Hints - Underskirts
In the renovation of a coat its lining must not be forgotten, and must be repaired. Unfortunately, unless of very good quality, a lining seldom wears so long as the coat. The average silk lining, which may often be said to "sell " the coat in the first instance, as it looks so attractive and feels so nice, rarely lasts long, and has to be replaced. There are, however, many coat linings sold by the yard that are inexpensive and quite pretty, and although they have not the seductive feel of silk, they wear infinitely better.
To Re-line a Coat Unless of an intricate cut, it is not a difficult matter to re-line a coat, especially with the aid of a dress-stand. Cut the pattern from the old lining, but be generous with the allowance for turnings, or the new lining may just fail to meet at some essential point. Tack it carefully in position, seam by seam, as the work proceeds, and then finally hem it in. The sleeves are a little more trouble, as the easing over the shoulder has to be adjusted; but, with a little patience a very satisfactory result can be secured.
It may be noted that a coat originally unlined may be considerably improved by the insertion of a lining, especially by one light in colour, if the coat is to be worn over light blouses. This lining need only reach to the waist.
Renovation of a Skirt
Nothing, perhaps, looks worse than a shabby coat pocket, or one stretched out of shape by constant use.
If the slits are worn and shabby, carefully draw the edges together on the right side, using strong sewing silk, and cut away the pocket on the wrong. If there is a flap to hide the opening, this can be fastened down, the opening being sewn up underneath it. If pocket flaps of contrasting material are in the vogue, a new flap to correspond with the collar facing will at once suggest itself.
Perhaps the most uninteresting, and yet most often needed, renovation is that of the hem of a woman's skirt. If it is really of walking length, and well clears the ground all round, much trouble is saved.
If, in spite of a braid at the extreme edge, the bottom of the skirt is cut through in places, a fresh turning must be taken, thereby shortening it to that extent. Or, if only cut through in one or two spots, the holes may be carefully darned over with fine silk of the exact shade of the material. To do this, unpick the hem sufficiently to obtain a flat surface on which to work, lay a piece of the same material under the hole or thin place (if this is not available, a thin piece of stuff similar in colour will answer the purpose), and darn into this backing. Well press and cut away any superfluous material from the wrong side. When folded as before for the hem, the mend should hardly show.
If a skirt will bear shortening, its renovation is greatly simplified. Unpick the old hem, well brush, remove all threads from any machine-stitching unpicked, and press on the wrong side with a not too warm iron. Some materials will bear to be slightly dampened before the pressing. Make the new turning for the skirt, following the old, and keeping it even all round, and tack in position. (Do not remove this tacking thread until the work is finished.) Tack the hem ready for machine-stitching, following the old lines of stitching, or hem to the lining if the skirt was so finished previously. A new turning corresponding to that taken at the edge must be given to the hem or the material cut away.
When a new braid has been sewn in the tackings may be removed, and after pressing on the wrong side the bottom of the skirt should be ready to stand considerable wear without further trouble.
If there are rows of machine-stitching that attach the lining to the turn-up of the hem, it is a long job to unpick them, and the stitching leaves a mark, so that one of the following methods may be adopted. Cut the material all round on the wrong side, about a quarter of an inch from the edge, and slip one cut edge under the other, carefully tacking in position. Herringbone these closely down and hem in a " brush edge " skirt-protecting braid just over the herringboning, and run this along again nearer the edge, thus completely covering the join. Well press, and, lastly, take out the tacking thread.
Insertion of a False Hem
If the inside of the hem be worn as well as the edge, a false hem of sateen or lining, to reach from the existing lining to just over the old worn edge, will be needed. In this event the herringboning of the cut edges need not be so closely worked, as the lining will cover it.
Should there be tucks or folds in the skirt, or the prevailing fashion allow of the addition of rows of braid, the task of renovation is much simplified, as old stitchings can be covered by the latter or new stitchings made under the former.
If, however, the skirt be made to well clear the ground in the first instance, and an efficient braid protector be used and sewn on carefully by hand with a strong thread, it should prove the stitch in time that saves nine.
When buying these many women find the ordinary ready-made underskirt of moreen, moirette, or sateen too long, and have to shorten it for wear. In place of cutting off the superfluous length, stitch a tuck, of the necessary depth for the purpose, just above the commencement of the frill and cordings commonly seen in these skirts. Then when the edge wears it is simple to cut away the soiled and worn edge, re-hem, and let down the tuck in proportion. If the tuck happens to be deep it will afford the possibility of making at least two new hems. Moirette washes quite well, although it loses its stiffness in the process, so that it is worth expending an hour or two in its repair.
A row or two of braid as a trimming round the bottom of an underskirt freshens it up, but this must be securely stitched by machine, or it may prove only another item to keep in order.
Cotton washing skirts can be treated in much the same way, and the frill rendered quite fresh by the addition of some serviceable embroidery, or, in some cases, lace of a strong make will suffice, but for hard wear this latter is not a wise choice.
The use of removable skirt frills is another method by which underskirts can be kept in a clean and neat condition, and by their use one top will serve for several skirts. When an old satin evening dress can be adapted for an underskirt it is most comfortable wear, and if originally of good quality wears quite satisfactorily. Alpaca is another good wearing material for the purpose as the cloth of the dress does not cling to its surface. To be continued.