Materials For Practice

Kindergarten Paper (Colored), 4x3 Inches. Brown Manila Paper, 13 1/2x4 1/2 Inches. Striped Paper for Bias Facing.


Petticoat or small dress skirt.

Use And Fitness

The slanting cut taken in some garments such as in drawers, chemises and in gores of skirts, makes them fit better, disposes of unnecessary material, and decreases undesirable width.

A gore is a piece of material in which the width is narrowed from bottom to top. In a skirt one side of the gore is usually straight and the other bias, but fashion sometimes dictates that both sides shall be bias. In the latter case two slanting pieces will often be thrown together in one seam, but as the bias stretches easily it is apt to be unsatisfactory, especially for laundering. It may be strengthened by stitching a stay-tape or a straight piece of material in with the seam. When a straight edge is joined to a bias one, the former will support the latter and keep it from stretching. Gores may be placed at each side of the front breadth of a skirt with the straight edges to the front. The amount of slant in the gore depends upon the figure of the wearer and the requirements of fashion. A simple rule often followed in white underskirts is to put two parts at the bottom of the gore to one at the top. In cutting a skirt from white muslin or any material of sufficient width, which is the same on both sides, the gores may be economically cut from one length of material as the wrong side can be utilized. In the making of drawers and chemises the bias sides are laid together, care must be taken not to stretch the seam while sewing them together.


(For cutting gores from muslin.) Take a piece of material long enough for the length of the skirt to be made. Divide the top and the bottom of the width into thirds and mark. Fold the cloth so that there will be one-third at one end and two-thirds at the other, and cut apart through the fold. (Fig. 15.) This will give two gores; as the material is the same on both sides and one gore may be turned wrong side out, both gores can be used in one skirt. This cannot be done in material which differs on the right and wrong sides.

For applied work in the use of gores, sewing seams on the bias, and other principles of garment construction, a little gored petticoat may be cut and made. A simple way to teach a class which cannot draft is to take a strip of muslin 13 1/2 inches by 41/2 inches (this is three yards of muslin reduced one-eighth scale) and cut the length into three equal parts. One piece may be cut into gores. Another piece is for the back and should have a vent cut down the center. The third piece is for the front, it can have one-fourth or one-sixth (according to fullness required) taken from each side of the top and sloped to nothing at the bottom. Lay a straight side of one of the gores on each side of the front, baste carefully, and make a fell or French seam. (See Nos. 20, 21, 22.) Cut off the part of the bias that extends below the seam. Join the back to the gores in the same way. The facing for the bottom of the skirt may be bias or straight. The former fits better. It is possible to turn up the bottom of the skirt into a hem instead of putting on a facing, but allowance must be made for it in the cutting of the skirt.

The new principles needed in putting together a skirt, i. e., felling or French seam, gathering, stroking and placket, putting on a band and buttonholes, should be practiced before completing the petticoat. Practice in the use of the true bias may be combined with these by the cutting of a bias facing or the putting on of a bias ruffle.


First Practice Piece. - Take Kindergarten or other paper 4x3 inches (colored on one side and white on the other). Divide it into thirds along the three-inch ends and mark. Double it over so that it will slant from the first mark at one end to the second on the opposite end. (Fig. 15.) Cut through the crease. This will give two gores and serve as a basis of comparison for economical cutting with the gores in the petticoat of manila paper, as it shows that material differing on the right and wrong sides cannot be turned wrong side out and utilized.

Second Practice Piece

Take manila paper l3 1/2x4 1/2 inches, cut it into a skirt and baste it together according to the rule. Take striped tissue paper cut it into one inch wide bias strips (see true bias), and baste it on the bottom of the skirt. Fold placket No. 1 (see No. 29) in the back of the skirt.


It is well for every pupil to make at least a small skirt, if, however, there is not time for this, they should cut one from paper and baste it together, comparing their work continually with the way to proceed in cotton material. The length of the cotton skirt should be cut along the warp, as cloth is stronger in that direction. It is well to have a class doll or a lay figure so that measurements may be taken on it and if there is not time to make a full sized skirt the children may be able to see the relation between the small and the large size. This lesson should be so thoroughly given that each child can make one for herself at home. A very profitable result will follow this subject if the class will carefully calculate the amount of material for a full sized skirt and also decide the amount of bias or straight material needed for a ruffle for it. They should estimate the cost of the skirt finished in various ways (ruffles, embroidery, lace, tucks). To this may be added the expense of laundering with comparisons of the difference between a plain or an elaborate garment so that the economics of dress may be brought out. Each pupil should decide upon the way she wishes to make her skirt. It will be well also for the teacher from this lesson on to give frequent opportunities to the class to design, measure and cut various garments that they may gradually gain a good foundation for later drafting and garment making. (See Drafting in the Notes for Teachers.) When the class is too inexperienced to make button-holes in the skirt band, they can sew on tapes for strings instead. (See No. 33.)