The New Dressmaker/Chapter 12

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Patterns—Materials—Cutting—Interlining—Putting the Coat Together—The Strictly Tailored Collar—Tape—Weights—Additional Interlining for Warmth—Collar and Front Facings—Coat Collar Which Is Not Tailored—Pressing—Cuffs—Sleeves—Lining—The Half-lined Coat—Unlined Coat—Interlining for Fur Cloth and Tender Furs—Coats for Girls and Children—Capes

FOR the amateur tailoring has lost all its terrors. For one thing, modern tailoring is much softer in effect than informer years. The use of canvas has been reduced to a minimum, and haircloth has disappeared. Furthermore the present figure with its straight lines is much easier to fit than the old-time hour-glass figure with the pronounced cures at bust, waist and hip.

And more important still, women are now given help with their tailoring that was never available before. The Deltor shows them exactly how to cut. and cutting is more vital to good tailoring than to almost any other type of costume. The Deltor and Illustrated Instructions also tell them exactly how to cut their interlining and where to place whatever canvas, etc. the coat requires, how to put the coat together, and just where to stitch it. The finish of a tailored garment has to be extremely neat and the subject is handled fully in the Deltor for finishing.

In fact the Deltor shows a woman the way to make a tailored garment just as a first-class tailor would make it. and as it does it with pictures it is perfectly easy for her to follow and understand. Tailored garments are very expensive to buy and the fact that they are put within the reach of the home dressmaker by the Deltor marks a great advance in home sewing.

THE COAT PATTERN. Buy the pattern by the measures given on the pattern envelope. It is only necessary to consider the measures given on the pattern. Be sure that you know exactly what your measures are. Instructions for measuring the figure are given in Chapter 2, pages 10–12.

Before cutting your material you must be sure that the pattern is the right length for you in the waist and sleeve. Directions for measuring the waist and arm are given on pages 19. 20 and 21, Chapter 3, on altering the Length of Patterns. If you are long or short waisted, alter the pattern according to the instructions given on these pages. Directions for altering the length of different types of sleeve patterns are given in this same chapter on pages 20 and 21. If your arm is long or short, alter the pattern according to the instructions given on these pages.

If you are making a long coat, it is also necessary to compare the length of the coat below the waistline with the length you want your coat when finished. If it is necessary to alter the length of the pattern, do so according to the instructions given on the pattern envelope.

If the figure is unusual in any way, the pattern should be altered following the instructions given in Chapter 4, "Altering: Waist Pattern for Figures that Vary from the Average." A trial coat should be made in muslin and altered, following the principles given in Chapter 4.

MATERIALS. With the exception of silk or velvet, coat materials should be thoroughly shrunk or steamed before they are cut. (Chapter 6, Materials, Sponging, Steaming, Cutting, Etc.)

CUTTING. When the material is ready, lay the pattern on it following the Deltor Layout for your size and width of material. If there is a nap, be sure to place the pieces so that the nap will run the same way in all the pieces. Otherwise if the nap runs up in some places and down in others, part of the coat will look darker than others and it will look almost as if it were another color. The Deltor gives layouts for both materials with a nap and without it when both are suitable for the design. For directions for cutting materials with a nap or pile and for cutting stripes and plaids read Chapter 6, "Materials, Sponging, Steaming, Cutting, etc.," pages 32–36. Follow the Deltor layout carefully in placing the pieces on your material, for if they are cut on the wrong grain of the material the garment will draw and stretch. Pin the pattern on the material very carefully, and with sufficient pins to hold it firmly, and cut it out with sharp dressmaking shears following the outline exactly. (Chapter 2, page 16.)

Mark all the perforations, except the ones that mark the grain line, with tailors' tacks. (Chapter 16. page 85.) The notches can either be marked with two or three stitches in basting cotton or they can be clipped. In many materials basting cotton makes a clearer mark and does not nick the edge of the material.

THE INTERLINING. The coat always requires more or less interlining. The kind of interlining material and the amount used varies with the type of the coat and with the current styles. The Deltor or Illustrated Instructions will tell you the right kind of interlining to use, how much to use and where to place it for each individual pattern. This interlining is not used for warmth, but to give the material sufficient body so that it will not break when the coat is on the figure, and make the material look poor and flimsy.

The interlining materials most generally used are soft pliable canvas, cotton serge or cambric for wool materials. In a linen coat use butchers' linen, cambric or muslin. For a silk coat the interlining should be cotton serge, sateen or cambric. All interlinings should be shrunken before they are used. (Chapter 6. page 32.) If the interlining is not shrunken beforehand it will shrink on the first damp day and will draw in and wrinkle the coat. The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0100.pngIll. 100. Stitching on the Stand of the Collar

The interlining should be cut by the coat pattern following the instructions given in the Deltor or Illustrated Instructions.

Baste the interlining to the wrong side of the coat following the Deltor or Illustrated Instructions. Careful basting and plenty of it are essential to successful coat-making. The importance of basting can not be overestimated in this work. It is one of the vital points in tailoring.

PUTTING THE COAT TOGETHER. Baste the seams of the coat with the notches matching.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0101.pngIll. 101. Padding Stitches

The Deltor or Illustrated Instructions will show you exactly how to put the coat together.

Try the coat on and if any alterations are necessary make them before stitching the seams.

Stitch all the seams of the coat. If they are to be finished with stitched or lapped seams (Chapter 17. pages 88–90), press them before they are finished. (Chapter 32, page 154.)

Lap the edges of the interlining flatly over each other. They should be catch-stitched.

FOR THE STRICTLY TAILORED COLLAR cut an interlining of tailors' canvas. Use the collar pattern as a guide, but cut the canvas three-eighths of an inch smaller at all edges than the pattern. The canvas should be shrunken before it is used (Chapter 6 page 32). The "stand" of the collar—the part next the neck that stands up when the coat is worn—is marked by perforations. It is a crescent-shaped section which should be covered with parallel rows of machine stitching about a quarter of an inch apart. (Ill. 100.)

PADDING STITCHES. The canvas and cloth on the turnover part of the collar, and The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0102.pngIll. 102. Tape and Weights in the lapel or revers on the front, must be held firmly by many small stitches called "padding stitches." (Ill. 101.) These stitches are about half an inch long on the canvas side and just barely caught through on the right side. Hold the collar or lapel firmly over the hand, the canvas side uppermost, and, in stitching, roll and shape the section in the direction in which it is to lie. (Ill. 101.) The stitch should be started at the line of the fold of the lapel or collar and worked in successive rows to the edge. The edges should be turned under, caught to the canvas and pressed.

On a coat which is sometimes worn rolled high there should be no padding stitches in the revers, as they would show when the coat is worn with the collar turned up.

Baste the collar, canvas side up, flat on the coat, according to the notches in the collar and in the neck. (Ill. 102.) Stretch the neck edge of the collar between the notches so that it will set smoothly on the coat. The upper or turnover part of the collar must lie flat, joining the turned-over lapels at the top of the fronts, to form the notched collar.

When the coat has advanced thus far, try it on. Fold over the lapel corners at the top of the fronts and see that the collar is the correct size and fits properly. If it does not, it may be shaped by shrinking, stretching and pressing. The front edges of the coat should lie close to the figure at the bust, and a well-fitted coat should hold itself in shape to the figure at this point, even when unbuttoned. If the coat is inclined to flare away at the front line, pin one or two small dart-like tucks about one-quarter of an inch wide at the coat's edge and running out to nothing about two inches inside the edge, to shape in the edge and take out the stretched appearance. Mark these tucks with chalk, remove the pins and slash in the canvas at each chalk mark. Lap the canvas the same space that the tucks were made, cut away one edge to meet the other, lay a piece of cambric over the slash and sew the cambric to hold it to shape. The cloth will still have the fulness that has been taken out of the canvas and must be gathered on a thread, dampened and shrunk out with the iron. The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0103+4.pngIll. 103 and 104. The Interlining for Warmth

Cut away the interlining to within ⅜ inch of the front edges of the coat. Cut the hem allowance from the bottom of the interlining, turn the edges of the coat over on the interlining and catch-stitch them.

TAPING THE EDGES. Narrow linen tape, well shrunken, should be sewed to the canvas toward the inside of the coat at the crease of the lapel, drawing it taut to prevent stretching. (Ill. 102.)

The edges of the lapel and the front coat edges should also be taped (Ill. 102), drawing the tape snug at these edges to give them a good shape.

Press the fronts carefully. (Chapter 32.)

WEIGHTS. Flat lead weights about the size of a quarter are tacked in the bottom of the coat to weight it properly. Cover them with the lining satin so they will not wear through the lining. (Ill. 102.)

AN ADDITIONAL INTERLINING, if required for warmth, is made of outing flannel or the regular silk-and-wool interlining that comes for the purpose. (Ills. 103 and 104.) Cut it with the pattern of the coat as a guide, letting it extend an inch or two below the waistline. (Ills. 103 and 104.) Slash the interlining at intervals along the bottom so that it will not bind the coat. Do not put the interlining together with ordinary seams, but tack it inside the coat, letting one seam edge of the interlining overlap the one next to it.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0105.pngIll. 105. The Collar Facing CUT FACINGS for the collar and fronts from the coat pattern following the instructions in the Deltor or Illustrated Instructions. The front facings must be cut to the shape of the front after the edges have been altered and taped. Lay the cloth on the fronts and over the lapel corners; pin it carefully in place, holding the front and lapel in to their proper shape; then cut it to the required width. It need extend only about three inches inside of the line that marks the center of the front. The collar facing, if of cloth, must be cut on the width or crosswise of the material and must not have a seam in the center of the back.

Fit the collar facing to the canvas collar and join it to the front facings, matching the notches on the collar and the front facings. Press the seams open and baste to the canvas collar and to the front of the coat, turning in the edges of the facing. (Ill. 105.)

COLLAR FACINGS of velvet are sometimes used, but instead of being applied directly over the interlining the edges of the velvet are turned under and catch-stitched to the under side of the cloth collar. If a velvet collar facing is used it should be made of a seamless bias strip of velvet. One-eighth of a yard of velvet cut on the bias is usually enough for a collar facing. All pressing and shaping of the collar must be done before putting on the velvet facing.

The shawl-collar facing is sometimes cut in one with the front facing. The collar proper is out and joined as just described, stitched to the body of the coat and pressed. The two facing sections are joined at the back and the seam pressed open. The facing is pinned in position. The outer edge of the facing is turned in even with the fold edge of the coat and basted. Baste the free edges of the facing in place, being careful to allow sufficient ease for the roll.

Fell the edges to position on the under side unless the neck is sometimes worn high in which case the felling stitches would show through. If the coat is to be worn high slip-stitch the edges.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0106.pngIll. 106. The Collar Which is Not Tailored THE COAT COLLAR WHICH IS NOT TAILORED. Cut the interlining like the pattern. The Deltor or Illustrated Instructions will tell you what kind of interlining is to be used. Trim off the seam allowance on the edges of the interlining which are not to be joined to the neck. Baste the interlining to the upper section of the collar. Turn the outer edge and ends of the collar over on the interlining and catch-stitch them. (Ill. 106). Turn under the edges of the under section of the collar one-eighth of an inch more than you turned under the edges of the upper section and baste to the upper section one-eighth inch from the edges. (Ill. 106). Catch the under section to the interlining about three-quarters of an inch in from the outer edges and also at the line where the collar rolls over. Fell the edges to position. (Ill. 106). Baste the collar flatly inside the neck edge of the coat and fell the coat to the collar.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0107.pngIll. 107. The Interlining in the Sleeve Give the coat a careful pressing. (Chapter 32, page 154.)

THE SLEEVES. Baste the seams of the sleeves and try them on. If they need any alteration in size around the arm, make it at the seam marked by outlet perforations. A bias strip of interlining, or whatever is used in the fronts, should be basted into the wrist just above the turning line of the hem part, and the cloth turned over and catch-stitched to it. (Ill. 107.)

If a vent or opening is provided at the outer seam of the sleeve, the extension on the upper part is turned under for a hem; and the lower part, neatly faced with the lining, forms an underlap. This opening may be closed by buttons used as a decoration or by buttons and buttonholes. Finish the edge to match the edges of the coat. If stitching at cuff depth is desired, it must be made before closing the outside seam.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0108.pngIll. 108. Making a Cuff THE CUFF. Cut the interlining like the cuff pattern, of the same interlining material as used in the collar. Trim off the seam allowance of the upper edge and ends. Baste the interlining to the upper section of the cuff, turn the cuff edge over the interlining and catch-stitch them. (Ill. 108.) Turn under the outer edge and ends of the under section of the cuff one-eighth of an inch more than the upper section. Baste the under section to the upper section with its edge one-eighth of an inch from the edges of the outer section and fell the edges to position. (Ill. 108.) Put the cuff on the sleeve following the instructions given in the Deltor or Illustrated Instructions.

Baste the sleeves into the armholes. Try the coat on to see if the sleeve sets nicely. Then stitch it.

THE BUTTONS. When sewing on the buttons sew them through the coat and canvas interlining but not through the facing. (Chapter 24, page 115.)

THE LINING is the final step of coat-making; the outside must be entirely finished, the pockets put in, and all the ornamental stitching done before beginning on the lining. Silk, satin, crêpe de Chine and foulard are unquestionably the only satisfactory linings for a coat. Only the greatest necessity for economy warrants using a silk substitute as coat lining. The lining may match coat in color or a fancy silk or satin may be used accordingly to the style.

Cut the lining from the same pattern as the coat, allowing for any alterations which have been made in fitting.

Cut the lining of the fronts to extend to the front facings only, and cut the back pieces each one-half an inch wider than the pattern to allow for a small plait in the center back. Leave good seams, as the lining must be quite easy in width as well as length. (Ill. 100.) If it is tight it will draw the outside of the coat and make wrinkles.

Baste a small plait at the center back to avoid any possibility of tightness. With the back piece of the lining basted in the coat, the two outer edges will be raw. Catch these raw edges flat with a loose basting-stitch to the inside seams of the coat over which they lie. Now take the next piece of the lining and baste it through the center to the corresponding piece of the coat, then turn under the edge toward the back and baste it down like a hem over the raw edge of the back piece, notching the edges of both seams at the waistline and immediately above and below it, so they will fit the curves of the coat.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0109.pngIll. 109. Lining the Coat

Repeat this method with each piece of the lining. Turn it up at the bottom, allowing a little of the cloth to show (Ill. 109) but do not let the lining draw.

After all the edges are turned under and basted over the preceding pieces and over the raw edges of the facings in front, and over the edges of the collar at the neck, they are neatly felled down to the cloth. (Ill. 109.) Be careful not to catch through to the outside.

The lining of the sleeves is cut like the outside and the seams are stitched and pressed open. If the sleeves are to be interlined, the interlining should be tacked to the sleeve lining. It is used on the upper part of the sleeve only, and should stop three inches below The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0110.pngIll. 110. The Sleeve Interlining the upper edge and three inches above the wrist edge. (Ill. 110.) The lining is slipped inside the sleeve and hemmed down at the hand and on the small opening at the back of the wrist if there is an opening allowed in the sleeve pattern. It is then drawn up in place and basted through the cloth of the sleeve about five inches from the top. Draw up the sleeve lining, turn in the raw edge, and baste it to the coat lining all around the arm-hole and fell it in place.


THE HALF-LINED COAT. Top coats, storm coats, motor coats, etc., should only be lined to about twenty-five or twenty-six inches from the neck. (Ill. 111.) You need a lining in the upper part to cover the interlining and to make the coat slip on and off easily. There is no real need for a lining in the lower part and it wears out so quickly, from rubbing against your skirt, that it is really better not to use it.

THE SEAM EDGES. When a coat is lined to the waist only, the seam edges in the lower part of the coat must be finished neatly. (Chapter 17.) Heavy materials like wool, velvet and army cloth are really self-finished, for they are so closely woven that they will not fray and can be left raw quite satisfactorily.

Tweed, cheviot, mixtures, etc., will fray and must be bound. The seams should be bound with ribbon seam-binding, the color of the coat. Seam-binding comes in different widths and you can get it wide enough for even a heavy coating. Put the seam-binding on by hand with an easy running stitch, sewing it neatly and evenly. (Ill. 154, page 88.)

The seam-binding should run up well above the line of the lower edge of the lining. The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0111.pngIll. 111. The Half-Lined Coat


An unlined coat needs interlining to prevent its breaking on the figure. The interlining for the front of the coat should be cut and put in according to the Deltor or Illustrated Instructions. The interlining in the front of the coat should be covered with a facing of the coat material. The part of the interlining left exposed back of the facing should be covered neatly with a lining.

In cloth or linen the raw edges of the interlining and facing of the side fronts should be bound together. In silk they may both be turned under three-eighths of an inch, facing each other, and stitched. In either case, these edges should be left loose from the coat; they should lie against it, but should not be caught or stitched to it for the stitches would be objectionable on the right side of the coat.

A YOKE-SHAPED PIECE OF LINING MATERIAL must be used in the back of the coat. It should be six inches deep at the center, and run straight across the shoulders. Turn under its lower edge three-eighths of an inch and stitch it in a narrow hem. Then baste it to the back of the coat at the shoulders and neck, leading its lower edge free.

The shoulder edges of the back yokes should be turned under, and then basted and felled carefully over the shoulder edges of the front lining.

In silk the coat should be finished with French seams. (Page 86.) In a coat of cloth the seams may be pressed open and the edges bound separately with silk seam-binding (Page 88). or they may be bound together, turned to one side, and stitched down flat to the coat. If they are pressed open, they need not be stitched again unless you prefer to stitch them on both sides of the seam. In heavy wash materials the seams can be handled in the same way, using a cotton seam-binding instead of silk. Be sure the binding is shrunken. It should be the same color as the coat. Or, on a linen, cotton repp, etc., you can use the flat-stitched seam. (Chapter 17. page 87.)

The lower edge of the coat should be turned under according to the Dehor or Illustrated Instructions, weighted with lead weights at the seams (Ill. 102), and its raw edge either hemmed or bound.


If the coat is made of fur cloth the entire coat should be lined with cambric before the interlining is put in. This cambric re-enforces and strengthen the rather loose weave of the fur cloth. It is also used in fur coats if the pelts are tender and perishable.


The principles and general rules for making coats for girls and children are exactly the same as for coals for ladies and misses. They are applied to the simpler form of coat used for girls and children.


CAPES are made by the same general principles and rules that are followed in making coats. The effect of a cape is softer than a coat, and in applying the principles keep the idea in mind that the cape should be as soft as required by the design of the cape. It is best to follow the instructions given in the Deltor or Illustrated Instructions with each Butterick cape pattern.