Welcome to my blog about Home Arts Needlecraft Magazine! I "discovered" this publication about 2 years ago and fell in love with it to the extent that I had to start collecting issues as I ran across them. The magazine began publication with its September, 1909 premier issue, and continued through March, 1941. It has been interesting to follow the changes through the 30 plus years the magazine was published. It is a great source for needlework, fashion, recipes and short stories. Through my journey of sharing my issues online, I hope to discover a pattern of what was popular in different forms of needlecraft over the 3 decades. I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I am (so far!) enjoying posting articles and projects from the issues. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Art of Dressing

By Dora Douglas
1913 08, page 20

The New Tailored Skirt
Each season fashion seems to select some one feature of dress into which she introduces her most striking touch of novelty.  On year it is the sleeve, another it is the neck, again it is the waist.  This year it is the skirt, and one of the old-time skirts will spoil a costume, no matter how handsome the material nor how good the rest of the dress.
In choosing a model for any skirt much depends upon the material to be used in making it.  No one would dream of using the same style for voile as for linen, nor for crepe as for serge, and so on through the entire list.  There are some designs that are suitable for many materials, even for some of very different texture, and it is one of these that we have selected for our consideration in these columns at present.
First of all, it is well to remind ourselves that nowadays even wash-materials are made of good width, and also the many silks and satins and crepes all come much wider than they did years ago.  So we will consider that in making this skirt we are using a ratine, 44 inches wide.  As the skirt is a two-piece model, it will cut economically from this width.
Before beginning to cut the material, make sure that it has neither wrinkles nor creases anywhere.  If it has been folded, press out the fold unless this is so placed that it will be cut away or stitched in out of sight.  This done, lay it on a table that is wide enough for the width of the gore and long enough for its length.  This is not always as easy to find as it sounds, but most people have an extension dining-table, and this can be used.
Examine your pattern and select the gore marked L.  This is the left side gore.  Lay this carefully on the material with the lines of triple perforations on a lengthwise thread of the goods.  It will be noticed that the front edge of this gore is not entirely straight, but this is as it should be.  Pin the gore firmly to the material.  Do not be afraid to use plenty of pins as this will make the cutting much easier.  In placing this gore on the material leave enough space at the end for the belt, which is cut crosswise of the goods.  This, too, should be carefully pinned before cutting.  When the left gore is firmly pinned in place, cut it carefully around all the edges.  The designers have left 1 1/2 inches as the allowance for the hem, and it is therefore essential that you be very sure of the required length of the skirt before cutting it.  If the pattern is too long, do not take off at the lower edge, but fold it across the middle, taking out as much as necessary and in the same manner if it is too short cut it across at the middle and pin the two halves separately.  This will keep the proportions correct and insure a proper line at the seams.
After the gore is cut, take your scissors and snip out the notch near the top of the gore.  If you intend to fit the skirt by means of the darts these darts must be marked either with thread or chalk or pencil.  By the way, blue pencil is much easier to rub out than black; but thread is the best marker of all.  Then mark also the line of perforations for the seam; or, if the material be at all stiff, crease it along this line.
Now take the gore marked R.  This is the right side gore and the one which has the draped section.  Lay this on the material very carefully, for unless you cut it straight as it should be the plaits will not hang as they should.  Use plenty of pins as before, after adjusting the length of the skirt to suit your individual needs.  Mark the dart, if you are going to use it, and the small perforations at the top of each plait; also snip out the notch at the seam side.
When this is done, comes the time to handle your plaits.  Turn to our illustrations and in diagram 2 you will see how the plaits look after you have laid them in according to the directions on the envelope of the pattern.  Baste them firmly, overcast the top edge, then stitch them to the loose edge of the top, as shown in Diagram 3.  This diagram also shows the edge of the upper part turned in 1 ½ inches for the hem of the overlap.  The large diagram, No. 1, shows how the skirt should look on the wrong side when the plaits are in position, the front edge hemmed and the two gores joined together.  In this diagram it will be noticed that the back of the skirt is shown gathered at the waistline.  The skirt may be arranged in this manner rather than fitted by darts, if preferred.  It is a little newer than the fitted style and much more becoming to most figures.  This, however, is a matter of taste and must depend somewhat upon the material.
The arrangement of the gores brings the closing and its drapery a little to the left of the center of the front, and in the back the edge of the material at the seam is somewhat to the right of the center of the back.  This manner of placing the seams is more artistic than having them all on the straight line of front and back.
There is so little drapery in this skirt that it will answer very nicely for serge, if a traveling suit be considered.  Of course it will be more graceful in thinner fabrics, and the many qualities of voile are a great temptation.  Cotton voile is uncommonly pretty, and it is also one of the most popular materials of the season.  Then there is a loose ratine, which drapes as gracefully as crepe, and there is crepe itself, not only the beautiful silk crepe de Chine, but a cotton kind that is ever so lovely, and that comes both plain and striped. It is found in many costumes for the skirt, while the blouse or coat is of plain ratine, or of figured eponge or some other differing fabric.
Batiste is so soft that it suggests itself the moment that there is any question of drapery, and one might make the skirt and purchase the blouse all made, wearing a wide girdle at the belt, or a narrow twist of some bright-colored velvet or satin.
If care is sued in finishing this garment it will be found very simple to make, but plenty of basting and plenty of pressing are the two things that the amateur is often tempted to shirk in her eagerness to see the finished garment.  The result is sure to be a homemade appearance, no matter how good the material nor how careful the workmanship in other ways.
A row of crystal buttons above the drapery on the closing edge, and perhaps a piping of bright color will brighten up the skirt.
The pattern, No. 6273, is cut in sizes from 22 to 30 inches waist measure.  To make the skirt in the medium size will require 2 7/8 yards of 44-inch material.  Price of pattern, 10 cents.


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