School Dress


Linen (Chap. I, Par. 40) or Percale (Chap. I, Par. 31) or Gingham (Chap. I, Par. 19).

Amount of material called for in commercial pattern.

Thread No. 70.

Fastenings necessary, according to style of dress.

Belting, 2" longer than waist line.

Introductory Statement

During their school days, girls are forming habits that will last a life time. It is very essential that they get into the habit of dressing appropriately for school. The schoolroom is the school girl's place of business and she should take just as much pride in coming there properly dressed as the successful business girl does in appearing properly dressed for her work. A girl should learn to distinguish between what is appropriate and what is inappropriate to wear. This can be done only by observation and thoughtful study of the problem.

The well dressed girl will avoid enormous bows on her hair, extremely low cut necks in her dresses, over trimmed effects and gaudy or too striking combinations of colors. The school dress should be comfortable, neat and attractive; it should be made on very simple lines, preferably in one piece so there will be no danger of it "appearing in two parts" at the waist line. Summer dresses for school are appropriately made of plain finished cotton materials like ginghams, percales, chambrays or linens. Serge and panama are very practical fabrics for winter dresses.

The dress in this lesson is made of dark gingham, trimmed with white braid. The white trimmed collar and cuffs give a clean, cool appearance to the dress.


Dress, Mrs. Oliphant.

History of Development of Dress, A. C. Johnson.

Working Directions For School Dress

Preparing Material

If the material is colored, soak it in salt water to set the color; if not, shrink it.

The Pattern

The dress in the illustration is made after the so-called Peter Thompson style of dress. When you have completed the work of the first five sections, you should be able to make this sort of dress very satisfactorily. The directions given for this dress are for a cotton dress. (If you wish to use wool material for your dress, follow the directions for making a wool dress). It will be advisable for you to use a commercial pattern in making this dress. (You will find it very helpful and interesting to draft a pattern and modify it into one similar to the one you have selected for your dress.)

Cutting Out The Material

Study the guide chart and directions accompanying the commercial pattern. Where notches are necessary, be careful to make them very small; plan your material economically.

Seams And Pleats

Where a tailored effect is desired, use felled or lapped seams. If the skirt is to be gathered, materials like linen, gingham or percale should be joined with overcast seams.

Any pleats which the pattern indicates may be marked on both sides of the skirt at the same time by basting through the perforations which indicate the pleats (with long uneven basting stitches) through both thicknesses of the material. When you remove the pattern, cut the basting threads and lift one piece of the material away from the other about 1/2"; cut the threads between them, leaving a row of cut threads on each piece of material. As a rule, pleats should be basted in place before joining the gores of the skirt.

To Make Eyelets For Lacing

The back of the skirt, shown in the illustration, is laced with braid drawn through eyelets.

To make an eyelet. With a stilletto (a pointed bone or steel punch used in embroidery work) punch a small hole in the goods, gradually enlarge it (being careful not to break the threads in the material) until it is the size desired. With thread to match the material, sew over and over around the opening occasionally enlarging it, or keeping it in shape with the stilletto.


When you have decided on the kind of seams most suitable to use in your dress, baste it together, laying in pleats where necessary. (Be careful to have the gores of the skirt even at the top; pin them together before basting; use small basting at the top of the seam, or any place where there is likely to be any strain in fitting, which might pull the basted seams apart.) After the garment is basted, try it on and fit it as directed in Chap. IV.


A sleeve like the one shown in the illustration should have the pleats at the bottom sewed in, also the cuff braided and set on, before sewing it together. As they are plain at the top, the sleeves should be set in with lapped seams (be careful that each sleeve hangs straight from the shoulder to the back of the hand, and that the under-arm seams hang straight from the curve of the arm's eye to the front of the wrist).

Sailor Collar

The sailor collar should be braided and lined before it is sewed to the waist. To sew it on, place the center back of the lining on the center back of the waist, pin, baste, and sew it to the neck of the waist with a 1/4" seam. Turn this seam inside the collar and fold the right side of the collar over it, turn in the raw edges to cover the stitching, pin, baste and hem it around the neck.

The Yoke

The yoke should be braided, lined on the back, and hemmed to the waist on the right side with small stitches, as shown in the illustration.

Joining The Waist And Skirt

The dress in this lesson is joined with a band of the same material, a very common method of joining dresses of this character. The belt should be cut long enough to extend around the waist and allow for the extra length necessary to open the skirt on the side. Take a piece of soft belting, the width desired for the band, fit it to the waist, turn back the ends, sew on hooks and eyes (use the round eyes and let them extend over the end of the belting, as shown in Chap. II, Par. 133). Hook the belt around the waist, letting it open at the center front; put on the waist, pin it to the top of the belting and trim away the extra material; put on the skirt and pin it to the lower part of the belt, leaving loose the edge which must extend beyond the center front; turn in the edges of the material cut for the belt, and line the end which is to be fastened to the loose edge of the skirt. Pin it in place over the skirt and waist; make the skirt even around the bottom and remove the dress; baste the belt where it has been pinned and stitch it in place. (This is a different method than the one given for joining the house dress.)

Finishing The Bottom

After the skirt has been evened at the bottom, baste it along the bottom as indicated by the pins; even the hem, using as a guide a strip of cardboard cut the desired length; pin, baste, turn in the raw edge and stitch the hem in place, laying in the extra fullness in small pleats.


A dress of this kind may be fastened with buttons and button-holes, with snaps or hooks and eyes. (Do not use snaps on the belt.)


A school dress may be trimmed very appropriately with bias folds of contrasting material, with pipings, or with buttons. Lace should not be used.

Trimming 158