Materials For Practice

Dress Material, 4x2 1/2 Inches (2 pieces). Waist Lining (Percaline or French Cambric) 4x2 1/2 Inches (2 pieces).

Whalebone, 3 1/8 Inches. Silk Binding, 10 Inches Galoon or Bone Casing, 6 1/2 Inches.

Silk No. A.

Cotton No. 50

(To match Dress material.)

Needle, No. 8 or 9.

In the finishing of a waist the putting in of the bones and the binding of the seams are very important. After the waist is put together the seams must be cut even and notched in certain places, especially in curved seams in order to fit into the figure. One notch is always made at the waist line almost up to the sewing. A couple of notches should be made above the waist line in seams which are considerably curved. The edges of the notch may be curved to aid in the binding. The seams must be dampened (dipping the fingers in water and passing them over the seam is often better than to use a wet cloth), and pressed open to see if they lie flat before binding them. A narrow pressing board and an iron for seams aids in the work.

Binding Seams

The raw edges of the seam may be finished in several ways. (1) The dress material and the lining may be overcast together. (2) The dress material and the lining may be turned in on each other and either overcast or run together. The seams must be made wider if this means is to be used than for Nos. 1 and 3. (3) The seams may be bound with a soft binding ribbon. The ribbon is folded on either side of the raw edges of the seam. In order to accomplish this most easily the ribbon may be creased along its length so that one side is slightly deeper than the other. It may then be laid over the raw edges of the seam with the shorter side toward the worker and both sides may be held by one line of running-stitches. The ribbon should be held easily around the curves so they will open well.

Bone Casings

Many kinds of bones are used for waists. It is generally conceded, however, that whalebone is the best, as it is thinner and more flexible than the others. Cased bones can be purchased, but they are not considered as satisfactory as making the casings and inserting the bones. Bias binding or strong narrow ribbon bindings are the most desirable. The ribbon casing should be eased on all the way and slightly fulled directly above and below the waist line. The bones are put in usually to about an inch below the height of the dart. If they are placed too high they will push through. In order to keep the bone from rubbing through the waist lining a pocket is made at the top of the casing by turning the ribbon back from 3/4 to 1 inch and overhanding the sides of it. The casing is sewed to the turnings on either side of the seam below this pocket. The middle of the casing should come directly over the seam. The ribbon casing is usually hemmed or run on both sides, the bias casing may be sewed the same way or the herring-bone stitch may be used across the casing from side to side. This makes an attractive finish. A bias casing does not need to be fulled on. The casing should be cut long enough to allow for the pocket at the top and for 1/2 inch extra at the other end. The bone is cut a little longer than the place it is to occupy. The ends should be rounded. After the casing is sewed on, the bone is put in from the bottom and pushed or sprung in tight into the pocket, the extra 1/2 bones may be soaked in water and a needle can then easily pierce them, or holes may be pierced in them with a hot needle before inserting them in the inch of casing is turned in over the bone and the casing sewed closely to the seam. The bones also must be fastened to the seam at the end of the pocket and 1/2 inch from the bottom of the bone. To provide for this the whalebones may be soaked in water and a needle can then easily pierce them, or holes may be pierced in them with a hot needle before inserting them in the casing. The bone may be sewed down with fan-shaped stitches at the top of the casing or a couple of strong stitches to the right and to the left over the casing and into the turned back material of the seam may be taken just below the pocket. It must also be sewed down 1/2 inch from the end of the bone. In short bodices the end of the bone should come about 1/2 of an inch from ing will then be hemmed into place. In a long bodice the bones need not be carried far below the waist line.


Take two pieces of dress material 4x2 1/2 inches and line them with waist lining. Lay the cloth sides exactly together. Crease a vertical line through the four thicknesses 1/2 an inch in from the right hand side. Crease another line, at right angles to the first, 1 inch from the bottom to indicate the waist line. Measure 1/8 of an inch in from the intersection of these lines and make a curved line from the bottom to the top of the vertical crease passing through the 1/8 of an inch point on the waist line. This line represents the curved seam in a waist. Stitch the pieces together in a seam along the curved line. Either the hand or the machine may be used. Trim the edges to 1/2 an inch from the seam. Make a notch at the waist-line to within 1/2 of an inch of the seam and two other notches about 1 inch apart, above the first. Round off the edges. Press open the seams and bind the raw edges according to the rule. In putting the bone casing down the seam allow for a pocket of 3/4 of an inch at the top and 1/2 an inch at the bottom. Let the bone end 1/4 of an inch from the end of the seam. Cut the bone 3 3/4 inches in length. Finish all according to the rule.