This section is from the book "School Needlework. A Course of Study in Sewing designed for use in Schools", by Olive C. Hapgood. Also available from Amazon: School Needlework: A Course Of Study In Sewing Designed For Use In Schools.
A few general directions for the cutting of garments are here given.
The first thing to be observed in cutting is whether the cloth has a right and a wrong side. If it has a design, consider the heavier part as the bottom; a vine should run upwards; the nap on the cloth should run downwards.
Before cutting, ascertain if there is sufficient cloth by laying the different parts of the pattern upon the cloth in such positions, that the cloth will not be unnecessarily wasted; being careful in regard to the up and down of the cloth. When there is a scarcity of material, the underneath parts of the sleeves may be pieced, hems may be faced, and the small pieces may often be used for the trimmings.
The length of the main parts of a garment (as back, front, and sleeves) should be cut parallel to the selvedge or warp of the cloth. Fig. 102 represents a wrapper placed On cloth, which is folded lengthwise through the middle; the edge of the front is placed on the selvedge, and the back on the fold of the cloth, to avoid a seam at the back of the skirt. The vertical perforations in the side-back and both portions of the sleeve are placed lengthwise of the cloth. The perforations near the edges of the patterns show the seams, where alterations should be made. The perforations near the centre of the front indicate where the darts should be taken up.
In cutting plain goods, two similar parts can be cut at once by folding either the right or the wrong sides together; the selvedges or edges of the material should first be pinned together to prevent slipping. When the cloth can not be doubled, great care must be taken not to cut similar parts (as sleeves) for the same side; this can always be avoided by laying one part upon the material, with either the right or wrong sides together.
Having the cloth spread out evenly, place a weight or insert a pin at the middle of each part of the pattern. Smoothing out each part from the middle, pin it to the cloth, being careful to place pins closely at the middle of the darts, at the curves, and one at each corner of the pattern. Cut evenly and close to the edge of the pattern, and be very particular at the curves.
Fig. 102. - Wrapper.
Linings should be cut and basted carefully on to the wrong side of the cloth, before cutting the cloth. The notches on the edges of the pattern should only be cut in the lining.
In cutting linings or unlined garments, the marks for the seams may be made by a tracing-wheel, or they may be pricked with a large needle. Where there are perforations, a pencil or chalk may be used. When two parts of a garment are cut at once, especially on woollen materials, the following tailor's method of marking the perforations may be used, - pin the pattern securely through both thicknesses of cloth. With a coarse, doubled thread take the first stitch in the centre of the perforation and through both thicknesses of cloth; take another stitch in the same place, and, in drawing the thread through, leave a loop the size of a pencil. At the next perforation make a similar stitch, leaving the thread loose between the perforations, and so continue, until all the perforations are marked. Then cut out the parts, separate the two edges of cloth, as far as the thread will permit, and carefully cut the threads midway between the two edges. Cut the long stitch on the upper side, in the middle, and remove the paper pattern. The threads left in the cloth serve as a guide for basting.