When stitching up inside skirt seams, especially those to be pressed open, be very careful to see both edges are quite smooth before tacking up; nothing looks so bad as a puckered seam, with perhaps one edge of the material eased on one side, and the other side quite tight. If care is not taken before the seam is stitched up, no amount of pressing with the iron afterwards will set it right.

Also be sure the stitching is quite straight. In the case of dark materials a rule may be laid down the seam, and a chalk or crayon pencil line marked close to the rule before stitching; or a piece of ordinary wide tape, held firm at either end with a drawing-pin, would answer the purpose, should any reader not possess a rule long enough. For light materials a tacking may be placed close to the tape instead of a pencil or chalk mark.

Crepe de Chine, ninon, and all thin flimsy materials are best stitched over paper, as it prevents the seams looking drawn. The paper can be pulled away after the seams or hems are stitched. In fact, all very thin materials look better when stitched with paper underneath them.

Getting An Even Length

When allowing for the length of a skirt, it is best to take the measurements from the waist to the ground at the front, back, and the hips. Then turn up the skirt to the length you require it off the ground. For instance, if the length should be 42 inches to the ground, and you want a skirt to be 4 inches off the ground, you would turn up the skirt to measure 38 inches, taking 4 inches off the measurements to the ground all round the skirt. Tack up the hem to these measurements, then try on the skirt and see that it is quite even before stitching the hem.


When pressing seams and hems (and when a garment is well pressed it makes all the difference in its appearance), there is no need to use all one's strength, as it were, as I have seen some really good workers try to do.

To Cover Button Moulds

Before covering button-moulds with the material, the holes of the mould should be filled up with a tiny piece of cotton-wool, pushed in from the back of the mould with the sharp point of the scissors. And if the buttons are to be covered with a very thin material, such as soft silk or satin, they will look, and also wear, better if the mould is covered with a little piece of lining first before putting on the outside covering.

When Turning Hems On Thin Materials

French knots are often used now for finishing hems and fastening pleats, and any reader who does not possess a sewing-machine, I am surewill find these have a much nicer appearance than hand-hemming in the ordinary way. Also they, of course, make the hem much stronger, especially for thin materials, where hemming stitches would be likely to show more, and for this reason do not have a very firm hold on the second thickness of the material.

Applying Trimmings

Ribbon, velvet and silk, or mohair braid trimmings are best sewn on by hand with silk, and only one stitch taken at a time, although in some instances the sewing-machine may be used to advantage.

The Foundation Band

A one-piece dress will feel much more comfortable if the bodice is mounted and sewn on to a foundation-band of petersham, shaped and boned, made to fit the waist, the top of the skirt being sewn to the top of the band. These bands should be fitted to the size of the waist, and the hooks and eyes sewn on before joining them to the dress. If preferred, shaped belting ready boned may be obtained at most drapers, in different widths, for about sixpence per yard. Fasteners.



The larger press-studs or fasteners, are much better and stronger than the small size fasteners for thick materials, such as serge or cloth, while for thin silk, satin, lace or net, the smaller sizes are more suitable. Crossway Bands and Pipings.

In making cord pipings, bias bands, or flounced trimmings, be sure the material is cut quite on the bias before starting to cut the strips required, or it will spoil the appearance of them, and they will not set properly.

To Edge Collars And Cuffs

Stitching, in pretty shades of embroidery silk, to correspond with the dress, is a nice finish for a ninon yoke, or collar and cuffs to a dress.

For example, a navy blue, with alternate stitches of navy and red, is very pretty, or perhaps three navy stitches and then one red stitch.

This is, of course, just a matter of individual taste.