There is a reference I've been trying to track down. This is one of those
"I heard it somewhere" stories. I asked a couple of groups on facebook
with no results, but maybe it will be familiar to someone here. It was
possibly from a novel, but I don't know if it's from the era or 20thC
historical fiction.

A young woman is visiting a household with other young women, and they are
darning some stockings. It would not be proper to give her one of the
family's stockings to mend, so they cut a hole in a new stocking for her
to darn.

The whole idea seems silly to me, because it seems that there would be
some new clothing to be made or something for her to do that would not
require making busy work. That's why it sounds more like historical

Does it sound familiar to anyone?


> I actually wonder about how charity sewing would fit in to the fancy
> vs plain sewing rule in Mansfield Park there is one evening (I think
> they have company over but I can't remember) when Mrs Norris complains
> that Fanny should be sewing and if she has nothing of her own to work
> on there is plenty of work in the 'poor box'. Implying that making
> things for the poor (almost certainly underclothes, the workwoman's
> guide is only slightly later than this novel and it has a lot to say
> about making underclothes and baby clothes as charity) was a normal
> and expected occupation for young ladies. If it was somehow clear that
> what you were making was for the poor of the parish instead of your
> own family working on that in public would show off your charitable
> virtues (not a bad thing for a gentleman to look for in a wife as
> anything that makes your tenants happier is likely to make your estate
> more stable and profitable).
> Elizabeth

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