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.
We should become familiar at the very outset with the names of the tools we shall need, their use, and the manner of taking care of them. Following is a list of such:
Thimble, of good material
Tape-measure (good one; stitched on both edges; sateen best) Pins, dressmaker's steel points, one-quarter lb.box Pin-cushion (cloth stuffed with curled hair; always filled with pins Needles: Milliner's for basting, ground downs for very fine sewing, sharps for sewing and dressmaking Emery, to smooth needles Scissors: Small, sharp points for ripping; small shears for cutting; medium size if desired; buttonhole scissors Tracing wheel, good points, to mark seams on cotton and linen Tailor's chalk, to mark seams Stiletto, for punching eyelets Bodkin, for running tape through casings Safety pins: To fasten to end of belt or fold which you wish to turn right side out. Push pin through after fastening, and it draws material with it
Needed for pattern making
Tailor's square (for drafting patterns)
Pattern paper (Manila heavy, light tissue)
Needles (milliner's for basting)
Needed in designing...
Pattern paper (Manila, heavy, light tissue)
Needles (milliner's, sharps, 7-9)
A certain amount of care is necessary in order to keep tools, especially those of steel, in good condition. Never let scissors, needles, steel pins, bodkins or tracing wheels, lie exposed to the damp air. Do not leave steel pins in a cushion for long at a time in summer. They will rust very quickly. Do not use good scissors to cut wire, paper or any harsh substance, like buckram; haircloth will also turn the edges of the blades. Keep the shears and scissors well sharpened, and do not trust them to indifferent workers. Seem selfish, if must be, about loaning your tools; no one will care for them as you do. Fold your tape measure when putting away. It takes up less room and keeps in better condition. A pasteboard box long enough to take your shears, or a work-basket, are suitable receptacles for all the tools at the close of a period of work. If grouped together, then no loss of time ensues at the beginning of another period in looking up the wherewithal for work.
We should also familiarize ourselves with the pieces of equipment essential to good workmanship. The following should be noted:
Standard make and full equipment, tools and attachments
Heavy, high, steady (36 inch); smooth but unvarnished, so tracing can be done at will. High enough to admit use of foot-rest and chair reasonably high
Padded to fit linings for use in draping and designing
Sleeve-form............Padded lining or cardboard sleeve
Skirt boards, for large pressing Sleeve boards, for sleeve pressing Tailor's boards, for heavy pressing and shrinking Small seam board, used to press seams of waists, sleeves, etc.
Heavy duck, square of width, for thorough dampening
Cheese cloth...........For light pressing
Sponge................For dampening parts of garments
Wire stand upon which to invert an iron for steaming velvet or cloth
Tea-kettle.............For steaming materials
Wax..................For smoothing iron
Sand-paper or salt......For cleaning iron
Long ruler, 45 inches
Manila paper..........Heavy for patterns (roll)
Pattern paper..........Medium for patterns (sheets)
Tissue paper...........Large sheets for draping and padding
For brushing up cloth when pressing, and threads from garments
Ivory soap, to apply with cold water to oil spots from machines on cotton, linen or wash silk
Magnesia, block. Rub on both sides oil spots on silk and wool. Press with warm iron between sheets soft Manila paper. Repeat until spot disappears
Heavy cardboard, covered with paste made of carpenter's chalk grated and mixed with water, and laid on with thick brush, the whole covered with a piece of heavy white curtain net. Saves time in marking seams on materials that do not take tracings
Skirt-marker...........For marking hem lines on skirts
Pinking machine.......For pinking seams, ruches, ruffles, etc.
Metal folders in a set of several widths for turning edge on bias folds before pressing
Set of hem-markers.....Various widths ready for use
Coloring matter for laces, etc.
Saffron leaves, steep and dip lace
Dry, hard piece of white soap to rub over material from which you wish to draw threads, to make them slip easily; also rubbed over thick seams to help them to pass easily under presser foot of machine