More great tips from the vintage publication Needlecraft!
Mercerized cotton, No. 8 in colors, makes beautiful tatting to be used in trimmign. Have just made wide collars and turnback cuffs for two mercerized waists, trimming one with blue and the other with sand-color. The No. 70, in blue, lavender or pin, makes the daintiest edges for handkerchiefs; use plain rings, of 4 picots, separated by 3 doubles.
If you wish to make narrow tucks in thin, soft material that will not take the mark of the tucker easily, try drawing a single thread, then crease on the drawn thread, and make the tuck the width of the narrow side of the foot of your machine. The tucks will be perfectly true and even. Of course, you measure the distance you wish the tucks and mark with a pencil at one end of goods.
I have a friend who does beautiful Hardanger embroidery. On coarse or fine congress canvas she always runs around the piece about five times, using the sewing machine with a very short stitch, keeping the rows of stitches as close together as possbile. For hardanger cloth or other closely woven material she bastes fine lawn on the wrong side, buttonholes through both, and then cuts away all lawn that shows on the right.
I should like to tell the needlecrafters how I obtain new patterns for cross stitch or filet crochet. I take a piece of goods with small checks or bars that I can cross stitch on; then, choosing a pretty picture I would like to copy I lay it on a piece of impression paper which is first placed face down on the goods, and mark the outline and such other lines as I think may be essential. Thus I have my pattern ready for cross stitching and later for copying in filet crochet if I wish.
To make your own transfer patterns, saturate a bit of cloth in kerosene oil, rub over a piece of common wrapping paper the size of pattern desired until the paper becomes transparent, then place the paper over the design of which you want a pattern and trace with pencil. If you want a perforated pattern lay the paper, after having traced it, on a pillow, and with a needle prick holes at regular intervals along the pencil-marks. This can be done on the sewing machine, but not so satisfactorily.
Since the hemstitching in a tablecloth always wears out first, a good plan which will remedy this and add to the beauty of the linen, is to rip out the threads used in hemstitching the hem down, then turn under the other edge, making a finished hem. Cut off the threads on the other edge of the hemstitching, and insert a narrow crocheted insertion, of linen or cotton thread. The insertion will wear better than hemstitching.
A good hint in sewing is found in homemade veining. There are numerous places where it can be used to advantage, and it is especially useful in making over garments, as the goods may be pieced under the veining without being noticeable. First, loosen the tension and lengthen the stitch of your sewing machine; join the goods where you wish to piece it, lay the edges together and stitch on the wrong side, an ordinary seam; then press out smooth, pulling it open, and stitch on the right side close to the veining. If you do not want the raw edges to be exposed, turn them under and stitch again.
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