This section is from the book "Progressive Lessons In The Art and Practice of Needlework", by Catherine F. Johnson. Also available from Amazon: Progressive Lessons In The Art And Practice Of Needlework.
From the paper patterns cut in the fourth year the pupils may now cut and make undergarments of fine white cotton. Flannel skirts are cut and made, either lengthwise or widthwise of the flannel; the seams are finished with herringbone or feather stitching; the hem is embroidered, if the pupil desires it. Diagrams are drawn for long tiers and for sleeves. The model form is studied (illustration of model form, Fig. 72).
If very good and careful work has been done in plain sewing, the pupil may select from their drawing lessons a design to arrange for embroidery or advanced Mexican work, and when the stitches have been thoroughly learned, a large part of this work can be done at home, thus leaving the study hours for that part of the work which must be done under the supervision of the teacher.
Study of the model form compared with the pupil's form: Study the general character of the model form and describe it.
The front is curved, the back is flat, the sides curve in slightly from the arm-size to the waist line, then curve outward.
Look at the cloth cover on the form; into how many parts is it divided? Tell the name of each part. Front, under-arm piece, back, side form for the back. These parts are joined together by seams.
Tell the names of these seams.
Dart or bias seams, under-arm seams (all seams from the last dart to the side-form seams are called under-arm seams), side-form seam (this is a curved seam and joined to the back), back centre seam, and shoulder seam. The fronts are joined or closed by a hem, but when the waist is opened at the back, a hem closes the back.
Notice the length of those parts which extend from the neck to the lower part of the waist; look at the shorter parts; notice and describe the dart seams.
The use of a dart or bias is to lessen the fulness of the cloth and make the part smaller.
Measure around the lower part of the waist for a belt. Make a belt 1 1/2 in. wide and 2 in. longer than the waist measure, so that one end of the belt can lie over the other end for a lap. Pin this belt close around the smallest part of the waist, that all vertical measurements may be made from its lowest edge, that edge being called the waist line.
1. From the lower part of the neck curve, measure vertically to the waist line; this makes a front centre line.
2. Measure from the lower edge of the front centre of the belt to the upper edge of the shoulder seam on the neck. Make a note of this and all following measurements.
3. Measure horizontally from the lower part of the shoulder to the front centre line. Observe the distance from the centre line to the first dart seam and to the second dart seam. Measure horizontally the distance from the top of the darts to this centre line, also from these darts at the waist line to the centre line. Compare these measures; tell how they differ; notice that the cloth has been drawn into a small space to make this difference. Measure horizontally from the top of the last dart to the first under-arm seam; to the second under-arm seam. At the waist line, from the last dart, measure to these under-arm seams. Compare these measurements; tell how they differ. From the waist line at the centre of the back measure vertically to the centre of the back neck. Measure horizontally from the lower edge of the shoulder seam to this back centre seam; from the lower part of the back arm-size, measure horizontally to this back centre seam. Notice where the side form joins the back by a curved seam, and where this curved seam begins at the back arm-size. At the waist line, measure the distance from the back centre seam to this curved seam; measure from this curved seam to the second under-arm seam at the waist line. On the blackboard make a diagram of these parts. Make diagrams on paper, cut them out, pin them to the form, and see how they compare with the parts of the cover. When a pupil has gained a knowledge of the form, let her take a sheet of thin manilla paper and make a pattern of the cloth cover by pinning the paper to the form and using its seams as a guide for the seams in her paper pattern. Then make a pattern in cloth. When a satisfactory pattern has been made in cloth, let the pupil tell in writing how she made it. Take measurements like these on the pupil's form and cut a paper pattern from them. Let a teacher not be discouraged when her pupil fails to make a perfect pattern from these measurements, since this is but preparatory work, and pupils have not yet sufficient judgment necessary for perfect work.
Fig. 72. -Model form.