This section is from the book "Text-Book On Domestic Art", by Carrie Crane Ingalls. Also available from Amazon: Textbook On Domestic Art: With Illustrations And Drafts.
Woolens or mixed weaves are much more difficult to cut out, join and finish than cotton materials, consequently a different method is used in working with them. This method is called tailoring, and includes moderate styles with straight lines and perfect curves and an exactness that is not necessary when draping or constructing gowns for fancy effects.
As the tracing wheel, unless it contains pulverized chalk, makes no impression on woolens or heavy woven materials, it is necessary to use tailor's chalk, which comes in most colors, or a loose method of basting that will permit the double thickness of cloth to have a guide-thread left on each piece. If the cloth to be cut out has an up and down, diagonal, or nap to it, each piece must be cut singly unless the goods is wide enough to fold on the warp. Cloth with a nap must always have the nap running down; diagonals must follow the same slant, and an "up and down" cloth generally has the largest part of the design at the top.
After placing the pattern on the material, in order to save, lay it all out before cutting, and baste all around the edge of every piece, the waist line, darts or any line or design that would be necessary to trace or follow. Take an even baste stitch three-quarters of an inch long, leaving a loose thread which will permit the two pieces of cloth to be separated, the threads cut, and enough of the thread left on each piece to be a guide for seaming, turning hem, or marking any part of pattern that is necessary.
If chalk is used instead, the lines are first made on one side of the cloth from the pattern, then pins placed on the chalked lines and another chalk line drawn on the opposite piece. This last method is not as perfect as the first.
French seams are not used when stitching woolens, but the seams are finished with bias binding of percaline, cambric, etc., the two pieces joined and bound together, except on the back, shoulder and underarm seams of the waist, or any that are to be boned.
There are two ways of putting a skirt together; first, matching the gores on the wrong side, stitching, binding and then basting each finished seam on the right side, laying it flat, and turning each one toward the center of front, stitching on the right side close to the turn. A second stitching may also be made, using the presser foot of the machine for a guide space; second, by turning under the bias side of every gore to the sewing line, which has the baste threads on it, and bringing the folded edge to the sewing line of the next gore it is to join. Care must be taken in order not to stretch the bias side beyond the straight. By pinning in place first, this will not happen. In following this method of joining a skirt, all seams but the back seam are finished first. Work on a table or flat surface.
Tailored skirts should have a hem or facing not over three inches when finished, because heavy material, when turned at different widths will make angles. To avoid this in a three-inch hem, let seams match after the bottom edge has been turned, and pin in fulness at top edge so the space is even, then press in these pleats, and hold them in place when stitching on the bias binding. All stitching such as hems, trimming bands, etc., should be stitched on right side of goods.