the cream satin hood. Such outlining, together with satin stitch for the leaves and blossoms, is done very quickly. A few strands of padding cotton placed in the opposite direction to the satin stitches, however, will greatly improve the appearance of the embroidery.
A facsimile of the transfer pattern
Soft satin of the colour of a wild rose petal has been chosen for the bodice decoration, and the transfer has been worked in a pale duck-egg green. Not only on the front of the bodice, but also as a border at the foot of the gown, the pattern would greatly enhance the beauty of a girl's evening frock.
For the front of a white linen blouse a very slight adaptation of the design would be necessary, a spray of flowers and leaves being utilised for the cuffs. As will be seen in the cushion cover or nightdress case, this design lends itself most successfully to ribbon-work effects, and if the roses are well padded and then worked with shaded pink giant ribbon the result is excellent. The leaves may be solid or in outline, according to the taste of the worker, but the stalks should assuredly be in stem stitch. In our coloured illustration the pattern is shown worked in this way on muslin, and finished with rose ribbon threaded through insertion. An alternative scheme, however, might materialise the roses in the yellow apricot shades of the Gloire de Dijon type, the background might be cream moire silk, and at half-inch intervals tiny gilt sequins might be powdered all over. A minute bead exactly matching the sequin would serve to secure it in place.
The blossoms, again, can be cut out and used as ornaments to be embroidered on large buttons for gowns.
For a winter coat of frieze face-cloth or velvet, take a three-inch circle of the same stuff, iron-off one of the roses, pad thickly, and embroider in coarse silk, then gather the edge and place a wooden button mould inside. The result will be found excellent, especially if the cloth exactly matches the embroidery silk.
These suggestions would not be complete without mentioning the obvious suitability of this pattern for white embroidery. Tray-cloths, doyleys, tea-cosies, and other table accessories in white linen or damask could not be more suitably decorated than with the pattern embroidered in white flax thread or embroidery cotton, while blue or red ingrain thread will appeal to the utilitarian needlewoman.