Designing Without Patterns

Exercises in laying box plaits, hems, measuring tucks, and the decoration of ruffles and the body parts of undergarments, afford abundant opportunity for fine application of the principles of design in relation of spaces, proportion of parts, and appropriateness of decoration. Study designs of undergarments in fashion books, catalogues and displays in the stores for inspiration and suggestion. Use pattern or tissue paper for practice work in making up designs (Fig. 63).

Hems are used as the finish of various parts and edges of garments, both outer and under. Narrow hems are used on the lower edges of peplum, dust ruffles, plaitings, neck and sleeve ruffling, top edges of garments, such as corset covers, chemises, night-dresses, etc. Wide hems are used to finish the lower edges of flounces and skirts, the front and lower edges of under and outer garments. Individual taste must decide upon the hem appropriate to various uses.

Fig. 63.   Designs showing arrangement of tucks, plaits, and box plaits.

Fig. 63. - Designs showing arrangement of tucks, plaits, and box plaits.

To Lay A Hem

(a) Fold edge of cloth one-eighth inch deep to wrong side, then again, the desired width; (b) fold one-quarter inch first to wrong side, crease, and fold again the desired width. Hems on front edges of undergarments, blouses, etc., are often folded with both turnings the entire width desired. Variety of design may be secured in planning hems, by shaping the upper or lower edges. Lower edges may be scalloped and buttonholed; the upper edges may be shaped. Plain or French hems may be decorated with featherstitching (Figs. 125 and 127).

Box plaits (as finish) are used to finish the right hand edge of the openings of both under- and outergarments. The width of the plaits must be determined by the type of garment to be made, and the kind of material to be used. The plaits for undergarments should be narrower than those on shirtwaists and blouses. Hems for the under side of openings are laid one-eighth inch narrower than on the box plaits. To lay a box plait for a garment opening for practice, fold twice the desired width.

Problem I

Cut six strips of paper five by eight inches; practice laying hems of various widths; write name in upper left-hand corner and state the use to which this particular hem might be put.

Problem II

Cut four strips of paper twelve by twenty-five inches, design on one edge of each of these, box plaits and hems such as might be used for the right-hand side of lingerie blouses and shirtwaists. Baste plaits with colored thread, using an uneven basting to simulate 3titching. Mark the direction of the buttonholes lengthwise in the center of front plait, and crosswise in the hem or coat opening for front, and in box plait for back opening, the outer end of the buttonhole three-eighth to one-half inch from edge of the garment, in hems and equi-distant from edges of box-plait.