The wearing of sashes is quite as much a question of personal predilection as a fashion. People generally have a great liking for them or a definite prejudice against them, but the reason of either is generally to be found in whether they are, or are not, becoming to the individual. Where they do suit the wearer they always look charming. They add a smartness to any gown, and are particularly useful in a renovation scheme.
Ribbons at all times are particularly alluring, and make one long to invest in any number of sashes, especially if they happen to be the prevalent fashion. But what very often deters people from purchasing a length of ribbon is that they do not know just what quantity to buy, or how to make it up when bought.
The correct length for a sash for anyone of average height is 4 yards, though a very small lady, by shortening the ends, will be able to do with a quarter of a yard less. If no waist-belt is wanted, another three-quarters of a yard will be saved. Very often the sash bow is attached to a small safety-pin by means of which it is secured to the back of the dress. Then, of course, no belt is required.
Now, as to how to make up the bow. The one shown in the illustration is very wide, measuring about 12 inches across, with a buckle covered with the ribbon in the centre instead of the ordinary " waist." It will be best to begin with the buckle, which is quite a simple matter to make. First of all a little mount of tailors' canvas, wired at the edge, and measuring 4 inches long by 2'} inches wide must be made. Then from the 4 yards of ribbon cut an eighth of a yard, and divide it up into three pieces, widthways. Join these together, gather them at the edges, and sew them on to the buckle.
Next cut off seven-eighths of a yard for the belt. The remaining 3 yards are for the bow and ends. Gather up the ends making one measure 1 yard 6 inches, and the other 1 yard 3 inches in length. Then pleat up the rest of the ribbon to form wide outstanding loops, and sew the buckle on to the pleats in the centre. It is a pity to cut off the ribbon for-the ends in case it is wanted for another purpose at some future date. A good length of ribbon is a profitable investment, because it will generally be found useful for trimming a hat afterwards.
A sash arranged with a rosette of loops instead of a bow is very pretty, especially for a young girl. A rosette takes about half a yard more ribbon than a bow. Five loops are required, and care is needed not to make them too long, or the effect is very ugly, 7 1/2 inches being quite sufficient length. To form the rosette, cut off six pieces of ribbon of this length, and gather five up into the loops and sew them together. It is hardly necessary to remind the worker to use a good strong cotton. The remaining piece of ribbon must be drawn up with four rows of running threads to make a rosette for the centre. In this case the sash ends must be gathered up separately and joined on afterwards, and the belt must be .constructed in a similar fashion to that described above.
A sash bow with a ribbon-covered buckle that can be attached to the back of the dress by means of a safety-pin, thus obviating the need of a belt
A sash of Chine ribbon arranged with a rosette of loops is a charming adjunct to a young girl's costume
The flat Geisha bow is also still largely worn. The bow alone takes two yards of ribbon, which should be 6 inches wide. The underneath bow should measure 12 inches across when finished, and the top bow 9 1/2 inches. Each bow should be cut off and made up separately, and then put together. The waist should be made of the ribbon used lengthways and folded under at the sides to form a width of just under 2 1/2 inches. These bows are very often used without ends, but if ends are wanted, it will take another 2 1/4 yards for them, and three-quarters for a belt.
The kind of ribbon to use depends largely on the style of the bow. Both the loop rosette or the wide bow shown look well in plain silk or satin, or in the Chine or striped ribbons which are fashionable for the purpose. But a Geisha bow demands either a good stiff satin or a ribbon velvet, as it requires something with a certain amount of substance.
Many sashes have the ends finished in some way to weight them. This is a good plan, as they do not then flutter in the wind. A very pretty idea is to have a hem of the ribbon used double and the reverse way, and decorated with a row of ribbon-covered buttons. The ends are often also gathered into silk tassels; while yet another notion is to fringe them with little fuchsias made of the ribbon hung on fine silk cords.