I found a great resource for hand-stitching from 1901: Hand Sewing Lessons: A Graded Course for Schools and for the Home by Sarah Ewell Krolik.It contains a lot of interesting details about hand sewing, different stitches including a section on how to draft children clothes. Best thing is that it’s in the public domain, so you can download it for free.
It was written during the transition between the Victorian and Edwardian Eras: “Pupils sit erect while sewing, with their feet on the floor and the lower part of the spine against the chair back.” Yep, that’s me. With my nice erect spine leaning against the chair back.
It also includes a fine little section for mothers on how to train your child to sew. “A girl of three or four years of age is pleased to sew daily.” Mmmmh? …”Allow her to sew often, but not more than fifteen minutes at a time. It may be a year before she can sew a seam well, but all the while she is learning to concentrate her mind.” Really now? Wow!
It does, however, contain a lot of useful information and an interesting look at the domestic customs at the turn of the last century.
If you liked the little stitched doodles above, here’s how to make one yourself. It looks much more complicated than it is and with a little practice, you can make a few and join them together for necklaces, or use them as christmas tree ornaments. (I’m sure you’re all thinking Christmas when it’s 90F outside.) They also make unique gift tags.
I stitch these freehand by starting in the center and circling out. This one started with a blanket stitch and includes chain stitch and french knots to keep it simple. Each one is unique.