Open the pattern carefully and examine it. How did you order it, by age or by waist measure? The pattern books usually say order by age for a girl unless she is large or small for her age; then order by waist measure.

Notice how many pieces you have. Notice whether some are to be cut on a lengthwise fold : perhaps, the center front and maybe the center back if it has a panel front and back. Notice how many gores there are. Do you know what a skirt gore is? Look at your pieces. A gore is always wider at the bottom than at the top. Can you tell why? Gores are of different shapes. Style sometimes regulates the width, for some seasons skirts are very narrow and at other times very full. The gores help to reduce the fullness around the waist. Do you understand? Notice how many gores your pattern has. The front panel is counted as one gore, and the back panel a gore. There are skirt patterns with three, four, or even eleven or more gores. Perhaps your pattern has three gores like the one in the picture (Fig. 128). Then the center back will be cut on a lengthwise fold of material, as there will be two front gores joining the back with seams at the hips. This is an easy pattern and suitable for a young girl. One must think of suitability in selecting the style to be worn. Instead of three, you may have a plain five or seven gored skirt. Then the center front will be placed on a lengthwise fold, and there will be two gores each side of the front for the five gored skirt, and three each side of the front for the seven gored. A five gored skirt is a simple one.

Fig. 128.   The simple dress skirt and shirt waist.

Fig. 128. - The simple dress skirt and shirt waist.

Study your pattern. Notice all the notches; also just where the pattern is to be placed on the warp threads. This is very necessary. Take your tape-line and measure the skirt length; compare with your own measures. Your teacher will show you how to take your skirt measure, at front, hips, and back, from the waist line to the desired length (see page 50). You have learned how. Pin the tapeline about the waist and measure from it. If your pattern is too long, it will be wise to double it over at the center to reduce the length. If too short, add a few inches at the bottom in cutting your cloth. Remember you must allow for the hem according to desired width (see page 50 for changing patterns).

Now lay the pieces economically. Remember the wide end of the gore usually cuts to best advantage at the end of the cloth. Pin and cut out after your teacher has approved.

The pattern usually allows from 3/8 to 1 inch for seams. Notice how much. Match the notches, pin, baste, and then try on. If too loose or too tight, it is possible to stitch inside or outside of the bastings and so to alter. The seams can be finished by overcasting the rough edges (see Fig. 28).

If your pattern calls for an opening or placket at one side of the front, it will be appropriate to make a hem running lengthwise of the skirt as a finish at the placket, and the skirt will not be seamed with a simple seam at that place. Turn to the wrong side one inch for hem along the right front. Baste. Lap this hem over the left side. Baste flat to the left portion of front, and stitch nearly one inch from edge, to within 8 or 9 inches of the top. The placket opening on the under side of front can be bound with a two inch strip, sewing on right side at the edge and turning to wrong just at the edge. If the pattern does not allow for a hem on right front and lap finish on the right side of front, but only for a simple seam, then it will be necessary to face the right front portion with a strip 1 1/2 inches wide.

Pin the skirt to the belting. It is possible to turn in the skirt edge at top of belt so that it comes even with the top of the belt. This makes a slightly raised waist line. Stitch neatly at the top edge. Turn hem at the bottom the desired width and baste carefully. The stitching of the hem can be done on the right side for neater finish if the basting is done with care.

Sew on hooks and eyes. Be careful to attach the hooks so that they will not show on the outside of skirt.

Mollie Stark was so successful with her skirt that she made one for her older sister Ruth, and also won the prize at the County Fair contest.

Exercises And Problems

1. Study some of the skirt patterns which mother has at home. Compare with the one used at school.

2. What is a skirt gore? Describe. Draw on the blackboard.

3. Give some suggestions for economical cutting.