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AvaT22tinyAn outstanding primary source for the history nerd and sewing masochist. Ava translates the four fundamental stitches.

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Thanks for this great article!

I believe the reason the first stitch is called both hemming or fell stitch is that dressmakers called it hemming, while tailors called it fell stitch.

Another related book I can recommend is Plain Needlework: A Guide to Nineteenth Century Hand Sewing by Melissa Roberts, 2000, Hollis & Bell, Sautee, GA.

I haven't had the opportunity to read that book yet, but I'll get it via ILL at my university library - thanks for the suggestion!

In the context of the 1830s, 1840s, 1850s, and 1860s sources I've been mostly digging through, it seems like "felling" and "hemming" are both used in the context of dressmaking, sometimes interchangeably , sometimes with an author favoring one term more than the other. Largely it seems to differ by use - "hemming" is more commonly used when referring to, well, hems!

It may be that in tailoring, "felling" is more commonly used than hemming, but my knowledge of tailoring is fairly limited, so I have no idea! There are so many manuals on archive.org that are text-searchable though.... I may have to investigate!

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