The New Dressmaker/Chapter 8

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Blouse Materials and Trimmings—Seams—Collars—Cuffs—Collarless Neck—Blouse Closing—Plaitings or Frills—Bottom of Blouse—Shirt-Waist Materials—Seams—Front Closing—Blind Closing—Gibson Tuck—Back Yoke—Neckband—Slash in Sleeve—Cuff—Sewing in the Sleeve—Bottom of Shirt-Waist—Buttonholes——Detached Collar

THE SEPARATE BLOUSE is made on easier fitting lines than the dress waist with a fitted lining. The style, use and materials demand this easier fit. When a blouse is made of a material that is not transparent the general principles for making it are the same as for finishing the dress waist. (Chapter 7, Part I.) When a blouse is made of a transparent material everything is done to give it the sheerest effect possible.

MATERIALS AND TRIMMINGS. Transparent blouses are made of lace, trimmed with lace, or of net trimmed with lace or embroidery. They are also made of Georgette, chiffon, crêpe de Chine or silk voile and trimmed as elaborately as one likes with embroidery, beading or lace. All the newest designs for embroidery, beading and braiding can be had in the Butterick Transfers illustrated in Needle-Art. The methods of applying lace are given in Chapter 27, pages 134–136. Blouses of cotton voile or batiste may be trimmed with embroidery, lace, hand drawn-work and hand hemstitching. The latter are easy to do on cotton voile or batiste because the threads draw easily. Handkerchief linen is lovely with hand drawn-work or hand hemstitching or lace, or a combination of the two, as they make material look more transparent.

Hand drawn-work and hand hemstitching can be done on crêpe de Chine, Georgette and silk voile, but the threads are more difficult to draw.

Embroidery, beading and drawn-work used on the body of a blouse should be done before the underarm seam is closed. It is easier to handle the work in this way.

On many of the more transparent blouses machine hemstitching is the only trimming. (Chapter 25, page 118.)

SEAMS. Underarm and sleeve seams are usually French seams. (Chapter 17, page 86.) For shoulder and armhole seams the sheerest effect is given by machine hem- stitching. It can be used on any of the transparent materials unless handwork is used on the blouse. In that case if the sheer seam is desired it is better to use Valenciennes or Cluny seaming. Valenciennes seaming is the best to use on batiste. Cluny should be used on cotton voile, handkerchief linen, Georgette or crêpe de Chine, The seaming is put in with narrow rolled hems. (Chapter 27, page 133.)

A very fine cord piping is used to finish the shoulder and armhole seams of many fine French blouses. (Chapter 26, page 131.) The cord piping should be included in the seams and then trimmed off with the seams to one-quarter of an inch width. The edges are finely overcast. (Chapter 16, page 82.) This effect, of course, is not as sheer as the seaming or machine hemstitching.

A tailored effect can be given a sheer blouse by turning the shoulder seams toward the shoulder, and the armhole seam toward the neck, and stitching close to the seam on the outside of the blouse. The seam should then be trimmed off to one-quarter of an inch depth and finely overcast. (Chapter 16, page 82.) At all times seams should be made as inconspicuous as possible.

COLLARS. Collars may be single or double according to the transparent effect desired. When a single collar is to be joined to a blouse of a material sufficiently transparent for the joining to show through to the outside, or if part of the collar joining rolls to the out-side and shows, the daintiest effect is given by machine hemstitching the seam or by using Valenciennes or Cluny lace seaming in the joining. If the collar joining does not roll to the outside, the joining can be made with a narrow flat fell seam. (Chapter 17, page 87.)

A single or double collar should never be joined to the neck of a transparent blouse with a facing, for it makes a thick seam which will show on the outside.

The outside of a double collar should be sewed to the neck edge of the blouse. The edge of the inside collar or collar lining should be turned in and felled over the sewing.

The single collar can be put on with machine hemstitching or seaming.

It is advisable to avoid a seam in the edge of either single or double collars in a transparent material, if possible. In the case of a single collar a hem is the best finish for the outside edge when it is plain.

THE COLLARLESS NECK. Instructions for finishing the collarless neck are given in Chapter 7, page 41.

THE CUFFS. When the design is suitable the making and finishing of the cuff may match the making and finishing of the collar. The joining of the cuff to the sleeve may match the finishing of the shoulder and armhole seams when the seam finish is suitable. The same general principles are applied to the cuff as to the collar, and are simply adapted to suit the design of the cuff.

The cuffs may be closed with buttons and buttonholes, or with buttons and loops. (Chapter 24, page 114.) Or the buttons may be simply ornamental and the closing made underneath with hooks and eyes or tiny snap fasteners. (Chapter 24, page 116.)

THE CLOSING OF THE BLOUSE depends on the degree of softness and dressiness that you want to give to the blouse. The closing of the waistline is always made secure with a hook and eye, or button and loop. (Chapter 24, page 114.) Above, snap fasteners are sometimes used (Chapter 24, page 116), or sometimes a waist is fastened with buttons and buttonholes, or sometimes buttons and loops. But quite often when the blouse laps a great deal at the waistline, and is soft and full, the only closing above it is made by a fancy pin at the open neck.

For the back-closing blouse snap fasteners are not very secure. It is better to use small buttons and buttonholes.

PLAITINGS OR FRILLS are usually made of a single thickness of the material and may be finished with a picoted edge, a narrow hem or Valenciennes lace, net or point d'esprit footing. If a hem is used it should be machine hemstitched, or hand hemstitched (Chapter 2.5), or hand hemmed (Chapter 18) or machine stitched.

Plaitings are very pretty in Georgette, crêpe de Chine, cotton voile, handkerchief linen and batiste. Organdy plaitings are very dainty on cotton voile, and net plaitings are often used on handkerchief linen and crêpe de Chine.

WHEN A BLOUSE EXTENDS BELOW THE WAISTLINE and is to be worn inside the skirt, it is usually finished at the waistline with a casing through which an elastic or drawstring is run to regulate the size. (Chapter 23, page 111.) The lower edge is finished with a narrow hem.

If the blouse is worn outside the skirt the finish of the lower part depends on the style and material of the blouse.

A BLOUSE THAT COMES JUST TO THE WAISTLINE is usually finished with a belt casing. (Chapter 23, page 111.)


SHIRT-WAISTS are usually given a more mannish effect in their making and finishing than a blouse-waist.

MATERIALS. Tub silks and satins, radium silks, cotton, silk or wool shirtings, the heavier qualities of crêpe de Chine, pongee, dimity, madras and linen are the best materials to use for shirt-waists.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0074.jpgIll. 74. The Box-Plait Closing THE SEAMS may be finished as French seams or as flat stitched seams, or lapped seams, (Chapter 17, pages 86 and 87.)

THE FRONT CLOSING. Shirt-waists are finished with a box plait or coat closing. The making of the box-plait closing on the right front is shown in Illustration 74 and the finished box plait in Illustration 75. A hem is turned and the raw edge included in the fold of the hem. (Ill. 74.)

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0075.jpgIll. 75. The Finished Box Plait

THE COAT CLOSING is made by turning both hems on the wrong side, basting and stitching them. (Ill. 76.)

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0076.jpgIll. 76. Finished Effect of Coat Closing

A BLIND CLOSING. If the waist is to have a blind closing, a fly must be applied to the closing edge. The fly should be made double, folded lengthwise through the center, and a seam turned in at each edge. The fold edges are basted together and then sewed in position. (Ill. 77.)

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0077.jpgIll. 77. The Blind Closing

THE GIBSON TUCK in a waist necessitates joining the shoulder seam first before basting in the tuck. This leaves the tuck free across the shoulder seam (Ill. 78), and in basting in the sleeves the tucks can simply be turned toward the neck out of the way as illustrated.

A BACK YOKE. A back yoke may be applied to the waist as shown in Illustration 79.

THE NECKBAND. Shirt-waists are sometimes made with a band finishing The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0078.jpgIll. 78. Basting in a Gibson Tuck the neck of the waist and worn with separate linen collars.

The neck requires care. It should not be trimmed out too much and the neckband should fit the neck closely, though not too tightly, or it will be difficult to adjust the collar.

An interlining should be used in the neckband. In most cases it should be of a material about the same weight as the waist material. The material of the waist can often be used for an interlining. In wash materials and flannel a soft cambric makes a good interlining.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0079.jpgIll. 79. Method of Applying Yoke Cut two sections by the collar-band pattern and also one interlining. Baste the interlining to the wrong side of one of the collar sections. Place the two collar sections together with the right sides face to face. Baste an even three-eight-inch seam at the top and ends, turn the band right side out and crease and baste the edges flat. Baste the inside section of the band to the neck of the waist with the seam on the right side. Turn the seam up, turn in the remaining edge of the band, fully covering the seam and stitch the outside, continuing this stitching all around the band.

FINISHING THE SLASH IN THE SLEEVE. For the slash in the sleeve sew the underlap piece to the back edge of the slash with the seam toward the right side. Crease the seam on the lap, turn the lap; baste down, entirely covering the joining, and stitch. Join the overlap piece to the front edge of the slash in the same manner. (Ill. 80.) Adjust the overlap so that it will conceal the underlap and baste it in place. Stitch all around the overlap, following the shape of the point. At the top of the opening the stitching should cross the lap and catch through the underlap, securely holding the opening in correct position, as shown in Illustrations 80 and 82.

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0080.jpgIll. 80. Method of Applying Laps to Sleeves

A CONTINUOUS LAP is often used to finish the slash at the cuff opening. This lap is made by sewing a straight strip of the material continuously along both edges of the slashed opening, the strip of material being the same width all its length. (Ill. 81.) The other side is turned over and hemmed by hand or machine-stitched, to cover the first seam. This lap is shown in Illustration 81. When the lower edge of the sleeve is gathered this lap is turned under at the front or overlapping edge of the opening and extends on the other side to form an underlap. (Ill. 84.)

MAKING AND FINISHING THE CUFF. There are two sections for each cuff.

An interlining may be used in a cuff or not, depending on the The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0081.pngIll. 81. Method of Applying Continuous Lap degree of mannish effect desired in the waist. The interlining gives a cuff a more mannish look. It should be of a material about the same weight as the waist material, and is used to give a little more body to the cuff, but not to stiffen it. In many cases the material of the waist could be used for an interlining. In wash materials a soft cambric makes a good interlining.

If an interlining is used baste it to the wrong side of one of the cuff sections. Then baste the second cuff section to the first with the right sides facing each other, stitching along the two ends and lower edge. Trim off the seam at the corners and

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0082.pngIll. 82. Finish for Link-Button Closing

The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0083.pngIll. 83. Finish for Lap Closing

turn the cuff right side out, making sure that the corners are as neat as possible. Baste along the seamed edges so that the cuff will be easy to handle in sewing it to the sleeve.

Baste the upper edge of the outside and interlining to the sleeve and overlap, but not to the underlap in a link cuff (Ill. 82), and to the sleeve, overlap and underlap in a lapped cuff. (Ill. 83.) Then stitch, pushing the sleeve fulness well toward the end of the cuff. Turn the seam down and baste. Make a narrow turning on the inside of the cuff and baste in position, covering the seam. Stitch around all the edges of the cuff from the outside. For convenience in handling it is better to turn the sleeve wrong side out before making this stitching.

In sewing in the sleeves hold the sleeve toward you so that the ease or fulness can be handled easily in basting. The New Dressmaker, 1921, Ill. No. 0084.pngIll. 84. Continuous Lap and Cuff

THE BOTTOM OF THE SHIRT-WAIST. The bottom of the waist is finished with a narrow hem.

THE BUTTONHOLES. The buttonholes in the box plait or coat closing are worked up and down through the center with a bar tack at each end. (Page 112, Ill. 228.) In the neckband they are worked lengthwise. The button-hole at the center back is worked one-quarter of an inch above the stitching and has a bar tack at each end. Those at the ends of the band are worked a corresponding distance above the stitching, but with a round front end above the center of the box plaits. (Page 113, Ill. 229.) The button-holes in the cuff are cut one-half inch in from the edge and about in the middle of the cuff. They are worked with one round end and one bar tack.

THE DETACHED COLLAR. An interlining in a collar gives a more mannish effect. It may be used or not according to the degree of mannishness of the waist.

If a detached collar is desired, cut two sections and an interlining by the collar pattern. Stitch together on the outside edges. Turn, and baste the bottom of the collar and its band with the seam toward the wrong side, and then stitch. Hem the outer edge over to the line of stitching. Stitch around the outside of the collar and work buttonholes corresponding to those on the neckband of the shirt-waist.