There are over four hundred different systems of dress-drafting used in the United States, and any one of these to be of use requires constant practice.

Patterns are now easily obtained, and by using judgment and following the given directions carefully, will be found of great assistance. Patterns allowing for seams are easier to cut from, than those which do not.

The trimmings needed for a plain basque are linings, sewing silk, button-hole twist, basting cotton, buttons or hooks and eyes, and whale-bones.

The main parts of a plain basque pattern are front, back, side-back, under-arm, collar, upper-sleeve, and under-sleeve.

The front pattern can be distinguished from the back pattern by the shape of the neck and arm-scye, the neck of the front being cut lower, and the arm-scye being cut larger and having more of a curve. The upper-sleeve portion is wider than the under-sleeve portion, in order to bring the seams more under the arms.

The edge of the hem of the opening should be laid on the selvedge, to avoid making two folds in the hem.

Great care must be taken to baste the seams of a basque according to the marks; few beginners realize that the difference of an eighth of an inch in the width of the seven seams, around the waist, will amount to one and three-fourths inches. Even basting stitches should be used. After the basque is basted, try it on. Alterations for tightening or loosening the basque, around the waist, should be made at the under-arm seams.

After the seams are sewed, take out the bastings; pare the seams, making notches at the waist-line, and two inches above the waist-line, to allow for the curving of the dress. The under-arm seams may be left wider than the others, that the basque may be let out.

Press the seams open. Overcast the seams closely, or bind them with a narrow silk binding obtainable for this purpose.

Whale-bone casings can be bought, or a bias strip of silesia can be sewed on to the seams, fulling it a little. Soak the whale-bones in hot water for an hour, before using, which will render them soft and pliable enough to sew through. They should be firmly fastened an inch above and an inch below the waist-line.

To finish the lower edge of the basque, baste a bias strip of plain lining muslin, two inches wide, on the edge of the basque; then fold the edges over half-an-inch, and catch them to the lining, fastening securely at the seams. Put on a facing of a thin material cut on the bias.

Fig. 111.

Fig. 111. - Doll's patterns.