Examiner in Dressmaking, Tailoring, French Pattern Modelling, Plain Needlework, and Millinery, of the

Teachers in Training at the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, Cardiff; the London

Higher Technical Examination Centres, etc.; First Class Diploma for Tailoring; Diploma of Honour for dressmaking; Diploma of Merit of the Highest Order for Teaching; Silver Medallist, London Exhibition,

1900; Silver Medal, Franco-british Exhibition, 1908; Author of "Up-to-Date Dresscutting and Drafting," also "The Practical Work of Dressmaking and Tailoring."

The "darts" must be about 5 inches long, and must be most carefully made.

Fit one side of the skirt only; the other side must be made to match when the skirt has been removed from the figure or dress-stand.

After the skirt has been fitted correctly on the one side, take a piece of tailor's chalk and make marks on each side of the two darts and a mark across the bottom of each; remove the pins, and place the skirt flat on the table, right side uppermost. Hold the chalk upright between the thumb and first finger, and perfect the outline of the dart, keeping it to the size denoted by the chalk-marks and to the length shown by the mark across the bottom of the dart. It must be sloped as gradually as possible towards the point, or there will be fulness at the bottom. The most accurate way of marking the darts on to the second side is by "tailor tacking," and, although this is not the method usually adopted by dressmakers, it is by far the most correct and satisfactory way, and if carefully carried out ensures the two sides being exactly alike.

Fold the skirt in half - right side out - and place it flat on the table with the side on which the darts are marked uppermost, pin it together along the top, and stick one pin, downwards, in the centre of each dart.

Thread a needle with a long length of white tacking cotton - or cotton of a contrasting colour to the material - double the cotton, but do not make a knot at the end of it. Stick the needle in at the lowest point of one of the darts (see Diagram 1) and make a small, running stitch through the two sides of the skirt exactly on the chalk line - leave an end about half an inch long instead of a knot - and make another small running stitch on the chalk line - about half an inch from the first - leaving a loose loop between. Continue these stitches to the top of the dart, and cut off the thread about half an inch beyond the last one. Make another row of these running stitches on the chalk line down the other side of the dart, leaving an end of about half an inch - when making the first stitch - instead of a knot, as shown by the diagram.

Tailor tack the second dart in the same way. Unpin the skirt, draw the two sides of it slightly apart, and cut the double tacking threads - which hold them together - with a short, sharp pair of scissors without drawing any of the threads out of the material.

N.B. - Blunt scissors are apt to catch the threads and pull them out, and with long scissors there is danger of snipping the material.

When all the threads have been cut, the darts should appear traced by a line of short double threads on both sides of the skirt exactly to correspond, as shown in Diagram 2.

N.B. - The seams, corrections, etc., of the two sides of any garment can be made exactly alike by being tailor tacked.

Take the skirt off the table, turn it to the wrong side, and form each of the darts by bringing the two lines of tailor tacking exactly together from the top to the point. Pin each dart together, being careful that the pins are on the line of tacking on both sides.

Diagram I. Tailor tacking the darts. This is the best method of ensuring the accuracy of the darts

Diagram I. Tailor tacking the darts. This is the best method of ensuring the accuracy of the darts

Thread a needle with single tacking cotton - white or coloured - make a knot at the end, and tack each dart from the top to the point exactly on the line of tailor tacking. This tacking should be done rather neatly, and most carefully and gradually finished off, so that no fulness may be left at the point of the dart.

Before stitching the darts, remove all the short threads of the tailor tacking, as it is very difficult to do so after the machine-stitching has been done. The darts must all be stitched from the top downwards, in order to work the point gradually off to nothing. If worked from the point upwards the first stitch would have to be made on the material, and a little pleat would thereby be

Dress formed in the skirt under each dart. The two seams which are already tacked must now be machine-stitched from the top downwards, and, after the tacking-threads have been taken out, place the skirt - wrong side uppermost - on a skirtboard, dip the tips of the fingers in water, and damp one of the seams before pressing.

N.B. - The turnings in this style of seam - shown in the skirt of the finished sketch in the Tailoring Lesson, page 758 - must not be separated and pressed open, but should be turned the same way - towards the front of the skirt.

How to Damp and Press the Seams Press the seam well from the top downwards. The iron should not be constantly lifted and cut down again, but moved very gradually all along the seam, and it must not be hot enough to scorch, as it should be allowed to remain some time on the seam; it is the weight and time given to pressing that ensure good results.

The damping must not be commenced until the iron is ready heated, and one seam only must be damped at a time, or the other seams will shrink while the first is being pressed.

Diagram 2. Showing the darts when the tailor tacking has been cut

Diagram 2. Showing the darts when the tailor tacking has been cut

Damp and press the second seam in the same way, then cut the turnings of the darts down the centre and as near to the point as possible.

Separate the turning of one of the darts and damp and press the seam of it open and quite flat.

N.B. - Special care must be taken to thoroughly damp the extreme point, and the iron must be allowed to remain on it until all the moisture has dried up from the board on which it is being pressed, so that If there is any fulness at the point it may be shrunk away.

Damp and press the three other darts in the same way.

Turn the skirt over, and place it on the board again - right side uppermost - and tack down each side of the front about a quarter of an inch from the seam, taking the needle right through the double turnings that are on the wrong side.

Machine-stitch - with silk - down each side of the front, about three-eighths of an inch from the seam; these seams should now have the appearance of being lapped.

Joining the Back of Skirt The back of the skirt must now be joined up. To do this fold the skirt in half - wrong side out - and place it flat on the table with the two edges exactly meeting; pin them together from the top downwards, allowing the weight of the skirt to rest on the table to prevent stretching the back seam, one side of which is more apt to stretch than the other. Both sides must be kept exactly the same length - they were cut exactly the same size - and the turnings must, therefore, be made to meet, both at the top and at the bottom. The hang of the skirt will be spoiled if one side is stretched and then cut off to make it the same length as the other.

Measure one inch and a half from the edge and make a mark, continue to measure and mark at intervals all down the back of the skirt, and with two tailor's squares placed together draw one long line for the back seam - passing through these marks - to ensure its being tacked and stitched perfectly straight. Cut a strip of linen, selvedge-wise, about half an inch wide and the length of the skirt - a piece of tape will do equally well. Place it over and all along the chalk line, and tack it through the double material all down the back of the skirt.

Machine stitch down the seam from the top of the skirt to the bottom.

N.B. - The strip of linen or tape stitched in with the seam will prevent it stretching.

Take out the tacking, damp the seam, and press it open, following the instructions given for pressing.

The back seam of a skirt should always be pressed open, even when the other seams are "lapped " - the skirt would appear crooked if the back seam were "lapped."