ca. 1912 hand sewing notebook by Wisconsin 7th grader Bernice Nichols with many examples
Appleton, Wisconsin, ca. 1912. 8.25 x 7 inches. 4 models on open canvas + 10 cloth models with accompanying text. Notebook in Good condition with some evidence of water exposure at the bottom edge, causing occasional discoloration and slightly blurred text.
Name and address faintly marked on the cover and small nameslip loosely inserted. Per the 1910 census, Bernice Nichols was born in 1900 in Appleton, Wisconsin. She was the daughter of real estate agent Charles D. and Ellen Nichols; Her sister, Maud (b. 1889) was a schoolteacher and it appears Bernice may have followed in her elder sister's footsteps, though we had trouble tracing her after the 1920 census.
The sewing book begins with basic stitching patterns illustrated with yarn, progresses to stitching on dotted cloth, "training the eye to measure distance and keep a straight line," a variety of fasteners, a bright red patch of darned wool, an enthralling partial model of a glove. This notebook is distinguished by the range of skills and detail in articulating the execution and indications for each method--what stitches to use when a garment can't be washed, which are best when sewing a hem that will sit against the skin, etc. A beautiful work with unusual forms.