Tailored Skirt 153


Linen (Chap. I, Par. 40) or

Galatea (Chap. I, Par. 18) or

Indian Head (Chap. I, Par. 21).

Amount of material called for in commercial pattern, or if drafted pattern is used, plan from the pattern (the amount will vary with the style of the garment and the size of the person).

Belting 2" longer than waist measure.

6 snaps.

2 large hooks and eyes.

Thread No. 70.

Introductory Statement

The tailored skirt is given in this section because it is the foundation of all pleated or draped skirts. The principles involved in its making must be mastered before one can hope to make the more elaborate skirts. The beauty of the tailored skirt lies in the good lines, careful machine stitching, and perfect fit of the garment.

The skirt in this lesson is made of Indian head, a smooth finished material. Ratine or other rough finished goods should be reserved until one has had considerable practice in sewing for it is very difficult to stitch the rough material.

If you succeed in making your skirt so it fits well, has the lines of the seams running properly, is stitched nicely, and hangs evenly, you may feel that you have laid a good foundation in your training for some of the more difficult problems of skirt making.


Needlework and Cutting Out, Kate Stanley. Costume, Arden Holt.

Working Directions For Tailored Skirt

Preparing Material

Shrink the material and the belting.

Cutting Out The Skirt

A drafted pattern may be used for the style of skirt shown in the illustration (See Chap. IV). If you desire to vary this skirt from the plain skirt by pleating it, it is wise to use a commercial pattern. If the commercial pattern is used, study carefully the guide chart and directions which accompany it (it is a good plan to pin the pattern together and fit it before cutting out the material).

If the drafted pattern is used for a skirt finished with a pleat in front, as shown in the illustration, fold over the edge of the goods lengthwise and place the center fold of the pattern as far from the folded edge of the material as you desire the width of the pleat. The other side of the front should be allowed to extend beyond the edge of the pattern the distance which it will lap under the pleat. Remember, in cutting the back gores, to have the straight edge of the pattern laid parallel with the warp threads.


The seams on a tailored skirt may be finished in a variety of ways. Heavy material is often stitched together in plain seams, the seams being finished with overcasting. A neat way to finish such seams on the right side is to press the raw edges on the under side of the seam flat on the skirt; baste and stitch through them 1/8" to 1/4" from the seam on the right side.

To give a pleated effect at a seam, baste it in the usual way; lay both raw edges of the seam flat against the wrong side and stitch through them from the right side, making the row of stitching parallel with the basting; remove the basting and a pleat will thus be formed on the right side.

In basting seams, be careful to have the parts of the skirt exactly even at the top; pin them together before basting and use small basting stitches near the top so they will not pull apart when fitted. It is a good plan to hold the bias edges toward you when basting.

When fitting the skirt, follow the suggestions given in Chap. IV.


For the placket opening under a pleat like the one shown in the illustration, use a faced placket (Chap. II, Par. 163). For a placket opening at the end of an ordinary seam, use the extension placket (Chap. II, Par. 162). If the skirt is gathered, a bound placket (Chap. II, Par. 161) may be used. Use hooks and eyes, or snaps, to hold the placket closed. Large buttons with buttonholes are sometimes used to fasten the placket and to form a trimming for the skirt.

Finishing The Top

The top of a tailored skirt is usually finished so it can be worn outside of a shirt waist. Belting is used for this purpose. If the skirt extends to the waist line, a narrow belting about 1" wide should be used; if it is to be raised above the waist line, wider belting should be used (the width of the belting will depend upon the distance the skirt is to be raised).

Before sewing on the belting, fit it to the waist, turn back the ends about 1", and sew on at least two strong hooks and eyes (use a rounding eye and allow it to extend over the end of the belt as shown in Chap. II, Par. 133). The belting should be hooked around the waist allowing it to open at the same place the skirt is to open. Put on the skirt and pin it to the belting near the center, or bottom edge so the raw edges at the top of the skirt may be turned in at the top of the belting.

Remove the skirt; if necessary trim off the top of the skirt, turn in the raw edges, letting them extend about 1/8" above the edge of the belting; baste and stitch the skirt in place near the top edge of the belting. (It may be necessary to trim off the end of the extension piece on the placket to make it fit in between the upper side of the placket and the belting when the skirt is fastened together). The raw edges at the end of this piece may be turned in and overhanded together.

Finishing The Bottom

NOTE: After the belt is adjusted, the skirt should be evened around the bottom, using the skirt gauge or a yard stick as a guide. The extra material may be turned back on the wrong side of the skirt for a hem.

Baste the hem in place, as pinned, around the lower edge; make it the width desired, using a strip of cardboard, or gauge, as a guide in making it even. Turn in the raw edges, take up the extra fullness in small pleats, baste and stitch the hem in position (the quilter attachment on the sewing machine may be used as a guide in stitching this hem parallel with the bottom of the skirt). A second row of stitches about 1/4" from the first row is often used as an additional decoration.

If there is not enough material on the bottom of the skirt to form a hem, it may be faced by sewing a bias strip the width desired, to the bottom of the skirt, turning it back and finishing it like a hem.

A fitted facing may be used if desired; it may be sewed on in the same manner as the bias strip.

Finishing The Bottom 154