“At the Point of the Needle”
By Doris MinerInto the fashioning of our Christmas-gifts enters the embroidery-needle as a wonderful factor. Everywhere hand-worked articles are at a premium, and appreciation of them steadily increases as the work done by machinery becomes more and more cleverly executed. A touch of the donor’s own handiwork greatly enhances the value of a gift to the recipient, and that touch may be easily given by one having comparatively little knowledge of embroidery or other needlecraft.
Take two bits of fine linen or lawn, cut them heart-shaped, and trace tiny scallops around the edge On one piece work a spray of delicate blossoms – forger-me-nits are especially suitable and dainty – in solid embroidery, place a later of cotton, thickly sprinkled with sachet-powder of some favorite scent, between the pieces, and buttonhole them together with floss matching the embroidery in color. At one side tack a knot of baby-ribbon, also of the same color. The sachet is four by five inches across the center, each way. Other shapes may be made at pleasure, following the same general idea.
One may, of course, put more or less work on such a case; the design of that pictured is particularly pretty and novel, a combination of eyelet- and relief or guipure embroidery. To make it a piece of linen seven inches wide and thirteen inches long is required. Work in padded buttonholing across one edge, fold up four inches for the pocket, and baste at the sides, then featherstitch across the folded portion, dividing it into five equal spaces or pockets. Scallop the other end, or flap, and finish with buttonholing, well padded, carrying this also across the sides of the pocket. At the point of the flap work a loop of the silk, and sew a tiny pearl button at the lower edge of the pocket to fasten toe loop over. Work the eyelets – or, if one is not expert in this class of embroidery, satin-stitch may be substituted for the little circles. Directions for the flowers in relief-embroidery have been given, but are repeated for the benefit of any who may not have seen them – since Needlecraft is continually adding hosts of new friends to its list. Make four stitches of even length around the center of the flower, one stitch across the base of each petal. In making a five-petaled flower you would, of course, need to take five of these stitches, which should not be drawn tightly enough to pucker the fabric, nor yet allowed to lie loosely on the surface. The first row of close buttonhole-stitches, of which the petal is formed, are taken under this stitch, or loop, each petal being worked separately The number of buttonhole-stitches in the first row depends, of course, upon the width of the petal or size of the flower; the loop should be closely filled, but not crowded. Commencing your petal, for example, with four buttonhole-stitches, these should extend easily across the base of petal, from beginning to end of the loop. Working back across the first row, widen by making two stitches in the first one in each of the following two, and two in the last stitch, or six in all; returning widen in the same way, which will give you eight stitches for the width of the petal. Widen again, if necessary, following the outline of the stamped petal closely. If the eight stitches cover nicely, work back and forth without widening for three to five rows, as are needed for the length of petal, then decrease by missing first stitch of preceding row until but one stitch remains – or, if the petal is short and blunt, as in the present instance, decrease a stitch at each end of each row, and finish off with two stitches. Attach the last stitch to the tip of the stamped petal, and fasten off neatly on the wrong side. The worked petal should be a trifle longer than the stamped outline, so that when it is caught down, as directed, the center will not lie perfectly flat, but be slightly raised or “cupped.” Fill the center of each flower with French knots, taken close together. These flowers may be worked in double crochet and fastened in place, giving practically the same effect.
Completed, the bag is usually six inches wide and nineteen or twenty inches in length, with a hem an inch or more wide at the top, and a casing for cord or ribbon The design illustrated is unique and pretty, and remnants of two kinds of materials may be utilized in making it up. For the model green linen was sued, with bands of white linen – the lower one two and one-half inches and the upper one and one-half inches in width – worked in eyelet- and-solid embroidery, using floss matching the green linen in tint so nearly as possible, and buttonholed in place with the same floss. A few hours will suffice for making the bag, and a more acceptable gift would be hard to find.
For a very attractive and serviceable workbag take a twenty-two-inch square of gray linen. Finish the edge with a narrow hem and with lace of coarse, gray linen, which may be woven, as torchon lace, knitted or crocheted. In each corner of the square embroider a pretty design – that of the model is in guipure-and-solid embroidery, using ref floss – and lightly trace a circle sixteen to seventeen inches in diameter in the center of the square. Around this circle sew ivory rings, about one and one-fourth inches apart, through which to run the ribbon drawstrings. If preferred, eyelets may be worked for the ribbons, but they slip more readily through the rings, and the bag may quickly be laid flat to allow the selection of any thread or implement needed. The same suggestion may be carried out with different materials; cretonne makes a pretty and useful bag to hold articles which require mending, and the size may be regulated as desired.
The towel is of guest-towel width, and long enough for three folds, five inches deep; then the towel is doubled and slipped into the satchel, which is made in envelope-form, and of just the right size to receive the folded towel. It is just the thing to slip into one’s traveling-bag – a real comfort and convenience. The towel-decoration may be as pleasing as possible; that shown, a combination of solid-and-guipure embroidery, is simple and very pretty.
A Trio of Dainty BowsBy Elise M. Richards
The merest remnant of linen, with a few needlefuls of embroidery-floss and a nine-inch strip of ribbon or velvet, suffices for one of the dainty Susette or slide bows, which are as popular as when they first came out, and will make most pleasing holiday remembrances.
Although of practically the same length, these little bows vary in design and shape, and afford almost unlimited opportunity for displaying the ingenuity of the worker. The color of the velvet or ribbon is a matter of individual fancy. Indeed, one may have several “slides” for the same bow, if the latter is entirely of white, and these may match any gown with which the pretty little accessory is worn. Black is, of course, always in good taste and suited to any waist or costume; but some of the most attractive among these bits of neckwear are embroidered with a color matching the slide. For example, the dainty bow in solid embroidery – one of the group presented – is worked with violet, and the slide is of violet velvet. A tiny eyelet forms the center of each flower, and the petals are in satin-stitch, well padded with stitches which run lengthwise the form, while the covering-stitches are taken across. For the latter use a single thread or strand, and take the stitches very evenly and smoothly. On a small article of this kind defects which might pass unnoticed in larger pieces, especially those intended for household use, are very evident and pains should be taken to make the work as perfect as possible. The buttonholed edge, too, is well padded, and it is better to buttonhole the oval eyelets or openings through which the velvet passes, as this stitch is more durable than the real eyelet- or over-and-over-stitch for such purpose.
Another very pretty bow shows a combination of punched-and-solid embroidery, all in white, with a slide of old-rose velvet, the ends of which may be notched, pointed, cut slantwise, or treated as one fancies. Whether ribbon or velvet be used, it should be made to puff prettily over the center bar, between the openings, so that the latter are practically hidden.
A different, but very pleasing arrangement shows the ends of the bow plain, save for the buttonholed edge, while the center is done in punched-embroidery and scalloped. The bow is of maline, matching the working-material in color, passing under the center and over the ends, of which just a hint is given back of the filmy slide. The effect is charming.
A dozen of these dainty creations will not be one too many – probably when the time for Christmas distribution really arrives you will wish you had as many more.