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.
Fig. 80 - Pattern of a basque.
To pin the lining to the model form: From one end of the fold of the hem, measure vertically 4 1/2 in. From the same end, measure horizontally 2 in. Cut the curve from 4 1/2 in. to 2 in., place the 4 1/2 in. point at the lower part of the front neck and pin the hem to the centre of the front, placing the pins 1 1/2 in. apart. Pin down the desired length for a basque.
To form the darts :From the folded edges of the hem at the fullest part of the chest, measure horizontally to the left 3 in. and 5 1/2 in., place a pin at the 3 in. point and at 5 1/2 in. point, for the top of the darts. Pin the darts in the same manner as in the round waist, fitting the seams below the waist line. The darts will now be 2 1/2 in. apart at the top, 1 in. apart at the waist line, and 1 1/2 in. at the lower edge of the basque. Draw the lining smoothly and pin it to the shoulder. From the folded edges of the hem smooth and pin the lining to the arm-size and under the arm; cut the arm-size.
To fit the under-arm pieces : Pin vertically two straight pieces of the lining together (to hold the under pieces together while fitting); pin these pieces by a horizontal thread to the waist line, and pin by a vertical thread from the waist line to the arm-size; continue the front curve of the arm-size by cutting these pieces; pin the fronts to the under-arm pieces, making the curve for the body on the fronts and below the waist line. This makes the first under-arm seam.
To fit the back :Using the cloth double, fold 1 1/2 in. as for a hem, pin this fold down the centre of the back, placing the pins 1 1/2 in. apart. Five in. above the waist line, pin a dart beginning with one thread (as in a front dart), curve this dart to the form, making it 1/2 in. wide at the waist line; then curve outward below the waist line to fit the form. Beginning at the neck, smooth the lining from the pinned fold to the shoulder, pin the front and back together for the shoulder seam, which should be 5 in. long. Make this seam 1 in. back from the top of the shoulder.
To cut the back arm-size and curve for the side form: -Cut vertically downward 3 in. from the lower end of the shoulder seam for the back arm-size; from this point cut the curve for the side form, making the back centre pieces 2 in. wide at the waist line.
To fit the side form : Pin two straight pieces of the lining by a horizontal thread to the waist line and pin by a vertical thread from the waist line to the upper part of the curve; pin this side form smoothly to the curve, taking 1/4 in. seam from the back curve; this seam curves the side form exactly like the back; below the waist line the side form has a straight edge. (We are describing a plain basque, - all these seams can be altered at the fancy of the maker.) The curve to fit the body below the waist line is cut on the front edge of the back centre pieces. Pin the side forms to the under-arm piece. Having brought the front and back smoothly together, begin pinning these parts together half-way between the waist line and the arm-size; from this point continue pinning the seam down to the waist line, then pin from the centre of the seam to the arm-size. By following these directions, the seam will not wrinkle. The curve to fit the body below the waist line is cut on the back edge of the under-arm piece. When all the seams are securely pinned, take the pins from the front hem and from the back centre fold, pare all the seams to within 1 in. of the pins. Make a notch in every seam at the waist line for guides to commence basting the different parts together. A dress waist, to be in good proportion, should have that part of the waist lining which is between the last dart and first under-arm seam nearly equal in measurement to the back side form and under-arm piece (or pieces).
If the eye is trained in proportions, a good pattern may be cut without exact measurement.
A round waist or a basque lining may be fitted to a pupil's form in the same manner. Before fitting to the form, let a pupil draw on the blackboard a picture of a round waist like Fig. 79; then, on a pupil's form, measure from the top of the neck curve to the waist line; take her chest measure according to direction for the tier; make an oblong from these measurements, using the first measure for the length, and one-half of the second measure for the width of the oblong; divide this oblong into four parts by connecting the middle points of the opposite sides. In this oblong draw freehand a picture of a round waist, using the dividing lines as guides for its proportions. This practice is a great help in learning proportions.
Thin white cotton is best for lining a wash dress, because it has no color to stain the dress when it is laundered. This lining should be laundered before cutting, then the shrinking will not affect the fitting. For a girl fourteen years old, 1 yd. of lining is needed for a round waist, and 1 1/4 yds. of lining for a basque.
Choose from the book of models the pattern from which to make a dress. Make a picture of this on the blackboard with colored crayons, and on drawing paper with pencil and colored inks (Fig. 81). Then cut from stiff manilla paper a waist and skirt lining, as if for a good-sized doll; baste these together and use them for a foundation over which striped or checked tissue paper can be pasted or sewed in the style chosen, being careful to match checks or stripes. This gives a model in miniature (see Fig. 82).
Fig. 81. - Pupil's drawing from a book of models.
Then take the thinnest kind of manilla paper to represent the dress material, and pin it over the dress lining in the same manner as the tissue paper was arranged on the small model. Use the manilla paper for a pattern from which to cut the dress material.