House Dress


Gingham (Chap. I, Par. 19) or Percale (Chap. I, Par. 31).

Amount of material called for in pattern, if commercial pattern is used. If drafted pattern is used, figure from the pattern the amount of material you will need, as it will vary with the style of the garment, the size of the person, and the width of material.

8 buttons.

Thread No. 70.

Introductory Statement

Every girl should try to dress in keeping with the work that she is doing. It would look very inappropriate to see an office girl at work in an evening dress. It would look just as inappropriate to see a woman or girl at work in the house dressed in worn-out finery.

As housework generally soils the clothes very quickly and a wool dress is more or less difficult to clean, house dresses made of wash material which can be laundered as frequently as necessary are much preferable.

A house dress should be made of good fast colored material, preferably in one piece, with very little trimming. White collars and cuffs made of piquet, lawn, embroidery or a lace edge on the collar made of the material of which the dress is made, or pipings or bands of white piquet or contrasting color, make attractive trimmings on a house dress. A nicely made house dress for a young girl would also be appropriate for school wear.

The house dress in the illustration shows one type of the tailored skirt combined with a simple shirt waist. This waist involves practically the same principles as are found in the middy except that it is gathered into a belt at the waist line and is made with a different style of collar and sleeve.


Practical Dressmaking, Mrs. J. Boughten. Home Dressmaking, Annie Myers.

Working Directions For House Dress

Preparing Material

Shrink the material.

Cutting Out The House Dress

For the house dress shown in the illustration, the drafted patterns for the shirt waist, sleeves and plain gored skirt may be used (see Chap. IV). As this is a four-piece skirt with a side front opening it will be necessary to cut the front gore of the pattern double. To make the side opening, measure from the center front 2" to the right; fold the pattern, cut it lengthwise on the crease. The back may be made in on piece by placing the center back of the back pattern on a fold of the material; or, it may be cut in two pieces with a seam up the center back. Be careful to allow for seams or pleats in cutting out the skirt, if they have not already been allowed on the pattern.

Finish the front edges of the waist as desired before cutting out the waist with a drafted pattern. The right-hand side of the waist in the illustration is finished with a wide hem turned toward the right side and stitched 1/4" from each edge. The left-hand side of the opening is finished with a 1/2" hem turned toward the wrong side.

A commercial pattern may be used in making the house dress if desired. If one is used, carefully study the guide chart and directions which accompany it.

The Seams

The waist may be joined at the shoulder with lapped or felled seams, finished on the right side. The under-arm seams and the sleeves may be joined with French seams. The gores of the skirt may be joined with plain overcast seams if the material is firm, like gingham, percale, or linen. French seams are used in gathered skirts, or on thin material.

Fitting The House Dress

Follow the suggestions given for fitting a waist and skirt in Chap. IV, (be careful to mark the waist line on the waist with pins).

Setting In Sleeves

The waist should be tried on, the edges of the armholes turned in and the sleeves pinned in position so the top will hang straight from the shoulder to the back of the hand, and so the under-arm seam will hang straight from the arm's eye to the wrist The waist should then be removed and the sleeves basted and stitched in place with lapped seams.

Set-in sleeves with gathers at top. Join the seams of the sleeves, fold the armholes so the shoulder seams and the under-arm seams lie together. Crease the fold formed on the back and front of one arm-hole; place the seam of a sleeve in the armhole 2 1/4" to 2 1/2" in front of the under-arm seam. Pin the under part of the sleeve to the arm-hole from the crease on the front to the crease on the back. Gather the top of the sleeve between the two creases. Adjust the gathers allowing the greatest fullness at the top of the sleeve. Baste it in place. Try it on, see that it hangs as suggested for the plain sleeve, stitch in the sleeves and finish with overcasting, or binding.

To bind the sleeve. Cut bias strips about 3/4" wide, stitch in one edge when you stitch in the sleeve, trim the seam to about 1/4"; turn in the raw edges of the binding on the other side and hem or stitch in place. The bottom of the sleeves in this lesson are finished with a double lengthwise strip of the material.

Sleeves are finished in such a variety of ways, however, that no attempt is made here to explain any one method.

Finishing The Neck

The simple turned-over collar shown in this lesson should be cut from a commercial pattern and sewed together around the outside edges. With the center back of the waist and center back of the collar together, pin, baste and stitch the neck of the collar and the waist together. Fold the upper edge of the collar over and turn under the raw edges until it covers the stitching; pin, baste and hem or stitch in place. These directions are suitable for any double collar. If a single collar. is used, sew it to the neck with bias tape.

Joining Waist And Skirt

The dress in this lesson is joined with a band of material like that used in making the waist. After the waist and skirt are completed (with the exception of the bottom of the skirt) put on the waist, which should be gathered at the waist line; adjust the gathers in the waist; trim off extra material below waist and put on the skirt. With both edges of the band turned under, pin the lower edge to the skirt and the upper edge to the waist. (Make the skirt even around the bottom and turn up the extra material.) Remove the dress, cut away the extra material under the band, leave the bottom of the waist extending about 3/4" below the top edge of the band, baste in place; on the under side pin and baste a strip the same width as the band (for a lining); stitch this lining in place.

Finishing The Bottom Of The Skirt

Baste the hem in position, as marked, make it even, using a gauge or strip of cardboard as a guide; lay the extra fullness in small pleats, pin, baste and stitch the hem in place.


The house dress in the illustration is fastened with buttons and buttonholes; snaps or hooks and eyes may be used, instead of buttons if desired. (Do not use snaps on the belt.)

Fastenings 156