Manual 12678394
tUlNUitJliOO. #
Koss' Tailor System,
Studies in Dressinaliing,
Extra Instruction
$5 «0
One Bolt Patent Blind Hemming,
llrafting Paper, per qnire,
Measure Book,
Steel Tracing
Satteen Tape
Chalk Tracing Wheel,
Dress Shields,
A'l the above articles, excepting: Drafting- Paper, can be sent by mail, and
be forwarded post-paid to any address on receipt of price.
Send money, if possible, by Draft, Express, Money Order or Post Office
Do not risk money or Postal Notes in the mail without regisPostag-e stamps of one or two cents denomination sent by mail, will
be accepted as cash.
Money Order
Ladles who have a desire to test our System
by cutting a dress from a pattern drafted
by it, can. by taking- their measure as directed, and sending to us, be furnished
with a Traced Lining ready to be basted to the dress goods. If your measure is
correct, the garment will fit perfectly.
Measure for waist as follows: Collar size, length of back, length of front,
and length under arm (from waist line), size around hip, waist and bust,
width of chest between front armscyes, width of back between armscyes,
length of sleeve. All round measures must be taken very snug.
As measurement is taught as an important part of the System, no one can
expect to obtain quite as good results before learning, as after.
A Plain Basque Lining, cut from best
Silesia, to
The Xracing
your measure,' 60 cts.
The Steel Tracing Wheel is an absolute necessity in dressmaking. It saves
time, prevents inaccuracy, and should be used in marking seams on all goods,
upon which it will make an impression. Where a steel Tracer cannot be used,
the convenient CHALK TRACER is an excellent substitute. Any colored chalk
may be used, and the line made by it is very fine and even. The TracingWheels furnished by us are of
best quality,
and are
All orders should be addressed to
Amateur Dressmaking.
Especially Adapted to use in Schools
AND Families.
Gage & .^ o n P k i x
t e h
Mrs. H. a. ROSS.
Amateur Dressmaking.
Especially Adapted to use in Schools
AND Families.
Gage & Son, Pkinteri
Mrs. H. a. ROSS.
in music, discord offends the educated ear,
and has a demoralizing effect on the symphonious aspirations of the uncultivated, so
in dress, a badly fitting garment is very offensive to the artistic eye, and detrimental to
the growth of the aesthetic sentiment in those
whose artistic tastes have not been educated
and developed. It is like a weed in the garden of Fashion, marring the beauty of its
surroundings, and encouraging the growth
of more.
How requisite it is, therefore, to encourage
an art, the acquirement of which makes it easy to avoid
the defects and imperfections which result from the
clumsy though probably labored efforts of the unskilled.
In the "good old da}'s" the women were celebrated
for their needlework, but the sewing-machine work has
in a great measure superseded hand work, until the latter is almost a lost art.
Happily, educators have awakened to the fact that a girl's education is incomplete
without this useful art, and needlework is about to be an
important part of every girl's education. To become a
dressmaker without a thorough knowledge of the rudiments of plain sewing is impossible, hence the necessity
of beginning at the foundation, and acquiring the desired knowledge step by step.
In presenting this work
to the public, the writer aims to make plain the rules
and methods of scientific dressmaking. To give all the
various ways of doing each part would require unlimited
space, and would only tend to mystify the beginner.
Any complicated or difficult methods are to be avoided,
while simplicity, accuracy and artistic effect are to be
the aim in this study.
In the hands of competent teach-
work may be made highly
it affords material for a valuable course of lessons
needlework, plain garment making and dressmaking.
Every woman should know how to make a dress, that
she may dress becomingly and economically. The art
of dressmaking must be acquired, the one thousand and
one things to be done or left undone must be understood;
the whole system of dressmaking, fitting, draping and
trimming must be learned before one is in a position to
dress economically or artistically.
* ~o^SJLq
is an art, and a science, the
individual the artist, the science consisting
in the combined experience of the most successful dressmakers of past and present time.
To avail herself of the benefits of science,
the seamstress must be a regular subscriber
and diligent reader of the best books bearing
upon her business. Any new invention, intended to perfect or simplify her work, should
be investigated. The sewing room should
contain the best scientific helps to be obtained, and,
with a proper attention to her business affairs, success
miist attend her efforts. Whenever practicable, a sewing
room should be devoted to sewing alone. It is especially
disagreeable to sew in a dining or a general living room,
as many of the conveniences necessary to sewing are
not adapted to such a room, and there is also some danger of the work becoming soiled.
smooth ingrain carpet is more easily kept clean than any other, and for
that reason should cover the sewing room floor.
a light-running sewing machine, which takes a straight
and uniform stitch. Keep the machine well oiled, and
perfectly clean.
mirror should be placed near the
window. The cutting-table should be long and smooth,
without leaves, and unvarnished. Mark the scale of
inches on table from left to right, corresponding exactly
with the tape line.
small folding table is more convenient than a lap board for basting linings to goods
and for trimming skirts. An adjustable dress-figure is a
great convenience, saving the time of the sewing girls
occupied in the hanging of skirts and in draping. The
sewing chairs should be low and comfortable, without
arms or rockers.
stand work basket for spools, a pin-
cushion, a wardrobe for the work, a first-class satteen
tape line, steel tracing wheel, chalk tracer, scissors, yard
stick, bent shears for cutting, pencils, measure-book, a
bag or box for waste, a quire of drafting-paper, and a
piece of stout cloth tacked to the wall, to which to pin
sleeves, collars, cuffs, and any small parts of work, until
they are wanted, a smoothing-iron, and last but not least,
The primitive and ina perfect system of dress-cutting.
accurate methods which have so long held sway are not
equal to the occasion. The system, (on which depends
the success or failure of the dressmaker), must be a
method of measurement, accurately applied to the garment to be cut. The Mrs. Ross' Tailor system is a system of mathematical calculation, so arranged and simplified as to be readily comprehended by any girl or
woman of ordinary ability. This system is fully explained on page 3 of cover, and should be used in every
manual training-school, and sewing room. The benefits
to be derived from an invention of this kind are readily
give on
perceived, as no refitting is required.
page 27. directions for cutting and fitting by purchased
pattern, and, as compared with cutting correctly, without difficulty, or changing, offers a decided contrast.
Success in most things depends on trifles. No work
can give satisfaction, that is not done with very clean
hands. Indeed, if they are dirty, the task is made more
difficult, as they are generally moist also, and the needle
passes through the material with greater difficulty. No
one should attempt any work without a thimble. It cannot be done satisfactorily without one, and there is danger of injury to the finger. To break or bite off the
thread is a common fault, which should be at once corrected.
Always cut the thread with a small pair of scissors, kept in the apron pocket or other convenient place.
Having learned to hold the needle in the left hand, and
to thread and to work it with the right hand, put the
thimble on the middle finger of the right hand.
thread should be rather finer than the thread of the
cloth, and never more than from sixteen to twenty inches
—7long, except for gathering;.
For other work leave the
thread one-half inch long, and sew in with the seam, or
The lessons here illustrated, are to be explained by the
teacher, with work already cut and prepared, until the
pupil has learned the common rules of sewing.
young beginners should learn to work on paper or coarse
Ladies who understand the art of plain sewing need
study only the instructions for cutting and fitting, (Part
2d), where they will find all the rules necessary to instruct them, in the science of artistic dressmaking.
Sewing or seaming means joining two edges together.
Sewing over and over, or overhand seam, is chiefly used
in joining two selvedges.
Lay the edges of the material
to be joined together, and set the needle regularly from
the back to the front through both materials, taking up
either one or two threads.
Draw the thread tight, but
do not pucker the seam, and repeat the stitches at regular distances of one or two threads, as shown in Fig. i.
Having completed the seam, smooth it out, so that it
will lie perfectly flat.
For hem, first turn down the edge of goods very narIn heavy goods it will be necessary to baste the
but in cottons creasing will be sufficient. Do
not pleat or crumple the work; hold it smooth, and with
the thumb and fore-finger of the left hand pinch the fold
neatly its entire length. Then turn down the width de-
first fold,
sired for
hem, and baste.
hern along a thread.
If the ed^^e of goods is straight,
In thin material, the first fold must
be the width of the^hem. For wide hems, measure while
folding with a card cut the desired width.
In hemming, set the needle in the material close under
the hem, then run it up, diagonally through the hem.
In blind hemming the stitch is the same, but longer, and
the thread is not drawn tight. Great care is taken that
but one thread of the material is taken up, and the
do not show upon the right
For Ruiiniiig: Seam, lay both edges of the goods
to be joined togeth-er, and run the needle through the
material a quarter of an inch from the edge, as shown in
the illustration.
If preferred, a back-stitch can be taken
every needleful of stitches, by drawing the needle upward through the material, then setting it back three or
four threads from where it was drawn out, then drawing
it out six threads' in front of the same point.
Before gathering make a crease by laying down a fold
about J in. from raw edge, and run the gathers in running
seam, twice as much between each stitch as is taken up
on the needle. Two threads up and four threads down is
the rule for fine gathers.
Quarter the goods to be gathat
and mark with a thread. Do not break the leatherThe fuller the
ing thread, but wind it around a pin.
gathers, the longer the stitches must be.
French Gathers, or gauging stitches, are taken up
very long on the right side of the material, and sHort on
the wrong side. To prepare the work, line with stiff or
firm material, turn in the edge to be gauged, and take the
stitches near the edge.
Two rows of gathering threads are required in gauging.
The same threads of material must be taken up and
passed over, as in the first row. Gathers should always
be taken up on the right side.
To Even Gathers,
and make them lie in the same
push them close together, and hold them
with the gathering thread in the left hand, and with the
needle in the right hand, stroke perpendicularly between
every two gathers.
To Set Gathers to a Band. Prepare the band,
cutting (if for waist band) three inches longer than the
waist measure. Stitch across the ends, half an inch from
edge and turn. Mark the band in halves and quarters.
Even or stroke the top
off all the loose threads.
of the gathers, and pin to the band in halves and quarters,
placing the edge of the band just over the gathering
thread, which should be drawn so as to agree with the
band in length, the end secured b}' winding around a pin.
Hold the work with the thumb upon the first finger of the
left hand, the gathers lying almost from left to right.
Only one gather should be taken up at a time, and they
should be fastened with a firm neat stitch.
After sewing the gathers, turn the edge of the band
over, to cover the stitches on the wrong side, and hem
down neatly, the halves and quarters agreeing with those
on the right side.
are sometimes stitched, but lie more flat and
In underwear they
dress goods if run by hand.
The chief diffiare universally stitched on the machine.
culty is in preparing and measuring them.
When it is decided at what distance the tuck shall be
run, and what depth it shall be, mark the same on a piece
of card, and by laying it to the material, mark the material with the point of a large needle or with chalk tracer.
Crease the spaces between the marks, and run the tucks
with very small, even stitches. The edge of one tuck
forms the guide for measuring the next.
In sewing on band trimming, rows of braid, or ribbon,
the same care must be exercised to mark the material for
each row.
Flannel Seams
are to be run neatly on the wrong
about a quarter of an inch from the edge. Fold one
side over the other as for fell, but leave the raw edge.
Hold the flannel across the first two fingers of the left
hand, keeping it firm with the thumb and third finger.
Slip the needle under the fold and bring it out about the
centre of it at the left hand corner. Then take two
threads of the material on the needle just below the raw
edge of the fold, working always from left to right, and
taking up the stitches in parallel lines on the fold, and on
the material alternately. The needle should generally
go in at the fourth thread from where it went in the last
The stitches may, however, be taken closer if
Finishing" Seams.
Dress waist seams are handsomely finished ncAV-a-days, and in any of the following
ways: blind-running, notching, felling, machine-stitching,
binding or over-seaming.
Trim the seams neatly, and press open before attempting to finish the edges of the seams. For blind-running,
machine-stitching, or over-seaming, first turn in the edge
of the lining, then turn the fold of goods, and complete
by running the needle in and out between the turned in
edges with thread the same color, or stitch, or sew
over-hand with fancy-colored silk. To bind the seams,
To notch, turn the lining in oneuse ribbon or galloon.
fourth of an inch and stitch to the seam, then notch the
material along the edge. Open seams may be handsomely ornamented by herring-bone or any fancy stitch.
Plain over-casting is more suitable for wash goods.
Sewing on Tapes,
inches long, double
or "hang-ups." Cut the tape six
and lay flat against the band or
Sew the tape together
to which it is to be joined.
across the ends and back-stitch to the garment at the
same time. Turn the tapes over, covering the seam, and
stitch neatly in any plain or fancy stitch.
deep, and
a slit in the material, 8 or lo inches
It is customary to hem the
and left side wide then lap the wide
hem both
right side narrow
over the narrow and sew across the end. Another
is to hem both sides the same width, and sew the
end in a seam on the wrong side, allowing the placket to
lap either way.
For extra strong placket, sew a binding
one-inch wide on the right side, and face the left. Sew
across firmly at the end. This facing and lap may be
cut in one piece, the facing-side cut one inch, and the
lap-side two inches in width.
Skirt pockets are cut from the skirt-linand are heart-shaped when opened flat. Twelve
inches long by six wide is a medium size, leaving one
the other side
side double and straight on the fold
rounded to a point on the top. Sew around the bottom and five inches of the rounding side, leaving the remaining space to be sewed in the skirt seam. Unless
covered by the drapery, the pocket should be faced.
Leave three inches of the pocket at the top, above the place
for the ha?td. A tape must be sewn to the point, and
joined to the belt. There is danger of the pocket being so
narrow at the top that the hand cannot be inserted, although the pocket was cut plent}- large enough.
Watch-pockets are cut 3^ by 2^ inches, from the dress
material lined with silesia, and shaped like skirt pocket,
and sewed in the left front dart, just below the waist.
Slit-pockets set in jackets or draperies are cut square,
the top
set in coat-pocket fashion
flat binding of the goods stitched at
the ends.
and made, and then
seams covered by a
All pocket seams are sewed in double seam.
sew the seam very narrow, upon the right side, the
pocket turned and stitched again on the wrong side in an
ordinary seam, without taking in the seam first sewed.
This makes a strong seam, and requires no over-casting.
Waist Facings. For basque and sleeves, the facings should always be true bias. The edges are then
readily fulled or stretched to fit the curves or peculiar
shapes, preventing the clumsy pleats which are unavoidable when using straight facings.
Drapery facings sliould be cut the same way of the
goods as the edge to which they are to be joined. Sew the
facings on the right side of material, close to the edge,
fitting carefully.
Then turn the facing over on to the
wrong side. Turn exactly on the seam, and baste along
the edge of the seam. The corners of facings or hems
are lapped one above the other, then the over-lapping
one again folded from the corner, bias zuays, and hemmed
Skirt Facing's may be either bias or straight. If
cut straight, fit to the gores in the skirt. When the braid
is to be sewed on and turned up, the skirt bottom may
be left a raw edge. Where the woven skirt cord is used,
or when braid is folded through the middle and sewed
overhand, sew the facing on in a seam and turn. Turn in
the top of skirt facing, and if there are no goods covering
the lining, stitch on machine, otherwise stitch over and
over by hand, to the lining. In sewing on facings great
care must be exercised, that no stitches pass through the
lining, catching it to the outside goods.
Hooks and Eyes. Prepare the spaces for the hooks
one-half inch back from the edge of material on the left
and for the eyes one-fourth inch from the edge on
the right side.
Unhook the hooks and eyes on the card,
and they are readily removed. Take four stitches in each
eye of the shanks, and a few cross stitches. Sezv them
firmly, and with rather coarse thread.
Lace Edgings. Lace edgings, having a coarse or
uneven edge, must be sewed on by hand, and may readily
be fulled without a gathering thread. Edgings may be
stitched by machine to ruffles or other hems, by first
creasing both folds of the hem, then placing the lace on
the right side of material, the edge just above the fold,
and sewing. Fold the hem back to place and stitch, but
one row of stitching being visible on the right side.
Sewing on Buttons. The cloth to which buttons
are to be fastened should be of several thicknesses.
Regularity must be observed in spacing for buttons, and they
should be of a uniform distance from the edge. An excellent way to mark the spaces is to take a stitch through
each button-hole, into the button side. Sew shank but-
tons on the
not push them
Folding Pleats. Commence to fold at the hem
edge, and with tape line or a piece of card, measure the
width of each pleat and the space between pleats. Side
pleats fold all one way, and are close together.
pleats are folded, first to the left then to the right alternately.
Box pleats should not be crowded close toDouble box
gether, unless the pleating is ver)' narrow.
pleats are folded two pleats to the left, then two to the
The folds or accordion pleats, lie
right, then a space.
one above the other. In basting the upper edge, fold
each pleat on the same thread of goods as at the hem.
The beauty of pleatings is the regularity of the pleats,
and the finish given by pvcss\v\g very lightly. The pleating should be laid upon an ironing sheet, and pressed
upon the ivro7ig side, the iron only moderately hot. Do
not dampen when possible to avoid it. Very wide pleatNarrow ones need
ings need to be tacked with tapes.
tacking with stout thread only. Catch a stitch to the
edge of each pleat, on the wrong side.
Skirt kiltings are set upon a foundation
Cut straight breadths
cut as directed on page 23.
for the pleating.
Cut even at both edges, as long as required to cover the skirt, and three times as wide as the
If the material has not a self-colored selvedge, the
edges to be joined must be cut off, and the seams basted,
then stitched or run by hand. Press the seams open with
hot iron, before the hem. Turn and hem the
lower edge, over-cast the top edge. Press the hem, and
mark each half and quarter, before folding the pleats.
Have ready the foundation, front and sides joined and the
back breadth joined to the side gore only on one side,
leaving the left side back seam open. Trim the skirt
even around the bottom. Mark in halves and quarters.
Fold the kilts in quarters to fit the skirt, folding under
each seam, even if the pleating has to be basted over
When the pleats are all
several times to accomplish it.
laid in the hem, fit the kilt to the foundation skirt at the
bottom, placing the work flat upon a smooth table or
upon the floor. At the edges of the back gores, pin the
pleats straight with the gore, from top to bottom.
pin the centre of kilt to the centre of skirt lengthwise.
Fold each pleat straight with the grain of the goods,
agreeing with the pleats in the hem, and so lap one fold
upon the other at the top, that the pleats follow the direction of the side gore pleats, all sloping towards the
front at the top.
Patience is required to fit the pleating,
but there is no other way to accomplish the desired effect.
Pin each pleat securely in several places.
the kilt from foundation, and with tapes or patent blind
tacking, secure at even distances of four or five inches,
the entire length of skirt.
Do not hold the tapes as tight
as the pleating, and only tack at the back edge of each
pleat, catching no stitches through to the outside pleats.
Press with a moderately hot iron, upon the wrong side.
Turn down the top edge and press flat. Complete the
foundation skirt with a narrow facing of goods upon the
right side, and a canvas facing on the wrong side.
skirt seams may be sewed upon the side to be covered
with the kilt, the inside of the skirt requiring no finishing. Adjust the kilt on the top edge strongly, by hand,
and at the edges of the gores catch the tapes on kilt to
the foundation skirt.
kilting cannot be made to hang
properly mounted on a straight skirt.
Basting' Linings to Goods. Place the goods face
a smooth table, and ascertain if there be any
up or down, or nap to the material, and remember any
figures or plaids must be matched.
Place the front of
waist lining on the goods, right side up, allowing a hem.
At waist line the hem of both outside and lining must be
cut nearly to the fold, to allow the hem to fold smooth on
French front. Keep the waist line straight with the
Baste always every seam exactly on the tracings
for a guide in joining the seams.
Follow the darts with
down upon
the basting thread carefully. The basting stitches should
not be more than one inch long. Any folds or vest of
trimming material must be sewed to the lining before
cutting the outside sfoods.
Back Linings are placed on the goods with centre
back scam towards the schedge, unless the back is to be
pleated. Then the back lining must be placed about six
inches from the fold of goods, cutting on the edge of lining only above the waist line, leaving the goods entire
shown in Fig. 4.
plain cuirass basque cannot be made to fit smoothlyover a full tournure without leaving the back seams open
below the waist. Keep the waist line straight with the
goods; baste around each part exactly on the tracing.
In plaid goods place the waist lines on a certain
thread of the goods, and in joining the waist the plaids
In the side forms, however, the
will match all around.
plaids may not match lengtlnvisc.
The only sure method
of matching them perfectly, is to baste the centre back,
(covered with the goods) to the lining of the side form,
and from a scrap of goods, fit a side form to match the
This is to be used as a guide in cutting the goods.
Cut both side forms alike.
for pleats, as
Sleeve Linings are placed upon the goods, the
grain of the materials matching. The goods and lining
should be straight, crosswise at the elbow, and bias at
the wrist. The unders may usually be cut from pieces
after the remainder of the dress is cut.
Baste around
the sleeve on the seams. To join the sleeves, begin at
Hold the upper towards
top, and pin at elbow and wrist.
you in basting. Run a thread around the top of sleeve,
that the gathers may be readily adjusted, and to prevent
the lining and goods from drawing apart.
Hasting the Waist. Fold the lining hem (as
traced on the right or button side) in, between the outside and lining, leaving the edge of goods out as a screen
for the button-holes.
Turn in hem for button-hole side, and baste the edge
of the front with small stitches.
Fold the darts through the centre and baste very
firm; at the end of all seams take a few back stitches.
Baste hook and eye pieces in the front darts, the edge
waist must not
one-quarter of an inch from the front.
Baste exactly on the
rip apart when first tried on.
6 --
threads which follow the tracinj^. The centre back seam
must be pinned top and bottom, and basted even. Join
the side forms, commencing at waist line next join the
under-arm pieces, and then the fronts. The shoulders
are the most difficult seam in the waist, and as the fit of
the waist greatly depends upon them, extra care must be
taken to follow the rule literally. Stretch the front
shoulders at the seam.
You cannot stretch them too
much. Full the back to the front and hold the back towards you in basting, always commencing the seam at
the neck; any unevenness can be easily pared off at the
To Baste
in the Sleeve. Join the back sleeve
seam in the waist, and baste the under
to the armscye without pleats or gathers.
The front
sleeve seam should be placed above the under-arm seam
of waist, one and one-half inches.
The fullness of the
top of sleeve must be placed between the shoulder seam
and the middle of the front armscye (double the armscye
and mark). The stitches in basting and sewing in a
sleeve must be taken exactly upon the thread which was
run around the top of the sleeve.
To Baste a Skirt, commence at the top to baste ;
do not stretch the bias gores; trim off any unevenness at
the bottom
take only medium length stitches.
to the round
Polonaise or Wrappers, are cut very similar, and
basting follow directions for basting basque, joining
all parts at the waist line.
Do not stretch the sides of
the skirt front of wrapper in joining to the backs.
polonaise, leave the seam open below the hips until the
drapery has been arranged. In back of Fig. 4, from hip,
line F, follow the outline of basque lining to hip line,
then leave the edge straight to bottom of skirt.
are cut in the centre between the backs, and between
backs and side forms, making three groups of pleats. So
arrange the linings on the goods that line F will be the
selvedge, and line C D will be the fold (in 54 inch goods);
leave more cloth for pleats between side and back than
in the centre of back, and the latter, ivhen unfolded, will
- 1/
Fold the pleats in
(See diagram, i, 2.)
be the larger.
the back and sew flat to the waist lining. In apron front
polonaise, the edge must be faced.
To work
well requires care and pracat first try to do fine ones.
button-hole scissors, cut the slit even to a thread,
and beginners should not
just wide enougli to reach across the button, then
take a needle and cotton and run it slightly round, a
This keeps the parts
short distance from the edge.
neatly together and also strengthens it. In dress goods
button-hole before
it is best to back-stitch around the
it is cut, then over-cast the edges and bar with chain
stitches or heavy twisted threads, close to the edge.
For working the button-hole the thread should be a
trifle coarse, and from sixteen to twenty inches in length.
Hold the work straight along the forefinger of the left
hand and insert the needle, four or five threads from the
raw edge at the left hand corner. Before drawing it
quite through, bring the thread from the eye of the
needle, over the needle, and from left to rigJu under its
Draw the needle out straight from the edge,
keeping the hand upwards, so that the loops may lie on
the edge of the button-hole, which the left thumb presses
One or two threads are left beclose against the finger.
tween the stitches, depending upon the size of the thread
In the illustration the sides are first worked, then
the ends, the stitches forming a sort of band on the ends.
This is a very strong button-hole, and most suitable for
working on shirts or underwear. Button-holes in dress
fronts are usually worked round at the end next the edge
of the front, and the other end barred across in two plain
Commence to w^ork at the lower right hand
corner, hold the workalong the forefinger of the left hand,
insert the needle, and before drawing it through bring
the thread from the eye of the needle over the needle,
and from right to left, under its point. Care must be
taken that the stitches are all the same depth
beauty of the button-hole is its regularity. There are
many other sorts of button holes, but the ones described
are generally used in plain needlework. Should a new
thread be used in working a buttonhole, fasten off the
former one on the wrong side, and join the new one by
passing it through the loop of the last stitch. To prevent
the edges of button-holes from fraying, rub each with a
bit of fine wax, or moistened glue, and press quickly
with a hot iron, before working.
— 19 —
After finishing any part of the work, press neatly with
a hot iron, upon the wrong side, and pin to the wall or
fold away where it will not be crumpled, until needed.
All seams of pleatings, skirts, waists, and sleeves MUST
be pressed. Do not dampen woolen goods at the seams
unless it has previously been sponged, or the goods will
shrink and the gloss will be taken off.
Velvets cannot be pressed flat, but may be passed
quickly over the upturned face of a warm iron. Silks
must be pressed by a cool iron if they are pressed at all.
They may usually be smoothed with the thumb. The
selvedges must be clipped at intervals, as they are commonly very tightly woven and will draw the seam.
Straight Breadths. Even the end of the goods
by raveling to a thread, or by marking by a straightedge
or square.
Never tear the material; it is ahnost certain
Measure the depth of the
to prove unsatisfactory.
breadth on the selvedge of material, and draw a thread
See that both edges of the breadth
measure the same length, and cut across perfectly even
lay the goods the entire width upon the table, cutting
through but one thickness at a time.
For straight dress skirts, cut enough breadths to make
the skirt from three to four yards in width. Five
breadths of print is considered enough for a full skirt.
Edges of materials which fray easily must be over-cast as
to cut by, if possible.
soon as cut.
— 21 —
Pleatings. Cut enough breadths to go three times
around the skirt for kilt or side pleatings; two and oneGathered
half times around the skirt for box pleating.
When made
ruffles require an added fourth for fulling.
without a heading pleatings must be over-cast on the top
edge, before joining to the skirt (unless whipped previously to pleating).
Bias Cutting. True bias is cut on a line drawn
from the -diagonal corners of a perfect square. Mark
with pencil or a chalk tracing wheel, from corner to corner for the edg^ of first fold. Cut a card the width the
biases are to be cut, and holding it square with the first
line, mark at intervals, draw a straight line between.
To measure on the selvedge is less accurate, although in
purchasing bias trimming goods the length is measured
on the selvedges.
Joining Biases. Lap each end past the bias edge
of the fold above it the depth of the seam fasten the
ends of the seams very neatly. Open the seams, if for
anything except covering for cord, which must be pressed
one way.
Bias skirt trimmings cannot be joined neatly after
sewing to the skirt. It is much better to measure for the
trimming accurately and join and press all seams before
gathering or pleating. Never attempt to fold any but a
very narrow hem on a bias edge; it should be faced.
Cords covered with bias must not be caught in the seam,
or they will draw as badly as if not cut true bias. Facings for waists and sleeves should be cut true bias.
For Hook and Eye Pieces, or Braces, cut two
square pieces of the waist lining, 5 inches each wa}",
double each, and shape the two folded edges to fit the
French front of the dress waist, tapering the brace towards the waist line, stitch the seams, top, front, and
bottom on the wrong side, turn and sew on hooks and
eyes, as directed in a previous lesson.
— 22 —
To Draft Plain Drawers, measure the size of
waist and length from hip to knee, or longer if desired.
In Fig. 7, 27 is the length. Double the muslin lengthwise
and measure upon the
fold the length of the garment,
Across the top draw with pen(See diagram, line
cil the line,
D, the length of one-half the waist measure.
In Fig. 7 the measure is 24, and the line,
D, is cut 12
At the hem draw a line the width preferred, usually
Fifteen inches below the
9 or 10 inches, make line, B C.
hip (A), draw a straight line across to selvedge of cloth,
if the garment is as large as the one illustrated; or a few
inches narrower, according to measure of the waist. From
the end of line, F E, draw a curving line to the end of
line B C.
Line D E is drawn straight between D and E.
The lines on the diagram show both back and front. The
front is slanted from the fold or hip, towards the line,
E, cutting away two inches of material from both length
G E, as shown in the
B, is cut ten inches deep,
and should always end in a gusset.
The making of this garment affords a review of nearlyall the plain sewing lessons.
Seaming, hemming, felling
seams, gathering, placket-hole, setting gathers to a band,
button and button-hole. Tucks are to be run in the garment before the seams arc joined.
\\Mdth (G), curve the
The opening on
Required, waist measure and
and back, from belt to floor.
When completed the skirt should be two and one-half
inches from the floor in front, and just clear the floor in
the back.
At the bottom the skirt should be 2\ yards
wide, and cut from goods 24 inches wide. Cut the back
breadth first, the length from belt to floor. This is long
enoucfh to allow for bustle and seams. Cut the gfores for
length of
To Baste.
Join the breadths together at the top.
not stretch the bias edges. Trim off even at the bottom, leaving the skirt one inch longer all around than the
measure, when done. Try the skirt on to the form and
fit the top by means of darts, before joining to the belt.
— Double
Breasted Front.
Most of the difficulty in hanging skirts is caused by setting the front to the band too scant.
Cut placket-hole
in back ten inches deep, and just below this opening sew
on the first tape for steels. One or two tapes are sewn
on below the first, at distances of six inches. Allow the
ends of the tapes to extend two in, on to the side gores.
Before measuring- a lady for a dress,
sec that she wears a corset adapted to her figure, and
moderately tight. Insist that the same corset be worn
in measuring as in fitting, as the measure represents the
form to be
The diagrams show the patterns as drafted by Mrs.
Ross' Tailor System. To successfully teach dress-cutting,
a perfect system of cutting must be employed, by which a
— 26 —
correct pattern may be drafted from actual measurements,
no trying on or refitting being necessary. Practice cutting
Unbleached musa lining from cheap cotton or silesia.
lin is not good for this purpose, as it will not trace or fold
Place the lining, doubled lengthwise, on a
Lay the
table, pinning the selvedges together.
pattern for front with the hem to the edge of the lining,
See that the waist line is
allowing a hem ih in. deep.
straight with the goods.
Pin the pattern
in several
placcs, and with steel tracing wheel or the sewing machine, trace for the seams at the edge of the pattern.
Trace the hems^ the darts, and waist line. In cutting,
allow seams ^ in. for shoulders,
in. for under-arm seam.
It is not necessary to allow seams at neck and armscye.
Place the back pattern on the lining, the centre seam toward the selvedge and the waist line even with the grain
of the goods.
The waist line of centre back, under-arm
and side form must be cut straight on the grain of goods,
or at right angles with the selvedge.
square or rule
is indispensable for keeping the parts straight.
All parts
of the lining must be cut the same way of the goods.
cutting, allow seams \ in. deep on the back, side forms,
and back seam of under-arm piece. The seam joining
the front cut i inch. Cut the seams to be joined together
as nearly even as possible.
Trace as directed for seams
and waist lines.
The Sleeve Pattern has an elbow line, which is to
be kept straight with the grain of the goods. The back
of the upper sleeve will be nearly bias, and the back of
the under above the elbow will be straight. Allow seams
and trace
edge of pattern.
— Basting
linings to goods, and basting seams,
are explained on page 14.
To cut a waist without a lining, mark the seams with
pencil or chalk, or baste on a paper lining, which is torn
out when the parts are joined.
Re-fitting. Where an inaccurate method of drafting
employed, or in using purchased patterns, a cheap
silesia pattern must be first fitted, from which the waist
lining is to be cut.
Measure the form to be fitted as folis
Size of bust, size of waist, length under-arm, length of
back, length of sleeve. Compare the measure to the pattern by measuring across the front and back at height
under-arm, measuring waist front and back, leaving out
the dart seams.
^Measure length under-arm and length
of sleeve.
Make such changes as may seem necessary.
Cut the lining, as directed on page 25, and baste carefully together.
Baste the seams on the ivrong side of the
— 2« —
lining, that in fitting the right side will be rext to the
form and the seams on the outside, the more readily to
be refitted. Tr\- the waist on. Pin the fronts together
in a seam, and observe the following rules of proportion
given for medium figure
(i). The centre front line curves out a little from neck
to bust, and slopes in toward the waist.
Below the waist
the line curves out again.
(2). The line in the centre of back is not curved, but
slants gradually from neck to waist, the threads of the
cloth forming a
down the back.
(3). The round seam in back crosses the bust line
half-way between the under -arm and the center back
The round forms
at arm-holes should be from i to
gradually widening toward the waist line
to two or two and one-half in. in width.
(5). The under-arm seams of fronts should be straight
with the goods above the waist, rounding out over the
J in. in width,
(6). The under piece will often be wider at the armhole than at the waist line, it should never be narrower.
(7). The forward dart should be from one and a half
to two inches from the front, and the space between the
1st and 2d darts from | to i in.
The dart seams are
taken deepest at the waist line, slanting to a point three
inches below the bust line and from waist line to bottom
of basque.
They should be straight with the cloth. If
the darts are too deep the bust and shoulders will be too
large, and no amount of fitting will remedy the defect.
(8). Shoulder seams should be placed rather back of
the top of the shoulder, and should fit without a wrinkle.
(9). The arm-hole should be cut high on the shoulder,
and comfortably loose in front. The back arm-hole
should fit snug, and not so cut as to cause the sleeve to
cover a portion of the back.
(10). The lines below the waist are but continuations
of the waist seams.
The front to the hips should be fitted
quite close, while the back should be amply full to fit over
the tournure.
(i i). The two sides of a waist should be exactly alike,
unless cut for a deformity.
The centre back should
measure at waist line i^ to 2 in. The side forms 2 to 2j^,
— 29 —
and the under-arm piece, a trifle wider than either.
plain cuirass basque cannot be made to fit gracefully over
the tournure, and should be slashed at the seams.
(12). The sleeve should fit smoothly, the back seam
crossing the elbow. The forward seam follows a line
slight fullfrom the palm of the hand to the arm-hole.
ness is desirable at the top of the shoulder. The remainLeave
der of the sleeve is sewed into the arm-hole plain
the wrist quite loose to readily admit the hand, as when
completed it is considerably smaller.
Should the waist require changes, comlining to the corset, front, underarm, waist-line, and back, so that it will not slip to one
If the center back is to be taken up, it should be
its entire length.
Do not change the side forms if it
can be avoided, as it is the most difficult form to change
mence by pinning the
the waist.
(2). Draw the cloth forward, and fit at the under-arm
seams, to regulate the size of waist and bust.
(3). Fit the dart, by pinning from top to bottom,
keep them straight, and just deep enough to keep the
cloth under the arm smooth.
If the lining wrinkles from
the arm-hole to top of dart, the dart seams are too deep.
(4). Fit the shoulders by drawing up the cloth, front
and back, stretch the front seam, and full the back.
When pinning together, fit first at the neck, then at armhole, then between.
Do not draw either front or back
to one side, but keep the lining straight from waist-line
to seam.
Pin the shoulder seams the same depth. With
a piece of sharp-pointed chalk mark the waist-line all
around, that the same parts may come together on each
surrounding seam. Mark, also, the hems for the fronts,
and the shape of the basque around the bottom.
Take the lining off carefully, follow all the pinned
seams with thread or chalk tracer, remove the pins,
straighten carefully any crookedness of the seam-lines,
see that the corresponding parts are the same size, and
rectify any unevenness at neck and armscye.
This pattern (which is to be preserved for future use), may now
be transmitted by the tracing wheel to the waist-lining.
— 30 —
makin^j^ up silks or wool goods of
customary to insert one or more thicknesses of sheet wadding between the outside and lining
of the fronts.
It must be tacked to the lining before
cutting the dress-goods. If the arm-hole is too loose,
pad with several thickness of wadding at the lower part
light texture,
of front arm-hole.
The method
of cutting the goods, basting, and
finishing, has been already explained,
proceed to the stitching.
and we
Before stitching waist or skirt seams, see that all are
evenly marked, and so securely basted that they will not
slip apart.
If lengthwise pleats in dress fronts extend
to the darts, the underside of them must be cut away to
avoid seaming in with the dart-seams, as the stitching
through them folds them out of place. It is better to so
fold pleats at the waist that the difficulty is avoided.
The waist-seams should be sewed with sewing silk of the
same color, and with a short stitch and moderately tight
Stitch upon all the seams, folded forward,
except the darts. Stitch perfectly straight, and if desired to
the waist a
looser or tighter,
it is
only necessary to stitch a very little inside or outside the
seam, as there are eleven lengthwise waist seams, and
the least fraction on each one makes quite a difference
on the waist. Stitching draws the seams so much closer
that the waist will be some tighter, even if sewed exactly
as basted.
Ornamental stitching must be upon two
thicknesses of goods.
Collar. Cut the canvas lining two inches wide, and
long enough to fit the neck of the dress, allowing for
seams (do not get it too small). Make same as a cuff.
Sew the outside and canvas to the neck, in a seam, and
fell the lining over the seam.
The middle of the collar
must join the center back seam. For rolling collar, cut
two straight pieces of goods, and interlining, as long as
the neck of the dress, and from 2h to 3 inches wide.
Leave the corners square, sew linings to neck-seam on
the r/^/it side, and fell the outside over the seam.
Cuffs. For plain cufts, cut a lining- of canvas to fit
the sleeve at the bottom, allowing for seams. Baste the
outside on first, basting all around the edges, then sew
on a lining of the goods, stitch the seam, cut the corners
away quite close, turn, and be sure the corners are quite
Baste to the sleeve, then face the wrist with a
narrow bias fold of the dress goods.
Tack the top of
cuff at sleeve seams.
The amateur
reminded that there
no royal road
Success depends mostly upon a
to the art of draping.
tasteful arrangement of a sufficient amount of goods, in
a style adapted to the figure of the wearer.
In a work of this kind, in which no fashions are described, we can but give a few general rules and hints.
Magazines containing illustrations of new designs are
easily procured, and should be carefully studied.
attempting to cut a drapery, choose some particular
style, and then do your utmost to follow it.
breadths must be cut wide enough to pass the hips and
extend under the back widths. The back must be confined to the back, and not in any case extend ox'er the
Shawl-draperies are square breadths of goods, draped
to form a distinct point, by drawing one side up to the
top, and pleating both the edges into one waist band.
The corner is left loose on wrong side, forming a long
loop on the right side. These draperies are not adapted
to narrow goods, the seams running through them
lengthwise being very unsightly.
It is better to cut the
wrong way of goods, and then piecing runs across the
Square back draperies are cut square, one and onehalf yards each way being ample.
Three sides are to be
hemmed, the top pleated into a band not longer than
one-third the size of waist. Work a buttonhole in each
end, and sew buttons to match, on the skirt band; leave
each side open for a placket. Put the dress skirt on an
adjustable dress-figure, or the person, and pin the front
breadth to place, then button on the back, and drape
first at the sides, regulating the length.
Tack the drap-
— 32 —
ery to the foundation skirt in iany way to carry out the
design, giving attention to preserving the outlines, then
drape in the middle.
Large and irregular
and loops are more graceful
than small and regular ones; indeed, severity
ing the folds is to be avoided.
in dispos-
Apron Front. Cut one breadth of double width
goods allow one-half yard of length for draping, cut the
top edge straight, and round the lower edge from centre
Turn down the
front to half the length on the sides.
edge at the top, and sew to the skirt band. Face the
bottom, and fold the pleats on the sides bias of the
goods. This will leave the selvedge " zig-zag.' Draw
the folds well towards the back and sew to the skirt.
An apron front cannot be handsomely draped from a
square. Tasteful draperies appear from time to time
formed in bag shapes, and disposed in various ways, the
widths (if of narrow goodsj, are cut double the desired
length, one lengthwise seam run, and either the top or
the bottom fastened to the belt, the remaining end looped
to suit the occasion.
Draping a breadth in two wing-like points is accomplished by cutting a very wide piece of goods a trifle
longer than the measure, and drawing the middle fold
hem high in close pleats; sew them very firmly to the
skirt, and finish the top with a band.
The "tie-backs,"
or rubbers holding the skirt steels in place are
are needed to arrange the draperies.
For Plain Basque, of goods 54
2| "
Skirt and Drapery, of goods 54
wide, required, i^ yds.
wide, required,
— 33 —
Suits of cotton
Velvet vest,
yd. wide, 12 to 14 yds.
f;^oods, J
collar, | yd. is required.
and reveres on basque, ^ yd. is required.
drapery. Polonaise, 54 iri- ^oods, 4 yds. is required.
Cuffs, collar
For waist and sleeve
ored preferable.
For foundation skirt,
yds. of 24
linings, 2 yds. best silesia, light col-
Crinoline for trimmings, one yard.
skirt braid.
the skirt is to be finished with cord at the edge, one
ball of candle-wick will be needed.
One card of hooks and eyes.
Seven whalebones or stays.
Two spools sewing silk.
One spool thread.
One spool basting thread,
i^ doz. buttons.
Two spools twist.
Set of bustle steels.
If the seams are to be bound, procure one bolt of lustring
ribbon for the purpose.
Dress shields.
Three plain flat buttons
for the belt.
Choose a design siu'ted to your dress material. If the
material is rich velvet, brocade or shaggy goods, choose
a design displaying the goods in plain panels or unbroken
lines of drapery.
On the other hand, if the goods be soft
or loosely woven, any amount of looping, pleating or ruffling may be tastefully carried into effect.
Wiry or stiff
goods will not drape gracefully they are more suitable
for plain or kilt skirts and plain draperies.
— 34 —
In adaptiiif^ the dress to the shape and size of the
wearer, a certain knf)\vlcd<^e of drawin^f and of proper
proportions is the chief help. There are, however, a few
well ascertained rules which may safely be tau<,dit.
for instance, is that transverse shapes generally tend to
lessen the height, and increase the breadth, while longiNothing goes so
tudinal lines have the opposite effect.
far to redeem unusual size as complete repose both in
form and color. Much trimming, loose bows and streamers, frills and furbelows, and caprices of all kinds, are apt to
be intolerable when magnified, although on a small scale
they may [)lease, proportion almost reversing the effect.
Short women should never wear double skirts, unless the
draperies are either very short or very long, as the height
Let fussy deis greatly decreased by the broken line.
signs, and goods with sprawling or large patterns be left
The goods and the
to women tall enough to wear them.
style of making must be suited to the age and the circumstances of the wearer. Extremes should be avoided,
and a quiet harmony pervade the attire.
Bouffant, — Full puffed.
Burnous, — Bias folds or pleats.
Corsage, — The dress waist.
Double-breasted, — One front lapped over the other.
En-suite, — In company; together.
Jacket, — A sack, or loose upper garment.
Jabot, — A cascade, or
Negili(;ee, — An easy, unceremonious dress.
Plastron, — A vest.
Postilion, — Pleated skirt of basque.
Reveres, — Turned back corners reversed.
TUNICQUE, — An overskirt.
Tabelier, — The front of overskirt.
Tournure, — Back of dress
curving out from
Sash, — An ornamental belt, or bows and ends.
Yoke, — The waist above the bust
Watteau, — A long, loose pleat.
Applk^UE, Applied, or sewn in
Bizarre, Conspicuous loud.
— 35 —
Good sewing is more desirable than elaborate designing in garments for children's wear. Choose good, firm
materials and follow some pattern, either illustrated in a
fashion journal or copied from some dress already made.
When a boughtcn pattern is used it is only necessary to
measure the child around the waist and bust, the length
of back, sleev^e and skirt, and compare the measure to
If it is to be enlarged, cut a new pattern,
the pattern.
allowing a very little upon each seam. If the pattern is
found to be too small, it is best to cut a new pattern,
making the changes at centre of front and back, and on
under-arm seams, and not changing the round seams of
back. When no pattern is at hand, an old lining must
be used as a guide. Measure it at bust, waist and length
of back, see that the under-arm seam of front is straight,
and the width of front at bust and waist equal to onefourth of the bust measure. Do not take up any darts.
The centre back seam slants from neck to waist, narrowing one-half an inch at waist. The centre back at waist
measures from 2 to 2.\ inches, and the under-arm seam
Below the waist each
slants in from armscye to waist.
seam is sloped out to the bottom of the garment. Pleats
below the waist in the backs of children's waists always
give them a short-waisted look, and are to be avoided.
Draped overdresses are not appropriate for girls
under lO.
The length of the dress skirt must be regFor very young children, yokes and
ulated by fashion.
The }'oke and
full skirts are simple and easily made.
sleeves are fitted first, and the skirt seamed, hemmed, and
Butlastly set into the yoke between lining and outside.
tons and buttonholes finish the opening of yoke.
Kilts for small boys are pleated breadths set into a
band without any foundation skirt under them. The
pleats are pressed quite hard and taped underneath near
the top.
Infants' wardrobes are to be made of the finest materials, beautifull)' sewed by hand, only the most delicate
Coarse trimmings
of lace or embroidery is admissible.
detract instead of adorn any garment worn by a babe.
Patterns for these garments come in sets, and are to
be found at any pattern store.
-36Children's under waists are cut in four parts: fronts and
The neck should be just low enough
two halves of b;ick.
The waist should be
to be well below the dress neck.
A two-inch hem or facing,
plain and without sleeves.
finishes the bottom, in which an extra thickness of lining
Sew on four butis inserted to better stay the buttons.
tons, at waist, front, back and each under-arm seam, to
which the skirts and drawers are fastened by buttonholes.
Drawers for girls are always made close, and open on
both sides. It is best to make the seat an inch longer
than is needed at the time, and a tuck run across, thus
It is better to lengthen the garallowing for growth.
ment at this point than at any other. The band should
be of three thicknesses that the buttonholes may not tear
making little garments from the least worn portions
of large ones, select the'very best for the waist and sleeves
as there is much hard wear upon these parts of the dress.
Use a firm lining of silesia or drill; cambric is far too unserviceable.
Press out all seams and folds before cutting
the goods, and so manage, in laying on the lining, as to
avoid any bad spots, freshen the garment by the addition
of new collars and cuffs of contrasting color or material.
novice should not attempt combining two materials in
a suit without strictly adhering to a design, as there is
much to be considered in such suits, and any incongruity
is very noticeable.
Choose simple designs and follow
them carefull}'. Do the work well, and the most unprofessional dressmaker need not be ashamed of her efforts.
Although gentlemen's shirts are usually purchased
it is sometimes necessary or expedient to
make them at home, especially those made from flannel
or coarse materials. The cut shows a shirt drafted by
Mrs. Ross' Tailor System, and is drafted from actual
Where cut paper patterns are used, the size
of the shirt is entirel)' controlled b}- the size of the collar
worn, and the garment is therefore frequently too large.
Measure the pattern from neck to wrist and see that it
corresponds with the measure of the form from neck to
It is a great mistake to cut the sleeves too lone".
— 37 —
Bef^in by doubling the cloth lengthwise, and upon it
place the pattern, the middle of both front and back to
be on the fold of the cloth. Pin the pattern down and
cut around it, allowing a narrow seam.
Cut the sleeve
long enough to form a facing around the armhole, unless
the garment is lined both back and front.
If the shirt is
open in the back, cut a placket sixteen inches deep on
the fold, and sew a lap on the left side, fold a narrow hem
on the right-hand side and lap the left side over the right
and stay the end firmly. If the shirt is to be open in
front, cut an opening on fold ten to twelve inches deep,
and in adjusting the bosom see that the middle of bosom
is exactly on fold.
The bosom is made and sewn to the
front before any seams are joined.
Sew the shoulder
seam, sew the wristbands to the sleeves, join the sleeve
to the garment, then seam the sleeve and the shirt body.
Cut the neck band and sew to the neck, being careful not
to stretch the latter.
The band, when done aiid buttoned,
should measure one-half inch less than the collar size.
For a plain shirt it is better to finish the neck with a
rolling collar instead of a neck band, for which cut a
piece of the shirt goods to fit the neck of the shirt in
length, and about six inches wide.
Leave the corners
-38square and join in a scam to the shirt, felh'njT the outside
These collars are suitable only
of collar over the seam.
for shirts open in front, and should not extend over the
lap over the opening.
Flannel shirts are made open in front with the bosom
sewn on one side and across the bottom, and the other
side finished with buttonholes and buttons.
Before American women can dress perfectly, they
must have the taste of the French, especially in color.
One reason why we
see colors illy arranged, is, that the
purchased each for its own imagined
virtue, and without any thought as to what is to be worn
with it. Women, while shopping, buy what pleases the
eye, on the counter, forgetting what they have at home.
That parasol is pretty, but it will kill, by its color, one
dress in the buyer's wardrobe, and be unsuitable for the
Never buy an article unless it is suitable to your
age, habit, style, and the rest of your wardrobe.
Nothing is more vulgar than to wear costly jewels with a common delaine, or cheaj) lace with expensive brocades.
tlifferent articles are
colors, it may be asked, go best together.''
violet; cold colors with dark crimson or lilac;
Green with
pale blue with scarlet; pink with black and white; and
gray with scarlet or pink. A cold color generally requires a warm tint to give life to it.
Gray and pale blue,
for instance, do not combine well, both being cold colors.
White and black arc safe to wear but the latter is not
favorable to dark or pale complexions. The selection of
colors suitable to the complexion is a matter that is too
often neglected.
The most comel}' woman in the world would never be
beautiful in a dark blue hat and a purple dress, or in the
dark blue hat, by itself, if she were afflicted with a sallow
complexion. Yellow is a very trying color, and can only
be worn by the rich toned brunettes, who require bright
colors, such as scarlet and orange, to bring out the brilliant tints in their complexions.
Black may be worn with
any color, though it looks best with the lighter shades of
the different colors.
Blue is suited to golden or yellow
fair complexion.
Two vividly concolors should not be used in equal quantities
upon a dress, as they are both so positive in tone that
they divide and distract the attention. The lighter shade
should compose the body of the dress, and the darker
form the trimmings. Certain colors should never, under
any circumstances, be worn together, since they {produce
positive discord to the eye.
Red and yellow, red and
blue (ex'cept in very deep shades), and scarlet and crimson, should never be united.
Gray is a most beautiful color for old and young the
soft silver gray which is formed of equal parts of black
and white, with no touch of mauve in it. It admits of
an)' color in trinmiing, and throws up the bloom of the
On the simple principle of harmony, every dress
should be adapted, as perfectly as can be convenietly
done, to the coloring, the size, and the shape of the
wearer. It is safe to say that such very delicate col6rs
as lavender, dove-color, sea-green, pale blue, etc., require
fine materials, as they soon become soiled and faded in
common or coarse materials, and much of their beauty is
due to the bloom given by silks or other delicate goods.
How often is our attention attracted towards some persons by their appearance, and the harmony of their attire,
when nothing is personally known of them.
It is recorded that Napoleon was first attracted towards Josephine by the pleasing effect produced in the
contrasting colors of her drapery, and that of a crimson
chair upon which she was sitting.
and to those of
A great secret in making money do its duty, and in
tempting it to stretch to its furthest limit, is to keep
clothes and all the accessories in order.
If you make a
new gown for yourself, or have it made at a dress-maker's,
you should first try it on, to see that it has the right
number of buttons, button-holes, strings and hang-ups;
that the skirt hangs evenly all around; that no "sham"
is exposed, and that it is complete in every particular.
See that all bastings are removed, and that there are no
hancfine threads.
— 40 —
When all is satisfactory, fold the basque flat and lay
on a closet shelf, the trimming bows stuffed out with paper,
and the bodice carefully wrapped up and kept free from
Never turn a dress-skirt wrong side out, and either
hang it up, or fold it neatly and lay in a long box.
Wash goods are better folded, as they are not so apt to
become limp or stringy. Care has a great deal to do
with preserving the freshness of a dress. If thrown down
when it is taken off, or worn about the house
upon each and every occasion, a new garment will very
soon look old and unfit to be worn upon the street.
Every particle of dust should be removed from a black
silk or poplin every time it is worn, for nothing cuts
either out so soon as these often imperceptible little
motes, with which the air of a city is filled, where coal is
in such universal use.
The most carefully kept dress will need some renovating after doing service one year, and if it is only soiled,
it can be freshened and cleaned without ripping entirely
Remove the breadth to be cleaned, and wash or
sponge with a decoction of soap bark or weak ammonia
water. If only a spot here and there are cleaned, the
grease or soil will frequently spread instead of being reAlways try a small
moved, and the spot made worse.
piece of the goods first to be sure it will bear cleaning
with any liquid, if it will not, try cleaning with gasoline
If the dress is to be ripped apart and enor benzine.
remodeled, all seams must be ripped, linings reBrush off all loose
moved, and all threads picked out.
dust, and after cleaning, press all pieces with a hot flatSee that the ironing sheet is
iron upon the wrong side.
perfectly smooth, as any wrinkles will show upon the
Cashmere and some other soft, all-wool goods are not
injured by washing, but no soap should be used during
the process, as it gives the cloth a shiny look when
Black silks are stiffened and improved by
Black lawn
sponging in cold coffee on the wrong side.
— 41 —
dresses can be fresliened without rippint^ apart, by spongwith bluing water, and pressing upon the
iiiL^ li;^htly
wrong side when just a little damp.
In remodeling, the object is to give to the garment
the appearance of a new one, and any dingy or worn
spots should be cut away in making the changes.
If it
is necessary to purchase some new goods to combine with
the old, it should be arranged where it will receive the
new waist and
most wear, as in the waist and sleeves.
drapery with a made-over skirt will do excellent service.
If the new goods imtst go into the skirt, try to cut the
sleeves out of the best of the old material.
To raise the pile on velvet, place a thick wet cloth
over a hot flatiron (holding the iron face up) and over
this place a dry cloth an assistant should hold the velvet
.NAT V\\ over the iron, and raise the pile w ith a very fine
brush, passing the velvet slowly over the iron until it is
Crapes may be treated in a like mannicely freshened.
ner with eood results.
The Sewing Room,
Plain Needle Work,
Punning Seam and Gathers,
French Gathers,
To Even
To Set Gathers to a Band,
Flannel Seams,
Finishing Seams,
Sewing on Tapes,
Waist Facings,
Skirt Facings,
Hooks and Eyes,
Lace Edging,
Sewing on Buttons,
Folding Pleats,
Basting Linings to Goods,
Front Lining,
Back Lining,
Sleeve Lining,
Basting the Waist,
Basting the Sleeve,
— 44 —
Basting the Skirt,
Polonaise or Wrappers,
Plain Buttonhole,
Lessons in Cutting,
Bias Cutting,
Hook and Eye
Gored Skirt,
To Baste,
Pieces, or Braces,
Plain Drawers,
Joining Biases,
Straight Breadths,
The Corset,
° from Patterns,
The Sleeve Pattern,
The Waist Pattern,
Dress Materials,
Children's Clothes,
Plain Shirt,
Selection of Colors,
Care of Clothes,
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