The New Dressmaker/Chapter 16

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CHAPTER 16

SEWING STITCHES

Knots—Bastings—Even Bastings—Uneven Bastings—Combination Bastings—Diagonal Bastings—Running Stich—Backstitch—The Half Backstitch—The Combination Stitch—Overcasting—Overhanding—Catch-Stitch—Slant Hemming Stitch—Straight Hemming Stitch—Blind Hemming—Slip Stitch—Loose French Tacks —Tailors' Tacks

TO MAKE A KNOT, hold the threaded needle in the right hand. Take the end of the thread between the thumb and first finger of the left hand, stretching the thread tightly. Wind it around the top of the first finger, crossing it over the end held between the finger and thumb. Roll the first finger down the ball of the thumb about half an inch, carrying the thread with it, and with the second finger push the knot thus formed to the end of the thread. If a larger knot is required, wind the thread around the finger twice.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0128.pngIll. 128. Even Bastings

BASTINGS are temporary stitches used to hold two or more pieces of material together while putting in the permanent stitches. The thread should be smooth and rather fine. Careful basting is essential to successful sewing and dressmaking. There are four kinds of bastings.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0129.pngIll. 129. Uneven Bastings

EVEN BASTINGS start with a knot on the right side so that they may be easily removed. Pass the needle over and through the material, making the stitches and spaces the same length. To fasten the thread, take two stitches over the last one made. (Ill. 128.)

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0130.pngIll. 130. Combination Bastings

UNEVEN BASTINGS are made by the method just described for even bastings, except that the stitches and spaces are of unequal length. The stitches taken upon the needle are about a third shorter than the space covered by the thread. (Ill. 129.)

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0131.pngIll. 131. Diagonal Bastings

COMBINATION BASTINGS are used on seams where extra firmness is desired for close fitting. They are made by taking alternately, one long stitch and two short stitches. (Ill. 130.)

DIAGONAL BASTINGS are slanting stitches used in dressmaking and tailoring to secure the outside material to its lining, particularly where the lining is eased on to the material, as is often the case. The method is shown in Illustration 131.)

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0132.pngIll. 132. Running Stitches

RUNNING STITCHES are shorter than bastings. The spaces and stitches are of equal length. They are used on seams that do not require the firmness of machine or backstitching. (Ill. 132.)

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0133.pngIll. 133. Backstitch

THE BACKSTITCH is made by taking up a short stitch back on the upper side and a longer one forward on the under side of the material, bringing the needle out a space in advance. Insert the needle to meet the last stitch, passing it under the material and out again a space in advance of the last stitch taken. (Ill. 133.)

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0134.pngIll. 134. Half-Backstitch

Fasten by making two or three stitches over the one last made. The backstitch is used on seams requiring strength and firmness.

THE HALF-BACKSTITCH is made in the same manner as the backstitch, except that it is taken halfway back instead of all the way, leaving a small space between each stitch on the upper side. (Ill. 134.)

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0135.pngIll. 135. Combination Stitch

THE COMBINATION STITCH consists of one backstitch and two or more small running stitches. It is fastened like the backstitch. Illustration 135 shows a combination stitch with one backstitch and two running stitches. It is used on seams requiring less strength than the backstitch.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0136.pngIll. 136. Overcasting

OVERCASTING is a slanting stitch used to keep raw edges from raveling. (Ill. 136.) In taking the stitch the needle should always point toward the left shoulder. Hold the material loosely in the left hand. Do not use a knot, but turn the end of the thread to the left and take the first two stitches over it. Make the stitches about one-eighth of an inch apart and one-eighth of an inch deep.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0137.pngIll. 137. Overhanding

Keep the spaces between the stitches even and slant all the stitches in the same direction. Before overcasting be sure that the edges are trimmed off evenly. In overcasting a bias seam, begin at the broad part of the piece and work toward the narrow part, to prevent its raveling while you are working on it.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0138.pngIll. 138. Catch-Stitch

OVERHANDING, top, or oversewing, as it is sometimes called, is used to join folded edges or selvedges. (Ill. 137.) Baste the pieces with the folds or selvedges exactly even and sew with close stitches over and over the edges, taking up as few threads as possible, so that when finished the seam will be smooth and flat and not form an awkward ridge or cord on the wrong side of the garment.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0139.pngIll. 139. Catch-Stitch on Open Seam

CATCH-STITCH, sometimes called cat-stitch, is a cross-stitch used to hold down seam edges. It is the preferred finish for the seams of flannel garments, for it does away with the clumsiness of a French or felled seam, takes the place of overcasting and prevents raveling.

Place the edges together and run a seam, taking an occasional backstitch. Trim off one edge close to the line of sewing and press the other edge flatly over it, holding the work as shown in Illustration 138.

Make a knot and insert the needle under the edge at the lower left corner, cross the edge and take a small stitch a few threads to the right. Cross back again and insert the needle, taking a similar stitch through all the thicknesses of the material.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0140.pngIll. 140. Catch-Stitch Used in Dressmaking and Millinery

Always point the needle to the left and make the cross-stitches encase the raw edges. The stitch is done from left to right. If preferred, these seams may be pressed open and catch stitched, working the stitches over the raw edge at each side of the seam, thus holding both down as shown in Illustration 139.

A quicker method of catch-stitching is shown in Illustration 140. This stitch has not the strength of the first method and is only used in millinery and in dressmaking where the work is concealed. This style of catch-stitching is done from right to left.

THE SLANT HEMMING STITCH is used to hold in place hems, facings, fells, etc. Each stitch slants on both the right and wrong side of the material. (Ill. 141.) Place the hem over the forefinger and under the middle finger of the left hand and hold it down with the thumb. Begin at the right hand and insert the needle through the fold leaving a short end of the thread to be caught under the stitches.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0141.pngIll. 141. Slant Hemming Stitch

Pointing the needle toward the left shoulder take a slanting stitch, taking up one or two threads of the material and the fold of the hem. At the end of the hem fasten the thread by taking two or three stitches on top of each other.

If a new thread is needed start as at the beginning, tucking both the ends of the new and old threads under the fold of the hem and secure them with the hemming stitches.

In hemming train the eye to keep the stitches even and true, take very small, almost The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0142.pngIll. 142. Straight Hemming invisible stitches on the right side and stitches of an even length on the wrong side. Don't draw the thread tight, or leave it loose, and always use a fine needle and thread.

THE STRAIGHT HEMMING STITCH is used where an edge is to be held close with stitches that should show as little as possible. Start it the same way as the slanting hemming stitch.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0143.pngIll. 143. Blind Hemming

Insert the needle into the material as close to where you brought the thread through as possible, bringing the needle up in a slanting position under the hem and bringing it out through the fold of the hem close to the edge. (Ill. 142.) This is the stitch that is preferred by tailors for felling linings in coats, etc., for the stitches show less than in the slanting stitch.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0144.pngIll. 144. Slip-Stitching

BLIND HEMMING is used when an invisible sewing is required to hold hems or facings on silk or wool. It is done more quickly than slip-stitching and is just as invisible on the right side of the garment. Only take up part of the thread in the material and insert the needle in a fold of the hem using a rather long slanting stitch between the stitches. (Ill. 143.) It is not a strong sewing but in many cases is used on silk and wool.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0145.pngIll. 145. Method of Making French Tack

SLIP-STITCHING is used when invisible sewing is required for holding hems, facings, trimmings, etc. It is not a strong sewing, but it is one of the most valuable stitches for finishing work in silk or wool. In this stitch it is necessary to take up only part of the thread in the material. This is what makes it invisible on the right side. The stitches should be taken as far apart as will hold the edge in place. Let the needle slip through the under side of the fold of the hem between the stitches and bring it out through the crease of the fold. (Ill. 144.) That is why it is called the slip-stitch.

LOOSE FRENCH TACKS. They are made by taking a small stitch in the garment and one in the portion which is to be tacked to the garment, leaving a half-inch or more of thread between. Pass the needle back and forth once more, putting it into the same place, and then work several loose buttonhole-stitches back over the three strands of the silk thread. (Ill. 145.)

TAILORS' TACKS are used in cutting out garments to mark seams, perforations, etc. They are used to give a clean exact line for the sewing. When laying out the pattern on the material cut the pieces, and then with a double thread mark all the perforations as directed in the pattern instructions. Baste through both thicknesses of the cloth, alternating one long and one short stitch. Leave the long stitches loose enough to form a loop under which a finger can be passed. (Ill. 146.) Then cut every long stitch and separate the two pieces, cutting the threads that still hold them together as you go along. There will then be enough stitches in each piece to indicate the sewing line plainly and both pieces will be marked exactly alike. For waists or coats, or for any curved outline, the tack stitches should be quite short.

In using tailors' tacks for marking long tucks or plaits in skirts, etc., the loose stitch may be an inch and a half long and not left in a loop, its length supplying the necessary thread for pulling through between the two pieces of cloth.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0146.png

Ill. 146. Tailors' Tacks