This section is from the book "Clothing And Health. An Elementary Textbook Of Home Making", by Helen Kinne. Also available from Amazon: Clothing And Health.
What kind of seams shall we make on our nightdresses? How shall we finish the bottom? The Pleasant Valley girls did most of this at school in one lesson, but finished at home.
Making French seams on the nightdress. We have learned that our dish towels had to be hemmed because of the raveling of material. Anything which is to be washed a great deal must have its raw edges finished in such a way that they will not ravel. As nightdresses are washed often, we must make our seams so that the edges will not pull out. Who can name other garments which are washed often? Who can tell what we can do to prevent edges from fraying? Yes, we might make small stitches, called overcasting, on the edge of a plain seam. There is another way, which we shall learn to-day. It is called a French seam. The French seam is sewed twice. The seam is basted as you have done, on the right side of the garment; seams are usually basted on the wrong side. Then, the seam is sewed close to the basting stitches. We shall sew ours by machine. The French seam is used on some garments made by hand. The first sewing (Fig. 54), then, is a tiny row of running stitches, close to the basting. After the first sewing, the basting should be removed and the edges trimmed to a 1/8 inch seam. This must be done carefully. Then, turn the garment to the wrong side. Press and pinch the seams evenly so that the sewing of the seam is exactly on top of the fold as you pinch it. Next, baste again 1/4 inch from edge, and sew the second time, by machine. This seam is often used on dainty handmade underwear. Then, the second sewing is two runs and a back stitch, like that you used on your aprons, and is made by hand. What must we be careful about, then, in making the French seams on our nightdresses?
Fig. 54. - The French seam. First sewing near raw edges.
Fig. 55. - The French seam. Second sewing.
Making the hem of the nightdress. How much was allowed for the hems at the bottom of the nightdresses?
Everybody knows how to turn a hem. The first turning is 1/4 inch; and the wide turning, 3 inches. All use your gauges or tape measures; and turn and pin and baste carefully before stitching. Who can tell why the tiny plaits are necessary at the hem turning? Where shall we lay them? Yes, at the seams and between, if necessary.
Now you will have plenty to do to finish seams and hem. The Pleasant Valley girls, after this lesson, finished theirs at home.
1. Show on a practice piece how a French seam is made: a. By hand.
b. By machine.
2. Name some garments or articles on which the French seam might be used. Why ?
3. What are the important things to remember in turning the hems at the bottom of the nightdresses ?