Long seams in the back, extending to the shoulder, are more becoming So stout people than side bodies ending at the armsize. If the shoulders project, an allowance can be made by leaving the back longer than the sides. If one shoulder is more prominent than the other, the defect should be skillfully disguised by putting a layer of cotton upon the other side, so that the difference need not be noticed. If the arms are very thin, a (sheet of cotton may be put between the outside and the lining of the upper part. Many dressmakers follow this plan, wherever the arm is not too large to admit admit of it, to secure a well fitting sleeve the short shoulders now worn to dresses requiring some adroitness in putting them in nicely, unless the material is thick like velvet, or is made so by wadding
The next step in making the dress is to finish the sleeves. They should be slipped on the arm while the waist is on, and pinned to the shoulders. Very much depends upon the fit of the sleeves, and, even if cut from the best of patterns, they may wrinkle and set awry unless put into the arm-hole properly. The latter must not be too tight or cut out too much in the back.
After a basque or polonaise is finished, it should have a strong belt sewed to the back and side seams, upon the inside, to fasten the front, for the double purpose of keeping the waist in place and relieving the strain upon the buttons.
Putting a garment together when it is carefully cut is a much easier task than when the separate pieces are not accurate, and require much measuring and trimming before they can be nicely adjusted to each other. If lining is put into either a part or the whole of an article it must be tacked upon the back of the pieces before they are basted together. Care must be taken in basting not to stretch the seams out of shape. In making up cloth. the seams, after being stitched upon a sewing machine, should be laid upon and pressed down with a heavy hot iron. Each raw edge may then be bound with a narrow ribbon or galloon. This will give a neat finish to the wrong side and and keep the threads from raveling. In very thick cloth the seams, after pressing, should have a galloon laid over them, and hemmed down slightly, not letting the stitches show upon the right side; or, with a cloth with a shaggy face, the seam may be sewed up and finished at the back with a wide fell, which must be pressed flat. Thin materials, such as mohairs, grenadines, etc., if made up without lining, are most neatly finished if the pieces are stitched together on the right side and then turned and sewed again upon the wrong side. This keeps the garment in better shape than the usual running and felling.
The next thing upon the programme after putting on whalebone casings, is to face the bottom of the basque. It is then ready for the trimming, which can be put on in accordance with the taste of the designer. Many ladies wear adjustable waist trimmings. A bias band of the material, for instance, with both edges trimmed with gimp or tiny side-plaitings, which goes around the neck and meets or crosses in front, half-way between the throat and belt. This is left off at pleasure, to make room for a dainty fichu of mull or colored silk, or for a becoming little shoulder cape of beads. These very expensive-looking little adjuncts to a dressy toilet can be made at home by ladies who have any leisure to spend in fancy work. Almost every young person has some middle-aged friend who will teach her how to make the bead fringes which, in former days, decorated the square ends of crotcheted silk purses. Those fringes were made of fine steel beads, and the netted heading done with an ordinary sewing needle. The beads now used are cut-jets of a much larger size, and three rows of the fringe are set upon a lace foundation, or even sewed together over a paper pattern, without other foundation than a row of gimp between each fringe, which is concealed by the falling strands of beads. Trimmings for the tabliers of rich dresses are made in a similar manner by some ladies, who also imitate with their own ingenious lingers the gorgeous seventy-five and fifty-dollar fabrics which are sold in modest quantities for trimming.
In cutting a dress from plaid goods, if the check is at all conspicuous, it must be arranged with care, or very ugly effects will be produced. On the waist, particularly, the plaids should match exactly where the fronts meet. In cutting out goods that are striped, have a whole stripe appear in the center of the front, and have the side-forms in the back present a perfectly-matched appearance. The same attention should be paid to the sleeves, having a care, as in ail materials, that the parts above the elbows run with the thread lengthways of the cloth. If the sleeve pattern is too short, lengthen it equally at both ends; unless this is observed, the set of it will changed.
A round skirt is easily made with an old, well-fitting skirt, or a paper pattern as a guide. The straight side of each gore must be toward the front. The seam in the front is not to be endured, and one in the back is to be avoided, if possible, upon any skirt which is not to be worn beneath a polonaise or overskirt; but for an underskirt all things are possible in the way of piecings and joinings. In making a trained or demi-trained skirt, if it should appear scanty and hoop in the back, make a cut in the edge deep enough to relieve it, and set in a V-shaped gore, which may be concealed by the trimming, or cut shorter slits upon each side and set in gores.
Machine stitching is used upon dresses and trimmings. Even cashmere and silk ruffles are hemmed on the machine instead of being laboriously blind-stitched, although the latter mode is not out of date with those who do not mind trouble. It is now acknowledged by the best dressmakers that nothing equals coarse alpaca or brilliantine for a skirt facing. Nearly every color can be matched in it, and it looks well, wears well and sheds the dirt admirably. Braid is now usually put on the back of the skirt and not felled down as formerly. About a third of its width is allowed to project below the skirt, which is thought to hang better than when bound with the braid. It should be sewed on by hand after the dress is finished, not set in between the facing and outside, as is sometimes done. When it becomes ragged it is a simple matter to rip it off and put on a fresh one.