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Hetherington, Vera Margaret, 1892–

Vera Hetherington needlework book.

England, circa 1910.
Physical Description:
1 volume (24 leaves) ; 31 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
TT708 .H48 1910+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
The creator of the present volume is probably Vera Margaret Hetherington, born in Brockenhurst, Upton Park, Forest Gate, London in 1892, but baptized in Staffordshire. If, as seems likely, Hetherington attended St. Mary's Hall in her late teens, she would have made the volume circa 1910.
In A.T. Vanderbilt's What to do with our girls, or, Employments for women (London: Houlston & Sons, 1884) St. Mary's Hall is described as "A College for Training Teachers upon Scriptural, Evangelical, and Protestant Principles ... Accommodation for 60 Students ... The marks obtained by students at the last examination were considerably above the average in almost all the subjects ... No difficulty in placing them [graduates of the College, in jobs]. All students in turn sweep their rooms, lay the tables, wash up cups and glasses. Those who cook in the practising kitchen clean all the utensils used; they also wash and get up some fine linen. Cookery: Two students in weekly rotation spend about four hours a day in the practising kitchen, where, under the direction of an experienced housekeeper, they bake bread and cook their own dinners."
St. Mary's Hall in Cheltenham was one of many Church of England Training Colleges for Mistresses, established to train women as teachers for church schools. Hetherington may have studied sewing as part of the set of skills all women were expected to know in late nineteenth-century Britain; or she may have been practicing her skills in order to be able to teach them to female pupils of her own in the future. The presence of a "practising kitchen" at the school seems to indicate that housekeeping and sewing skills were part of the students' own training, in addition to pedagogy. (The label pasted on the front of the book indicates that this was an official school book for the "Subject" of Needlework, rather than a book related to personal leisure sewing projects.)
Bound in contemporary navy moire.
The volume includes 25 examples on 24 leaves of various kinds of sewing and mending projects, especially patterns for girls' and women's undergarments. Each sample is adhered to a leaf of the volume with small straight pins. A printed label on front cover indicates that this book belonged to Vera Hetherington, a pupil of St. Mary's Hall in Cheltenham.
Each project in the volume is labeled in Hetherington's own hand. Some projects are made of calico cloth, others are paper patterns for garments (either full-size or made to scale), made on striped paper before being stapled or pinned to the pages of the book. On pages with garment patterns, Hetherington has noted the measurements of the full garment and amount of fabric that would be needed. They projects comprise (titles transcribed as they appear): 1. Corner patch in sheet -- 2. Knickers for a girl aged 2 years (full size) -- 3. Women's drawers (half inch scale) -- 4. Patch in gathers, calico -- 5. Strengthening tape in calico -- 6. Buttonholes -- 7. Knickers for a girl aged 10-12 years, half-inch scale -- 8. Chemise to fit a girl from 10-12 years, (half inch scale) -- 9. Patch in leg of knickers, calico -- 10. Gusset calico -- 11. Front opening in chemise, calico -- 12. Drafted pattern of camisole -- 13. Flannel petticoat pattern -- 14. Lower half of back opening in flannel petticoat -- 15. Seam, tuck and scalloping in flannel -- 16. Circular patch in flannel with binding -- 17. Print patch on elbow of shirt sleeve -- 18. Overall paper pattern -- 19. Women's combinations -- 20. Nightdress to fit a girl of 8-12 yrs -- 21. Sewing on of tapes -- 22. Tapes for a band -- 23. Sewing on of hooks and eyes -- 24. Cottage pinafore -- 25. Women's cooking apron.
Subject Terms:
Church schools -- Great Britain.
Clothing and dress -- Great Britain.
Dressmaking -- Patterns.
Girls -- Education -- Great Britain.
Hetherington, Vera Margaret, 1892-
Needlework -- Patterns.
Needlework -- Study and teaching.
Sewing -- Study and teaching.
St. Mary's Hall (Cheltenham, England)
Tailoring -- Patterns.
Underwear -- Great Britain.
Needlework (visual works)
Sewing (visual works)
Pattern books.

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