Preparing the Belt

1. Cut off a belt about 4" to 6" longer than the actual waist measure.

2.  Fold it into two parts. Mark the middle with a pencil or a contrasting thread. This will indicate the center back.

3.  On each side from this center back mark 1/2 of the waist measure. Mark these also with a pencil line or with a contrasting thread.

4.  Find the point where the side seam should come. To determine this point, measure 1/4 of the waist measure minus 3/4", starting at the center back. The point thus obtained is called the "balance point," because at this point the side seam of the skirt meets the underarm seam of the waist and later on, in dressmaking, it is the starting point from which many measures are tested.

Putting the Shirt on the Belt

1. If the belt is wide, mark a line through the middle with a pencil or a contrasting thread.

2.  Pin the gatherings of the skirt at the seam in the center back, directly on the traced line and at the center back of the belt.

3.  Pin the gathering of each side seam on the drawn line of the belt and on the " balance point."

4.  Pin the waistline and the marked center front line of the skirt on the center front line of the belt.

5.  The two side fronts should fit the belt.

6.  Draw the two gathering threads up in the back to fit the belt.

7.  Adjust the gathers evenly. Leave 1 1/2" from the side seam with very little or no fullness and pull the gathers well toward the middle of the back.

8.  Adjust the gathers so that they will radiate.

9.  Pin the skirt carefully to the belt. Put the pins at right angles and close together.

Fitting the Skirt

1.  See that the belt is placed horizontally around the waistline.

2.  See that the side seams hang straight from the hips down.

3.  See that the back and the front seams are perfectly straight.

4.  Lap the right side of the belt on to the left side, and to the line which indicates the center front of the belt.

5.  See that both edges are even at the top.

6.  If the measurements have been taken correctly, the skirt will fit perfectly and will not need any alteration.

7.  However, to test the length, place a yardstick perpendicular to the floor with the beginning end on the floor. This will show very quickly and accurately whether the skirt is the same distance from the floor all around.

Basting the Skirt Over the Belt

1.  Put another shirring thread at the top of the skirt. This will help to regulate the fullness.

2.  With shallow overhand stitches baste the skirt over the belt.

3.  At the left side front, turn the selvage over 1" towards the left side. This will form the facing for the placket.

4.  On this side let the belting extend as far as the turned edge of the placket; then turn a 1/2" hem. Baste the skirt to the belt as far as this point.

Stitching the Skirt to the Belt

1.  Take a piece of bias binding 1/4" wide and lay this on the inside 1/4" from the edge of the belt.

2.  Pin this binding all along the inside of the belt.

3.  Extend the binding 2" beyond the end of the belt to make sure that there is enough left for a good finish.

4.  Stitch very close to the upper bias edge of the belt.

5.  Lift up the loose side of the bias edge and cut the extending seam of the skirt till this is even with the cut edge of the bias binding.


Fig. 57. - Detail of Front of Skirt Closed with a Slot Seam

A, Slot seam formed by folding over both edges and stitch ing them to a straight piece; B, wrong side of slot seam; C, inside of seam finished by turning the cut edge once and stitching close to the edge; D, stitching the skirt on the belt without bias binding. The belt covers the edge of the skirt.

6.  Stitch the other edge of the binding to the belt.

7.  Finish the ends of the binding by turning them under.

8.  Sew on the hooks and eyes.

9.  Sew snaps on the placket.

For another method of finishing the front of a skirt and sewing the skirt to the belt, see Fig. 57.

Putting in the Hem

1.  If you are sure that the skirt is an even length all around, then press the edge of the skirt on the inside with a hot iron.

2.  There are different ways of finishing the hem of the skirt and these different ways vary according to the material used in the skirt. But no matter what hem is chosen, a gauge must be used, and the hem marked. This gauge, measuring from the bottom up, must mark an even width all around.

3.  These marks may, according to the material, be made, with either a hard pencil, tailor's chalk, or the tracing wheel.

I. First Method

1. After the width of the hem is marked, turn an even 1/4" turn and press this turn with a hot iron. This turn must be even, as an uneven turn will show in transparent and in semi-transparent materials.

2. Pin the hem down. It will be found that there is more fullness in the hem than in the skirt. The wider the skirt is and the deeper the hem, the more fullness there will be found.


FIG. 58. - Details for Hemming a Skirt By Pleating the Fullness at the Top by Means of a Bias Binding

A, Hem pinned and bottom edge pressed; B, fullness pleated and pinned; C, width of hem marked; D, gauge marking the line for the binding; E, binding pinned to hem with cardboard between hem and skirt; F, binding stitched to the hem; G, binding stitched to the skirt.

3.  Make small, even pleats in the hem where the fullness is. If only a few deep pleats are made points will appear at the lower edge of the hem. (See Fig. 58 A.)

4.  Be sure, when you make these pleats, that they do not form scallops near the stitching line. Be very careful to keep an even stitching line around the hem.

5. Hold the hem up to the light. Any irregularity will show.


Fig. 59. - Details for Hemming a Skirt by Shirring the Fullness at the Top by Means of a Bias Binding

A, Gauge marking the width of the hem; B, shirr thread made by machine to hold the fullness; C, cardboard slipped between hem and skirt: D, bias binding pinned over the shirr thread; E, first stitching of bias binding; F, cutting away surplus material; G, stitching binding to skirt.

6.  Press the pleats and the upper edge in the hem.

7.  Stitch very close to the edge.

II. Second Method

This method is adapted especially to the needs of immature students. It is also found satisfactory for skirts made of heavy material. When an even width is marked all around the hem:

1.  Put in a shirring thread by machine. To do this, adjust the longest stitch the machine will take. Loosen either the top or the bottom tension. Then stitch on the marked line of the cut edge of the hem.

2.  Pull up the shirring thread so that the edge of the hem will fit the skirt. The shirring thread will hold in a great deal of the fullness, which otherwise would have to be put into pleats.

3.  Take a 14" bias tape. Lay the lower edge of the binding directly over the stitching and pin to the hem only. Slip a cardboard between the skirt and the hem. This will prevent pinning the hem and the skirt together.

4.  When the binding is pinned all around, then stitch it, close to the edge, on to the hem.

5.  Press the hem and the binding. Any fullness that may still be found press in small pleats.

6.  Stitch the upper edge of the binding to the skirt. (See Fig. 59.)

Teacher's Directions To Pupil

1.  Draft the pattern.

2.  Fold the material.

3.  Place the pattern on the material.

4.  Pin the pattern on the material.

5.  Cut out the front gore.

6.  Cut out the back gore.

7.  Press the seams over the paper pattern.

8.  Pin the side front seams over the side back seams.

9.  Stitch the side seams.

10.  Sew up the center back seam.

11.  Press the pleat for the center front.

12.  Run two shirring threads around the waistline by machine.

13.  Pin up the hem around the bottom.

14.  Prepare the belt.

15.  Pin the skirt on the belt.

16.  Draw up the gathering thread to fit the belt.

17.  Fit the skirt.

18.  Make alterations, if necessary.

19.  Baste the belt to the skirt.

20.  Finish the skirt around the waistline.

21.  Stitch the hem around the bottom.

22.  Sew on the fastenings.

23.  Press the skirt.

24.  Figure out the cost.

25.  Figure out the time.