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.
A good sized cupboard with built-in shelves and drawers for supplies, materials and work, and space to hang unfinished garments, is the best arrangement one can have, but should this be lacking, an inexpensive chiffonier may take the place of the drawers, while a shelf fastened to the wall, and beneath which, protected by an attractive curtain, the unfinished garments may be hung, will make a good substitute for the cupboard. Dress covers of cambric or percale, or large squares of cheese cloth, should be used to cover the garments to protect them from dust. Where space is limited, the cutting table may have drawers built under it, set far enough under not to interfere with the movement of the feet and knees when working.
Patterns not in constant use, should be kept in drawers or boxes, neatly folded, with the name on the outside. Those in frequent use can be clipped or pinned to a tape which has been fastened to the wall for this purpose.
This is indispensable when dressmaking is to be done. It is not necessary to buy expensive forms if one is careful to select a form having a small neck, and well-shaped through the bust, waist, and hips. Adjustable forms are to be had which can be changed for individual members of a family; or tight-fitted linings may be prepared for each one for whom dresses are to be made and separate waist forms padded to fit the linings, and stored until such time as they are needed, when they may be used alternatively upon the one standard; or if one cares to make a greater outlay, a pneumatic form, which can be adjusted to fit any lining, may be used.
Buy the best machine the purse will permit and give it the best care, then it will repay what you have spent upon it.
It is important to have several boards if considerable sewing is done. There should be a skirt board, a sleeve board, a seam board, and also a heavy tailor pressing board, and cushion if one is doing cloth work. A good supply of pressing cloths should also be at hand with pan for water.
Where the sewing room is remote from the kitchen, a small gas or oil stove may be used to heat the irons or boil water for steaming velvet. Electric irons are desirable, if electricity is used in the house.
All tools should be kept in orderly fashion where they may be easily found when needed.. All irons, shears, pin-cushions or papers of needles should be kept where they will not be exposed to damp air, else they will rust.
One good fashion book at least should be subscribed for or if one lives near a newsdealer, a choice of magazines might be made each month which would give one perhaps just the suggestion needed for some particular garment to be made.
If the home woman add to her equipment, orderliness of procedure, whether it be the handling of equipment, tools or materials, fearlessness in experimentation, and the studious use of all the sources of inspiration to be found in art-galleries, museums stores, books and prints, she should meet with a measure of success in proportion to the effort set forth.
Lippincott's Home Manual Series, Education for the Home. (In preparation). Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott Co.
Cooley, A. M., Domestic Art in Women's Education. New York, Scribners.
Address List for Equipment and Supplies for Instruction in Household Arts. Bulletin No. 20, New York, Teachers College, Columbia University. 10 cents.
Journal of Home Economics, Station N., Baltimore Monthly. $2.00 a year.