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.
Observe the rules for fitting skirts (p. 333). Fit the skirt easily, to allow for the taking up of the material in machine stitching and pressing. Where changes have to be made, place pins carefully and closely, so the new lines will not be difficult to follow.
For the placket on bias seams proceed in the same manner as for the linen skirt, using Prussian binding instead of the linen tape and silk (taffeta, messaline or some heavy silk), if the cloth is thick, in place of the cambric or nainsook. Use the same for the placket of the skirt opening under a tuck (Fig. 210A).
If the skirt has an inverted plait in the back, an excellent placket finish can be made as follows: Both center back line and fold of the plait must be carefully marked on both sides of the skirt. Open the center back fold and turn the skirt to the wrong side, place the strip of silk close to the edge of the placket, also the Prussian binding. Baste to place, fold placket back to place, and stitch on both edges of the Prussian binding and again to the right of this, ending stitching as in diagram. Press, sew on fasteners and hem silk facing down. On the left hand side, turn to the wrong side, baste Prussian binding just to the left of the marking for center back line; baste and stitch. Pink the edge of the extension if cloth does not fray; lay turned edge of silk just inside the pinked edge; baste, and stitch all around edge of silk on extension. Let it extend one inch beyond center back line, having a selvedge edge if possible on this side. Stitch on outside to coincide with the stitching on opposite side of placket. Fold edges of plait, baste and press; stitch on edge as far as desired; press and slip-stitch down to the edge of the placket (Fig. 211). Remove tailor basting; if they are caught by the stitching it may be impossible to remove them.
Fig. 210. - Placket facing for tuck opening on wool skirt; A, finished facing; B, detail of wrong side of extension; C, detail of wrong side of tuck.
Use sewing silk (usually letter "A" unless materials are very heavy, when use "B") to match the material in color, but a little darker in shade than the cloth, because in stitching it seems to work up lighter. On dark blue material, black sewing silk looks like blue, hence is perfectly satisfactory. Sometimes stitchings are made in a contrasting color. Avoid such unless very pleasing. Have a good tension and use a long stitch for effective results, but test before stitching skirt. Always use two thicknesses of material to test tension and stitch and same grain as nearly as possible as seams to be stitched. Press all seams, tucks, or bindings before stitching on the outside. For this, lay a damp cloth on the wrong side of the material and press until the cloth is dry.
Fig. 211. - Placket facing for wool skirt with inverted plait at closing; A, completed facing, showing use of Prussian binding and silk; B, detail of outside stitching on placket and plaits before they are folded to edge of placket.
Seams of fine serge, broadcloth or smooth surface materials may be pinked on the edges (Fig. 212). This may be done by hand. In shops a small machine is used. Materials which fray may be overcast. Sometimes they are bound; when finished in this way, use strips of bias silk. To use the bias binding first cut the strips one inch wide, fold the edges over one-quarter inch, using the bias folder. Baste this binding over the raw edge of the seam and stitch by machine. Ribbon seam binding is sometimes used, but is not satisfactory for two reasons: it does not wear well, and being straight, holds the seam too tight, making it pucker the outside of the skirt unless carefully handled. Seams must be pressed after stitching, either open or together; if open, press over rounded board at first to prevent iron from marking the surface. Then press flat (Fig. 212). Hem. - The line at the bottom of the skirt should be turned and the hem marked in the same manner as that on the linen skirt (p. 344). There are several ways to finish the hem at the top. Remove the fulness either by gathers, and shrink fulness out before placing binding (Fig. 213) or by darts. (1) Cloths which do not fray may be pinked in the edge, if the hem is to be stitched by machine (Fig. 215C). (2) Baste a strip of Prussian binding to the top of the hem, holding the binding very easy; stitch and press; then baste the upper edge of the binding to the skirt and either blind hem it or stitch by machine (Figs. 2130 and 215D). (3) The hem may be finished the same as linen skirts, with bias seam binding, in black or colors, and then pressed; blind hem to the skirt, or stitch by machine. (4) Broadcloth may be catch-stitched instead of using Prussian binding (Fig. 215A and B). (5) When making a skirt which is circular or very wide gored skirt, when the hem is turned, it will be found to have too much fulness; this should be taken out either in darts or fulness. Proceed as with the others, until the finishing line is marked; then drop the hem and cut three-eighth inch below the finishing line. Use the strip cut off for a facing, placing the bottom edge of the strip to the bottom of the skirt, right sides together. First cut extra material in facing at center back or side seams. Stitch seam, turn, baste, press. Finish top of facing like hems (Fig. 214).
Fig. 212. - Cloth seam, stitched, pinked and pressed together or open.
Fig. 213. - Finish for lower edge of wool skirt; A, hem turned and pinned; B, fulness drawn up by gathers; C, fulness shrunken out and Prussian binding basted to hem.
Fig. 214. - Facing for a circular skirt, using the allowance for hem; A, cutting facing from lower edge of skirt; B, placing facing for stitching.
Fig. 215. - Finish for lower edges of wool skirts; A, curved edge slashed and catch-stitched; B, hem of cloth catch-stitched; C, hem pinked and stitched; L, Prussian binding stitched first to hem, then to skirt.