This section is from the book "Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction", by Laura I. Baldt. Also available from Amazon: Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction.
Tucked or Plaited Waist (Fig. 69). - Use a plain shirtwaist pattern that has been tested and corrected. Plan the kind of opening to be used in the waist, a box plait or coat opening. Indicate by lines on the center front of the pattern the distance you wish the edge of the first plait from the armhole. Draw a line at this point parallel to the front. The tucks need not always run parallel to the front, they may slant toward the front; if to slant, mark point for lower end of plait as well as upper (and draw line through marks). Measure from this line the width of the plait desired plus the width of the space to be left between the plaits; draw other lines through these points, parallel with the front of the waist. Continue until the desired number of plaits is planned. Then lay the shoulder seams of the front and back of the pattern together and mark points on the back at which the plait marks of the front touch, crowding fulness on back of pattern so seam lines meet. Draw lines on the back to correspond with those on the front, letting them slant toward the center of back at the waist, if desired. Any slant may be used that will give a pleasing affect; the outer fold of the last plait should never be less than one and one-half inches from the underarm seam. In order to secure good lines in the back, it may be necessary to reduce both the width of the tucks and the space between, as they near the waist line, unless striped material is to be used, when only the space between may be changed as the folds of the tucks should fall on stripes. The principle of laying the tucks is precisely the same as that explained under skirts. First, lay the box plait or hem in the length of material and pin to pattern, and for plaits turning toward shoulder, measure across pattern and crease for the fold of the first plait, and measure from this crease once the width of the tuck and mark this line for the inner fold or line for stitching. Baste tuck through two thicknesses of cloth on this line. Measure from this sewing line, twice the width of the tuck plus the space desired between, and crease for the fold of the second tuck. Repeat until the entire number is basted. Measure in the same way for the back, first marking the center back line and measuring from it, slanting the line for the fold of the tuck as much as desired (Fig. 69A).
Cut pattern paper away around the edge of the pattern. Indicate lines for the folds of the plaits by different perforations; from this pattern waists may be cut, or the waist may be designed directly on the material itself, and the tucks be stitched before cutting the garment out.
Fig. 69. - Method of designing waists from flat pattern; A, tucked or plaited waist; B waist with Gibson plait; C, box plaits and tucks D, box plaits with yoke.
The same principle of designing will apply to box plaits. Lines representing the number, width and position of the plaits should be drawn on the plain pattern. In laying the plaits, measure across material from center front, the space between center front and the edge indicated for first box plait, plus the width of the plait; crease, laying fold toward center front, one-half the width of the plait. Measure from fold once the width of the plait for opposite fold, which should turn toward the armhole; crease; from this fold measure one-half the width of the plait for inner fold; sew through this line and corresponding line beneath opposite fold of plait. For second plait, measure from folded edge line of first plait, the space indicated plus the width of the plait; proceed from this point as before (Fig. 69D).
Place the box plait or coat opening. Measure out from the point of the shoulder the amount the plait is to extend beyond the armhole line. Draw a line from this point, slanting it toward the center front at the waist line unless a very straight line is desired, when it should be drawn straight down from shoulder. Mark the line for the edge of the plait on the back of pattern, touching the same point at the shoulder as on the front. Fold the paper on this line for the edge of plait, allowing desired width, crease, marking under fold, and then block out the remainder of the front. Cut out around pattern, folding tuck back at armhole, after shoulder seam has been cut, so that the edge of the plait will not be cut. Design plait on back. Make perforation in pattern. Open shoulder seam out when making garment and stitch shoulder seam before laying and stitching plait (Fig. 695).
Designs for striped or plaid material. When planning designs for the use of either striped or plaid material consideration must be given to pattern produced by either. A good balance and pleasing arrangement of the lines must be secured, and in the case of stripes, the lines must meet at the shoulder (Fig. 70) ; this is sometimes difficult to attain. A bias arrangement of plaids will often solve the problem of interest concerning them. Both stripes and plaids having irregular patterns, right and left or up and down, present difficult problems in design (Figs. 8 and 9A).
Fig. 70. - Several arrangements of stripes to form tucks or plaits, and match the stripes at shoulder seams.