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Anslow, Florence / Practical millinery

Chapter VIII: Straw working,   pp. 93-104 PDF (2.1 MB)

Page 95

Most   plaits suitable for working   over a   foundation  have 
a draw-string inserted through the inner edge. This can be 
stretched or drawn up at any point along the whole length of the 
plait, greatly easing the process of fitting smoothly over or into. 
any curve desired. The lacey or very open straws are suitable 
only for working over a foundation, but the coarser straws having 
their inner or straight edge formed of fairly wide stiff straws are 
sufficiently firm to support each successive row of plait in turn, 
and can be worked up successfully in the hand, and after steam- 
ing and pressing will retain their shape without any inner support. 
We shall deal first with covering a shape. 
    In " strawing " a shape, sewing cotton No. 40 should be 
chosen to match the plait in colour, and a " straw" needle 
should always be used. 
   In covering the upper brim the crown of the shape should 
be held towards the worker, and the plait be commenced about 
1 in. to the right of the centre-back of the brim and pinned either 
to the extreme edge all the way round, or slightly over it. After 
pinning this first row, stab-stitch the outer edge through to the 
shape (Fig. 1), the long stitch being on the underneath of the 
shape and the tiny slanting back-stitch hidden in the plait. 
The second row of straw should be passed diagonally across the 
first exactly in the centre of the back brim (Fig. 1). 
   It is not always necessary to sew the edge of the first row of 
plait to the shape, as it is held in place by the sewing of the 
outer-edge straw that lines the under-brim. The second row is 
either pinned or sewn so as to overlap the first row about one- 
third of its width, unless the plait has a thick, well-finished edge, 
in which case the edges should just overlap. 
   Care must be taken to draw the easing string sufficiently to 
allow the plait to fit exactly to the curves and outlines of the 
shape at all parts. 
   The strawing is continued from right to left round the brim 
until it touches the head-curve of the shape, here the plait is cut 
and the end sewn to the side crown I in. above the head-part, 

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