Helen Campbell.

The American girl's home book of work and play online

. (page 16 of 28)
Online LibraryHelen CampbellThe American girl's home book of work and play → online text (page 16 of 28)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

lace in the sleeves and neck fin-
ishes it off very nicely, and a
sash always looks pretty.

The best way of making a
high waist is to cut it out simi-
lar to the patterns given in Nos. 3 and 4. Stitch them to-
gether under and over the arm. Cut out the sleeves, as at
No. 5, and sew them in the armhole, keeping the seam well
round to the back. Then put a very narrow band on the
neck. Hem up the backs, and put some tiny hooks on, and
make the loops.


2 4 2


APRON. The prettiest kind of apron is, I think, at No. i.
This must be cut in four pieces, the front, No. 2; the
backs, as at No. 3 ; and the apron, No. 4. Then join the
front and backs over the arms, also the apron and bib ; then
hem the backs, and all round the apron and the armholes
and neck, making these hems narrower. Stitch a piece of
tape along the front and along both of the backs, through
which run the string, and also run one round the neck. A
lace-edging all round the apron and round the armholes
looks very nicely. This sort of apron is best made in diaper
or fine linen : if the latter, substitute white braid for lace



ANOTHER APRON. Another sort of apron is made by
cutting out a plain, long front, as at No. 5 ; and back, as at
No. 6. Join them under and over the arm, and hem it all
round, running a string round the neck. It may be left
plain, or gathered in at the front, putting a small ornamental
piece on in front, trimmed with narrow lace.

JACKETS. Jackets are almost the hardest thing to make
for dolls, especially if they are made of velvet or a thick
cloth. The best material to make them of is, of course,
black silk. Cut the fronts out as at No. i, and the back as
in No. 2 ; the sleeves, No. 3. Then it is better to bind it-
all round with braid, which sits better, and is less clumsy,
than a hem.




DRESSES FOR CHINA DOLLS. The best way to make
little china doll's dresses is all in one. A long, straight
piece joined at the back, and hemmed round the bottom ;
two holes cut for the arms, and then turned down at the
neck, and gathered, drawing it up, not tightly round the
neck, but just on to the shoulder, so that you can fasten it
off, and yet leave room
to pass it over the
head. Tie a sash
round the waist, and
the doll is dressed.
A petticoat made in
the same way is all
that is required. Any
thing else does not

sit ; the dolls being so small, it makes them look simpl)
like a bundle of clothes. A cloak is the best thing for this
sort of dolls for an outdoor garment. Cut this in the shape
of a half-moon, and in the middle of the straight side cut
out a small piece for the neck. Make this in red merino, 01
some soft thin material, and bind it round with narrow black
ribbon, without an edge. Hats can be made on a shape
made with cap-wire, and then trimmed ; but a very good
plan is to get the lid of a pill-box (of course it must fit the
doll's head), and cover it with black velvet, and it makes a
charming little turban-hat.

I have not as yet said a word about boy-dolls. There is
but one way in which they can be made to look nicely, I
mean big dolls.

BOYS' KNICKERBOCKERS. A dark-blue serge, black vel-
vet, or (if in summer) holland, are the best stuffs to make
them of. I give a pattern of the knickerbockers at No. i,
Fig. 75. Each leg must be run up, and then joined to-



gather at the top, making a hem round the bottom, in which
run some elastic. It is a very good way to sew them on to
a broad elastic band, which will, of course, stretch ; so that
the knickerbockers can be taken off and on.



A tunic is the best thing to make for boy-dolls ; and it is
best to cut it in two pieces, as in No. 2, Fig. 75. Join
the sides together, and hem it round the bottom. Put in the
sleeves, and cut an opening down the front, so that it may
be put over the doll's head. It is best to bind it with nar-
row braid round the neck, and down the front, which must
be buttoned with tiny buttons ; and then put a band round
the waist.

The men in the doll's house are very hard to dress ; and it
is, I think, almost impossible to make their things to come
off and on. The shirt must, of course, be thought of first.
But there is no necessity to make a whole shirt, merely a
front, with two pieces to pass over the back. A small collar
must be attached to this, under which must be passed a nar-
row piece of ribbon to form a tie. The trousers must be cut



in two pieces (Fig. 76), and joined. The waistcoat is simply
two pieces crossed over from the back, with two or three
buttons, which are easily made with bits of black silk sewed
up into little rounds to imitate them. The coat is made in
the same way exactly as the one I described for the big doll,
of course altered as to size. It does not do to make either
the shirt or the waistcoat entirely, as it makes the coat sit
so badly.


NORMANDY PEASANT. The underclothing for this cos-
tume should be full, and reaching just below the knees ; the
dress petticoat of red merino or delaine, trimmed with three
rows of narrow black velvet at equal distances, and just a
little longer than the under petticoat ; black velvet bodice,
with long points behind and before, cut square, and laced
up the front ; white muslin sleeves, coming just below the
elbow, left loose, and rather full ; white muslin half-handker-
chief crossed upon the chest and over the bodice ; muslin
apron with pockets ; gold beads round the neck, and gold
cross ; long gold ear-rings ; a rosary hung from the left side ;
thick shoes and white stockings, or, if it is a china doll, the
feet can be painted to imitate them.


FIG. 77.

If you are dressing a small china doll, take for the cap a
piece of stiff white writing-paper about an inch and a half to


an inch and three-quarters in depth. For the length, meas
ure round the doll's head, allowing a little piece on each side
to admit of the paper being bent up the back, as in Fig. 77.
Cover the paper with muslin, and trim
round the forehead and up the ends with
very narrow lace. Sew up the cap at the
bend in the paper ; fill up the top to form
the crown with muslin gathered in. Press
out the flaps behind until they present
this appearance (Fig. 78).

This completes the costume. If the
FIG 7 8. doll is larger, of course the height of

the cap must be increased, as it is the chief
characteristic of the dress.

ITALIAN PEASANT. The underclothing is the same as
for the Normandy peasant, except being a little longer.
Dress-skirt of blue or any bright-colored merino, trimmed
with three or four rows of different colored braids, either
vandyked, or straight round the skirt ; bodice of black vel-
vet, with small basque behind, cut low in the neck, and
open stomacher laced across with braids to match the skirt ;
the neck of the bodice to be trimmed, with a muslin tucker ;
white muslin sleeves to the wrist, either open or closed ; black
velvet ribbon round the neck, with a cross hanging on the
chest ; a rosary hung from the left side ; thin black shoes
and white stockings.

If the doll is the same size as the Normandy peasant, take
for the cap a piece of white writing-paper about two inches
in length and an inch and a half in width. Place it on the
doll's head lengthwise ; then bend the paper so as to make
it fall close to the back of the head. Cover the paper with
muslin, and trim round with lace. The cap may be kept
in shape by drawing your thread tightly from the crown to
the top of the flap behind, of course from underneath.


The costume is now complete. If you are dressing china
dolls, the best thing to fasten caps on to the head is liquid

SPANISH DANCER. The underskirts are very short, and
several of them made of tarlatan, and pinked out ; muslin
drawers, wide and very full. The dress may be made of any
bright-colored silk or satin, trimmed with black lace flounces,
and short. The bodice should be a low square, and sleeves
to the elbow, trimmed with lace to match the skirt. On the
hands there should be long mittens ; and in the hair a high
comb and red rose, with a black lace mantilla thrown over
the comb, and fastened on the side with the rose. Either
boots or shoes may be worn, bronze or gold-color.

MARQUISE DRESS. To show off this dress the doll should
be of good size. Make the underclothing consisting of
chemise, flannel petticoat, white petticoats all very nice,
and very much trimmed. For the dress-petticoat have a
piece of white or rose-colored satin trimmed across the front
with lace ; for the train, a handsome piece of brocaded
satin, trimmed up the sides and round the train with lace.
The bodice is cut square behind, and sleeves to the elbow,
trimmed with lace. There should be a stomacher made of
the same material as the skirt-petticoat, all made of the
same brocade as the train. Shoes with high heels, rosettes,
and silk stockings.

To make the doll complete, she should have long, straight
hair, which must be rolled back from the forehead on a
cushion ; and the hair from the back of head must be rolled
up on another cushion, with a long curl hanging from the
left side, with a flat bow in the hair to match the skirt. The
hair must be powdered, and on the face two or three black
patches, one on the forehead toward the left side ; one on
the chin, to the right ; and one on each cheek. This com-
pletes the dress.




THE accompanying gifts have been chosen from a list of
two or three hundred, and many more could have been added,
equally pretty and desirable. There are books on needlework
of every sort, one or two of which are mentioned on p. 411.
But every ingenious girl will be likely to think out some ori-
ginal present for herself, one success being always sure to
suggest another.


These are easy gifts for little fingers to make, and they
will please a grandmother or grandfather very much. Cut
two round pieces of chamois-skin an inch and a half across.
Bind each around the edge with narrow ribbon of any color
you wish, and fasten the two together at one side with a
pretty bow.

This little present will be useful as long as it lasts, and
that will be a long time.


Cut out of black cloth four circles three inches wide, and
pink the edges. Fold each one across ; then fold it again, so
that the shape is like a quarter-circle. Take a baby's shoe
of red or blue morocco, and fill it with the folded circles,
placing them so that the pinked edges project at the top.

A pair of shoes will make two penwipers, and they are


very pretty. If liked, the shoe can be fastened to a larger
circle of pinked broadcloth.



Choose a pretty maple or oak leaf for the pattern of your
penwiper, and select cloth of a color that will suggest the
leaf, reddish-brown for an oak, or yellow for maple. Take
a paper pattern of the leaf by laying it on stiff paper, tracing
the outline with a pencil, and then cutting it out with a pair
of scissors. Cut out two leaves of your brown or yellow
cloth, and three inside leaves of chamois-skin or broadcloth.
If you like, you can imitate the veins of a leaf by embroi-
dering them with silk in stem-stitch on the upper leaf of
the penwiper.



Tissue-paper makes the best shaving-paper : so you will
want to buy a half-dozen sheets of different colors. For a
pattern you can take a leaf, as you did for the leaf penwiper ;
but a large grape-leaf is of better size for the shaving-case.

Take a pattern of the grape-leaf, and cut out two covers
of green cloth or silk, the edges of which must be neatly
bound or overcast. Fold the sheets of tissue-paper four or
six times, until they are about the size of the pattern ; then
cut them out carefully, and fasten them between the covers
of your case. At the stem of the leaf sew a loop of ribbon,
by which it may be hung on a knob of papa's bureau, or from
the side of the shaving-glass.


These are presents- to be made only by little girls who can
knit ; but, if any little girl wishes to learn, a pair of garters
is good to practise on, and makes a very nice present. They
are prettiest knit of some bright color.

In their simplest form they are knit in one long strip,
which is wound round and round the leg, and the end tucked
in. But an improvement is to make a loop in the strip,
through which the end of the garter may pass before it is
tightened. And this is the way to do it : set up twenty
stitches, and knit plain till the garter is twelve inches long.
Take off ten stitches on a third needle, and keep on knitting
with the remaining ten for twenty rows ; then go back to
the stitches left behind, and knit twenty rows on them ; take
all the stitches on one needle again, and you will see that a
loop has been made. Knit twenty rows, and bind off.





To make a kettle-holder, some pieces of thick material,
like an old blanket or bit of broadcloth, are needed. Cut
them into squares measuring eight inches, and fasten them
together. Make a cover of scarlet flannel, and bind the

edges with braid of the same
color, leaving a loop at one corner
to hang the holder up by.

Take a paper pattern of the
kettle by laying thin paper over
a drawing of one, and tracing its
outline. Cut out a kettle of black
cloth, and lay it on the holder,
exactly in the middle, where it
must be neatly hemmed down. If

you know Iiow to do cross-stitch letters, you can work above
and on the left hand of the kettle the words, " Polly, put,"
and below and on the right hand of the kettle the word,
"on ;" then, all together, it will read, " Polly, put the kettle


For these turtles take very large plump raisins, and six
cloves to each. Push a clove far into the end of the raisin,
until only the bud is
seen. This makes the
head. Put two cloves
on each side for the
feet ; and, for the tail,
work the bud end in
first, and let only a lit-
tle of the pointed end
stick out. Small cakes frosted, with a raisin turtle stand-
ing on each, are an exciting Christmas-cake.




Choose a small and very firm apple, a Spitzenberg being
best. At least an ounce of cloves will be needed. Begin
at the blossom-end, and push the points into the apple as
closely together as possible, till it is perfectly covered. Such
an apple has a very mysterious look, like some curious
foreign nut, and will last all winter.


Buy an ounce of sachet-powder, violet or what scent you
please, and sprinkle it between two layers of cotton- wadding
cut in strips five inches long and two inches wide.

Make a little bag of silk or satin of any color (three inches
long, two inches wide), and fringe the top. Roll up the
strip of wadding, and place it in the bag, which must then
be tied just below the fringe with narrow ribbon of the
same color.


Make a little silk bag three inches and a half square, and
fill with cotton-wool thickly sprinkled with sachet-powder.
An even teaspoonful is a. good rule. Carefully halve two
English walnuts by forcing the points of your scissors into
the soft end. You must make a hole top and bottom of
each half, which is best done with a red-hot hairpin. Var-
nish, and set them in a warm place to dry. When thor-
oughly dry, they are ready to be sewed on the bag, at equal
distances apart, with their points reaching almost to the bot-
tom of the bag. Sew a tiny bow above each walnut, and
another at the bottom of the bag, which should be gathered
in with a thread. Around the mouth of the bag wind a
ribbon, and tie it into another tiny bow. These are very
gay little bags.


Another use for English walnuts is in making


Take a half-shell of the walnut, and glue a slender mast
near the pointed end, to which you may fasten a sail made
of gold or silver paper, doubled.


Java canvas, in white, buff, or pale blue, may be used. Be
sure to see whether the bureau to be trimmed has a flat top,
or one with drawers on either side ; for the shape of your
mats will depend on the shape of the bureau. On a flat top
a long cover looks best, with two square mats for toilet bot-
tles, placed on either side of the pincushion. A pincushion-
cover of the same material completes the set.

Leave a margin all around the mat for fringe, and work
some simple border in worsted. Blue or red worsted with
white canvas, brown with buff, cardinal and gold-color with
blue, are good combinations of color.

The pincushion-cover may be further ornamented with a
monogram or initials worked in the middle.


Bureau-covers, as well as table-covers, tea-cloths, chair-
backs, towels, and tidies, are often made of linen, and deco-
rated with what is known as drawn-work.

For a bureau-cover buy a yard and a half of fine linen
crash, either white or gray.

Leave six inches for fringe at either end. Cut the sel-
vage-thread up from one end for ten inches, thus cutting
all the cross-threads in that space. Draw out the last thread
cut. By pulling carefully, it will hold until you have drawn
the linen all across to the other edge ; and, by cutting the sel-








vage-thread on that side up to the drawn thread, your meas-
urement will be alike on both sides. Now draw out all the
cross-threads below the one first drawn, for a space two
inches deep. The threads running lengthwise in this space
must be gathered in little sheaves, which is done by hem-
stitching top and bottom. Some one who knows will show
you how to hemstitch more easily than the book can do.
Ribbon of a color to match the furniture, a little narrower
than the drawn space, is woven through the sheaves, over
two and under two, and hemmed at the two ends.

Now fringe out the ends, and hemstitch the top, but make
the threads into bigger sheaves this time, ten or twelve in
each. Examine the knotted fringe on a towel or a shawl,
and you will see how to knot the fringe of your cover.

Chair-backs or tidies are made in the same way. Some-
times three spaces of different widths are drawn, with rib-
bons of different color run through ; and the chair-backs are
more ornamental when a stamped pattern is embroidered in
outline-stitch in the centre. Outline-stitch or stem-stitch
is extremely simple, being almost the same as the back-
stitch taught in the chapter on plain sewing ; and an artistic
design worked in silk or etching-crewels makes the simple
linen tidy an object of beauty.

Linen table-covers are made either in the shape of a long
scarf, to fit a narrow table, or square, like the ordinary cover.
The former are made precisely like the bureau-cover: for
the latter, wide butcher's linen is used, the length being
equal to the width. Fringe and draw the four sides, and
ornament each corner with long graceful bows of the ribbon
that is run through the drawn-work.

Tea-cloths should be made of somewhat finer linen, which
now comes expressly for such purposes. They are of the
size of a large dinner-napkin, and are meant to be laid at


the head of the tea-table, or to cover a tea-tray. The fringe
is shorter and finer than that of the covers before described ;
and it should not be knotted, but plain. The drawn-work
should be fine and narrow ; and, instead of running ribbon
through the sheaves, fine tidy-cotton is braided through in
the stitch called fagotting, in which the needle lifts every
other sheaf back over the one preceding, and draws the cot-
ton through in such a manner as to keep the sheaves twisted.
The prettiest tea-cloths have a delicate design traced in out-
line-stitch, either in each of the four corners, or in a run-
ning pattern around the sides.


Any girl who knows how to crochet may make these very
useful gifts. For the washstand five mats complete the
get, a large round mat, for the wash-bowl ; two smaller, for
the little pitcher and the mug ; and two, which may be oval,
for the soap-dish and brush-tray. Two balls of white tidy-
cotton No. 8 make a set.

Start with a chain of five stitches, loop it, and crochet
around, widening often enough to keep it flat. When the
mat has reached the proper size, finish it off with a border of
loops in three rows of long crochet arranged in groups with
a dividing loop. The first row should have three stitches in
a group ; the second, four ; and the third, five. The mats
must be washed, starched very stiff, and ironed.

Mats for the table are made in the same way ; but an im-
provement is to crochet them over lamp-wicking, which
increases the stiffness.

Two large oval mats for the soup-tureen, and fish or meat
platters, and four round ones for vegetable-dishes, usually
make up the set ; but small mats for gravy-dish, pitchers,
etc., may be added if desired.



The best way to make one is to take a real pansy, and copy
it as nearly as possible.

Suppose you choose the old-fashioned kind, with two purple
upper petals, and three yellow lower petals. Cut out two

pasteboard shapes as
nearly like the flower
as you can make them,
but at least twice the
size (or follow diagram
given), and cover the
upper half of each with
purple velvet, and the
lower half, which must
contain the three yel-
low petals, with yellow
silk to match.

Lay the two shapes
together, and overseam
the edges, leaving a
small open space
through which to stuff

the pincushion. For this, use snips of worsted, crowding it
tightly into every corner to make all hard and firm. Your
next task is to draw the pansy's features in stitches of black
and yellow silk, copying nature as best you can. This is
good practice for the eye ; and the result is likely to be
3etter than if you followed a pattern in a book.


Buy the smallest-sized lead-pencil for sale, provided with
an ivory or ornamented tip, and sharpen the point. Cut a



circle of silk, and another, rather smaller, of thin black cloth :
scallop the edges, and make a tiny hole in the middle of
each. Fit the sharpened point of the pencil into these
holes, taking care that the silk is outside the cloth ; and then,
by creasing and folding, persuade the circles to take the
shape of a closed parasol, winding silk around to secure them
in place, as a strap is arranged to keep the parasol closed.
Cut a paper pattern first, and trim it to fit the length of your
lead-pencil, before cutting the silk and cloth circles.


In old times these were called " housewives," as grandma
will tell you, should you make one for her. Almost any firm
material can be used for making them. But here is a very
pretty pattern. Take gray or yellow Java canvas, twelve
inches long and seven wide, with a bright-colored silk for
lining. Feather-stitch the canvas down both sides, and across
one end, leaving space to turn in the edges. Baste on the
lining, and finish the edges neatly by turning in and blind-
stitching ; or bind them with ribbon to match the silk lining.
The feather-stitched end is then pointed by turning down the
corners, and sewing them together. Turn the lower end up
about four inches to form a bag, and sew the sides together
firmly. Make a loop at the point, and sew a button on the
outside ; so that the case may be rolled up and fastened.


Birch-bark is easily obtained ; and numberless pretty things
may be made out of this soft and flexible material.

A few are suggested here, and your invention will help you
to more. Think of some other useful and pretty gifts besides
the letter-cases, wall-baskets, glove-boxes, napkin-rings, hand^

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Online LibraryHelen CampbellThe American girl's home book of work and play → online text (page 16 of 28)