We understand our skirt patterns. Let us take our skirt measures, front and back, and, if it is necessary to change our pattern, we will decide how much to add or take off before cutting the garments.

To change pattern. If you must add two or three inches to the length of your pattern, this must be done as you cut. Or possibly you may wish to shorten the pattern. If you wish to shorten it, take a plait of one inch about in the middle of your pattern, crease, and pin it. By taking this plait rather than cutting off the amount from the bottom, the good flare of the skirt is saved. Do you know what these pieces of the skirt are called which are wider at the bottom than at the top? Why is a gore made such a shape? Can you think of the advantages? In cutting from a pattern in which a plait has been laid, one must be careful to carry the outline of the pattern evenly at the place where the fold of the plait comes.

To lengthen a pattern. Make a straight cut across a gore about the middle from side to side. Pin or paste a strip of paper the desired extra length between the two pieces. This preserves the bottom flare. If length were added at the bottom, the flare would be too great.

To cut the skirts. One must study carefully the economical use of material. It is like a puzzle to fit the pattern to the cloth, so that the perforations are obeyed exactly and there is enough cloth for all the parts.

The girls of Pleasant Valley have decided to make the petticoats for the children at the summer home. The ladies of the board furnished the materials. They have chosen gingham for some and outing flannel for others. The belts are to be made of muslin. The material is all one yard wide. By folding the outing flannel selvedge to selvedge, and placing the triple perforations of the pattern of the front gore on this fold, the front can be cut all in one piece. It is rather a circular gore. Not all gores are the same shape. See if you can find other shaped gores in dress skirts. The two back gores of the skirt can be cut from another width. Be sure to obey the directions for placing the perforations on the warp. How many lengths of cloth are needed to cut such a skirt? How much will you allow for hems at the bottom? As the girls of Pleasant Valley had decided on two inches finished, they allowed 2 1/2 inches extra in cutting. One must always think about this. All seams have been allowed on their patterns.

Fig. 35.   The petticoat for the children of the home.

Fig. 35. - The petticoat for the children of the home.

Be sure to lay all the pieces of the pattern on the cloth before cutting. Find a flat surface. Remember that the wide end of a gore is apt to cut to better advantage at the end of the piece of cloth. Can the gores he fitted so as to cut more economically?

(Fig. 34.) Pin the parts carefully, not using too many pins. Mark all the notches with pencil, chalk, or basting thread. Do not cut notches; one is liable to be careless and to make them too large. Use long cuts, and make even edges in cutting. Good shears help.

Exercises And Problems

1. Draw on the blackboard different shaped dress gores which you have noticed.

2. With the tiny patterns of the skirt which your teacher has cut, show how to lay them most economically on the red muslin which represents your material.

3. What would you do if you were using a pattern which did not allow for seams ?