dressmaking are known as the "bent" shears. (Ill. 1.) They are bent in this way so as to raise the material as little as possible in cutting and so prevent the under layer from slipping in cutting two thicknesses of material. Do not buy a heap, poor pair. Good steel will last for many years. Do not use your shears for cutting threads, etc. You will need a pair of scissors and also a pair of buttonhole scissors.
WEIGHTS. When your material is laid out smoothly on the table for cutting, it should be held in place by four round iron weights weighing one or two pounds. (Ill. 1.) You can get them at the stationer's. Or you can use the same sort of weights you use for your kitchen scales.
PINS, NEEDLES, ET CETERA. Clean, unbent pins are important. Small pins are better than large, and fine steel pins should be used on silk or any material that will mark. Never push a pin through a fabric. Use the points only and take up as little of the material as possible.
You will need a thimble that fits correctly, needles of all sizes, basting cotton, different colored cottons for marking tailors' tacks, tailors' chalk, a yard-stick, emery for polishing needles, and a tape-measure. Learn to use your tape-measure accurately, for one of the points of fine dressmaking is the difference between an eighth of an inch and a quarter, a quarter of an inch and three-eighths.
The needle must be in proportion to the thread and to the texture of the material on which it is to be used. It should be just large enough for the thread to slip through the eye easily and heavy enough not to bend when it is put through the material.
Complete information concerning irons and articles for pressing will be found in Chapter 32 "Pressing."
THE SEWING-MACHINE should be of a good, reliable make. You will get full directions with it, and in using it be careful to observe the correct tension, length of stitch, etc. Tucking, gathering, hemming, binding, etc., can be done on a machine.
THE DRESS-FORM. It is necessary in dressmaking at home to have a perfect duplicate of your own figure on which you can try your clothes as you make them.
Buy a dress-form one size smaller than your bust measure. (Ill. 2.) If you have a thirty-six-inch bust, buy a thirty-four-inch dress-form. The stand should be on casters so that you can move it around and turn it easily. It is not necessary for you to have a wire skirt frame. Buy a waist-lining pattern reaching down to about the hips, buying it by your bust measure. (Chapter 2, pages 10 and 11.)
Cut the lining from unbleached muslin or natural-colored linen or duck. The material should be of a firm, strong quality so that it will not stretch and it should be thoroughly shrunken before it is used. In cutting the lining out, cut one sleeve.
Put the lining together according to the Illustrated Instructions given with the pattern, making the closing at the center front.
The lining should be tried on directly over your corset so as to get as close a duplicate of your figure as possible. In using the finished dress-form remember that it represents your figure without lingerie. Dress the form in the lingerie that you usually wear.
Make the necessary alterations at the outlet seams, fitting the lining very carefully.