After the skirt has been measured up, the length correctly marked, and made perfectly level all round the bottom, take it off the stand, turn it wrong side out, and pin back the lining round the bottom, to be out of the way.
Cut a strip of linen on the straight, selv-edgewise, 3 inches wide, and the length of the skirt from the placket-hole to the bottom. Place this strip of linen on the wrong side of the skirt-down the edge of the right front-covering the line of tacking, pin, and then tack it in this position, from the placket-hole to the bottom of the skirt.
Turn down and tack the edge of the front on the line of tacking, and press it. Great care must be taken to make this edge perfectly straight, as it will overlap the left side, and any unevenness will spoil the front of the skirt.
Turn down and tack the edge of the left side of the front, from the placket hole to the bottom, and press it carefully so as not to stretch it. The ends of the hem must be turned in to "face," the edge of the wrong side of the hem must be just within that of the right, so that they may be felled together without the stitches showing at the edge.
Turn up the hem round the bottom, and tack it neatly near the edge.
Place the skirt on the table, measure the depth of the turning at the narrowest part, and with a square and a piece of chalk measure and mark the same depth of turning at intervals all round. Cut off the superfluous turnings evenly along these marks. Place a second row of tacking all round, about 1 inch from the raw edge, and herringbone down the turning with long stitches, taking up the merest thread of the skirt, so that the stitches may not show on the right side, and then press it. Unpin the lining, bring it down over the herringbone stitches, cut off any superfluous length, turn it in evenly, pin, tack, and then fell it neatly to the turned up edge of the material, being careful not to take the stitches through to the right side of the skirt. Unpin the lining down the fronts, turn it in to within half an inch of the edge, pin, tack, and then fell it neatly to the material.
Take the skirt and pin the centre-front to the centre-front of the stand, and the centre-back to the centre-back. Lap the right side over the left, and hook the skirt round the waist; pin the skirt together carefully in this position, with the edges of the hem perfectly level; pin the placket-hole securely together across the bottom. Mark the position for the placket fasteners, unhook the skirt, and take it off, but do not remove any of the pins.
Slip the skirt, right side out, on to a skirt-board, and tack the fronts securely, one over the other as pinned.
This tacking must be placed across the bottom to keep the two edges of the hems level, down the edge of the right front from the placket-hole to the bottom and down the centre-front, from the placket-hole to the bottom, to secure the edge of the left front. Then take the skirt off the board, turn it inside out, and neatly fell the edge of the left front to the lining of the right, from the pin across the bottom of the placket to the bottom of the skirt. Turn the skirt right side out, and place a row of machine-stitching down the right front (about five-eights of an inch from the edge) from the placket-hole to the bottom.
This stitching must, of course, go right through to the left half to join the skirt together. Take the skirt out of the machine, turn it round, and stitch the right front only from the bottom of the placket hole to the waist. This stitching must be most carefully done, as no break or join must be seen at the bottom of the placket-hole; it must form one unbroken line from top to bottom. Well press the skirt all over on the wrong side, sew on the. placket fasteners, and remove all the tacking.
Loops of silk Prussian binding, or strong lute ribbon, must be sewn on the inside of the band at the waist, by which to hang up the skirt. One of these should be placed across the front, and another across the back. The ribbon or binding should be cut about 4 or 5 inches long, turned in at each end, and securely stitched to the band.
The skirt is now finished, with the exception of the buttons and buttonholes, which are on the left side. (See finished sketch, page 1717, Vol. 3.) So put the skirt away until the collar and revers of the coat have been cut out, as the cuttings of the velvet or satin can then be used to cover the buttons; they should' be covered before the buttonholes are worked, to ascertain the correct size to make the latter-this will depend upon the thickness of the covering.
Skirt Interlined Round the Hem to Give Firmness
N.B.-If a firmer edge is desired at the bottom of the skirt, an interlining must be put.in before it is turned up. The best interlining is coarse linen cut on the cross, and rather deeper than the turning of the material.
After the skirt has been turned up and tacked near the edge, place it on the table, with the bottom towards the worker; the turning can then be creased down on the wrong side with a hot iron, or a tacking thread can be run along the extreme edge of the turning, through the single material only. The row of tacking stitches through the double material must then be taken out, and the turning opened out again, showing either the crease formed by the iron or the thread run along, denoting the bottom of the skirt. The crossway pieces of linen must next be placed round the skirt covering the crease or tacking, with the edge of the crossway pieces about 1 inch below it. The pieces of linen must not be joined by ordinary seams, but the edges must be lapped over each other smoothly, and tacked or herringboned together flat. The linen must then be tacked to the material. The knots of the tacking threads must all be on the right side of the skirt, otherwise they cannot be removed when the hem is turned over and the skirt finished.
N.B.-The linen is put in a little below the crease or line of tacking to form a small turning of linen, as this gives a better edge to the bottom of the skirt than if the interlining is not turned over with the material.
Turn the material over to form the hem exactly on the crease or line of tacking, pin, and then neatly tack it near the turned-over edge all round; again pin and tack it near the top edge, smoothly and evenly. Make small and shallow pleats where necesssary in the hem, to make it fit the skirt.
N.B.-These pleats must not be made deep to reach the bottom of the hem, or they will make the edge of the skirt uneven.
Slightly damp and well press round the hem on the wrong side, but do not stretch the edge in doing this.
Herringbone down the raw edge of the hem to the linen. This need not be finely done or with silk, and the stitches must not be taken through to the right side.
Unpin the lining which was turned back, and bring it down over the herringbone-stitches; cut off any superfluous length, turn in the edge evenly, pin, tack, and then fell it neatly to the hem.
When a skirt is to have rows of machine-stitching round the bottom, the interlining is put in in the same way, but requires to be much more securely tacked to prevent the material "dragging" when the machine-stitching is being done. Four or five rows of tacking are not too many. The width of the interlining must be regulated by the number of rows of stitching desired, as all the rows must have the linen, or other interlining, under them, to give the stitching a good appearance. If there were no interlining, the stitches would sink into the material, and be apt to pucker it.
When a hem is to be stitched, it is not necessary to herringbone the edge of it to the interlining. The stitching should be done after the hem has been well tacked and pressed, and before the lining is unpinned, brought over, and felled to the hem. . The coat will be commenced in the next lesson.