Place the skirt, wrong side uppermost, on a skirt-board, dip the tips of the fingers in water, open and damp one of the seams down the centre. Press the seams well from the top downwards, moving the iron very slowly all along it, not constantly lifted.
N.B.-The iron must not be hot enough to scorch the material, as it should be allowed to remain some time on the seam; it is the weight of the iron, and the time given to the pressing, that produce the best results.
The damping must not be commenced until the iron is ready for use, and only one seam at a time must be damped.
Separate the turning of the darts, damp and press the seams of them open and quite flat, damp the extreme point, and allow the iron to remain on it until the moisture has all dried up from the board. This will shrink away any fulness there may be at the points.
Cut the turnings of the darts in the lining in the same way, and press them and the seams open, but without damping them. Linings should never be damped.
Place the lining on a skirt-board, wrong side uppermost, and place the material over it, the seams downwards, facing those of the lining.
The material and lining must lie perfectly smoothly, one on the other, and the seams and the darts must exactly correspond.
Tack them together down the "centre-back seam," from the top to the bottom, smoothing the material well down towards the bottom as the tacking is being done.
Thread two needles with tacking cotton, and with one of them tack round the top of the skirt, about an inch from the edge, from the back to the side seam. Do not break off the thread but stick the needle into the material. Smooth the material carefully and evenly down over the lining, and with the second needle tack round the bottom of the skirt (about four or five inches from the edge) from the back to the side seam. Take the first needle and tack down the side seam, then round the top from the side seam to the front.
Smooth down the material and tack round the bottom, from the side seam to the front, then down the front about four or five inches from the edge.
Tack the other half of the skirt in the same way.
Take the skirt off the board, and next make the " placket hole."
To Make the "Placket Hole"
To do this, cut a strip of linen on the straight selvedgewise, about three inches wide, and the length the placket hole is to be made.
Turn back the lining from the edge on the left side of the front of the skirt, and pin it to be out of the way.
Take the strip of linen, pin, and then tack it down the edge of the front, on the wrong side of the material.
Turn down and tack the edge of the material and linen. This turning should be about half an inch wide, and the tacking firmly done. Cut a second strip of linen on the straight, about an inch and a half wide, and the length of the placket hole, and tack this in the same way down the edge of the right half of the front.
N.B.-This turning on the right half must be most carefully done, so that the edge may be perfectly even, as when the skirt is finished it will lap over the left half, and any irregularity in the edge of it will be apparent.
Press the turnings on the wrong side, after slightly damping them, and herringbone the raw edges of the material to the linen; be careful not to take the stitches through to the right side. Remove the pins from the lining, turn in the edge, and bring it smoothly over the strip of linen, tack, and then fell it neatly to the turned-down edge of the material, the length of the placket hole only. Do the same on the other side.
The skirt must next be put into the band. There are various methods of finishing off a skirt at the waist. One is to bind it with a piece of silk to match. To do this, cut a strip of silk on the cross, about one and a half inches wide, and the required length, plus turnings, turn down each edge, and tack it round the top of the skirt on the right side, and either hem or machine-stitch it on. Cut off all unnecessary turnings from the top of the skirt, fold the silk over to the wrong side of it, turn in each end, tack, and then fell it neatly all round, sew up the ends, and put on the hooks and eyes.
Another method is to finish the skirt round the waist with Prussian binding.
To do this, take a piece of binding the required length, plus turnings, tack it round the top of the skirt on the right side, and either hem or machine-stitch it on; cut off all superfluous turnings. Take a second piece of binding the same length as the first, and tack it round on the wrong side, with the top edge level with the top edge of the other piece; turn in the ends of both pieces to face, and sew them up. Sew or machine-stitch the top edges together, hem the lower edge of the inside piece, and put on the hooks and eyes.
A third method is to use a narrow double belting. This should be opened and stitched single on to the right side of the skirt. The superfluous turnings should then be cut off and the second side of the belting brought down over them, so that the raw edges lie between the double belting. The ends are turned over to form a wide hem, on which to sew the hooks and eyes.
If the first of these methods is adopted for this skirt, cut the strip of silk perfectly on the cross, about one and a half inches wide, and the length of the waist measurement, plus one inch for turnings and the amount that the right half of the front overlaps the left. This additional length is ascertained by measuring from the "centre-front" to the edge of the placket.
Turn down and tack both edges of the cross way strip, and make a turning of half an inch at each end. From one end of the strip measure the amount the right half of the skirt overlaps, and place a pin downwards to mark the position for the centre front. From this pin measure half the waist measurement, and place another pin downwards, this pin marks the position for the centre back.
Place the skirt on the person for whom it is being made, or round a stand as near as possible the same size. Pin the centre-back seam at the top to the centre back of the stand, then pin the centre-front in position also.
Commence fixing on the crossway strip by pinning the centre front-shown by the first pin-to the centre front of the skirt over the raw edge, and pin it at frequent intervals in the correct position round the right half of the skirt, as far as the centre-back seam, holding the strip rather tight, and very slightly easing the skirt. Remove the skirt from the stand, and firmly tack the strip to the skirt as far as it has been pinned-i.e., from the centre-front to the centre-back.
Take out the pins, fold the skirt in half down the centre-back, pin it evenly together at the top (the edges quite level), and tailor-tack it through close under the edge of the strip which has been fixed to the right half to mark the exact position to fix it on to the left half.
Cut each stitch of the tacking which is on the right side, take out the pins, unfold the skirt, and draw the threads right through, leaving them only in the left half.
To mark the position for fixing the strip on the piece that overlaps, make a fold down the front, pin it, and then mark it through by tailor-tacking in the same way as the left half was done.
Now pin and tack the strip round the left half and the piece that overlaps immediately above the tailor-tacking. Fell, or machine-stitch it on, cut off all superfluous turnings at the top of the skirt, fold the silk over to the wrong side of the skirt, tack, and then hem it neatly, and sew up the ends.
Instructions for making the cross-stitch to mark the centre of the band and for sewing on the hooks and eyes are given on page 885, Vol. II.
If a double belting is preferred for the band, instructions for putting the skirt into that are given on the same page, the only difference being that the skirt in that lesson is fastened at the back.
Instructions for measuring up the skirt for the hem, and diagrams illustrating the methods, are also given on that page and on page 999.