te^e;! ir lie j^v ici!^ of'
£aclx^einc;cjci <;_:lc:>ll lii ^^ c;c)i^;-st i-i ic:t ic;>i i
It's challenging to try to improve the looks of garments made at home by employ-
ing some of the sewing tricks of the professionals. Couturier houses use many of th(>se
advanced construction techniques which are not usually found on pattern guides. In
fact, you can take a pattern design and make from it a garment that is individually
yours by using some of these ideas. Happy sewing!
The f'erfect Faced Facing
Neater Neckline Finish
All-In-One Facing for Collarless,
Out-of-Sight Buttons and Buttonholes
LoopsLoops and Buttons
Quick and Easy Slot Buttonholes
Keep Front Button-Closure Dresses
Buck the BulkSleeveless Garments
Almost Sleeveless Sleeves
Camisoles for Shift-No-More Skirts
Hemline Flare Removed the Easy Way
Darts for Decoration
Hide That Hook
That Superb Hang To Jackets
Continuous Bias Strips
Beautiful Bias Binding
Mystery Out of Mitered Corners
Pointed Look for Points
Perfect Patch Pockets
Easy-Does-It Waistband Application
Hems with Seamed Pleats
Removing Thread Markings on k^abi-ic
iVlagical Know-How with Chiffon
The Perfect Faced Facing
For lovely silk blouses, dresses made
of thin fabrics, or for any other garment
you want to have that couturier finish,
try this trick:
Construct garment using lining or un-
derlining as necessary. Leave raw edges
exposed at neck and armholes.
Then for that perfect faced facing, cut
the facing out of the garment fabric just
as you usually do. Also cut a duplicate
facing out of the lining or underlining
fabric. Next, join the underarm seams of
each facing piece. Press seam open.
Trim seam allowance. Fig. 1.
Place facing and corresponding lining
piece together with right sides of fabric
together. Machine stitch the unnotched
edge forming a % inch seam. Fig. 2.
Turn and press, keeping the seam rolled
very slightly under. Baste the notched
edges together using a long running
stitch. Fig. 3.
Machine stitch the facing to garment in
usual manner; right sides of garment
and fabric together. Match correspond-
ing notches and seams. Fig. U. Trim
seam. Clip seam allowance from notch to
notch in underarm portion. Turn facing
to inside of garment and press. Slip-
stitch finished perfect faced facing edge
invisibly to lining. Fig. 5.
One additional tip: This same method
of application could be used when facing-
type decorative touches are used on the
right side of garments around neckline
and sleeves. This would involve stitching
the facing on the wrong side of the fabric
and then turning it to the right side of
N'c!tcr .NccKliiu' finish
H's hard sometimes, especially when
fabric is bulky, to get the neckline flat
and smooth at center back opening. Try
this method on your next blouse or dress.
With or without a collar, this technique
works every time.
Prepare neck facing by sewing to-
gether at shoulder seams and finishing
unnotched edge. I'rim and press
shoulder seams. (The facing may be pre-
pared as discussed under The Perfect
On the overlap side of the back facing,
turn under IVs inches. Press.
On the underlap side, turn under V2
inch. Press. Fig. 1.
Apply facing to garment neckline
matching all notches and markings.
Check to be sure facing is V2 inch from
edge of garment on underlap side, and
IVs inches from edge on overlap side.
Stitch facing to garment. Trim seams as
close as possible; clip. Notice in the il-
lustration that the neckline seam is
trimmed starting 1/4 inch from folded
edges of facing. Fig. 2. (A and B).
Starting at about 1 inch from folded
edges of facing, understitch the facing.
Press neckline edge of facing in place, in-
cluding the extensions of the garment to
which the facing is 7iot sewed. Fig. 3.
Machine baste the center back seam of
the garment. The garment extensions to
which the facing is not sewed are turned
down and included in this stitching.
Fig. U- Insert zipper by machine or by
the hand-sewn method. The overlap zip-
per application must be used when put-
ting the facing on by this method. Start
zipper about t4 inch to ¥2 inch down
from top of garment neckline edge. Slant
out the raw edges of tape at top of zipper,
and hand tack in place. Turn both sides
of the facing into position over the zip-
per and hand tack in place. Fig. 5.
Put the final touches on necklines by
hand tacking the facing down at
shoulder seams, pressing the neckline
edge over a pressing ham and applying
a hook and eye at neckline edge alaove
Tuck in front facing edge
Tuck back facing
1^^ end into front
The best way I know to finish the
shoulders of a collarless, sleeveless dress
is given here. Try it. You'll like the re-
The facing for the neckline and sleeve-
line is cut in one. Finish the outer edge
of the facing in an acceptable method for
the fabric. Join the front and back fac-
ings at underarm.
When sewing up the dress, leave the
shoulder seams open. Now you are ready
to apply the facing to the dress.
With right sides of fabric together,
sew the facing to dress around neckline
and sleeveline. Fig. i. A tip worth re-
membering is make the facing from
shoulder line to notches of armseye
about Vs inch smaller. This forces the
seamline to foil under and not show
when the dress is completed. Trim and
clip seams. Turn facing to inside of dress
Working carefully, turn the raw
edges of front shoulder seam to the in-
side. Fig. 2. Then tuck the back shoulder
extension inside the front. Fig. 3. Reach
up under the front facing and gently pull
both shoulders from underneath. Match
raw edges of shoulder seams and stitch
together. Before stitching, make certain
seamlines match correctly. Fig. U. Fin-
ger press seam open. Trim seam. Draw
shoulder seam back into proper position
Plunging necklines as well as wide
ones can present the wearer some em-
barrassing situations if they are not
finished with the best known tricks of
For that dress with the deep V, anchor
the neckline with a short length of
featherboning. Cut a 3 inch strip of
featherboning. Round off the ends. Even
if the featherboning you buy is covered
in fabric, put another covering over it
to color coordinate with your garment.
Use seambinding to cover featherboning,
turning in the raw edges when you ma-
chine stitch binding in place. And now
for the trick of the professionals: Sew
one end of the featherboning to the neck-
line facing 1/4 inch below the deepest
point of the V. The lower end is left free
to slip behind bra and permanently hold
this beautiful neckline in place. Fig. 1.
at top only.
For that U shaped neckline, your se-
curity strategy has to be a little differ-
ent. Using a narrow ribbon or seam tape,
cut four 8 inch long strips. Sew a strip
on each bra. Fig. 2. Tiy on dress and
mark with pins the location where strips
have been sewed on bra. Remove dress
and sew strips at points marked on
dress, attaching the strips to facing only.
Fig. 3. When you wear the dress, you
can tie the neckline in place.
Ever spoiled the looks of your lovely
outfit by having an underwear strap to
peep out? This can be prevented with a
strap holder. Try on dress to determine
correct position of strap holder. Mark
position with pins. Make a chain stitch.
Using a double thread, fasten securely
on shoulder seam closest to armhole.
Make a loop by pulling needle through
fabric. Hold thread with needle in left
hand. Slip loop over thumb and first two
fingers of right hand. With thumb and
forefinger, pick up needle thread; pull
through first loop to form a new loop.
Continue this process to form a chain
long enough for slip strap to go through
easily. To finish chain, slip needle
through last loop and pull to make knot.
(Illustrations for this can be found in
many sewing books.) Sew a snap on end
of chain, attaching chain in only one
hole of the snap. Sew other half of snap
to shoulder seam of dress. The strap
holder .should always open toward the
neck. Fig 5.
The wide square neckline can also pre-
sent som(> problems of staying in posi-
tion. Try this: Using featherboning, cut
a strip 1 inch longer than the neck front
edge. Cover featherboning in hemming
tape of matching color. Sew into dress.
T U- ----
Fig. 4 i "
Sew on facing below neckline
Now for the cutest innovation of all
the zig-zag wire. Fig. 6. This wire can be
used around necklines but it also can
help you achieve that professional look at
other places such as points of collars to
keep them from turning up and flat bows
to keep them flat and neat looking. Zig-
zag wire is available at most notion
counters in several lengths. You can
bend it, stretch it and twist it tighter.
But once you have achieved the shape
you want, it will stay that way. When us-
ing it on a garment, place it under the
facing and hand stitch in place to the
Fashionable closures come and go and
then return again with modifications.
Concealed buttons aiul buttonholes are
often used on jackets, coats and dresses
to give appearance of fluid unbroken
lines. Fig. 1.
One change must be made in cutting
out the garment since there is no overlap
on a loop closing, except for the loops
themselves. There's only an underlap.
On the side the loops will be attached,
mark center front of pattern. Add %
incli for seam toward edge. Cut garment
and facing out. The loops are attached at
the center front.
To prepare the loops, stitch and turn a
"narrow strip of bias fabric. A secret in
preparing this bias strip is to stretch
and press it before sewing so that the
stitches will not break when the bias
strip is turned. Cut loops the length
needed to slip over the buttons easily.
Baste loops, evenly spaced, to a strip
of tissue paper, keeping cut ends even.
Hand baste paper, with attached loops,
to outside of garment along the center
front marking. Machine baste. Fig. /.
Join facing to garment. Tear paper
away carefully. Finish facing in conven-
Transfer buttonhole markings to the
front facing using the bodice front as
your guide. Interface the garment as
usual. Make bound or machine worked
buttonholes in the right front facing on
the outside of the fabric. Then apply the
facing in the usual manner. Fig. 2.
When selecting buttons to use on gar-
ments with concealed ()p(Miings, choose
n right front facing
Self-fabric or contrasting loops can
make a smart closure down the front of
garments or at the cuffs of long, full
Do you desire a designer's look that is
quick and easy? Try this. This method
will produce buttonholes in a seamline
by leaving the seam uns'^ucl'^i where
buttonholes are desired lU n- are
given for bodice front but u i e )n\i-
tonhole may be used at cc.n > ik or
Cut out garment bodice from and fac-
ing as pattern indicates. After applying
interfacings, stitch facing to bodice on
center front markings on the rigtit side
only, since this is the only side with but-
tonholes. Trim seam allowance leaving it
from 14 inch to % inch wide, grading
the seam allowance to make a flat ap-
pearance. Fig. 1. Open facing and seam,
and press flat. Fig. 2.
Trim away excess
band is less than % inch, trim seam al-
lowance. Slip-stitch band in place along
inside seamline, leaving open at button-
hole locations. Fig. h- At buttonhole
openings, slip-stitch edges together.
Your quick and easy slot buttonholes are
now ready to use. Try it. You will like it.
Pin band to
right side of
open and facing
band in place
Now to design the band that will be
applied and which will form the button-
holes. The band may be in the same fab-
ric as the garment or in a contrasting
fabric such as leather, suede, grosgrain
or satin. The band may be designed in
plaids or stripes cut on the bias or
straight grain of the fabric. The width of
the band will depend upon the size but-
tons you wish to use. Generally, the
width of the band is from V4 inch wide to
3 inches wide finished. Cut band twice
the finished width desired, plus IVi
inches to allow for two % inch .seam al-
lowances. The length of the band will be
the same length of the garment at seam
To apply band, place right sides of fab-
ric together matching seamline on band
to center front seam of bodice. Mark the
position of buttonhole openings. Stitch
band to front bodice, leaving open where
buttonholes will be. Fig. 3.
Press bantl seam allowance toward
band. Trim this seam allowance if band
width is less than % inch wide. Press
front facing to its permanent position on
garment. Turn under raw edge of band
% inch and press. If finished width of
This same method can be adapted and
used to apply a band to a ribbon trimmed
sweater. When adapting to sweater, omit
Keep Front Hultondosure
Have you ever noticed how dresses
that button down the front gap open
when you sit down? You can quickly and
easily prevent this from happening. Try
Sew snaps half way between each but-
ton. This holds front opening in perfect
TiiH-k lite TSulkSleeveless
This imaginative idea can be used
when all of the following characteristics
are found in a garment: the garment is
sleeveless, the shoulder width is stand-
ard, there is a separate armhole facing
pattern piece and the fabric tends to-
ward being bulky. To avoid bulk build-
up at underarm seam, move the facing
underarm seam toward the back. This
same technique can be used on sleeve
facings when the fabric is bulky.
To cut armhole facing, match and pin
or tape together seamlines or armhole
facing at underarm. Measure from seam-
line IVi inches toward back facing and
draw a line at this point parallel with
the original seamline or slightly slanted.
Fig. 1. Cut pattern on pencil line. Add
% inch seam allowance to each side of
cut pattern. Fig. 2. Pattern is now ready
to use. Finished facing is placed on gar-
ment, the seam will be toward back and
you will have bucked the bulk at the un-
derarm seam. Fig. 3.
Almost Sleeveless Sleeve
Sleeveless dresses are sometimes in
vogue; at other times long sleeves or
some other length of sleeve is the most
fashionable. Ever heard of the almost
sleeveless sleeve? This is a very, very
short sleeve that gives you only a hint of
Cut around the top of sleeve using the
sleeve pattern. Cut down the underarm
seam of sleeve lt4 inches. Then cut
sleeve off straight across bottom. Cut
lining for sleeve in same manner. Fig.
lA. (Note: In lightweight fabrics, you
may wish to eliminate the seam across
the bottom of the sleeve. The dress fabric
and lining fabric would be of the same
fabric. Cut down the underarm seam of
sleeve % inch instead of IV4 inches.
Then turn pattern over at lower edge of
sleeve and cut the identical shape again.
Fig. IB. Join both the lining and the
dress sleeve at underarm seam. Fig. 2.
Press seams open.
piece and cut
Add % inch
Join lining to sleeve at lower edge of
sleeve taking a true % inch seam allow-
ance. Fig. 3. Trim seam allowance. Turn
lining into sleeve and press. Fig. U. The
sleeve is now ready to set into the dress
in the usual manner. When sleeve is
sewed into dress, take the usual % inch
seam allowance. The seamline will come
to the very edge of the sleeve at the un-
derarm sleeve seam. Result: a short,
short sleeve that just about covers the
top of the arm. A worthwhile hint__if
your arms are large or not very attrac-
tive, do not use this style sleeve.
X" \ Pig- 3
when sleeve is
If you want a skirt that hangs beauti-
fully and forever straight, try a camisole
top. An added feature is that it is com-
fortable to wear. The camisole top is
used on skirts of two-piece dresses.
Here's how it's done.
Patterns for making cami-
soles are included with
some patterns or you can
make your own from a
sheath dress pattern that
features front and back bo-
dice darts, is sleeveless
and has a low scooped
Lightweight lining fabric
Cutting: No seam allowance is
needed around neckline
and armhole. Actually, it
is best to make neckline
and armholes about, 1 inch
deeper than usual so cami-
sole top will not show
when worn under dress
Construction: Make same as dress top
except just turn and stitch
edges around armholes
and neckline. Attach fin-
ished camisole to skirt as
you would a one-piece
dress. Zipper may be in-
serted underarm or down
Hemline Flare Removed
the Ka.s\ Wav
Most skirts have at least a slight
amount of flare. In order for the hemline
to be finished professionally, this flare
must be removed. Here's the easy way to
remove a slight amount of flare. This
technique can be applied when hemming
tape is not being attached during the
same sewing operation. This same skill
can be used to remove a slight amount
of fullness at other places such as neck-
To contract the top of a hem, hold a
forefinger just behind the presser foot as
you sew the hem edge. While stitching,
allow two or three inches of the edge to
crowd itself between the presser foot
and the finger. Stop. Lift the finger to
release the amount held there. Then put
the finger down again and continue
sewing in the same manner.
Darl.'i Un Decoration
Sometimes darts are stitched on the
outside as part of the decorative design
of the outfit. Or you may create a design
in a thin fabric and not wish to have
threads hanging out at the ends of darts
or tucks. There is a way to sew these
darts or tucks so that strings and knots
can be eliminated. Here's how.
Remove thread from top of sewing ma-
chine. Put bobbin thread in place and
thread sewing machine backwards us-
ing the thread from the bobbin. Pull up
about 15 to 20 inches of thread and wind
it around an empty spool. You now have
one continuous thread running from the
bobbin up to the spool on top of the ma-
chine. You are now ready to sew. Be-
ginning at the point of the dart, stitch.
The point of the dart made in this man-
ner has no loose threads to tie. Rethread
the sewing machine for each dart or
tuck you sew.
This type of dart can be used only on
garments when a seam crosses the larger
end of the dart.
Perfect finishing details help you cre-
ate fashionable looking garments. So
for the ultimate in couturier sewing,
hide that unsightly metal hook. To do
this: Open weave of fabric with blunt
end of needle. Fig. 7. In firmly woven
fabrics, it may be necessary to make a
very .small slit with points of sharp scis-
sors. Work the hook into the slit leaving
only the bill end exposed. Fig. 2. Sew in
place making stitches as invisible as
possible!. Fig. 3.
And this is the way the couturiers
make the thread loops. Thread a needle
with a short thread, preferably silk or
buttonhole twist. Draw ends even form-
ing a double thread and knot. Insert
needle from wrong to right side of fabric
at bottom of where loop is desired. Insert
needle Vi inch above and bring out at
first point of entry. F'ig. 4.. Wind thread
closely but not too tightly, around point
end of needle to a depth of V4 inch. Fig.
5. And now for the trick. Pull needle
and thread through the thread wound
around the needle. Draw tight. Fig. 6.
Fasten thread by inserting needle back
through fabric to wrong side and secur-
That Siij)erb liang To
A flat chain, designed expressly for
use in clothing, helps jackets have the
hang of perfection. The chain is placed
Vs inch above the lower edge of the jack-
et and usually extends from front facing
to front facing. Lightweight chains are
used on cotton and linen jackets; me-
dium weight on lightweight woolens;
heavier chains for bulky fabrics. The
chain should be removed when the
jacket is drycleaned.
Sew chain in by hand catching every
other chain. The clear transparent
monofilament nylon thread is good to
Linitj- Facing L--------------------------^
Sew chain in alternate links to lower
edge of jacket
French piping is used as a finish on
raw edges of hems, necklines, and fac-
ings. An adaptation of it may be used on
openings where a facing is not desired.
For the ultimate in beautiful detail
work, try this:
Cut bias strip 1V4 inches wide and
long enough to fit edge to which it will
be applied. If being applied to woolens,
cut bias strips from lightweight lining
or underlining fabric such as silk or-
ganza. For use on silk and other light-
weight or sheer fabrics, use self fabric.
Fold bias in half lengthwise, wrong
sides together, and press lightly with
grain of fabric. Match raw edge of bias
strip to raw edge on outside of garment
being finished. Stitch V* inch from raw
edge. Trim to Va inch. Fig. 1. (Notice
that only a Vi inch seam allowance is
taken. If pattern has allowed more, trim
seam allowance to V4 inch before apply-
ing piping.) Turn bias strip over raw
edge to inside of fabric. Machine stitch
in the welt of bias strip. Fig. 2. Use
matching thread and stitches will not
show in finished product.
Outside of fabric Fig. 1
Trim to Vs inch
Some professional seamstresses like
to reverse the stitching process stated
above. Sew bias strip to inside of gar-
ment first; then turn and machine stitch
or hand slip stitch on right side. This
method requires complete accuracy in
all measurements. The finished product
is shown in Fig. .If.
1 t C
: 5 'I -*
Is t %
, .- ^ -* 5^ -<|=' f a
! -r f,1 i i 1 # i
. <-','3 ^* 1-;
5: tS. J ^
-' f t
, :,*.- '
- ^ m i
- r .f $
" : -1 I *
: '. *J % % *
T -.- * '
. .-' JJ" ,# # *=
^3-J i'l ;
r - 4-i C-i i
,j 4 if.f f I !
- -. n '.''*. v.x
..' ^ ^ ,' ^
fc. '* !>. , %%%
K C ^^ ^. ^ ^ f
,; < * I i
Need a lot of bias strips? Then here's
how to make it by the yards and yards.
In fact from one yard of 36 inch wide
fabric, you can make about 24 yards of
V2 inch bias strips.
Cut a square of fabric. Fold fabric to
form 2 triangles and mark accurately
on wrong side the center' bias fold. Fig. 1.
With yardstick, mark on each side of the
center fold line rows of bias strips the
desired width, Fig.-.2. Cut on center bias
fold line to separate the two equal tri-
angular sections. Place right sides of
fabric together, along lengthwise grain-
line edges. Match m.arked lines. Stitch.
Fig. 3. Press seam open.
Match the two crosswise grainline
edges to form a tube, slipping the fabric
down so that the cut raw edge matches
the first marked line. Fig. J^. Stitch seam.
And now for the bias strips by the
yards. Cut fabric on marked lines mak-
ing one long continuous strip. Fig. 5.
Heauliful IJia- '-
There is a fail proof way to apply bias
binding to garments. Achieve the look of
perfection. Try this method.
Around areas where bias binding is to
be applied, place facings on garment
matching ivrong sides of fabric together.
Stitch facing on garment on seamline.
Trim away the seam allowance. Then
stitch 1/8 inch and % inch inside seam-
line to hold grainline and give body.
Cut bias strip I1/2 inches wide and the
desired length. Pin bias on garment
matching cut edges, right sides of fabric
together, and stretching bias strip a bit
so it will fit edge over which it will roll.
Stitch. Fig. 2.
Fold bias strip over to wrong side of
fabric. Turn in edge. Hem by hand along
stitching on wrong side. Fig. 3. This
forms a finished bias binding % inch
hem by hand
On jackets or dresses with collars
joining lapels, miter corners and turn in
ends of binding where collar and lapel
join. Fig. 4-
Turn in ends
on garments where
collar and lapel
exactly the same except point W is on
one side of the loop and point Y is on the
other side. Remove bulk from corner of
bias strip by clipping in seam allowance
to points W and Y and then cutting diag-
onally to the center of the folded edge of
the loop. Fig. 2. Turn loop in bias bind-
ing over seam allowance of garment so
that it lays as it will when finished.
Establish fold line of corner. Fig. 3.
Press. Turn bias strip to wrong side and
machine stitch on press mark. Fig. U-
Trim seam allowance to Vs inch. Turn
back over garment seam allowance and
slip-stitch in place on wrong side of
starting at Y
is on other side
t £ '-
-P.' "-^ ^2 '
wt J' -"^ -^ '<
C '1 -t
m A -X im ^ %- -
^y #^# ^^ J
^ "^gfc '^ "^ ^-sn -"i^
' f I fr I I" ^\ '
'^ -^ ^ ^ ^ ^ xf
? M A 'W "W "w" '^. -'"
^ fT\ If w f It
^ ^ ^' B^ ^1,^ '^ iS^
%. Xf. - "
There arc two methods of mitering
corners. One method is used when ap-
plying a bias binding by the method
previously descriljed. To miter outward
corners, extend the bias strip in a loop,
Fig. 1, so that the strip can be turned
back and mitered to fit the corner. Stitch
from V to W (the exact point of the cor-
ner) and backstitch. Remove garment
from sewing machine. Start at Y (the
exact point of the corner on the other
side of the loop) and continue stitching
on the bias binding. Points W and Y are
in fold line
This method of mitering a corner can be
used when applying any kind of dec-
orative band to a garment with a
Pointed I.ook for Points
Sew a slight curve to make a pro-
fessional looking corner point.
You can achieve this
upon itself and
instead of this bulgy look.
Fold again toward
edge to which it
will be applied. Press.
Stitch along diagona I
Continue to apply trim,
top-stitching both edges
Instead of stitching to a sharp point at
the corner of the collars, pocket flaps or
a lapel, round the stitches like
or take one or two
stitches like this.
Cut bulk out
Insert finger into
Turn down seam allowances at corner as
shown. Hold seam allowances firm and
turn corner to right side.
2 inch opening
stitch lining to
Press on point presser.
Perfect T*aich Pockets
Invisibly attached is this perfect patch
pocket. It is for decorative use on your
finer sport clothes and dressier clothes.
Just between you and me, pockets on
better clothes are really not meant to be
used for carrying items or placing hands
Cut pocket by the pattern allowing
2 inch hem at top. Cut interfacing to
stop at hemline. Cut a lining 4 inches
shorter than the pocket. Secure inter-
facing to wrong side of pocket allowing
it to come just to the hemline. Fig. 1.
Place right sides of lining and outer fab-
ric together at top of pocket and machine
stitch taking a % inch seam allowance
and leaving seam open 2 inches at center
to turn. Fig. 2. Fold pocket on hemline
so that the right side of lining fabric is
against the right side of the outer fabric.
Sew lining and outer fabrics together an
two sides and bottom of pocket. Trim
seams; cut out corners. Fig. 3.
Wrong side of
Turn pocket through 2 inch opening
left in seam shown in Fig. 2. Slip-stitch
opening closed. Fig. 4.
Pin pocket into position marked on
the garment. Baste. Fig. 5. Working now
from the inside of the garment, apply by
hand stitching the pocket to the garment
so that no stitches show on right side of
fabric. Use a small back stitch. Fig. 6.
Pin and baste
pocket to dress.
on wrong side
Kasy-i)oes-rt \\ aisthand
A waistband % inch wide finished is
a figure flattering width. Try this
method of cutting and stitching for the
easy-does-it waistband application.
To cut: Cut waistband 2V inches wide
and the length of skirt waist plus 21/4
inches. Cut on lengthwise grain using
the selvage of the fabric. Underline
waistband, if necessary.
To prepare: Fold waistband length-
wise with right sides of fabric together.
Fold so selvage is s/g inch from cut edge.
Fig. 1. Sew ends taking a % inch seam
allowance. Trim seam allowance. Turn
and press. To apply to skirt: Place raw
edge of waistband to top of skirl. Sew
taking a Vh inch seam allowance. Fig. 2.
The 1 inch extr'a fabric in the length of
the waistband foi-ms the underlap on
left back edge. Do not trim seam allow-
ances on lightweight skii't fabrics; trim
one seam allowance on medium and
heavier weight skirl fabrics. The seam
allowairce acts as the interfacing aird
helps hold the band in upright i)osition.
Tui-n waistband over seam allowance,
and place selvage just covering the
stitching line inside. FJaste in place. Fig.
3. From the right side, machine stitch
along waistband seam catching the sel-
vage und(n-neath. The zipper presscn-
foot may be used on heavier- weight fab-
rics. Foi'ce waistbaird back as you stitch
so that you do not catch it. Top-stitching
will be pr-actically invisible when gar'-
ment is worn. Fig. 4.
Note: For' a smooth fitting, figure flat-
tering skirt, ease skir't on to
mioius with Seamed Pleats
Where seams and pleats meet, the
problem is to get the seam to lay flat.
Many of our garments now featur'e hard
pr-essed or soft rolled pleats, tlere's how
to do this:
Trim hem to even width. Turn up hem.
Clip seam allowance at top of pleat.
Trim seam allowance in hem portion to
'% inch and pi'ess open. Fig. 1. Finish
hemming to skirt. Fig. 2.
You can give an important custom
look to many garments by adding top-
stitching. Silk buttonhole twist is the
best thread to use but two strands of
silk or other type thread can also be used
effectively. Thread sewing machine with
the two strands of thread as if they were
one strand. When using silk buttonhole
twist, use as top thread on your machine.
If stitching will show on underside, use
buttonhole twist in the bobbin as well.
To simulate saddle stitching, set ma-
chirre for 6 to 8 stitches per inch. If
fabric has a tendency to pucker or shift,
stitch over tissue paper. Tear paper
away when completed. Where stitching
begins and ends, leave threads long
enough to be inserted by a needle into
fabric and fastened. Top-stitch garment
from the right side whenever possible.
In order for top-stitching to be beau-
tiful, it must be straight. To insure
straight stitching, use one of the follow-
ing methods. (1) l-'or edge top-stitching,
use the distance marker on your sewing
machine. (2) Sharpen tailor's chalk to a
fine point. Measure and mark a con-
tinuous line where stitching will be.
(3) For internal top-stitching, use a
machine quilter foot. (4) For curved or
decorative lines, trace design on brown
paper. Cut out design. Pin or baste to
garment. Stitch against the edge of
Ever tried securing thread on the
sewing machine? This is the tiuick and
easy way the skilled seamstresses do it.
Practice several times, and you too can
perfect this technique.
To do the sewing machine lockstitch
leave needle in the fabric at the end of
the stitching line. Raise the presser bar
very slightly. Holding the fabric very
securely so it will not move, take sever-al
stitches right over' the last stitch. In-
starrt magiclocked stitches.
Markings on Fabrics
On most fabrics, unless the fibers have
been broken, thread markings can be re-
moved. Try this:
With a very damp cloth, lightly
moisten area of fabric where stitch
markings are to be removed. Using both
hands, gently pull the fabric on the bias.
Keep working with the fabric pulling it
on the bias until fibers return to their
original position. Set fibers into place
by pressing using a damp steam cloth.
Magical Know-How with
(and ther slippery fabrics)
Cutting and stitching slippery fabrics
brings many expert home seamstresses
to the hair pulling stage. But with this
special tip, you will be able to be the
master over the fabric.
Press fabric. Clip selvage. With a
warm iron, press enough tissue paper to
back the fabric. Pin tissue paper to
wrong side of fabric. You will now work
with the tissue paper and fabric as one.
Lay patterrr arrd cut. For garments not
double fabric constructed, transfer pat-
ter-n markings to paper with tailor's
carbon paper or transfer pattern mark-
ings to fabric and paper with tailor's
tacks. Remove pattern pieces. With
matching thread and a fine machine
needle, staystitch all seamlines and
darts. After all staystitching has been
completed, tear paper away. The stay-
stitching will now help conti-ol the fabric
for you. Sometimes these slippery fab-
rics will not miove over the feed dog
easily. If this happens, slip a piece of tis-
sue paper between machine feed dog and
It may be neces.sai'y to do some stitch-
ing of seams and other work by hand.
The hand sewing stitch to use is a small
full back stitch. Did you know that many
of the couturier' garments ai'e completely
constructed by hand sewing? In many
cases, this insures gr'eater accuracy.
And now just one final tip:
A hand-r'olled hem is usually used on
chiffoir, mar-quisettes, and othei' soi't
sheer's. To do this, cut the length one
inch longer than it has been marked.
Accur'ately machine stitch one-half inch
above the cut edge. Trim away the raw
edge i'ight at the stitching line". Hold the
fabr'ic with wr'orig side up. Moisten the
finger's of the hand which will do the
rolling. With the thumb and forefinger,
I'oll fabr'ic until machine stitching has
been r'olled into the hem and is com-
pletely out of sight. Take small stitches
in the rolled hem making the stitches
about 'Vs inch apar't. Roll and hem one
inch of fabr'ic. Then pull stitches taut so
that the hem r'olls a little moi'e and most
of the hemming stitches will be hidden.
This type of hem will show the stitches
on the outside of the fabric but this is
pari of its appearance.
'fV-jH-TH-y-H / \ M-
Stitches in garment befor'e pullirrg taut
This public document was promulgated at an
annual cost of $1,386.19, or 13'% cents per
copy to inform Floridians about advanced
garment construction techniques.
Dorothy L. Barrier, Extension Clothing Specialist,
North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
6 lOM 75
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 imd June 30, 1914)
Cooperative Exten,5iQn Service, IFAS, University of Florida
and United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
Joe N, Busby, Dean
uvTT!. f^'^^'s omcc
^J8 Phone 486-21 IS