Where I went to school little girls learned to sew. In 1968 the school inspectorate praised the girls of Belgrove National School in Dublin, ‘for the neatness of their handwriting, and, above all, for their needlework’. We sat for hours, two by two, in rows of wooden desks sewing squares of white calico. Starting from 1st class we learned ‘hemming, seaming, stitching’, according to our needlework syllabus book, which was written for Irish schoolgirls in the mid-eighteen hundreds. ‘1) LayRead more
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