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Hemming Towels

( Originally Published 1918 )

Turning and basting hems. Hemming towels of crash, sacking, or other material, for use in washing and drying dishes at home or in school.


Pasting is used to hold two pieces of material together until a permanent stitch can be put in. It. is done by taking long stitches (one-fourth inch) from right to left and parallel to the edges that are to he basted together. In starting, the thread is fastened with a knot: when completed, it is fastened by taking two or three stitches one over the other.


The teacher should have the necessary materials on hand or should see that they are supplied by the pupils. The articles needed will include material for the towels, white thread for basting and hemming, and gauges for measuring.

The teacher should also have a large square of unbleached cotton or canvas, 18 by IS inches, and a large darning-needle and coloured worsted thread, to use for demonstration purposes. The canvas should be fastened to the black-board, where the class can see it easily.


As soon as the class is called, the supplies are at hand, and the hands are iii a proper condition the teacher should demonstrate the basting-stitch, with a large needle and thread, on the square of canvas that has been fastened on the wall. Materials for work should he passed. Each pupil should straighten the ends of her towel by drawing a thread. Then she should turn and baste a hem three eighths of an inch in depth.

At the close of the lesson, the pupils should fold their work carefully and put it neatly in their boxes.

The overhanding stitch and the hemming stitch.


Overhanding (also called overseaming or top sewing). The edges to be overhanded are held between the first finger and the thumb of the left hand, with the edge parallel to the first finger. The needle is inserted just below and perpendicular to the edge. The needle is pointed straight toward the worker_ The stitches proceed from right. to left, each stitch being taken a little to the left of the preceding stitch. The stitches should all be straight on the right side, hut they will slant a little on the wrong side. They should not be deep. It may be desirable to use this overhanding stitch at the ends of hems, to hold the edges of the material together. The overhanding stitch is also used for seams, for patching, and for sewing on lace.

The overhanding of narrow hems is not always necessary, but the ends may be made stronger thereby, and the stitch is a valuable one for the pupils to know.

Hemming.—The hemming-stitch is placed on the inside of the hem. The end of the basted hem is laid over the first and under the second finger of the left hand, with the folded edge outside and the material toward the worker. It is held in place with the thumb. The stitch is begun at the end of the hem. The fastening of the thread is concealed by slipping it underneath the hem in the inside fold of the material. The needle is pointed over the left shoulder, a small stitch is taken by inserting the needle through the material just below the hem, then through the folded edge. This is repeated, making the next stitch nearer the worker and moving the goods away from the worker as necessary. Uniformity of slant, size, and spacing of the stitches is important.

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Sewing Preparation & Hems

Hemming Towels

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Darning Socks

Sewing Instructions - Patching

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