Her every-day school dresses are of much importance to the girl preparing to enter college. Of her "Sunday best" she is sure-but what shall she have for every-day wear in the classroom, on the campus, for the thousand and one occasions when she must be neatly and plainly dressed, and yet wants to be stylish and smart as the other girls? It is just this difficulty which I propose to solve for her in this lesson, and if you are the anxious mother, charged with the task of getting her ready for college, you will be as glad of the help as she.
The dress illustrated in Fig. I is most appropriate for this purpose, besides being a chic and charming frock. It is developed here in a black and white checked serge with collar and girdle of black satin and super collar of white voile. Serge is a material, as you well know, which gives the utmost of service, retaining its freshness as long as the fibers hold. But besides its lasting qualities, it has an additionally recommendation this fall, the fact that it is on the high tide of popularity, especially in checks and shepherd's plaid.
I have chosen for our model McCall's Pattern for Misses' Dress No. 5428, an up-to-date design which will make your girl as presentable as any of her college mates, no matter how well placed they may be from a worldly point of view. To make this dress you will require just three and a quarter yards of material fifty-four inches wide. Goods of this width will cut to the best advantage if laid out ion the full width as I have illustrated it in the diagram, Fig. 6. Open the goods and lay it out full width on a table, and pin the pieces of the pattern on it in the order shown in the diagram. Of course you must first look your pattern over carefully, to assure yourself that you know what each piece is, before you begin your work. It is also a good plan to study the cut on the back of the envelope and read the directions given there. A little extra time spent in this way at the beginning will be saved in the end because you will not be delayed by putting things together wrong and having to rip them out again.
In placing your pattern note that the rows of four large circles indicate the direction of the grain of the goods. You must observe this, as the "set" of waist or sleeve will be spoiled if it is cut aslant. There are two pieces for the skirt, H and R, two fronts for the waist, bother marked F, and the back of the waist, B, two sleeves, S, two cuffs, D, and the collar, O. You will see in the diagram that half of each skirt gore is marked with a straight line, the other half with a dotted; and also half of the collar and back; one front, one sleeve and one cuff, likewise is shown with straight outline, the other with dotted. This is done because only half the pattern is given; and in cutting the gores, back of waist and collar, cut the part around the straight outline, then unpin the pattern, turn it over along the inner edge, which you must not cut, pin it down again and finish it by cutting around the dotted line. Cut on entire waist front, one sleeve and one cuff, by the pattern, as shown by the straight outline, then place the pattern again as shown by the dotted line, and cut the other waist front sleeve and cuff. Remember, as I have cautioned you in son many these lessons, to cut the notches and mark the circles, both large and small, before removing the pattern from the material. If you are using dark blue serge or other plain material, these circles may be marked with French chalk; but as it would be difficult to find the chalk marks on our black and white checked goods, it would be difficult to find the chalk marks on our black and white checked goods, it would be a good plan to mark them with two colors of thread, black of the large circles and white for the small ones. Thread a needle with the kind of thread that you are using and through the perforation in the pattern take a short stitch in the material, draw the thread through nearly to the end and clip it off, leaving two short ends, which may be lightly tied together to prevent the stitch slipping and thus effacing your mark.
It does not matter which part of the dress you make first, waist or skirt, but we will begin with the waist, therefore fold the pieces for the skirt neatly and lay them aside until they are needed.
Baste the fronts to the back at the shoulder and underarm seams, and the seams of the sleeves, matching the notches. The depth of all seams is indicated by the lines on long perforations. Make any necessary alterations in fitting at these seams; but in the sleeves, only the width may be changed. If the sleeves are too long or too short, the change must be made in the pattern before cutting out the sleeves. If alteration be needed, slash the sleeve pattern across at the elbow, and separate the pasts as much as may be necessary to make the sleeve long enough, or lap them to make it shorter.
After you have fitted the waist, stitch the shoulder seams, but do not stitch the underarm seams and sleeves until after the sleeves are sewed in. Open and press the shoulder seams, and bind the edges neatly with the black silk seam tape. Turn the edge of the armhole three-eighths of an inch to the wrong side, and the top of the sleeve to the right side; lap the armhole over the sleeve three eighths of an inch, or until both raw edges are covered, as you see in Fig. 2; clip the edges slightly, so that the parts will lie flat without puckering; baste them together, and then stitch on both edges. Gather the sleeves at the hand between the crosses, and draw them up to fit the cuffs, having the gathers a little more full on the top than on the under part of the sleeve. Stitch the cuffs to the lower part of the sleeves at one edge only. Baste the cuffs, sleeves, and under-arm, in one continuous seam, taking care to match exactly the joining to the cuffs to the sleeves and the sleeves to the waist, and stitch. Clip the seams so that they will lie flat when opened, press and bind the edges with silk seam binding. Turn under the edge of the cuff three-eighths of an inch, slip a bias piece of soft crinoline inside, cut the width of the cuff minus the two seams, and line the cuffs over this with black silk or satin cut bias. Hem the lining in by hand, covering the raw edges of the cuffs. At the hand the fold edge of the lining should come an eighth of an inch within the fold edge of the cuff. Then under-face the edges of waist fronts with bias strips of black satin one and three-quarter inches wide.
The collar will be pretty made of black satin, with a white one over it, as illustrated in Fig. 1. If you do this, cut one from satin by the pattern, and place it on the collar cut from the checked goods, right sides together, and stitch together around the outside. Do not interline with crinoline, as it should be very soft. Turn the right side, pushing the corners out square, and baste the checked edge of the black satin side over the seam and gem down the hand with very fine stitches.
On the collar pattern you will see a line of small circles put there as a guide for cutting the smaller or top collar. Cut off or fold under the pattern along these circles, and from batiste or cotton voile cut two thickness for the outer collar and seam this as directed for the satin collar. Then bind the neck edge with an inch-wide bias band of the voile or batiste to make a finished collar. This can be basted inside the neck, as seen in Fig. 3, and taken out easily when it needs washing. This outer collar is made the same size as the under collar, so that it will fit quite snug and close over it when worn.
Gather the lower edge of the waist, back and fronts between the crosses and sew to the upper edge of belt cut from one string of drilling two inches wide and long enough to fit the waist snugly after the ands are turned in and lapped. In making the dress with the regulation waistline as I have illustrated it, waist and skirt are both sewed to this belt, and after your skirt is completed, it must be cut off at the top along the line of single large circles, and sewed to the lower edge of the drilling belt. The outside of the belt can then be covered with a strip of the checked material stitched at both edges to cover the raw seams.
After the waist is done, fold it and lay it away on a shelf or in a drawer that it may not be handled and mussed while you are with your work, you know, the better and more professional it will look when completed.
There are only two gores to the skirt, and you will therefore, have just the two side seams to sew. Baste and stitch these along the lines of long perforations. After you have trimmed off the top along the line of large circles, to cut it down to the regulation waistline, you will have to fit it a little more closely over the hips, as all skirts with high waistlines are made a little looser at that point. Open and press the seams and bind as you did the waist. Lay the pleats about the top of the skirt by creasing the material at the small circles and bring the fold edges of the creases over the large circles. Baste around the top and then down each pleat, and press under a damp cloth with a hot iron. Press with a great deal of force, for the style of your skirt will depend upon your success in laying these pleats; and the pressing must hold them, for they are not stitched below the waistline. Fig. 4 gives a construction view of these pleats.
Slash the left side front of the skirt under the pleat, and along the double small circles and bind the edges of the opening with a string of the material in a continuous placket-lap, as illustrated in Fig. 5. Sew the skirt to the belt at the waist as directed above, arranging it so that the edges of right front of waist and skirt opening shall be a straight line. Try it on its wearer to ascertain the proper length of the skirt; turn it up at the lower edge and hem in a three inch hem. Close the fronts underneath with snap hooks and sew braid buttons for ornament down the line of the closing. The dress may be worn with a black patent-leather belt or folded satin girdle, as illustrated.
For the girdle you may, if you like, use a black satin ribbon about four inches wide. This will save any extra trouble in making, as the ribbons may be used just as it comes from the store. It will take about three yards of ribbon to make the sash the proper size and length. To adjust this, place the center front of the waist and pin it fast with the with an invisible pin. Fold it about the waist, crossing in the center-back, and fasten it there again with a pin which will not show. Then bring the edges back to the left side front, slightly folded, encircling the hips below the waistline and at the lower edge of the part which passes about the waist. Do not bring them up to the waist, but drop them about eight inches below the waist and knot them loosely together. Tie a knot in each free end of the ribbon about three inches from the ends are more ornamental than the straight ribbon. If you prefer the soft girdle shown in Fig. 1, cut a lining of crinoline about three inches wide and fit it to the waist with darts. Then cut a strip of black satin and fold it over this lining, hemming the edges down on the wrong side. Bone the darts, and fasten with hooks and eyes. Many persons like the soft, crush girdles, thinking the bones are out. Cover the joining with a wide, flat bow of black satin or with sash ends, looped over the girdle at the waist and terminating in knots.
This article was taken from a 1913 issue of McCall's Magazine and was written by Margaret Whitney.
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