Title: The One-Eyed Fairies
Author: Georgia Eldridge Hanley
Illustrator: Julia Greene
Release date: February 25, 2020 [eBook #61512]
Credits: Produced by Richard Tonsing, ellinora, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)
This book has been written to tell little girls how much fun it is to learn to sew and make pretty things for their dolls, themselves, and other people. Of course, as Sir Bodkin says, “We can’t have gains without pains,” but it is much pleasanter to learn in play how to do things the right way. This makes it easier for us when we are grown up, because we have the knowledge “at our finger-tips.”
I hope that mothers, teachers, and those interested in girls will find this book helpful, as my experience has been that children eagerly grasp and absorb facts presented in story and rhyme.
A number of these sewing-lesson stories 6have appeared in the Modern Priscilla Magazine. Acknowledgment is here gratefully made for permission to use them.
|I.||The King of the One-Eyed Fairies||13|
|II.||Sir Bodkin Steps In and Out||20|
|III.||The Stitchers, Baster and Runner||28|
|Basting and Running.|
|V.||The Crewel One||46|
|VI.||Old Doctor Darner||54|
|VII.||The Doll’s Blanket||62|
|VIII.||Brother Jim’s Marble-Bag||69|
|IX.||Margaret’s New Middy Blouse||79|
|X.||Auntie’s Birthday Present||89|
|XI.||A Three-Cornered Tear||96|
|XIV.||Sewing On Buttons||121|
|Shank, Pearl, Bone, Cloth.|
|XV.||A Crewel Frolic||131|
|XVI.||Margaret Makes Buttonholes||138|
|XVII.||Tucking Grandma’s Apron||147|
|Marking and Basting Tucks.|
|XVIII.||Finishing the Gift||157|
|Gathering and Putting on Band.|
|Sewing Rickrack Braid.|
|XX.||The Doll’s Christmas Present||176|
|XXI.||Some More Christmas Presents||184|
|Hemstitching, Rolled Hems.|
|XXII.||Finishing the Handkerchiefs||192|
|Double Overcasting in Color.|
|XXIII.||Lazy-Daisies and French Knots||200|
|Lazy-Daisy Stitch, French Knots.|
|He fell headlong to the floor||Frontispiece|
|“You can do it! You can do it!”||17|
|She ran to get a pretty dress||22|
|Running ribbon in beading||24|
|From the tip of her nose||30|
|“Mark with pins”||41|
|“Blanket-stitching is quite easy”||51|
|Running around the hole||56|
|Darning up and down||57|
|“Hold the stocking stretched on your hand”||59|
|“I’ll put you to sleep in your little bed”||67|
|“Hold the goods lengthwise and cut”||71|
|Basting and running on outside of bag||73|
|Basting and back-stitching on inside of bag||73|
|10Basting and hemming casing on inside of bag||76|
|Eyelet for casing||77|
|She went through some simple exercises||80|
|“Press the letters on the wrong side”||94|
|The birds were singing||98|
|Sewing on lace||107|
|“’Tis done at last”||109|
|“Ouch! I’m caught”||113|
|Sewing edge of hole||119|
|Sewing around patch||119|
|There they all were||122|
|Four kinds of buttons||125|
|Ornamental shank pearl buttons||127|
|Two kinds of buttons||127|
|Coming up the stairs singing to herself||132|
|“Follow a thread of the goods”||140|
|Bar half-way around||142|
|Overcasting half around||143|
|“Measure one inch up from the hem top”||150|
|Basting first tuck||152|
|Tucks basted ready for stitching||154|
|“I stitched ’em myself”||159|
|Basting gathers to band||161|
|Basting down band||162|
|Sewing on rickrack||170|
|“I’ll need to wear my apron gay”||174|
|“My doll will be glad on Christmas”||181|
|“Fold each square over diagonally”||186|
|Wrapping up her Christmas gifts||198|
|“For Mother as a surprise”||202|
|“A silver wrist-watch for my birthday!”||213|
Margaret Allen had just had a birthday. Her auntie had given her a pretty new work-basket for a present. It was lined with pink silk and in it was the dearest little needle-book of pink satin, an emery-bag shaped like a strawberry, a cunning pair of steel scissors, a silver thimble, several spools of black thread and white thread of different numbers, a tape measure, and beeswax shaped like a tiny lemon.
“Isn’t it just too sweet for anything!” cried Margaret clapping her hands with delight. “Now if there really were fairies to help us, just as in the story-books, what lots of things I could make. If I knew how I could make clothes for my doll, pretty things for Mother and Auntie, and marble-bags for Jim. Oh!” she cried out of breath, “I just wish I knew how!”
Suddenly she felt funny sharp pricks on her hands and arms. Looking down she saw a line of little shining figures, some short and some tall, come dancing and prancing out of her new work-basket. Some had big eyes and some tiny-teensy eyes but each had only one, however. They looked so comical dancing on their skinny legs and waving their skinny arms 15that Margaret wanted to laugh. Their thin bodies shone and glistened in the sunshine as they skipped across her lap and up on the table beside her. Then they sang this song:
“Oh! Oh!” cried Margaret her eyes very wide open indeed, “can you really? Who are you?”
Then out of the line stepped the largest one of all. He placed his hand on his heart and made a very low bow before her and sang:
“How wonderful! Thank you!” cried Margaret eagerly. “What is your name?”
“I am Sir Bodkin. Some call me Tape Needle. Anyway, I’m King of the One-Eyes,” he answered proudly. “I’m the largest of all and not needed so often to help. There are many fine workers among us, I can tell you. Just say the word and we’ll show you what we can do.”
“I’m so glad,” said Margaret, “for there are lots of things I want to learn how to make.”
17The Fairies danced faster and faster in their joy at finding such a dear little girl for a friend and mistress. They sang:
“Thank you, kind Fairies,” cried Margaret. “I’m so happy. Won’t Mother be surprised! I’m just crazy to begin!”
18All the Fairies waited breathlessly to know who would be the first to show Margaret what he could do.
“Your Ladyship, it is fitting that the King should be the first to show what he can do,” said Sir Bodkin standing very stiff and straight.
“Oh, of course,” replied Margaret and was about to ask him to tell her what he could do when she heard her mother’s voice outside her door, calling to her. The Fairies sang:
They slipped quickly off the table and hid in the work-basket.
The King waited until the last one was out of sight then he said with a bow, “We’re very glad to know you, My Lady. Just call 19my name when you need help.” Then he, too, slipped away from off the table and into the work-basket.
“Aren’t they just too funny and dear!” laughed Margaret to herself as she put the work-basket on her table and ran off to answer her mother. “Now I must think up something nice to make for my doll,” she said to herself.
“Sir Bodkin! Sir Bodkin!” called Margaret next day to the King of the One-Eyed Fairies, who lived in her work-basket.
“I’m coming, My Lady!” she heard a tiny voice answering from the needle-book.
Margaret looked very much excited, for this was the first time she had called her wonderful new friends, the One-Eyed Fairies, to help her.
Sir Bodkin came sliding quickly out of the 21work-basket and climbed upon the table beside his little mistress. With a smile on her face she was watching him, for he was a very dignified little fellow indeed. Holding himself up straight and bending his body forward stiffly he made her a low bow.
“Good day, My Lady Dear,” he said; “what may I do to-day to help your Ladyship?”
“What can you do?” asked Margaret.
“I can run the ribbons in your doll’s dresses, put the drawing-strings in a marble-bag or a sewing-bag. I can draw the ribbons and tapes through your pretty underwear and lots of other things too numerous to mention. Just put a piece of ribbon in my one eye and watch me work!” he answered eagerly to his new friend.
“Indeed I will this minute!” cried Margaret. She jumped up and ran to her doll’s 22bureau to get a pretty dress trimmed with lace beading around the waist and sleeves. Then she took a roll of narrow pink satin ribbon from her own bureau and hurried back to the table.
“Here we are,” she said to the tiny King, holding up the dress and ribbon for him to see.
“Very pretty, very pretty. Now measure how much ribbon you’ll need to run around the waist and to tie in a bow at the back when finished,” said Sir Bodkin.
After Margaret had measured the ribbon the right length she cut it from the roll with her new scissors.
“Put it neatly in my eye and then we’ll start,” the Fairy King told her. No sooner said than done.
“Put your right fingers on my head,” ordered he. Margaret did as she was bidden. Holding the dress in her left hand, she put her pink fingers on Sir Bodkin’s head and off he stepped; slipping his foot through the slits in the lace beading at the back of the little dress where it fastened he sang:
Running ribbon in beading
Sir Bodkin hopped out at the end.
“How’s that for fast?” he said jumping back to the table-top.
“That’s splendid!” cried Margaret. Then she cut the ribbon for the sleeves after carefully measuring how much was needed to go around the beading and tie in a bow when finished. Each piece was put in the King’s eye one at a time and run through the lace beading nice and flat. Sir Bodkin’s blunt toe made it easy to go in and out the openings without catching in the lace. At last the ribbon was all in and the dress slipped on the 25doll. The tiny King stood off to see how sweet she looked in her dainty dress after her little mother had tied the bows.
“I never did that so quickly before,” said Margaret.
“It’s all in knowing how,” replied Sir Bodkin looking very wise indeed out of his long one eye.
“To be sure,” said his little mistress, “and I’m so happy because soon I’m going to know how to sew and make lots of pretty things.”
“Indeed you are, My Lady,” said Sir Bodkin; “just call on us and you’ll always find us ready. But don’t forget that:
“I’ll remember that,” Margaret promised. “Oh! Sir Bodkin, look at all your subjects!” she said laughing. The King turned around and saw all the shining, glinting little One-Eyed Fairies peeping out curiously from the work-basket.
they were singing in a happy chorus.
“To your places!” ordered their King and they all disappeared. Then he made a low bow to Margaret and slipped away into the 27work-basket. Margaret laughed happily and ran off to show her mother what Sir Bodkin had helped her to do.
Margaret held up the little doll’s dress her mother had cut out for her to make.
“I wish that the One-Eyed Fairies would come and help me sew it together,” she said to her doll. She then took her work-basket and sat down by the table.
“Sir Bodkin,” she softly called.
“Here I am, My Lady,” she heard Sir Bodkin’s tiny voice answer from the needle-book in the work-basket. In a second the 29King of the One-Eyed Fairies hopped out of the basket and right up on the table beside her.
“What can we do for you to-day, My Lady?” he asked bowing low.
“I would like to sew my doll’s dress. Will you show me how?” replied Margaret.
“That I will. Come all you Stitchers!” he cried as loud as he could.
Out of the work-basket came a line of One-Eyed Fairies; some tall and thin, some short and fat. They danced on Margaret’s table, holding hands and singing this song in their comical way:
30“Well done, my hearties!” cried Sir Bodkin proudly. “Now, Baster, you jolly rogue, show her how to baste the seams.”
From the line a large One-Eyed Fairy stepped out.
“Some thread in my eye and we’ll start,” he said.
“Remember the proper length,” said Baster, as Margaret took up the spool of basting-thread.
From the tip of her nose to the end of her arm, Sir Bodkin said was the proper length. 31When Margaret had measured the basting-thread she cut it from the spool with her scissors.
“Thread with the end that leaves the spool last,” the King told her, “then it will not snarl and knot so.”
Margaret held the cut end between her left forefinger and thumb and twisted it into a point with her right forefinger and thumb. Then she took Baster in her right fingers and put the thread through his big eye. Pulling it through about one-third she made a knot in the other end by twisting it around her left thumb and forefinger.
“Now he’s harnessed and ready to begin,” said Sir Bodkin. He told Margaret to put her silver thimble on the middle-finger of her 32right hand and push Baster, while her thumb and forefinger held him round the waist. Baster then hopped on the seam one-half inch from the edge. He took quick long steps singing:
Both seams of the simple dress were soon basted.
“Now, Runner,” said Sir Bodkin, as Baster slid back to his place on the table.
Margaret harnessed Runner, a medium-sized One-Eyed Fairy with a small eye, using number 60 thread, the proper length and the same color as the dress, but no knot this time. 33Runner took tiny running steps right in Baster’s tracks. But before she began to run she took three back steps, where the seam began, to fasten the thread. She sang:
First one seam then the other was stitched, after which Margaret snipped the thread and Runner danced back to her place on the table.
All the One-Eyed Fairies stood in a stiff line.
“You must be tired standing so long,” said Margaret.
“We are,” said their King. “It would be 34pleasant if we had a pincushion to rest ourselves in.”
“The very thing!” cried Margaret. “I’ll get the pretty tomato pincushion Mother gave me the other day for my work-basket.” She ran eagerly out of the room and soon returned with a pincushion in her hand that looked just like a red ripe tomato.
“Now you can rest,” she said placing it on the table. In a jiffy all the tired little One-Eyed Fairy Stitchers had stuck their sharp little toes down deep into the tomato pincushion. Then they stood up very straight, harnessed, ready and waiting until their turns came to help.
“This is better,” said Sir Bodkin with a sigh of relief. “We can stay here until the 35work is done, for we don’t have to go back to the needle-book every time. We can wait outside until the piece of work is finished.”
“I can put the pincushion in the work-basket when we’re through at night, so you’ll be in your own house,” said Margaret.
“That will be delightful,” said Sir Bodkin; “thank you, My Lady. Shall we do the hem to-day?”
“I think not to-day for I must go and study my lessons now. To-morrow we’ll finish the dress,” said his little mistress.
“Very good,” replied Sir Bodkin. “Just 36fold your work up neatly and lay it in the work-basket on top of us.”
“Thank you all so much,” said Margaret to the One-Eyed Fairies as she placed the pincushion in the work-basket and laid the doll’s dress, neatly folded, on top.
The One-Eyed Fairies nestled down in the red tomato pincushion very comfortably and waited for to-morrow to come so they could show their little mistress how to hem the pretty dress she was making for her doll.
Next day Margaret ran happily home from school. She put her books, hat and coat in the closet and then rushed up to her room to finish her doll’s dress.
“Goody me, such dirty hands! I must go to the bathroom and give them a good scrubbing with soap and water before I touch my work,” she said importantly to Sir Bodkin, who sang:
38“Sir Bodkin,” she said to him, when her hands were clean and dainty again, “I hope you and the One-Eyes enjoyed your rest in the pincushion.”
“Indeed we did, My Lady, thanks to you,” he replied as Margaret lifted the red tomato pincushion, in which they were sticking, out of the work-basket and placed it on her table. He then stepped on the table-top ready to direct the hemming of the doll’s dress.
“All ready, My Lady?” he asked eager to begin.
“Yes,” replied Margaret.
“Before we begin, have you any pins, My Lady?” said Sir Bodkin.
“Only a few in my pincushion on my bureau,” replied Margaret.
“We better have plenty, because they will be needed from time to time as we do our work,” the tiny King told her.
39“Very well, I’ll ask Mother for some more,” said Margaret and went out of the room to her mother’s sewing-room. When she came back she had a whole paper of pins in her hand.
“That’s the ticket,” said Sir Bodkin; “take some out and stick them in the red tomato with my boys and girls.” Then he directed as follows:
“Slip the dress on your doll and mark with pins how long it should be when finished. Then slip it off and baste along the hem edge to hold it firm.” Then Sir Bodkin told Margaret to get out her tape measure and measure 40the width of the hem from the edge of the dress to the top of the hem to be sure it was even all around.
“Trim off with your scissors where it is too deep,” Sir Bodkin said, and Margaret followed his directions.
“Now turn in the hem top one-quarter inch and crease it with your nail or pleat it with your fingers, then baste it to the dress,” the King said and with hop, skip, and jump that jolly fellow Baster did his work.
Sir Bodkin then called Hemmer, a dainty little One-Eyed Fairy. Margaret was about to harness her with the same thread she had 41used for Runner but it wouldn’t go into her eye.
“It’s not the proper number,” said Sir Bodkin. Margaret tried some finer thread, number 80.
“That’s better,” she said as it slipped easily through Hemmer’s little eye.
After taking two back steps on the edge of 42the hem to fasten the thread, Hemmer began to step daintily along, singing:
“I love hemming!” cried Margaret as Hemmer slipped through the dress and then through the hem edge with Margaret’s little pink thumb and forefinger holding her, and her silver thimble on her middle-finger pushing her. Margaret’s left hand was holding the hem.
“Goody me, it’s all sewed!” cried Margaret 43when the thread was fastened at the end and snipped off with the scissors.
“Now turn over the tiny hems one-eighth inch on the wrong side around the neck and sleeves and down the slit in the back and crease them,” ordered Sir Bodkin. “Then turn one-quarter inch over all around again for width of the hems. Press them flat as you go along,” said the King.
Margaret did this, creasing one turn then the other.
“Come, Baster!” called Sir Bodkin and soon he had all these tiny hems basted along their tops so Hemmer could come after him and finish them with her dainty steps.
When all the hems were finished and threads fastened, Sir Bodkin cried, “Pull out your bastings and be careful when you do it!”
Margaret laughed to herself to hear him order her around.
“How shall I fasten the dress on my doll?” she then asked.
“Suppose you trim it first, then we’ll decide,” said the King. “How would you like some kind of bright-colored hand-stitching around neck and sleeves?”
“Oh, that would be lovely!” cried his little mistress, “but I’ll have to do that another day for I want to run out and play a while in the yard now.”
Sir Bodkin and all the One-Eyed Fairy Stitchers sat up very stiff and straight in the red tomato pincushion as Margaret picked it up and put it in her work-basket.
“Thank you all so much,” she said to them. On her way out to play she showed her mother 45how much she and the One-Eyes had done on her doll’s dress.
“To-morrow we’ll trim it and put on the fastenings,” she said happily.
Margaret had finished her doll’s dress as far as the plain sewing and was now ready to call Sir Bodkin to help her trim it with fancy stitching.
She took from her work-basket the pincushion, where they all were resting, and softly called his name as she placed it on her table. The King stepped out, made a very low bow and climbed up to Margaret’s hand and stood there.
“Here I am right on the job,” he said proudly. “What are your commands for to-day, My Lady Dear?”
“Don’t you remember you were to tell me how to do the fancy stitching on my doll’s dress for trimming?” Margaret replied.
“To be sure. That I will gladly,” he answered. “All out, everybody!” he then called to his subjects.
The One-Eyed Fairies rushed out pell-mell, some from the needle-book and others from the pincushion. They all met on the table-top and danced joyfully, then stood in a straight line, waiting for orders. Sir Bodkin, from his perch on Margaret’s hand, looked them over to see which one should be called to help.
“Come here, you Crewel One,” the King called. A very big-eyed fairy with a sharp toe stepped forward.
“He’s not really cruel, My Lady, just a 48fancy-acting fellow. He’s an artist,” Sir Bodkin explained to his mistress.
“Tell, sir, what you can do to make the world beautiful!” he then said to Crewel, who began to sing this song:
“That’s the very thing for this dress!” exclaimed Margaret clapping her hands. “Oh, let’s begin, dear Crewel. I’ve some lovely pink wool thread here in my knitting-bag.”
She cut a length of the yarn and Sir Bodkin showed her how to loop it around Crewel’s head and then squeeze it between her thumb and forefinger so it would slip easily into his big eye. Crewel stepped on the back of the 49dress at the left side of the neck. He took two tiny back steps on the wrong side to fasten the thread. Margaret held the edge of the neckline over her left forefinger and held the thread down with her left thumb, so Crewel could slip over it when making the blanket-stitch. He then sang as they worked:
They stitched from left to right, all around 50the neckline of the dress, fastening the thread securely at the end. Then stitched around each sleeve edge in turn the same way. The blanket-stitches made a pretty finish to hold the hems around the neck and sleeves and also made a nice firm edge.
It was great fun holding the thread while Crewel jumped through the cloth, stuck his toe out under the edge and over the thread.
“It’s just like jumping rope,” said Margaret, “and how fast it goes, too!”
“You have to be careful to take even jumps from one stitch to the other,” said the King, “or it won’t look so pretty. If you wish, My Lady, you can make a different pattern by varying the length of the stitches.”
“It’s been great fun. Now my doll’s dress is trimmed. Thank you so much, dear Crewel,” said Margaret as she snipped the last thread.
52That graceful fellow bowed and sang:
Sir Bodkin looked very happy and very proud of his artistic subject.
The Crewel One stepped to the table and into the tomato pincushion. In his eye was hanging some of the pink wool thread.
“To fasten your doll’s dress at the back, I would suggest that you use ties of ribbon or of the wool thread,” said Sir Bodkin. “Which do you prefer, My Lady?”
“I think tie-strings of the wool thread would be pretty,” replied Margaret.
“Then cut two lengths, long enough to tie in a bow, and fasten an end of each to each side of the neck at the back,” Sir Bodkin said.
Margaret measured the thread, put each strand separately in Crewel’s eye, then he sewed each piece securely to the dress. Margaret slipped the finished dress on her doll, tied the strings, and held her up to be admired.
The little One-Eyed Fairies looked very much pleased. Margaret thanked them and pulled all the threads out of their eyes so they could rest better in the needle-book, in the work-basket.
When they were out of sight, Sir Bodkin, too, waved a fond farewell and disappeared.
“Ouch! my knee. Such a spill! Oh! look, too, at the big hole in my stocking!” cried Margaret limping in from school one day. “Whatever shall I do to mend it?”
On the table beside her stood her work-basket. Margaret just naturally looked that way for help. She knew where she could find it when in trouble.
Sure enough, in a second, she saw her little friend, Sir Bodkin, come hopping quickly out of the basket.
55“Well, well, in trouble I see,” he said to Margaret, who looked very unhappy indeed.
“Oh! you cunning man! I know I never could do without you and your Fairies!” she cried, now smiling and looking so relieved. “Maybe you can help me?”
“Indeed we can. You need a doctor here to make some repairs, I’m thinking,” he said wisely. Then he went over to the work-basket and called in a loud voice:
“Doctor Darner! How about a little help here!”
From the work-basket came the sound of scrambling.
“Just so, just so,” replied a gruff voice as a large One-Eyed Fairy came hustling and bustling out of the work-basket and up to Sir Bodkin and Margaret.
56“Take a good look and give us your advice,” said the King.
Doctor Darner looked very carefully at the torn stocking Margaret held in her hand.
“Two strands of black darning cotton, please,” he said.
Running around the hole
Margaret got some out of the work-basket and cut off a length. She squeezed the thread the same way as she had the wool for Crewel so the loop would slip easily in Doctor Darner’s eye. Then she put her fingers on him and he began to sing:
Darning up and down
Old Doctor Darner and Margaret worked very busily to fill in the great hole in her stocking. When it was mended, he took a little rest in the pincushion for a minute. Then he turned to her and said, looking very wise, indeed:
“Some day, you will learn how to mend other rips, tears, and holes.”
“Oh,” cried Margaret, laughing; “that will be fine ’cause Mother says I seem always to be needing a dose of thread and needle.” She then tested the darn in her stocking by pulling it this way and that to see if the stitches were close enough together, just as 58Doctor Darner told her to do. It seemed all right.
“Now your, stocking’s as good as new,” said he, bowing very low.
“Thank you so very much,” said Margaret truly grateful. Then he hurried away to his place in the needle-book.
“Isn’t he a nice old fellow?” said Margaret to Sir Bodkin when Doctor Darner had gone.
“Indeed he is, even if he is a little gruff in his manner at times,” replied the King.
“Mother always wanted me to learn how to mend my stockings and I never would. Now she’ll be so pleased when I show this one to her mended instead of torn. Mothers have a lot of unpleasant things to look at 59sometimes, don’t they?” she asked the tiny King, who was walking up and down the table-top in a very kingly manner.
“Indeed they do, My Lady,” he replied, “but I don’t think your mother will have as many now as she had before you met us.”
“That’s so. I mean to ask her to let me try to darn one of her stockings and one of Father’s socks, soon. But I am afraid it will be a long time before I want to try one of 60Brother’s. He does get the worst holes in his that I ever saw!” she said shaking her head.
“Boys are that way and have been ever since I can remember. But just make up your mind some day to try one of his and I am sure you’ll find it easier than you expected.” Sir Bodkin smiled wisely at his little mistress. He knew boys, but he also knew that Margaret was a very brave little girl who wouldn’t let a big hole in a stocking frighten her.
“Thank you, Sir Bodkin. I won’t forget what you say. I’ll run off now and show Mother how smart I’ve been,” she said as she limped out of the room. In a second Sir Bodkin heard her running along the hall just as usual.
“Her knee is mended, too,” he said smiling to himself. Then he took a good look around 61to see if everything in the work-basket was in order.
“It’s time we all had an emery plunge,” he was saying to himself as he slipped quietly into the basket.
One day in early spring Margaret was making up her doll’s bed with its clean white sheets and pillow-slips.
“Dear child, it seems to me you are not warm enough this weather. You should have a warm blanket to sleep under. I’ll ask Mother for something to make one,” she said. Smiling fondly at her child, Margaret went to see what her mother might have in her piece-box that could be used to make a tiny blanket.
63Now Margaret’s mother was a very wonderful woman. She never turned her little girl away empty-handed when she came asking for something to make her play more interesting. As it happened, there was in her piece-box a piece of lovely white flannel just large enough for a doll’s blanket. She gave it to Margaret to use. Skipping happily away the small mother came back to her own room and showed it to her doll-child.
“This will make you a pretty blanket,” she said. Then she turned to her work-basket and called, “Sir Bodkin! Please bring out the One-Eyed Fairies!”
“Yes! Yes! My Lady!” he answered sliding quickly out of the basket. “You now know all of us; which shall it be to-day?” All the other shining Fairies were following him. They danced and pranced out of the needle-book very happy to be called.
“Baster, first,” said Margaret importantly. “I’m making a blanket for my doll’s bed and I want to baste the hem at the top and the one at the bottom. Then perhaps you will tell me the best way to sew them to stay.” Sir Bodkin leaned far over the edge of the table to get a better look at the tiny blanket.
“Is it the right length and width for the bed?” he asked Margaret.
“Oh, yes. I measured that before I called 65you,” she answered, harnessing Baster with basting-thread.
“Very good. You do not need to turn the hems down but once. Flannel will not ravel much if quickly held by catch-stitching,” said he.
Margaret and Baster soon had the hems basted.
“What is ‘catch-stitching’?” Margaret asked Sir Bodkin.
“A stitch used to hold a hem down flat and keep the goods from ravelling. You can also use it for a trimming sometime, if want to. You’ll need the Crewel One to help you do this stitching. He’ll show you how. It’s very easy and pretty,” he said.
The Crewel One stepped forward and asked for some wool floss in his eye. “Either pink, 66blue, or red will do to use for catch-stitching,” he said.
Margaret cut some pink floss the proper length and squeezed a tiny loop to put in his eye. When harnessed, he told Margaret to hold the hem over her left forefinger. She took him in her right fingers. He stepped to the hem and sang:
They worked busily along each hem.
“Oh! how pretty and easy!” cried Margaret when the little blanket was finished. “How sweet the pink stitches look on the white flannel at each end.” Then she said to her doll, “Come to me, dear, and I’ll put you to sleep in your little bed underneath your pretty, warm, new blanket.” She was so busy tucking in her doll and singing her to sleep that she did not thank Sir Bodkin and the One-Eyed Fairies or notice what they were doing. With a hop, a skip, and a jump each 68one was having a wonderful time taking a pleasant plunge foot first through the emery strawberry.
“We must scrape off our dullness and brighten ourselves a bit,” said their King standing by to see that every one got a turn. Then, in the firelight, they danced and pranced to their hearts’ content on Margaret’s table, to show how glistening and shining they were again. Soon to their needle-book bed they all slipped away for a good night’s sleep.
“Sir Bodkin!” called Margaret one warm spring day. The One-Eyed Fairies had been having a long rest in their home. They were very glad to hear Margaret’s voice again.
“She wants us!” they cried excitedly.
“Hush!” commanded their King, “she wants me. Everybody wait until I see who is needed to-day.” He hopped so quickly out of the work-basket that he fell headlong to the floor.
“Goody me!” cried Margaret picking him 70up and sticking him in the red tomato pincushion. “Are you hurt?”
“Oh no! that’s nothing. One of the chief sports of our band is floor-falling. We love to slip to the floor so we can be picked up. It’s very good for your waist-line,” said Sir Bodkin.
Margaret laughed. “You’re a funny man,” she said.
“Did you want me for anything to-day, My Lady?” he asked.
“Yes, I wanted to make a good strong bag for Jim’s marbles. They’re always falling out of his pockets and rolling all over the floor for us to step on. We nearly break our necks,” she replied.
“Well, upon my word, that’s a shame. However we’ll soon remedy that. Get a piece of heavy, strong cloth, like denim or gingham. Be sure it’s a dark color, blue or 71brown or green, so it won’t show the dirt, and we’ll start,” he said.
So Margaret hunted through her mother’s piece-box again until she found some cloth that suited her purpose.
“Here we are!” she exclaimed to Sir Bodkin, as she came back to the room. Taking her little steel scissors out of the 72basket she made ready to cut the cloth as she was directed.
“That’s the thing; blue denim makes excellent marble-bags. You can make sewing-bags of cretonne or silk and laundry-bags of chintz or linen, but marble-bags must be of very tough cloth. All bags are about the same when it comes to the way of making. It’s just good, strong seams with no raw edges showing, a proper casing for the drawing-strings, and the right kind of openings to pull the strings through. The bags differ only in size and shape. Now for this bag, fold the goods lengthwise, and cut it six inches wide and seven inches long,” Sir Bodkin told her.
“Now, Baster,” said he, “come out for your harness and step along the seam at the bottom and up the side, on the right side of the bag, keeping one-quarter inch from the 73edge.” Baster stepped quickly across the bottom, around the corner and up one side.
“The fold makes the other side,” explained Sir Bodkin. “Now we’ll need a stout Stitcher for finishing the seams of this heavy material.” So he called out all the Stitchers and selected one with a large eye. Margaret harnessed him with blue cotton thread, then they were ready to sew the seam.
“Run along the seam, across the bottom, around the corner and up one side a little less 74than one-quarter inch from the edge beside the basting. Take tiny steps close together,” he said, “and fasten the thread well at beginning and ending.”
When this was done and Baster and Large Runner were resting in the pincushion on the table, Margaret pulled out the bastings and turned the little bag wrong side out.
“Run your finger all along the seam inside to push it well out to the sewing. Now baste the seam a little more than a quarter inch from the edge, so there will be no raw edges showing on the finished felled seam,” the King said.
“Is this a felled seam?” Margaret asked.
“Yes, it is a French fell,” Sir Bodkin said.
When the seam was basted, Sir Bodkin asked Large Runner to come and back-stitch it.
75“It must be sewed good and strong to stand the strain of holding heavy marbles,” said Sir Bodkin.
With Margaret’s right fingers holding him, Large Runner went to one end of the seam, at the corner of the bag, and began to step along, singing:
76Across the bottom, around the corner, and up the side they went, busily sewing the seam good and strong. At the end the thread was fastened with three steps on one spot, and then the basting-thread was pulled out.
“One side of back-stitching looks very pretty while the other looks something like a chain,” said Sir Bodkin, “but when done properly it’s as strong as machine-stitching, and as near to it as we can do.”
Margaret was told to turn down the top of the little bag one-quarter inch for the first 77turn and three-quarters inch for the second turn. Then Baster stepped down this casing for the drawing-string so Large Runner could hem it down to stay. When done, Margaret turned the bag right side out. On the fold side of the bag Sir Bodkin showed her how to cut a half-inch slit up and down in the casing. This she blanket-stitched with blue thread to cover up the raw edges.
Eyelet for casing
“The drawing-string goes in and out here,” he said. “You need only one in a marble-bag. A shoe-lace will be strong enough.” Margaret found an odd one of Jim’s.
“I don’t need to run this in the casing for you ’cause the metal tip will do the work,” Sir Bodkin said. Margaret put the shoe-lace tip in the slit and pushed it through the casing until it came out again at the slit, with the ends even.
“Tie the ends tightly together and your marble-bag is made,” the little fellow said to his mistress, as he bowed very low.
“Thank you, thank you,” said Margaret. “Won’t Jim be tickled to get this to hold his snappers, croakies, agates, and glassies.”
“Yes, he was pleased,” said Margaret to Sir Bodkin and the One-Eyed Fairies who asked her how Jim liked his marble-bag.
“Well, I say it’s very pleasant when people like what you make for them,” said the King wisely.
“To-day I want to do something for Mother. Of course it’s on something for me but she had such a lot of baking to do to-day she couldn’t finish the new middy blouse that I need to wear to-morrow. We wear them in ‘gym,’ you know, and out in the country in the summer,” said Margaret.
“In Jim?” asked Sir Bodkin somewhat mystified.
80“Gymnasium,” explained Margaret, suddenly remembering that her little friends, though sharp, might not be so keen on knowing about things belonging to the great outside world.
“What’s that?” the Fairies all asked breathlessly.
“Oh,” laughed Margaret, “it’s a big room 81with bars and ladders and horses and rings in it. All kinds of things to do stunts on.”
She could see her little friends were still not understanding very well what she was talking about.
“I’ll show you some of the things we do and you will see why I wear easy clothes like bloomers and middy blouses,” she said and went through some simple exercises of bending, twisting, and stepping.
“Oh! how funny!” cried the Fairies.
“Hush!” commanded the King frowning at them. “Very interesting, My Lady,” he said turning politely to Margaret, “and what is there about the blouse to be finished?”
“It’s all done but the eyelets for the lacings,” she said.
“Oh! they’re easy and fun,” he told her. “You’ll need a stiletto to punch the holes. 82Then you overcast the edges of the hole so the lacings can go in and out easily.”
“Where shall I get a stiletto and what is it?” Margaret asked Sir Bodkin. She thought he was a very funny little man to be always asking for the queerest things.
“Your Mother must have one in her work-basket or her sewing-table or her embroidery-bag, I’m thinking,” he replied.
“I’ll look. I don’t want to disturb her ’cause she’s so busy. But she doesn’t mind when I look through her things if I leave them just as I find them,” she told him. “What does the stiletto look like?”
“It’s made either of bone or of ivory or of steel and is about four inches long. It’s very sharp at one end to pierce the material and the other end is usually fancy,” he explained.
Margaret thought she could find it and went out of the room to search for one among 83her Mother’s things. While she was gone Sir Bodkin and the One-Eyed Fairies tried to bend and twist and turn as they had just seen their little mistress doing a short time before. They looked very funny as they tried to do these exercises. They were so stiff.
“Is this it?” Margaret asked running back into the room and holding up a white bone stiletto.
Sir Bodkin turned around quickly to look. Margaret was laughing to see how funny they all looked doing stunts.
“Yes,” answered he, “that is what we are looking for. Where do you want the eyelets placed, My Lady?”
Margaret took up the new white middy blouse to show the King the slit down the front.
“This makes it easier to put my head through and has to be laced with a lacing after I slip it on,” she said.
“Three eyelets on a side would be about right, I think, don’t you?” he asked Margaret.
“Yes,” said she.
Then he told her to measure, with the tape measure, the eyelet places evenly apart on each side of the slit. She marked them with a lead-pencil dot one-half inch from the edge.
“Now we are ready to punch the holes,” he said.
Margaret took the stiletto and pushed the sharp point up through the two thicknesses of goods where 85each dot was marked. She turned it around and around to make the hole evenly shaped.
“Some like to punch from the right side down, but I prefer to punch from the wrong side up,” Sir Bodkin said.
When the holes were ready Sir Bodkin told Margaret to get some fine white twist or embroidery cotton. Calling a large-eyed Stitcher, the King had Margaret harness him ready to begin.
“Have your stiletto ready and keep pushing it through the eyelet as you go along whipping the edge. This keeps the shape nice and round,” said the King. “Now, sir, do your work,” he then said to the Stitcher, who stepped from the wrong side through to the edge of the hole and sang:
Every few whipping-stitches Margaret would leave Stitcher sticking in his tracks on the edge and take up the stiletto with her right fingers and put it through the eyelet from the wrong side. This kept the shape round.
“When you have gone around the eyelet edge, step through to the wrong side and fasten the thread,” said Sir Bodkin.
This Margaret and Stitcher did after each 87eyelet was finished. Soon the six were all done.
“I think it’s great fun!” cried Margaret looking with pride at the pretty little round eyelets ready for their lacing.
“Sometimes eyelets are used in embroidery,” said Sir Bodkin, “so you will know how if you ever should wish to do that kind.”
The One-Eyed Fairies skipped across the table and disappeared into the work-basket for Margaret’s mother, Mrs. Allen, could be heard calling her little daughter to come to her.
“She’ll be so pleased to see these and surprised, too,” whispered Margaret to Sir Bodkin as he stood on the table.
“Yes, My Lady,” he replied. He made a low bow to his little mistress and slipped into 88the work-basket. Margaret hurried to her Mother’s room with the finished middy blouse.
“Well, I must say you and the One-Eyed Fairies certainly are very clever indeed,” you could have heard Mrs. Allen remark if you had been standing outside her door just then.
“What a lovely rainy day!” cried Margaret coming into her room singing happily to herself. She did not mind the rain at all for she was very anxious to get to work. It would soon be her Auntie’s birthday and Margaret wanted to give her a present. So Mother had bought down-town a linen towel with the ends finished with hemstitching done by machine.
“You can trim it at one end, above the hem, with a design done in cross-stitch,” she had said to Margaret.
90“That will be pretty!” Margaret had replied. “I’ll ask Sir Bodkin how to do it.”
Margaret now had the towel and a book of cross-stitch designs in her hands as she came into the room.
“I wonder which would be nicer, a design or her initials done in cross-stitch?” she was asking herself.
Looking up she saw Sir Bodkin hopping out of the work-basket.
“So it’s cross-stitch to-day, My Lady?” he said.
“Yes it is. How bright you are to guess,” Margaret answered laughing. She showed him the towel to be trimmed and waited for him to speak.
“First of all, we must have some canvas fine enough to work eight cross-stitches to the inch. We use the threads of the canvas as guides where the cross-stitches are to be made. 91Second, we must have some embroidery cotton to make the crosses,” he told Margaret.
She went to ask her mother for these things. They were found in her magic sewing-box, and when Sir Bodkin saw her coming back into the room with the canvas and blue embroidery cotton in her hand he called Baster out to help. Baster fastened the canvas nice and straight to the center of one end of the towel, on the right side just above the hem. Then Crewel was harnessed with a strand of the blue cotton in his long eye.
“What is the design to be?” asked Sir Bodkin.
“I think it would be very pretty to mark this towel, which is for my Auntie’s birthday, with her initials,” replied Margaret. “They are the same as mine, ‘M. A.’ This book of patterns shows how many squares to use to make the letters.”
“Yes,” said the King, “the letters will be large or small according to the number of squares used. Very good. Now, sir, watch your step and be sure to step over the canvas threads and not through them, or we can’t pull them out when the work is finished!”
The Crewel One, who stood waiting, stepped to the wrong side of the towel and fastened the cotton with two or three tiny back steps 93where the first cross was to be made. Then he sang:
“There you are!” cried Sir Bodkin, “that’s the first cross-stitch. The others are just like it. Follow the pattern and make a cross-stitch where the pattern shows a square.”
Margaret followed the pattern very carefully with her eye and guided the Crewel One with her fingers to make the cross-stitches in both letters. Jauntily they stepped along until the work was done and the “M. A.” embroidered. Then the thread was fastened securely.
“Now we are through with the canvas. Cut it away from around the letters. Then 94pull out the threads of what is left very carefully from under the cross-stitches and your towel is trimmed. Take a warm iron and press the letters on the wrong side on something soft, and the crosses will stand out on the right side and look very pretty,” said Sir Bodkin.
“Then I shall fold it in three lengthwise folds as Mother does, with the center on top to show the letters, and wrap it up in white 95tissue paper!” cried Margaret. “Thank you three so much. Auntie will be pleased with her birthday present, I know.”
“You’re very welcome, My Lady, so say I and so say they!” cried the King, very much pleased, too.
After Margaret had run off to show her mother the pretty towel finished, Sir Bodkin said to his two subjects, “She is a pretty nice little girl. She’s always thinking up something to do for other people.”
They both agreed with him and all three slipped into the work-basket to the needle-book and went to sleep with the other One-Eyed Fairies.
“Dear me, it’s so lovely outdoors,” sighed Margaret, one day in May. She had torn her new dress on a nail when she was climbing over a fence.
“Mother says it was very careless of me and I s’pose I can’t go out again until it’s mended!” She looked very unhappy indeed as she said this.
“You can mend it outdoors,” said her little Fairy friend peeping out of the work-basket. “Sit out in the garden under the trees. We’d just love to get out in the sunshine,” he finished wistfully.
“Oh! you dear little things!” cried Margaret. “How dull for you to be shut up in this stuffy work-basket all the time and never get a peep outside. I’ll take you out now as soon as I change my new dress for my old one.”
When they were in the garden Margaret looked at the damage the nail had done to her dress. There was an ugly, three-cornered tear. The King called Runner to help with the task of making the torn place look like new. With thread the same color as the dress for harness, Runner was soon ready to begin. Sir Bodkin sat on a tiny green vine to direct the work. Margaret took the dress in her left hand, wrong 98side out, and guided the tiny Fairy with her right hand and the work began with this song:
While they were working, the birds were singing and the sweet smell of the flowers entranced them. When the ugly tear was mended and the dress made nearly as good as new again, Margaret sighed with relief.
“Time was long ago in your great-grandmother’s day, young ladies used to tear their muslin dresses purposely to show how prettily they could mend,” Sir Bodkin told Margaret.
“They did?” she cried in surprise. “How funny!”
“Now to make it look flat, give this mended tear a dose of warm iron on the wrong side,” Sir Bodkin advised.
“Thank you, Your Highness. What 100should I do without you and the One-Eyed Fairies to help me out of trouble? You’re all the most wonderful things!” cried Margaret with shining eyes.
“We can’t help it. We’re Fairies! ’Sides I’m a King,” he said proudly, “and ought to be different from the rest.” The fresh air and sunshine were making him feel very fine indeed.
Some girls and boys called to Margaret just then from a neighbor’s garden and she ran hastily away to join them.
Sir Bodkin and the other Needle Fairies slipped down into the green grass for a frolic. 101Pretty soon Margaret’s mother came out of the house. She saw the dress and work-basket lying on the garden seat.
“How nicely she mended her dress!” she said. “I’ll take it in for her,” and gathered it and the work-basket in her arms and carried them all into the house. The little Fairies were frightened to see their house taken away. Together they huddled around the garden seat wondering how in the world they would get back again into the big house.
“The dew will be very bad for us!” said the King in distress.
Margaret came running back when she heard the supper gong. Her bright eyes, luckily, spied them in the grass. Stooping, she picked them up one by one and carried them into the house in 102her hand. She laid them down on a table in the hall and went in to her supper.
Sir Bodkin was very much worried. He walked up and down and up and down the table-top.
“I know we’ll be forgotten here and we may be lost on the floor!” he said over and over to himself. He heard his little mistress after supper go out in the kitchen to press her dress.
“Oh! perhaps she’ll remember where she put us!” the poor little King kept saying to his subjects.
Margaret came out of the kitchen and was about to go up-stairs when she remembered her little friends. Picking them up again in her hand she carried them this time safely up-stairs to her own room and stuck them in the tomato pincushion.
“To-morrow I’ll give you all a nice emery bath,” she said to them.
Margaret held up the dainty new white dress she had been making for her doll. It was now all finished except the lace frills.
“When we sew the lace around the collar and sleeves for trimming, your new dress will be ready for you to wear to the tea-party to-morrow,” said the little mother to her doll as she tried on her new dress.
“Doesn’t she look sweet!” whispered all the little One-Eyed Fairies to each other, peeping out of the work-basket to look at the doll in her pretty white dress which they had just helped to sew. They were very fond of Margaret and her doll.
“Sir Bodkin!” Margaret called to the King.
“Here I am, My Lady,” he answered scrambling out of the work-basket and up to the top of the table. He leaned himself against the pincushion.
“I think we’ll need a dainty Stitcher to sew these frills, don’t you?” his little mistress asked him.
“Yes, and harness of fine white cotton thread,” answered his Majesty. He then called all the Stitchers out of the work-basket. They were up on the table-top in a twinkling, waiting for their King to choose those needed for the work. Two Stitchers were selected, one larger than the other.
“One for gathering the lace and one for sewing it on,” explained Sir Bodkin.
“Before you begin, take a plunge through 105the emery to make you glisten and glide,” said the King.
Margaret took out her emery-bag and held it for the Stitchers to take several quick plunges. They waited in the pincushion while she went to wash her hands, to keep the lace clean as it was being sewed on the dress.
The fine Stitcher was harnessed with white cotton thread number 80. The larger one was harnessed with the same thread doubled for gathering the lace.
“Make his harness longer than the frill is to be when finished,” said the King.
“How much lace shall I cut off for the collar and sleeves?” asked Margaret.
“This is the rule for the length of a ruffle or a lace edging,” said Sir Bodkin and sang:
“How shall I finish these ends?” Margaret asked when she had measured and cut a piece of lace for the collar.
“Tiny Stitcher will hem them for you before you begin to gather,” said Sir Bodkin.
It was no sooner said than done.
“The lace for each sleeve is sewed together at the ends with a French seam,” said the King.
“Oh, yes, I remember. Sew the ends together first on the right side, turn the seam, and then sew it on the wrong side so no raw edges will show, just like we did on the marble-bag,” Margaret cried.
107“Yes, that’s right. This makes a very neat seam,” Sir Bodkin told her.
“Mark with pins, the half and quarters of each of the three lace frills. Then mark the half and quarters of the collar and sleeve edges,” Sir Bodkin said and sang this song:
“Now fasten your gathering-thread securely on the right side at one end of the top (or straight edge) of the collar lace,” said the King.
108“You don’t have to gather all kinds of lace, My Lady,” he went on to say; “in some you just pull the cord in the top. Stitcher, step evenly along the top and gather the frill. Let the needle hang loose at the other end. Pin the frill half and quarters to those of the collar, right sides together.”
When Margaret had done this and was ready to sew the tiny frill to the collar, Sir Bodkin finished the song:
“Draw up the gathering-thread to fit and wind it around a pin at the end in a figure eight. You are now ready for tiny Stitcher to overcast the lace on for you,” said the King.
Tiny Stitcher fastened the thread at the right end of the collar frill top. Then over the edge he stepped and came back through dress and lace towards Margaret. She pulled the thread through and he stepped over the edge away from her and through again, always going from her right towards her left. Margaret guided him with her right hand and held the dress in her left. When the frill was sewed on all around the collar, the thread was fastened securely at the end and snipped 110off. The gathering-thread was also fastened and snipped.
“Now take a gathering-thread the proper length for each sleeve frill and fasten it at the seam. Then gather each lace frill in turn and pin the half and quarters of each to those of each sleeve edge and overcast just as you did before,” said Sir Bodkin.
Margaret worked very carefully and soon snipped the threads, and put the little Stitchers in the pincushion to rest.
She made some pretty blue satin ribbon bows to add to the little dress as a finishing touch, and sewed them on.
“’Tis done at last,” she said, with a sigh of joy, slipping the lovely party-dress on over her doll’s curly hair. “You’ll be the sweetest doll at the tea-party, I know,” she said happily.
111The tiny King and his subjects danced around in an admiring ring.
“We thank our little friends very much, don’t we, dear?” Margaret said to her doll.
“Look out or you’ll tear your clothes!” cried Margaret to her brother Jim one day as they climbed through a barbed-wire fence out in the fields.
They were visiting Auntie’s farm. It was great fun to go swimming, hunt eggs, feed chickens, ride on top of the big hay-loads and just be outdoors all the time. Both children had exactly the right clothes for such good times—middy and bloomers for Margaret, blouse and overalls for Jim. Besides these, not much else was needed, for Auntie let them run barefoot most of the time.
“Oh, pshaw! now I’ve done it! Ouch! I’m caught!” the next minute Jim cried out to his sister, who was herself clambering very carefully over the wire so the sharp little barbs would do no damage.
114“Wait! I’ll get you loose!” Margaret exclaimed coming to his rescue. With pulling and tugging he was soon free, but a big ugly hole was torn in the seat of his overalls.
“Would you look at that! And the last clean ones I have, too,” Jim said in despair. It certainly was a sad accident, for this was their last day on the farm and there were lots of things to do for the last time.
“Never mind. I’ll mend them for you,” Margaret said. “Jump into your bathing-suit and while you’re taking a swim I’ll be mending these. Boys certainly are a care,” she said to herself with a sigh on her way up to her room. But in her heart she was really quite delighted at the chance to show her sewing skill.
“Sir Bodkin!” she called when she was 115up-stairs in her bedroom. All the One-Eyes were hiding in a pretty sewing-bag that she had made to carry them in when travelling. She loosened the drawing-string and out popped Sir Bodkin.
“Well, well, I wondered when you’d be calling us out this trip,” he said shaking himself and walking around the bureau-top to stretch his legs.
“What’s the trouble now? I s’pose it’s trouble or you wouldn’t be needing us on a vacation,” he went on to say.
“Yes,” laughed Margaret, “it’s trouble and it needs to be doctored right away.” She held up the torn overalls for him to see.
“Well, I should say so. Patching is the thing for that big tear. Take your scissors 116and cut off the ragged edges to make the hole as round as you can. Have you some of the same goods for a patch?” he asked.
“I think Auntie has. I’ll go see,” and Margaret ran off to inquire.
Sure enough, Auntie had something in her scrap-bag that would do very well. Margaret ran back eager to begin patching.
Wrong side First bastings
Right side Third basting
“Cut a square piece, an inch and a half larger all around than the hole. Baste this to the wrong side of the garment. Be sure the patch runs the same way of the goods as 117the overalls,” said Sir Bodkin beckoning to Baster, who was sticking his head out of the bag.
While he and Margaret were working Sir Bodkin sang:
Margaret laughed at this song.
“Now on the wrong side turn in the four sides of the patch and baste them down,” said the King.
They soon had this done.
“Snip the cloth all around the edge of the hole, turn it under and baste it down to the patch. Do this on the right side,” said Sir Bodkin.
“Hemmer,” he called. She came and was 118harnessed with strong thread. After that she neatly sewed down the edge of the hole to the patch on the right side. Then she sewed the four edges of the patch to the overalls on the wrong side.
“Be sure your steps are tiny and firm so the patch will stand wear,” the King cautioned. Then as they worked he sang this song:
When the patching was done, Margaret held up the mended overalls so Sir Bodkin and his helpers could see.
“Good work,” said he proudly. “Looks as fine as a patch can. We don’t use patches 119where they will show if we can help, for they aren’t very pretty, but anything useful is not to be despised. They are very useful on underwear, aprons, table-linen and bed-linen and many other things.”
Right side Sewing edge of hole
Wrong side Sewing around patch
Margaret was sorry to have to shut the King and his fairies away again in her sewing-bag.
“It seems a shame to pull the string so tight but as Sir Bodkin says, ‘In summer we One-Eyes have to keep away from the damp or we’ll lose our charming brightness.’”
120Jim was delighted when he came back from his swim and saw his mended overalls ready to put on.
“Some day I’ll do something for you,” he said, “for ‘One good turn deserves another.’”
Margaret was home again from the country. Vacation was nearly over and in another week school would begin.
“How would you like to look over your clothes and see that they are in good order?” her mother said to her one day. “Wouldn’t it be a good plan to sew on the missing buttons and see that the others are on firmly and not hanging by their eyelids?”
“Sir Bodkin would like it. He can sing me a little song all about buttons. He loves to sing and tell you what to do, you know,” laughed Margaret.
“That’s a very good idea. What he has to say seems always to be right,” said Mrs. Allen.
Margaret went to her room to look over 122her clothes. Sure enough, here was a button gone and there, one loose.
“’Most everything needs a little dose of thread and needle after a vacation, I s’pose,” she said to herself.
When all the garments needing buttons were piled on her bed, Margaret called her little friend, but he did not respond from the work-basket at all.
“Whatever is the matter and wherever is 123he?” Margaret asked herself. Then she remembered that he and the others were still in the sewing-bag she had carried away on her trip. She found it hanging on a hook in her closet. When she pulled open the draw-strings, there they all were.
“Sir Bodkin!” she called.
“Where are we?” asked a sleepy voice.
“Safe at home again,” replied the little mistress. “I forgot to take you out and put you in your home. But first I’ll give you all a rest in the fresh air in the pincushion,” she said and stuck each one in as she talked.
“What are we to do to-day, My Lady?” asked Sir Bodkin from the table-top where he stood putting his crown on straight.
124“I’m getting my clothes ready for school next week and there are some buttons to be fastened on,” she said.
“That’s fun. Bring on your buttons and then we’ll know what to do,” said the tiny King.
Margaret obeyed him and brought over the garments with missing buttons.
“Here’s a slipper-button gone, and a pearl one from my dress, a bone one from my under-waist, one from my dress with the button trimming, and one from my coat,” said Margaret all out of breath.
“First the shoe-button. That’s a shank button. Some black patent thread and a thick Stitcher with a big eye will soon fix it,” he said to Margaret.
“Measure your thread and wax it with your beeswax, make a knot in one end. Find the place where the button was sewed before. 125Now, sir, push up from the wrong side of the slipper-strap to the right side and straight through the shank of the button, then back to the wrong side again,” he said.
“Oh! that’s stiff. I had to push him hard with my thimble!” cried Margaret.
“That’s the way. Now through again several more times, then fasten the thread on the wrong side and that’s done!” Sir Bodkin said.
“Better give the button on the other slipper a few stitches to be sure it doesn’t come off,” he then said when the first was on good and tight. They did this.
“Bring on the next!” ordered the King. Margaret showed him her gingham dress 126and a pearl button with four tiny holes in it.
“Come here,” the King then said to a medium-sized Stitcher who was then harnessed with white cotton thread doubled. When the knot was made they were ready to begin.
“Cross the center,” the King said to the Fairy, who stepped from the wrong side of the dress through to the right side and up through one of the tiny holes in the button which Margaret was holding for him. Then he crossed over the center to the opposite hole and slid down through to the wrong side again.
“Now up through the other hole and cross again,” said Sir Bodkin which the Stitcher did and slid back to the wrong side again.
“See how neat that looks,” said the King to Margaret when it was sewed on, as she and Stitcher wound the thread round and round 127underneath the button to make a shank for it to play on, and then fastened the thread.
Ornamental shank pearl
“A pretty way to sew on pearl buttons for trimming is to come out one hole every time and go in the other three from it like this,” he said taking his toe and pointing on the button.
“Now for that bone button, clumsy but useful,” said the King. It had two holes and was sewed on the under-waist, with the thread doubled, the same way as the pearl one.
“Now for the pretty pink pearl!” cried Sir Bodkin who was very fond of that color. Margaret brought her dress and the button which was cut with a shank on it. It belonged down the front of her dress in a row with many other buttons.
“This goes on very much like the shoe-button, 128but doesn’t have to be sewed so strong, for it is only an ornament,” Sir Bodkin explained.
When this one was on Margaret brought her coat and a pretty cloth covered button, all smooth on top and metal underneath, with a funny little round place of cloth to sew through.
“You must not show on the wrong side where the button is sewed on a coat. If you want to make it very strong you may sew through a tiny little pearl button, the same color as your coat, on the wrong side. But this one we shall fasten on the right side blindly but quite strong.” The thick Stitcher was harnessed with heavy dark thread doubled and waxed and knotted.
“Catch your thread on the coat, first on 129the spot where the button is to go and then, second, sir, as you know, step through the sewing-place underneath the button. Third, through the coat again and so on. But whatever you do, don’t step through to the wrong side so it will show!” said Sir Bodkin. Then the button was sewed securely and the thread fastened and snipped. Stitcher rested in the pincushion.
“You haven’t sung to-day!” Margaret said to the One-Eyed Fairies.
“To be sure we haven’t, My Lady!” their King said.
Then one of the little Stitchers came out of the pincushion and began to sing:
130Every one laughed and clapped their hands at the Fairy who ran back in confusion to the pincushion.
School had begun, and Margaret was so busy for the first few weeks with her lessons, her play, and her friends, that she had not seen much of her little One-Eyed Fairy friends.
“It’s much better for her to be outdoors a lot this nice weather than sitting indoors sewing. Plenty of time for that later on,” said the King one day. “Of course it’s very fine to know how to sew, but ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,’” he quoted to his shining subjects in the work-basket.
They all agreed with him.
“She’ll be needing one of us some day soon, you’ll see,” said the Crewel One knowingly to the others.
132Just then they heard Margaret coming up the stairs singing to herself. She came into her room carrying over her arm a new dress of dark blue. She called Sir Bodkin out of his home and he came quickly in response.
“My new dress is finished and ready to wear to school when the weather gets cooler. Mother says it should have a bright trimming on it. She thought that perhaps you could think of something pretty, Sir Bodkin,” said 133Margaret to her One-Eyed Fairy friend and counselor.
“A-hem! Let me think!” replied Sir Bodkin wisely as he stood on her hand. He was always so proud when she asked his advice. He shone all over with pleasure.
“Let me see now; your dress is blue serge, isn’t it? How would you fancy a scarlet trimming of some kind of stitchery? Crewel can step off a pretty chain of silk stitches for you,” the King said.
“Oh! that would be lovely, I think!” cried Margaret delightedly.
“Very well, if you have some scarlet floss, we can begin at once,” Sir Bodkin answered, hopping down into the work-basket to call the Crewel One. That fancy fellow was listening to the conversation and was ready to come out.
Margaret laid the new dress on a chair and ran off to tell her mother what was needed to trim it. Presently she returned with some glistening red silk floss ready to work. When the Crewel One was harnessed with a proper length of it in his eye he took three running steps and a back step on the wrong side to hold it fast. Then he stepped through the cloth to the right side of the dress, one inch from the edge of the neck. He was ready to work and began to sing:
Around the neck one inch from the edge frolicked the Crewel One with the floss in his eye and the pink fingers of Margaret’s right hand holding him. In her left hand she held the dress. Looping and stepping along their way a pretty trimming was soon formed. When the chain was finished, the floss was fastened securely on the wrong side of the dress.
“That looks good. Now do the armholes the same way. Be sure you link the two ends of the chain together on the underneath side of each armhole before you fasten the floss,” said the King.
“Yes, Sire,” answered the Crewel One respectfully.
He and Margaret worked busily for a while.
“Now they are both done and my dress is trimmed. I must say it looks wonderful!” said Margaret at last.
Crewel skipped away to the table-top and began to jump rope with the strand of floss that was left over.
“I didn’t know you liked to jump rope as we girls do,” said Margaret to him, laughing.
“I must keep myself in trim, you know,” he said very seriously.
Margaret giggled at this and took up her dress to go out of the room.
“I thank you both very much,” she said hurrying away to show her mother how pretty the new dress looked finished.
“Sir Bodkin and the Crewel One are very fine friends for my little daughter to have. How charming your dress looks now it is trimmed with that scarlet chain-stitching!” said her mother.
“We had a ‘Crewel Frolic,’” laughed Margaret catching the punning habit from her One-Eyed friends. “And I certainly think they say comical things, don’t you?”
“Yes,” answered her mother, “they are very wonderful, indeed.”
“Oh, Mother dear, we’re going on the most wonderful hike to-morrow! Are my new bloomers ready to wear?” cried Margaret one afternoon as she ran into the house after school.
“They are finished except the buttonholes, which I am about to cut and make now,” her mother replied.
Then the telephone bell rang and Mrs. Allen was obliged to talk about something so important that Margaret knew it might take up a good deal of time before dinner.
“I believe I’ll run up-stairs and ask Sir Bodkin to show me how to make these buttonholes,” she said to herself. Suiting the action 139to the word she picked up the new bloomers and ran up-stairs with them to her own room.
“Sir Bodkin,” she called.
“Here I come,” he answered hopping out of the work-basket.
“Do you know how to make buttonholes?” she asked him.
“Well I should say so,” he said.
“That’s fine, for I want to make two in the band of my new bloomers,” said Margaret.
“Have you any buttonhole scissors?” he then asked her.
“I think Mother has. I’ll run and get them,” Margaret replied, hurrying out of the room. In a jiffy she was back again with a pair of odd-looking scissors in her hand. They had a notch in the blades and a screw on the handle.
140“There we are,” he cried; “now show me the buttons to go through the holes.”
Margaret showed him two black bone buttons.
“The top of the button will show how large to cut the buttonhole,” Sir Bodkin said. “Turn the screw until the blades cut a slit a tiny bit longer than the button top is wide. Test or try the size on a scrap of cloth before cutting the holes in your band.”
When Margaret had done this and the 141scissors were set just right, she slipped them over the edge at one end of the band where the buttonhole was to be and waited.
“Begin to cut one-quarter inch from the edge of the band. Follow a thread of the goods to cut the hole straight,” said Sir Bodkin. “Cut one hole at a time, then work it.”
Margaret cut the first hole. Sir Bodkin called a stout Stitcher and he was harnessed with black cotton thread, a small knot at one end.
“Now to your work!” the King said, “and don’t forget you begin at the end farthest away from the edge,—turning your work as you sew.”
He told Margaret to hold the buttonhole along her left forefinger with the starting end next the finger-tip and the top of the band towards her. Stitcher slipped between the 142two layers of cloth at the starting end and came out towards Margaret, a little distance away from the edge of the slit. Then Stitcher jumped along the side of the buttonhole to the other end, across the end under the goods, out and around back along the other side.
Bar half-way around
explained the King as Stitcher stepped through the cloth again at the place where he started. Then he sang:
“That’s the overcasting,” said Sir Bodkin, 143when they were through. “The buttonhole stitch will need heavier thread.”
Overcasting half around
Stitcher was harnessed with some, and then stepped on the wrong side of the buttonhole at the starting end to fasten the thread with tiny back steps.
“This buttonhole-stitch will cover the bar and overcasting,” he said. “Now turn your work around, so that the starting end will be at your right hand, and do as I tell you.” Then he sang:
“My! that was a teeny bit hard to do,” said Margaret to Stitcher and Sir Bodkin when the first buttonhole was finished. She took a little rest before starting the other one.
“They aren’t easy the first time. You have to mind your P’s and Q’s. But ‘Practice makes perfect,’” said the King to her.
Margaret cut the second buttonhole on the other end of the band, put on the bar and then overcast it.
“Keep buttonhole stitches even and close 145together to make a firm edge,” the King reminded.
When the second one was done, Sir Bodkin showed Margaret how to lap the buttonholes over the other end of the band and mark the place for the buttons with a pin. Then she sewed each button on with strong black cotton thread.
Just as she finished she heard her mother calling to her that dinner was ready.
“I wonder what she’ll say when she sees these,” Margaret said to her little friends.
“She’ll think you’re a very smart little girl, I’ll wager,” replied Sir Bodkin, bowing and scraping.
146“Thank you both,” said Margaret, and ran out of the room carrying the bloomers over her arm.
One day Margaret and her little friends, the One-Eyes, were talking together about grandparents.
“You never had any grandmother or grandfather, did you?” Margaret asked Sir Bodkin.
“Of course we had them just like everybody else but we never saw them. They were very funny; you’ll laugh when I tell you their names,” said Sir Bodkin.
“Oh! please tell me!” urged Margaret.
“Well, thorns and briers were their names!” he said.
“Why, how funny, for they grow outdoors 148on trees and bushes!” cried Margaret trying not to laugh for she thought this sounded very queer.
“Just so. Yes, our great-grandparents, as I’m telling you, used to grow outdoors. They were the first One-Eyed Fairies. The people who made them lived outdoors, too. Then our grandparents were made of ivory and bone and were cut from bones and tusks. They lasted many a long day, I can tell you. Even to-day when some place is uncovered where people used to live hundreds of years ago, you’ll find a grandparent lying fast asleep with one eye open wide.”
“You are a funny man. I never know what you are about to tell me,” Margaret said to him. “Now that reminds me that 149Mother has cut out and hemmed on the machine, the dearest little white apron for me to give my Grandma Thanksgiving Day when we go there to dinner. Do you know how to put in tucks?”
“Upon my word I do. Just show me where they’re to go and I’ll show you how to put them in,” proudly said Sir Bodkin.
Margaret went to get the gift and soon returned with it.
“Look here!” she said and held up a piece of white lawn, hemmed on the sides and across the bottom. It was twenty-seven inches wide and several inches longer.
“Mother allowed some material for the three tucks,” Margaret explained. “She said each tuck was to be one-quarter inch wide and one-half inch apart. We can baste in the tucks, can’t we? Then Mother will stitch them in on her machine.”
150“Oh, yes, My Lady, we can easily do that. First we shall have to measure the distance, then crease them in, then baste,” Sir Bodkin told her.
Margaret took the tape measure out of her work-basket and the tucking began.
“Measure one inch up from the hem top and crease the first tuck with your nail then pleat it with your fingers across the bottom of the apron,” Sir Bodkin said.
Margaret creased very carefully and every 151so often measured until she had marked the tuck across from one side of the little apron to the other.
“That looks very even. Now, Baster, you rogue, baste this tuck very carefully,” said the King.
Baster was harnessed with basting-thread, with the end knotted and then he waited for his little mistress to begin.
“Step along the tuck one-quarter inch from the creased edge. Take medium-sized steps, sir,” ordered Sir Bodkin, “but before you start take a few slides back and forth through the emery to glide in and out easily. Lawn is a little stiff sometimes, My Lady,” he said to Margaret.
After Baster was shined as bright in the 152emery as he could be shined, Margaret held the tuck in her left hand and with her right pushed and held Baster as he stepped along.
“Use your tape measure, as you go along, to be sure he keeps his steps in the right track always from the top,” reminded Sir Bodkin.
“That one is basted,” cried Margaret at the end of the first tuck.
“And very nicely done, too,” praised the King.
“How shall I measure the second one?” asked Margaret.
153“Measure one inch from the basting for the second crease,” answered Sir Bodkin.
When the second tuck was creased and basted and the third one done the same way, Margaret measured the apron from top to bottom.
“Don’t they take up the goods fast? It’s about twenty-seven inches long now,” she laughed.
“That’s what tucks do. They always take up twice as much goods as they are wide. We use them for dresses to allow for shrinking. And to allow for children growing, too,” he laughed.
“Yes, I know that,” said Margaret, “for Mother is always putting tucks in my clothes then taking them out, I grow so fast.”
“Then we use them for trimming, as in this apron. There are wide tucks and narrow tucks and pin tucks. Pin tucks go in babies’ 154bonnets and dresses. Sometimes we hold a little cord in the crease and sew along it. These corded tucks are very pretty for sheer materials,” he said.
Tucks basted ready for stitching
“And what kinds are they?” asked Margaret.
“Oh, those fine enough to see through, like lawn and swiss and organdie,” answered Sir Bodkin.
“This begins to look pretty. When Mother stitches these tucks on the machine and the bastings are pulled out, then I’m going to gather the top and sew it on a band,” said Margaret.
“That’s fun!” cried Sir Bodkin. “I just love to put on bands.”
155“We’ll do that another day. I must run out now and do my errands for Mother,” Margaret said folding her work and jumping up from her little chair.
“Good-bye, everybody, and be good,” she laughed running out of the room with the folded apron in her hand.
sang Baster, dancing and whirling around the table-top.
“He hates himself,” cried some of the other One-Eyed Fairies from the pincushion. Then Baster went on singing:
Sir Bodkin stood watching and laughing at 156the antics of his happy-go-lucky subject as he frolicked around the table-top teasing this one, pulling that one’s thread out of his eye.
“Now, that’s enough, sir, for to-day,” said Sir Bodkin laughing and holding his sides. “Enough’s enough!”
Next day after school Margaret ran up to her room carrying the little lawn apron to be finished.
“Sir Bodkin, I’m here. Just see how nice these tucks are sewed in by machine. And look! Mother put a cunning pocket on the right hand side for Grandma to tuck her handkerchief in,” she said.
Sir Bodkin stood up quickly from the table-top where he had been resting since yesterday.
158“Yes, My Lady, it looks very neat indeed. Of course I’m old fashioned and prefer hand-sewing to machine-sewing but I know there is so much to do these days that time can be saved by using the machine,” he answered.
“Oh, I’m glad you think these tucks look well, ’cause I stitched ’em myself. Mother let me try,” Margaret said proudly.
“I must say you kept it straight,” Sir Bodkin remarked. “Now, how about the band for that apron to-day?”
Margaret showed him a piece of lawn about twenty inches long and two inches wide. Sir Bodkin told her to fold it over lengthwise making it one inch wide. Then he said to crease the fold for the top of the band. Next he told her to find the center of the band from the ends and mark it on the two raw edges with tiny notches.
“We are to allow one inch on each end 159beyond the gathers for the long strings to be sewed on,” said Margaret.
“Then that will leave us eighteen inches to sew the gathers on. Oh, you Stitcher!” called Sir Bodkin to one in the pincushion. He came over and was harnessed for gathering with a double thread, longer than the gathering-space was to be.
“Don’t forget to knot the end,” said the King.
“No, indeedy,” replied Margaret.
160“Find the center of the apron top and cut a tiny notch,” said Sir Bodkin.
After this was done, Margaret held the right side of the apron next to her and began to gather the top one-quarter inch from the edge, going from right to left.
“Run a few stitches on Stitcher and then pinch them flat to set them,” directed the King.
When the gathers were run in Margaret pinned the center of the apron top to the center of one long edge of the band. Nine inches each way from the center she pinned the ends of the gathers to the band and drew up the thread to fit. After which she wound the thread in a figure eight around a pin.
“You’re a Jim Dandy,” said Sir Bodkin watching his little mistress. “Now take Stitcher in your hand and stroke the gathers with his toe and lay them evenly along the 161band so they won’t be too bunchy here and too skimpy there. But be careful you don’t scratch the goods,” he said to his subject.
Then Baster was harnessed and basted the gathers to the band above the gathering-thread. Margaret held the gathers next to herself.
Basting gathers to band
“One-quarter inch from the edge sew the gathers to the band. Runner, take back and running steps, catching up one gather at a time,” Sir Bodkin said to Margaret and the Fairy. When this was done and thread fastened, they fastened the gathering-thread, too. Then they snipped all threads off and waited.
162“Turn over the other edge of the band one-quarter inch towards you, crease it and bring it down on the gathers. Now, Baster, your turn to step again to hold this fold down firm,” said Sir Bodkin.
Basting down band
“Then Mother will stitch it on the machine,” finished Margaret, “and I’ll make the strings and sew them on and the darling little apron will be ready to go to Grandma’s.”
“How will you make the strings, My Lady?” asked Sir Bodkin.
“Oh, I’ll turn over tiny hems on the sides and a larger one on the ends and they’ll 163be stitched on the machine. Then I can easily sew the strings to the ends of the band. And I’ll put a tiny pink bow on the pocket,” cried Margaret eagerly.
“Very fetching, and a lovely gift for a grandmother. She’ll like it, I’m sure,” said the King.
“Maybe she’ll want me to sew some of her tatting around the edge ’cause she makes yards and yards of it in her spare time,” said Margaret.
“That would be pretty, too,” agreed the tiny King. “It is a matter of choice for:
164“Oh, you funny man, that doesn’t rhyme very well,” laughed Margaret.
“You get my meaning,” said Sir Bodkin laughing himself.
“Look at the One-Eyes!” cried Margaret and they both turned to see the shining little needle Fairies playing football with the beeswax from the work-basket. They had been hearing so much about the game all the fall they thought they would try it themselves. Baster was referee. They would kick it high in the air and then catch it on their heads and run away with it all around the pincushion in fine style.
165“Thank you, dear King, and take good care of yourself and your Fairies,” said Margaret before she left the room.
Sir Bodkin took a walk around the table-top then ordered his subjects into the pincushion for the night.
Sir Bodkin looked quite sad as he stood on Margaret’s table.
“It’s been a long time since she called me to help her,” he said to himself.
Just then Margaret came into the room. She was carrying something over her arm made of blue chambray material.
“Sir Bodkin!” she called. “Oh, there you are, you dear little man!” she cried spying him standing on the table.
“You’ve not forgotten us, My Lady?” he said brightening.
“Of course not, you queer little man, I need your help this minute.”
167“Oh, that’s good news,” said Sir Bodkin looking quite himself again.
“Mother has cut out the duckiest apron and cap for me to wear when I cook and do housework. The hems on the edges must be sewed and then trimmed some way. Thought you could tell me how,” explained Margaret.
Sir Bodkin was so happy he called his One-Eyed Fairies from the work-basket to sing and dance on the table.
cried their King.
168“The dear little things,” thought Margaret to herself.
“Now,” said Sir Bodkin when the dance and frolic was ended, “let’s get to work.”
“I’ve turned all the hems around the apron edge, the neck, pocket-tops, and cap edge,” said Margaret.
“Fine! We can baste them. That will give Baster something to do,” Sir Bodkin said calling his jolly subject from the needle-book.
Margaret harnessed him and he stepped along all the tiny hems with quick small steps.
“What kind of trimming do you fancy on your apron and cap?” asked the King.
“That’s just what I want you to help me decide,” said Margaret.
“You could put some kind of stitches for edging, but I think rickrack braid would be 169pretty. It would also hold down the hems with one sewing,” he told Margaret.
“Then let’s use that. I think it would be lovely. I’ll ask Mother if she has any,” she cried and ran off to see.
When she came back she had a little package in her hand done up in shiny paper.
“Now we’re ready,” said Sir Bodkin. “Begin at one side of the apron, hold the wrong side next to you. Place the braid on the hem so the points will peep out on the right side and make an even edge. Put the braid all around the outside edge of the apron, then you can do all the other edges and the edge of your cap. Be careful to join all ends neatly where they meet.”
170“Oh, don’t the points look pretty peeping out on the right side!” cried Margaret as she and Baster stepped the braid on. It took time and pains to baste it all on neatly and join the ends carefully.
Wrong side Right side Sewing on rickrack
“Deary me, how slowly we sew ’cause the thread snarls so!” exclaimed Margaret.
“You must have a lazy man’s thread,” replied Sir Bodkin laughing.
“What kind is that?” asked Margaret looking up in surprise.
“One that’s too long. Longer than arm’s length. You might think it easier to use one, and that you could sew faster. But you 171can’t. It takes longer to pull it through every time and it’s sure to get snarled and knotted. A short thread is better,” said Sir Bodkin. “Did you ever hear the story of the tailor’s daughter?”
“No,” said Margaret, “tell it to me.”
“Well,” began the King, seating himself on a spool of thread as they worked, “it was this way: Once upon a time there was an old tailor who had a very beautiful daughter. He also had in his shop two young tailors working for him. Now both these young tailors loved the daughter and wanted to marry her. So each one asked the father for her hand. They were both good and the old tailor couldn’t choose between them. So he 172said: ‘The one who can make a suit of clothes first shall have her.’
“Each at once set to work on a suit of clothes and the beautiful daughter threaded their needles for them. Now one of the two young tailors was the daughter’s favorite. Of course she wanted him to get through first. So she threaded the other one’s needles with great long threads which made him sew very slowly. But she threaded with short threads the needles of the one she loved, and he sewed so fast that he got through first. So he won the beautiful daughter’s hand in marriage and they lived happily ever afterward.”
173“Oh, I’m so glad!” cried Margaret who dearly loved a story. “That is a lovely story, Sir Bodkin.”
“I like it quite well myself,” he replied getting up and looking at the work cap which Margaret was about to trim with the rickrack braid.
“How does your cap go on your head, My Lady?” he asked.
“It has an elastic in the casing and is just a plain round cap,” answered Margaret.
“The frill falling around your face will look very sweet with these little white points on it,” Sir Bodkin said looking admiringly at his little mistress. “In fact you’ll look like a princess and you are one, anyway, for:
“Do you really think that!” cried Margaret delightedly, with a tiny lump in her throat.
“Yes, My Lady,” he answered.
“Well, this braid is all basted on now,” she soon told him.
“Runner can step it down for you or it can be sewed on the machine, just as you say,” said the King.
“I think the machine would be stronger 175for the wash-tub, don’t you?” she asked him.
“Perhaps it would,” said Sir Bodkin.
“There is another set to do to-morrow and it is just like this one only pink. Then I’ll have two,” Margaret said happily.
“My Lady will be a regular little housewife, soon,” smiled the King.
“Yes, I want to be one,” Margaret said putting Baster in the pincushion, “and when I help Mother after school I’ll slip on my apron to keep my dress neat, for:
Margaret had been very busy all the fall. Now that Thanksgiving was over the little girl turned her thoughts towards Christmas and Christmas presents. She was making a present for her doll. It was a little cover for the doll’s bed and one for the pillow. They were made of cream-colored muslin and had designs stamped on them in black lines, which were to be embroidered in a colored embroidery cotton.
“I know she’ll like a bed-cover, ’cause her bed hasn’t any to make it look pretty after it’s made up in the morning,” said Margaret 177to herself. “She’s a very good child and should have a nice gift.”
sang Margaret to the tiny King in her work-basket.
“I’m singing everything now, just like the One-Eyes,” she laughed to herself.
Sir Bodkin hopped out of the basket.
“Good for you, and very well done,” said he climbing upon the arm of Margaret’s chair. “Let me see the pictures to be embroidered.”
She spread the tiny covers on her lap for him to look over.
“They will be very pretty worked in outline-stitch in one color,” he 178told Margaret as he turned himself this way and that to get a good view from all sides.
“I would like to do the design in pink, ’cause my bed is pink and my doll’s bed always stands over in that corner near mine,” replied Margaret.
“Very good. You’ll need a fast worker. I’ll call out Race-Horse Embroiderer. Harness him with pink embroidery cotton and he’ll step quickly along and cover up those black lines in no time,” said the King.
Race-Horse Embroiderer came sliding very quickly from the needle-book. He stood very still while Margaret threaded some coarse embroidery cotton in his eye.
“That coarse cotton will work up fast and 179make the picture stand out better,” Sir Bodkin told his mistress.
“Yes, you’re right. I just love pink for a color and so does my doll,” answered Margaret.
“I’m partial to it myself,” replied the King. “We’ll make this a very pretty present. When the outlines are worked in pink you can blanket-stitch the edge of each cover in this pink cotton and the whole thing when finished will look charming.”
Margaret seemed pleased and took the little cover in her left hand and Embroiderer in her right. He stepped on the stamped design where one of the lines began and sang:
“Be sure, sir, you always swing your thread down on the same side,” cautioned Sir Bodkin.
“Yes,” said Margaret, “we’re doing that all right.” She was so fascinated with covering up the lines and making them pink with the stitches that before she knew it the bed-cover was done.
“Doesn’t that look lovely!” she cried holding it up.
“It does look very dainty and dollified,” said Sir Bodkin peering down from the chair
182arm. “Can you finish the pillow-cover to-day, too?”
“I’ll have to do that to-morrow, for it’s now time for my errands. Then when the pillow-cover is outlined we can do the blanket-stitching ’round the edge. It’s all very pretty and easy to do. I know my doll will be glad when she sees this present on Christmas morning,” Margaret said as she folded up her work to be placed in her bureau drawer until next day.
“I’m afraid if I leave it out on the work-basket she’ll see it,” she explained to Sir Bodkin and the One-Eyed Fairies, “and I want it to be a surprise.”
“To your place, sir,” whispered Sir Bodkin 183to Embroiderer, “and don’t any of you breathe a word of this to the doll.”
“Thank you all very much,” said Margaret. “I wish I could do something for your Christmas.”
“Christmas is not for us unless we are given away to some one in work-baskets or help people get ready for it. That is pleasure enough for us, My Lady,” Sir Bodkin answered.
“You are nice all-the-year-round friends, anyway, and I couldn’t get along without you,” she said. So the sewing was put away for the day and was taken up next day and the day after that until it was finished entirely.
Margaret came into her room a few days after the doll’s Christmas present was finished.
“More presents to be made?” asked Sir Bodkin jumping off the pincushion.
“Yes,” answered Margaret, “and these will be the last.”
“What are they to be?” asked the King again.
“Mother bought me a third of a yard of handkerchief linen to make some handkerchiefs. 185Can you tell me how?” she asked her friend, holding up some fine white cloth.
“I suppose the linen is thirty-six inches, or a yard, wide?” he said.
Margaret took her tape measure from the work-basket and measured the goods.
“That’s the width,” Margaret told Sir Bodkin.
“Then you can cut it into three twelve-inch squares. First cut off the selvedge on each end. That’s the woven edge on the sides of the cloth; and fold the linen in three across the long way of the piece,” directed Sir Bodkin.
“Take a One-Eyed Fairy in your hand and with his toe pick up a thread running the same way you wish to cut the squares apart. Pull the thread out and cut where it leaves a little track. This is called cutting by a thread,” said he to Margaret.
186“Fold each square over diagonally to see if it is the same on all four sides. If it is, then it’s a perfect square and we can go on with the edges,” Sir Bodkin told his mistress.
“Each one is perfectly square now,” said Margaret; “how shall we sew the first one?”
“The first one we’ll hemstitch,” said the King. “Measure one-half inch in from the edge and pick up and pull out a thread very carefully across the square. Use the Fairy’s toe as before. Do another thread towards 187the center. Do five threads on each side,” said Sir Bodkin.
First stitch Second stitch Hemstitching
Margaret soon had the sides drawn and ready. Then she turned a tiny hem and basted it down to the place where the threads were drawn. Fine Stitcher was harnessed with number 80 white cotton thread.
She held the hem at the top over her left forefinger. Stitcher came up through it and 188out at the right hand corner ready to start. He left a trail of thread under the hem to fasten it. Then he sang:
“There!” cried Sir Bodkin, “you’ve made your first hemstitch. Keep the bunches of threads the same size as you go from right to left and they’ll look even when finished.”
Margaret and Stitcher went very carefully along one side to the other corner.
“You have to be careful when you pick up the threads in the tiny spaces at the corners where the cloth is double. Whip the outside edges of the hems together at the corners 189so they won’t fray out when washed,” said Sir Bodkin and waited for this to be done and the thread fastened.
“Oh,” said Margaret, “that takes care to make it look nice. And you have to keep your hands very clean or your work gets dirty.”
“Well, My Lady, we can’t have any gains without pains, you know. Take your time and be sure to get the bunches of threads even and all sewing threads fastened well. Then this fine white linen handkerchief hemstitched by hand will be a present fit for a queen,” Sir Bodkin replied.
“And that will be my Mother!” said Margaret proudly.
Sir Bodkin nodded approval of this. “Suppose you lay this one away for to-day and 190start the next one. Then you won’t get so tired. You have plenty of time to finish the three before Christmas,” said he.
“I’ll run and wash my hands again to be sure they’re clean,” said Margaret.
“Wait a minute. Wet a clean little sponge or cloth to moisten your fingers when you roll the hem in this handkerchief,” cried the King to her before she got out of sight.
When she came back Margaret picked up the square of linen. Sir Bodkin told her to trim the corners off round with her scissors.
“Roll the edge of the linen between your left thumb and forefinger towards you until the raw edge is out of sight. Moisten your fingers a tiny bit and don’t get the hem too big and clumsy,” cautioned Sir Bodkin.
191In a few minutes Margaret learned the knack of hem rolling.
“It’s kind of fun, isn’t it?” she said.
“Yes, and that one looks good for a first attempt,” said the King.
Margaret looked pleased. Then she folded her work away in the basket.
“Good-bye, dear,” she said to her friend, “I must run and do my errands now. You’ll see me to-morrow.”
All was quiet in the room, after she had gone, with the mystery of Christmas presents loaded with pleasant thoughts, waiting to be finished by their happy maker.
Next day Margaret hurried to her room wearing a pretty little white apron over her school dress.
“To keep my work clean,” said she to Sir Bodkin.
“Good plan. Now let’s get to work, for there is plenty to do,” he answered her.
Margaret took up the handkerchief with the rolled hem.
“We’ll have to overcast around the entire edge once so you can turn and go back the other way to finish,” said Sir Bodkin when the hem was rolled.
He called Embroiderer to him and asked Margaret if she had any fine French embroidery cotton.
“Yes, Mother bought some for me to use,” she said holding up several skeins in colors pink, blue, and red.
“Fine!” cried Sir Bodkin; “which color shall you use to work this edge? You may use one or two.”
“I think blue and red would be pretty,” said Margaret.
“Very good. We’ll overcast red one way and blue the other. All ready?” he said to Embroiderer, when he was harnessed.
“Yes, Your Majesty,” replied the Fairy.
“Then go!” cried the King. Margaret held the square with the hem at the top, in her left hand rolled side away from her.
Fastening the thread under the rolled hem 194so it couldn’t come out and didn’t show, the Fairy began to step over and over from right to left, singing:
“O dear,” said Margaret, “the thread gets so twisted as he goes over and over.”
“Let him hang for a minute from the end and he’ll swing it around straight again,” laughed Sir Bodkin.
This was done and the overcasting went on. After a while they were around the four sides of the handkerchief.
“What shall we do now!” cried Margaret.
“Fasten the red thread, take a blue one, then turn around and go the other way from left to right and you’ll see how pretty it looks,” said the King. The Fairy sang:
“Oh, doesn’t it look pretty!” cried Margaret as the tiny crosses began to appear on the edge.
“Now leave that and start the third one,” 196said Sir Bodkin and Margaret took up the third square.
“Turn a tiny hem all around, one-eighth inch both turns, and baste it,” said the King.
When this was done, Sir Bodkin told Margaret of two ways to finish this hem.
“You can hem it with tiny invisible stitches or you can blanket-stitch it in pink,” he said. “Nothing is more dainty or charming than a plain white linen handkerchief finely hemmed by 197hand, but for a Christmas present, the pink blanket-stitching would be more festive,” he advised.
“And I know how to do that, too. I think these handkerchiefs will all look sweet when they are finished,” said Margaret.
“Wash them in the bowl with lukewarm water and white soap, rinse them, blue them, and then press them when damp and you’ll have three first-class presents. Remember to take your time, make your stitches even, keep your work clean as you do it, and you’ll come out all right,” Sir Bodkin said.
Margaret was very busy after school for several days after this working to finish carefully and daintily the edges of the three handkerchiefs. At last all three were done.
“Thank you very much, Sir Bodkin, for showing me how to make such lovely gifts. I know those who get them will like them 198very much. Thank you all, and a very Merry Christmas to every one,” she said smiling as she put each one away carefully in the needle-book.
“Don’t eat too much turkey or candy and don’t forget your little friends,” laughed Sir Bodkin as he bowed to Margaret from the table.
“No, I’ll try to be wise and I’ll never forget you!” said she and then she ran away 199and was soon busy wrapping up her Christmas gifts.
Outside the Christmas snow was falling, inside the little One-Eyed Fairies all prepared to take a long rest until after the holidays.
Christmas was over and Margaret’s little pink fingers were busy again with a One-Eyed Fairy, sewing on a pretty square tea-cloth for Mother.
Sir Bodkin saw his little mistress hard at work and quietly crept up on the table beside her to find out what she was sewing. He was very curious and jealous of what she did without asking him. You see, when a Bodkin and his subjects come to live in any one’s work-basket they belong heart and soul to that 201person. Especially so if they have been bought from a store and given for a present. People sometimes become so fond of their One-Eyed Fairies, they use them for years and they become great pets. They miss certain ones very much when they become lost or broken.
“It’s because we’re made of such finely tempered steel,” Sir Bodkin once explained to Margaret.
“Now those are done!” at last exclaimed Margaret to herself holding up the tea-cloth stamped with a design of flowers. She had just finished outlining the leaves and stems in green embroidery cotton.
“What is it, My Lady?” asked Sir Bodkin unable to control his curiosity any longer.
“Oh, how do you do?” said Margaret to him. “Sh-h-h, don’t say a word. I am doing this for Mother as a surprise. She’s giving a 202tea-party soon and I want to work these flowers on this tea-cloth. Do you know how to make them pretty?”
“Yes, My Lady,” answered Sir Bodkin, “they can be done easily and effectively with lazy-daisies for petals and French knots for centers.”
“Those are funny names,” laughed Margaret, “but you know all about the stitches, so I’ll take your word for it. What colors do you think would be nice to work them in?”
“Everything is color nowadays. You could use pinks and blues with yellow centers,” replied the tiny King.
“That would look gay, and quite right for afternoon tea, I think,” said Margaret, getting out her embroidery-bag and selecting the colors from the French embroidery cotton in it.
Embroiderer was harnessed with pink for the first flower.
“Don’t forget to work the petals from the center all the time,” Sir Bodkin said to him.
“I know, Sire,” he replied and stepped on 204the wrong side of the tea-cloth to fasten the thread underneath the flower center, then he sang:
“It goes easier than it sounds,” said Margaret as she and the Fairy made lazy-daisy petals of pink, then blue, all along the tea-cloth.
“With the yellow centers, it will look very handsome,” replied Sir Bodkin.
“Now for the Frenchies,” laughed Margaret when all the flower petals were done. “I wonder what time it’s getting to be.”
Just then the big grandfather clock downstairs in the hall struck five.
“I’ll have time to start the centers before it’s time to wash my hands and face and brush 205my hair for dinner. I wish I had the time with me then I wouldn’t always be running round looking at clocks,” sighed Margaret.
She harnessed Embroiderer with yellow, and made a knot in one end of the thread as the King told her to do.
“All ready,” said Sir Bodkin.
“Yes, Your Majesty,” answered the Fairy and stepped up through the cloth from the wrong side to the right side in the flower center. Margaret pulled the cotton through, the knot holding it fast and the Fairy sang:
After the embroidery cotton had been pulled all the way through, it left a little round knot on the right side in the flower center. Sir Bodkin told Margaret to bring the fairy up through again to make another French knot in the flower center.
“Five knots are about right for one flower,” said he. So Margaret and the fairy Embroiderer made that number in each one.
“You have to hold the cotton tight with your left hand as you push him in, or it doesn’t make a pretty knot, does it?” said Margaret after a while.
“Yes, you have to get the knack, as you do 207in almost any kind of stitchery,” remarked Sir Bodkin.
“Oh, I must stop now and get ready for dinner!” cried Margaret jumping up and sticking Embroiderer into the pincushion so deep that nothing could be seen of him at all. Then she ran hurriedly out of the room after putting her work away in her bureau drawer.
“Goodness me, where am I?” cried the Fairy in alarm. “I’ve sunk out of sight, I know!” But none of the others heard him, for his voice was smothered in the sawdust stuffing.
Margaret hunted and hunted everywhere for Embroiderer.
“Where can he be?” she said. “I would like to finish these French knots to-day.”
“Where did you last see him, My Lady?” asked Sir Bodkin in distress. He, too, had been looking everywhere; in the needle-book and the work-basket and on the table-top, for the lost One-Eyed Fairy. This was the first time during the year they had lived with 209Margaret that anything had happened to any one of them.
“Oh, I remember now where I left him yesterday!” cried Margaret. “I was in a hurry and stuck him ’way down deep into the pincushion.”
“Then you’ll have to squeeze him out,” said Sir Bodkin. “Take the pincushion and squeeze the top and bottom together carefully, so if he’s there his toe won’t prick your fingers. Many a One-Eyed Fairy has been lost in a pincushion.”
Margaret took up the red tomato pincushion and squeezed it and pinched it.
“Here he is!” she cried as Embroiderer’s head began to poke through the top of the red cloth.
210“Deary me, but I’m glad to get out of that place again!” said he taking a deep breath. “You can’t breathe in there and the sawdust gets in your eye, too. I squirmed and wriggled and perhaps I’d have come out the bottom soon. My, but I’m glad you squeezed me out the top!”
“Of course you might have got yourself out, but we should have been frightfully worried,” said Sir Bodkin much relieved to see him again safe and sound.
“Do you feel like helping me to do the rest of these French knots in the tea-cloth?” asked Margaret, putting him through the emery to dust off the sawdust.
“Oh, yes! Some exercise would do me good,” he answered.
Margaret and he worked busily and finished the tea-cloth.
“Do you know that to-morrow will be my 211birthday?” asked the little girl of the One-Eyed Fairies and their King.
“So it will,” replied Sir Bodkin. “It doesn’t seem a year since we came to live with you, My Lady.”
“No, the time has gone very fast for me. It’s been lots of fun knowing you all and learning how to sew and make pretty things,” said Margaret looking at her tiny friends with shining eyes.
“We’ll always stick to you, My Lady,” they all cried.
“I’m glad, for I never could do without you. Oh, there goes that clock striking half-past five! It’s late. I must hurry to tidy myself before Father comes home to dinner. Good-bye, dears,” she said running out of the room.
Next morning early Sir Bodkin and the One-Eyes were wakened out of their sleep 212by a loud noise in their work-basket home.
“Tick-tick,” it sounded.
“Mercy sakes!” cried Sir Bodkin hopping up very much frightened. “I never heard such a queer noise in my life!”
Every one of the One-Eyed Fairies was frightened, too. There in the work-basket among the sewing things was a long blue box. The noise was coming from inside.
“Maybe it’s a bomb!” cried Baster who had a vivid imagination.
213“It’s something terrible, I know!” said Hemmer timidly.
“I think we’re all wrong!” said Sir Bodkin suddenly. “This is Margaret’s birthday and I believe this is for her, ’cause it looks something like a jewel-box to me and——”
“What’s the matter? What are you all looking at so intently!” cried Margaret herself just then as she jumped out of bed and ran over to see.
“Oh, look!” she cried in delight, picking 214up the blue leather box and pressing the spring-button in the front. The lid flew up and the cause of all the disturbance lay there, before their eyes, ticking away on the white satin lining.
“A silver wrist-watch for my birthday!” gasped Margaret with her eyes growing bigger and bigger with surprise and pleasure.
Sir Bodkin and all the One-Eyed Fairies fell back in astonishment.
“Many, many happy returns of the day, My Lady!” said the King, bowing and bending.
“That’s just what it says on this card,” cried Margaret and read aloud: