1. Cut two pieces of fabric from the pattern. Use as your
pattern, the piece marked #l-seams. Align the long edge
of the paper pattern with the lengthwise grain of the
fabric, along the selvage edges.
2. Place right sides of the fabric together, matching the
seam edges of the pieces that correspond to the seam to
be sewn. Pin in place if necessary.
3. Using a 5/8" seam allowance, sew the fabric
pieces together on the long end of the rectangle.
4. First press the seam flat and then press it open using
the point of the iron to completely flatten the seam out.
(Fig.2) See the sections-on pressing and pressing
Prepare three plain seams. Two of these will be used for
the exercise on seam finishes. The other is to be turned
in for grading.
PLAIN SEAM - LAPPED APPLICATION
1. Cut one piece of fabric from each of the two pattern
pieces marked LAPPED SEAM
2. Stay stitch the seams that are to be lapped. (Fig. 1)
3. On the smaller piece, folding on the seam line turn
the seam allowance to the wrong side of the fabric and
press in place. (Fig. 2)
4. Pin the piece prepared in Step 3 to the other section
matching seam lines, notches, and seam edges.
5. Top stitch the seam in place close to the seam line.
FLAT FELL SEAM 1. Prepare a
plain seam using a 5/8" SA.
2. After pressing the seam open press both SA's in the
3. Trim the underneath SA only to 1/4".
4. Fold the untrimmed SA over the trimmed SA and pin or
baste in place.
5. Top stitch the folded edge in place.
NOTE: Top stitching is machine or hand stitching through
all layers of fabric. Top stitching will be visible on
both the right and wrong sides of the piece that is top
1. Cut two pieces of fabric using the #l-SEAMS
2. Match the wrong side of the fabric and sew a plain
seam using a 1/4" SA. This seam should have the raw
edges on the right side of the fabric when you have
3. Turn the seam over so that the wrong side of the
fabric faces you. The raw edges should be on the bottom,
away from you. Fold along the seam line and press in
place. (Fig, 2)
4. Sew a second seam using a 3/8" SA on the wrong
side of the fabric. This second seam should completely
encase the first seam, thus clean finishing all edges.
5. Press the seam to one side.
This exercise is to be done on the seam edges of the
two plain seams with the 5/8" seam allowances
SINGLE EDGE STITCH.
1. With the stitch length set between 2 and 3, place a
single row of stitching close to the seam edge.
DOUBLE EDGE STITCH.
1. Begin as for single edge stitch.
2. Place a second row of machine stitching just inside
the first row of stitching about l/16" away.
l. Begin as for single edge stitch.
2. Turn the edge of the seam to the inside along the row
of stitching and press in place.
3. Top stitch the turned edge in place sewing through the
seam allowance only.
1. Begin as for single edge stitch.
2. Adjust the stitch length to between 3 and 4.
3. Adjust the stitch width to between 2 and 3.
4. Sew a row of zig zag stitching along the seam edge,
placing the zig-zag stitch so that one stitch fall inside
the row of edge stitching and the other falls just
outside the seam edge.
l. Use a raw edge on any of the plain seams that you
have just applied seam finishes to.
2. Apply a three thread serged finish ( in any color)
right on the raw edge, making sure that you trim only the
small threads off the raw edge.
1. Cut out one piece of surface fabric using the
pattern marked FITTED FACING FOR BODICE ARMHOLE. Make
sure that the pattern piece is placed on the right side
of the fabric with the notations on the pattern visible.
2. Cut out one piece of interfacing using the same
pattern piece as in Step 1. REMEMBER that when using
woven interfacing, the grain of the interfacing must
match the grain of the surface fabric.
3. Place the woven interfacing on the WRONG side of the
Fitted Facing for Bodice Armhole aligning all notches and
pin securely in place.
4. Starting at the center of the longest side sew along
the edge, pivot at the corner, and so on until you have
sewn completely around the fitted facing piece. Use a
1/2" S.A. as you attach the interfacing to the
5. Trim away the interfacing only from the seam allowance
as close as possible to the stitching line. BE CAREFUL
NOT TO SNIP THE SURFACE FABRIC, cut only the interfacing.
6. Press the fitted facing flat. Press first on the right
side, and then on the wrong side. The applied interfacing
should be flat, smooth, and closely applied to the
surface fabric so that it supports the surface without
wrinkling or bubbling.
1. Cut one piece of surface fabric using the pattern
marked BODICE CUFF.
2. Cut one piece of non-woven interfacing using the
pattern marked CUFF INTERFACING.
3. Place the interfacing on the WRONG side of the cuff,
aligning the notches.
4. Starting in the center of the longest side sew towards
the corner, pivot and sew up to the end of the
interfacing. Return to the center point and sew down the
other side, pivot and sew to the end of the interfacing.
5. Trim the interfacing away along the sewn edges as
close as possible to, but not through the stitching
6. Repeat Step #6 on the sewing exercise for WOVEN
INTERFACING for pressing.
1. Cut one piece of surface fabric using the pattern
marked SKIRT WAISTBAND.
2. Cut one piece of fusible interfacing using the pattern
marked FUSIBLE INTERFACING FOR WAISTBAND.
3. Place the treated side of the interfacing on the WRONG
side of the surface fabric, aligning the notches. Pin in
4. Cover the ironing table or board with a scrap of
muslin. Place the waistband with the interfacing towards
you over the muslin. Beginning in the middle of the
waistband, steam and set the fusible interfacing in
place. REMEMBER to steam the interfacing in place in a
5. Remove the pins from the waistband. Turn the waistband
over and press the surface side of the fabric. Make sure
that you have the waistband aligned over the muslin
scrap. Be sure to check for areas that are not properly
FLAT LINING and STAY STITCHING
This exercise is done on a Size 8 bodice.
1. Cut out the bodice back and front of the pattern in
muslin. Remember to check the grainline and fold line on
the pattern before cutting.
2. Transfer all markings, including all seam lines to the
muslin using tracing paper and wheel.
3. Open out all the muslin pieces and pin them to the
wrong side of the fabric to be flat lined, being sure to
align the grain with that of the surface fabric and
checking that the traced markings on the muslin pieces
are facing you.
4. Carefully pin the flat lining to the surface fabric
and cut out the surface pieces using the muslin pieces as
5. Sew the muslin to the surface fabric using a single
edge seam finish.
6. Run a row of machine basting over the stitching lines
for the darts.
7. Stay stitch all seam lines on garment bias. (Fig. 1)
This exercise is to be done on the Size 8 bodice which
was prepared in the Flat lining exercise.
1. Fold the darts, right sides of the fabric together, so
that the sewing lines meet. Pin carefully in place.
2. With a regular machine stitch, sew the darts in place.
Begin sewing at the widest end and finish at the pointed
end. Backstitch only at the widest end of the dart.
3. Secure the threads at the point of the dart with a
4. Press the darts using the following conventions:
(a) darts oriented vertically are pressed towards CF or
(b) darts horizontally oriented are pressed towards the
bottom of the garment piece.
NOTE: Darts should be pressed on a TAILOR'S HAM or some
other rounded surface that conforms to the shape of the
GATHERS, Button Thread method.
This exercise is based on using the gathered piece to
create a dirndl skirt for the Size 8 bodice prepared
Prepare the fabric:
1. Cut a piece of fabric 18" long and the full width
of the fabric.
2. Finish the edges of this piece of fabric with a seam
finish that will not reduce the seam allowance.
Prepare the gathers as follows:
3. Set the stitch width indicator on the widest possible
zig zag stitch.
4. Place a spool of BUTTON THREAD on the second spool
pin. Choose a color that does not match the surface
5. Pull the button thread down so that 6" extends
beyond the edge of the fabric to be gathered and center
the thread under the presser foot.
6. On one of the long sides of the fabric, sew a row of
zig zag stitches on top of the button thread, making sure
that at no time does the needle pierce the button thread.
Use a 1/2" SA and place the stitches on the WRONG
side of the fabric.
7. At the end of the fabric, DO NOT BACKSTITCH, and leave
about 6" of the button thread extending off the
GATHERS, Three-Thread method.
1. Cut a piece of surface fabric using the pattern
marked RIGHT SLEEVE FOR BODICE.
2. Stay stitch along the slash line at the bottom of the
sleeve. This slash will be used in another exercise.
3. Set the machine stitch length on the longest possible
4. The bottom edge of the sleeve will be gathered. Using
a 5/8" SA place one row of basting stitches along
the sleeve. DO NOT BACKSTITCH AT ANY TIME. When you reach
the slash, pull the sewing thread so that approximately
3" extends into the slash, clip. Begin sewing on the
opposite side of the slash, leaving 3" extending at
the end of the sleeve.
5. Place a second row of gathering stitches using a
6. Place a third row of gathering stitches between rows
ATTACHING GATHERS TO ANOTHER
This exercise will be done on the Size 8 bodice pieces
and the dirndl skirt prepared previously.
1. Complete the bodice by stitching the shoulder and side
seams using a 5/8" SA. Press seams open.
2. Using chalk mark the skirt off in quarters along the
3. Pull the button thread in the skirt up until the skirt
width approximately matches the bodice waistline seam.
4. With RIGHT sides together pin the skirt to the bodice,
matching: First quarter mark to the side seam. Half way
mark to CF of the bodice. Third quarter mark to the
second side seam.
5. Distribute the gathers evenly between pins. This is
done by moving the gathers by hand, pin the gathers in
place as you work. Make sure there are no gathers in the
5/8" SA at CB of the skirt. Check to see that you
pin the bodice flat with the darts going towards CF or
6. Place the garment in the machine, with the GATHERED
side facing up. Stitch the bodice to the skirt using a
5/8" SA. This allows you to control the gathers are
the stitching is completed.
Remove pins and check the seam carefully to make sure you
have not caught the fabric of the bodice in the seam.
Correct any errors.
8. Carefully press the SA toward the bodice. The pressing
should be done with the point of the iron so that the
gathers are not flattened by the iron.
9. Complete the CB seam of the skirt up to 6"from
the waistline seam. Press this seam open.
Cut a piece of fabric using the KNIFE PLEATS pattern.
1. Transfer markings.
2. Prepare the fabric by using a seam finish that will
not reduce the SA.
3. On the RIGHT side of the fabric mark along both
lengthwise edges at 2" intervals with tailor's
chalk. Begin the 2" intervals at the traced markings
transferred in Step #1.
4. Using a ruler and chalk, connect the markings made in
5. On the RIGHT side fold the fabric along the SECOND
mark from the edge bringing the 2" and 6" mark
together. Pin in place on the top and bottom edges.
6. Continue this folding and pinning process until you
have pleated all the fabric.
7. Press the pleats into place, to insure that the pleats
are uniform you may need to pin the center of the pleats.
Press directly over the pins.
8. DIAGONAL BASTE the top and bottom edges of the fabric
pleated. (Check the HAND SEWING section of the book to
find complete instructions on Diagonal Basting.)
9. Remove all pins and using the pounding block press
10. The pleats must now be permanently set into the
fabric. The STITCHING method will be used here.
Set you stitch length indicator on 3. Carefully remove
the bottom row of hand basting.
Starting at the bottom, place a row of machine stitches
through both layers of the pleat edge. Backstitch at both
top and bottom. DO NOT remove the basting along the top,
simply stitch as close as you can to the basting and
11. Place a row of regular machine stitches along the
5/8" SA on the top of the piece. The piece is now
ready to be attached to another garment piece.
1. Cut a piece of fabric from the pattern marked BOX
2. Transfer all markings using a SMOOTH tracing wheel on
SOLID line and a SERRATED tracing wheel and a different
color tracing paper on the DOTTED lines.
3. Fold the fabric, WRONG sides together matching the
first two DOTTED lines, pin in place.
4. Machine baste exactly on the dotted lines.
5. Press the SOLID line into a crease. The press the fold
of fabric (created by the machine basting) to one side.
Center the crease over the machine basting. Pin the top
edge in place.
6. Repeat Steps #3-#5 until the entire length of fabric
7. The Box Pleat must be permanently set in place, the
CHEMICAL method will be used.
Dampen a press cloth with a solution of white vinegar and
water. A 1/2 cup of vinegar to 2 cups of water solution
works well for most fabrics. For fabric that is hard to
pleat, use more vinegar. Place the cloth over the pleats
and iron with a DRY iron until the press cloth is dry.
8. Release the machine basting and press flat.
9. Machine baste at the 5/8" SA on the top. The Box
Pleated piece is now ready to attach to the garment.
INVERTED BOX PLEAT WITH AN UNDERLAY
1. Cut two pieces of fabric from the pattern INVERTED BOX
PLEAT and one piece of fabric using the pattern PLEAT
UNDERLAY. Transfer markings.
2. Prepare all pieces by finishing the seams. Use a seam
finish that will not reduce the dimension of the SA.
3. RIGHT sides of the fabric together, match notes and
stitch the two pleat sections together with the Pleat
underlay. Use a 1/4" SA. Press the seams flat
towards the pleat underlay.
4. With the RIGHT sides together, match the marking lines
and pin in place. Machine baste down this line. Press
5. Pin the top edge of the pleat in place and diagonal
baste in place.
6. Press the pleat flat, making sure that the narrow seam
form the fold lines of the pleat. At this point the
pleats would need to be set permanently. We are going to
eliminate this step for this exercise.
7. Machine stitch over the diagonal basting. Press the
pleat and remove the vertical row of machine basting. The
piece is now ready to be joined to other garment pieces.
This exercise will use the waistband prepared in the
Interfacing exercise and the pleated sections prepared
1. Sew the three pleated sections together (Knife, Box
and Inverted Box) using a 5/8" SA.
2. Press the seams open, be careful not to wrinkle
3. Use the NON-INTERFACED side of the waistband. Place
the waistband so the RIGHT side of the waistband is
against the wrong side of the pleated piece. Leave
a 5/8" SA at each end of the waistband. Pin in
4. Machine stitch along the 5/8" SA, joining the
skirt and waistband. Remove pins and press the seam open.
5. GRADE the waistband seam to 1/4". Press the SA
towards the waistband.
6. On the loose lengthwise side of the waistband, press
the 5/8"SA to the inside.
7. Fold the waistband, lengthwise, with right side
together and stitch the side seams of the waistband
together with a 5/8" SA. (Fig. 3)
8. Trim the corners diagonally. Using a point turner turn
the seams inside out making sure the corners are SQUARE.
9. Press the corners flat using the Pounding block.
10. Pin the loose end of the waistband over the original
stitching line on the skirt by placing a pin in the
center. Pin from the corners to the center. When pinned
the waistband should completely cover the original
stitching line. Press in place. Clip.
11. Begin top stitching at one corner of the pinned seam.
Stitch as close to the edge as possible, without going
off the edge. When you reach the end of the pinned seam,
pivot and continue top stitching around the entire
waistband. This additional top stitching yields a crisp
look and helps the waistband resist rolling over.
12. Remove all pins and press flat using the pounding
13. Join the CB seam of the pleated skirt together
leaving a 6" opening at the top. Press the seam
CORDED BIAS FACING
This is a variation of a bias facing that is common to
costume construction since the finished facing is
decorative as well as functional.
This exercise will be done on the neckline of the Size 8
Prepare the corded bias facing:
1. Fold the fabric on the diagonal, bringing one selvage
edge to the raw edge, forming a 90 degree angle. This
diagonal fold is the TRUE BIAS.
2. Cut a strip, along this fold, the measurement of the
neckline plus 11''.
3. To determine the width of the bias strip, add the
circumference of the cording to two seam allowances:
Cording circumference = 3/4"
Seam allowance = 5/8"
Width of bias strip is 3/4" + (2 x 5/8") =
Determine width needed and cut bias strip.
4. Press 5/8" of fabric to the inside on the short
edges of the cording.
5. Wrap the bias strip around the cording, RIGHT side
out. Pin in place.
6. Using a zipper foot, stitch as close as possible to
the cording. Do not catch the cording in the machine
Attach the corded bias facing:
7. RIGHT sides together pin the corded bias strip to the
neckline of the bodice. Stitch in place using a zipper
8. Grade the seam allowance of the bodice only. Clip
through all layers.
9. Turn the SA to the inside and press in place.
10. Top stitch the facing in place using a 1/2" SA.
Fitted facings are used on extremely curved surfaces
where a bias facing will not stretch enough to lie flat
or wherever the facing might show (i.e. fronts of blouses
and shirts). The fitted facing produces a much crisper
edge than a bias facing.
This exercise will be done on the armseye of the Size 8
1. Stitch the ends of the facing together using a
5/8" SA. Press seam open.
2. Finish the outer edge of the facing with a seam finish
that will not add bulk.
3. RIGHT sides together, pin the facing to the armseye,
matching the notches. If the notches don't match, you
have the facing on the wrong armseye.
4. Stitch around the facing at 5/8" SA. Use the free
arm of your machine to do this.
5. Grade, clip and press the facing. Press the SA's
towards the facing.
6. Understitch by placing a row of machine stitching
through the facing and all the layers of SA as close to
the seam edge as possible. Do not sew into the surface of
7. Press the facing to the inside using a tailor's
This exercise will be done on the CB of the Size 8
bodice and skirt.
Cut two pieces of fabric using the pattern marked BODICE
2. Cut one piece of interfacing from the pattern BODICE
3. Apply the interfacing to one of the BODICE PLACKET
Attach the Placket underlay by:
4. Place the non-interfaced edge of the placket underlay
against the left side of the bodice. Place the RIGHT side
of the placket against the WRONG side of the bodice. Pin
in place, leaving a 5/8" SA extending at the
5. Stitch placket underlay in place. SA's towards the
underlay. Press seam open, grade and press all
6. Press the long edge of the placket underlay to the
7. Finish the placket underlay at the neckline edge as
8. Pin the loose edge of the placket underlay over the
original stitching line. Top stitch in place. Press flat.
Attach the placket extension by:
9. Place the RIGHT side of the placket extension against
the WRONG side of the garment. Adjust placement of the
extension to insure that you have a 5/8" SA at the
neckline. Pin in place.
10. Stitch the extension to the garment using a 5/8"
SA. Press seam open. Grade. Press SA's towards the
11. Press the seam allowance on the long edge of the
extension to the inside.
12. Finish the extension at the neck edge in the same
manner as the placket underlay.
13. Pin the end of the placket extension over the
original stitching line. Top stitch in place. Press flat.
14. Place the RIGHT SIDES of the placket pieces together
and stitch the 5/8"SA on the bottom edge in place.
Trim the seam to 1/4" and zig zag over it.
15. Press the Placket extension so that it folds to the
inside of the CB FAVOR the placket just slightly.
SLASHED PLACKET/ CONTINUOUS LAP
This placket is used when a slashed placket is
necessary and the plainest visual appearance desired.
This exercise will be done on the Size 8 sleeve.
1. Cut a strip of fabric 1 1/4" wide and twice the
length of the slash. The piece should run on the
lengthwise grain of the fabric.
2. Clip the point of the slash up to the stay stitching.
3. Spread the slash open and lay the RIGHT side of the
placket against the WRONG side of the sleeve opening. Pin
4. Using a 1/4" SA Stitch the continuous lap placket
in place making sure that it is flat.
5. Press the SA towards the placket. Press the remaining
long edge to the inside at 3/8".
6. Bring the folded edge of the placket over the original
stitching line. Pin in place and top stitch.
7. Press flat.
8. Fold the under side of the continuous lap placket to
the inside. This is the placket extension. FAVOR the
placket extension slightly.
9. One the inside of the sleeve, stitch the placket
underlay and extension together. Place this stitching so
that it runs diagonally across the continuous lap
placket. (Fig. 2) This keeps the placket from rolling to
the outside of the sleeve.
10. Turn the sleeve to the right side and press flat.
11. Sew the underarm seam together in the sleeve using a
5/8"SA. Press seam open.
MACHINE HEM - SHIRTTAIL
This exercise will be done on the pleated skirt.
1. Place a row of stay stitching at 5/8" from the
2. Press the hem to the inside just above the stay
stitching line. The stay stitching should not be visible
on the RIGHT side of the skirt.
3. Turn the raw edge to the inside 1/4" and press in
place. The hem depth is now 3/8".
Pin the hem in place. Top stitch as close to the roll
line as possible. Remove pins and press. If the hem is
bulky, using the pounding block.
MACHINE HEM - HOLLYWOOD/LETTUCE
1. Cut a piece of fabric 5" x 10".
2. Place a row of stay stitching along one long edge of
the fabric as close to the edge as possible. Press the
fabric to the inside along the stay stitching.
3. Using a wide, short zig zag stitch the hem in place.
The zig zag should appear to be going half off the fabric
as you sew. Press flat.
4. Using the fabric provided, repeat Step # 3. Stretch
the fabric as much as possible while stitching. DO NOT
PRESS. This is the lettuce hem.
HAND HEMS - BLIND STITCH, LOCK
STITCH, and CROSS-STITCH
This exercise will be done on the skirt of the Size 8
Prepare the skirt by:
1. Turning the raw edge of the hem to the inside
3/8" and press in place.
2. Turn the hem to the inside with a depth of 1".
Pin in place.
3. Measure the circumference of the hem and mark off in
thirds. Begin measuring at CB.
Hand Hem - Blind stitch as follows:
4. Using a single strand of silamide thread begin at CB
and blind stitch to the 1/3 mark. Fasten off.
5. Begin where you left off and using a lock stitch sew
to the 2/3 mark. Fasten off.
6. Begin where you left off and cross stitch the
remainder of the hem in place. Remove pins and press in
Slip stitch is used to
hem, attach linings, hold pockets and trims in place and
provides an almost invisible finish. Slide the needle
through the folded edge of the fabric and at the same
time pick up a few threads of the garment side of the
fabric. Continue in this manner, taking 1/8" to
1/4" stitches evenly spaced.
Blind stitch is good for any
garment edge where there is possibility of both sides
showing, or when the fabric is sheer so that stitches
need to be invisible. The edge of the area to be hand
sewn with a blind stitch must be clean finished which can
be done by folding the raw edge to the inside and
pressing. Roll the folded edge back on to itself and take
a small horizontal stitch through the fold only. Then
pick up a thread or two of the hem diagonally above,
being careful to keep the stitches even, small, and
loose. When the fold is rolled back into place the
stitches are not visible for either side.
Lock stitch is good for
trouser and skirt hems since each stitch is knotted. If
the lock stitch is torn, only one or two stitches will
unravel, making it one of the strongest hand stitches
available. Take a small horizontal stitch through the hem
and pick up a thread of the garment directly across from
the first stitch. Pull the thread up until it forms a
small circle, then pass the needle through the circle and
towards the garment edge. The stitches should be
1/4" to 3/8" long.
Tailor's Tack or Cross Stitch
is used to stitch fabric together in areas of great
stress or where some 'give' is needed (i. e. knits) Work
from LEFT to RIGHT, pointing the needle in the opposite
direction. Take a small stitch in the garment a small
distance from the hem edge then diagonally across pick up
a thread in the hem only. Continue in this manner, keep
stitches loose. The stitches should be no more than
1/2" in length.
HAND SEWING - SLIP STITCH
This is an alternate finishing method for waistbands,
cuffs, etc. The machine finishing method used on the
waistband of the pleated skirt is quick and durable, but
the hand method produces a much softer, tailored look and
is appropriate for delicate fabrics.
This exercise will be done on the Size 8 bodice sleeve
and the cuff prepared in the interfacing exercise.
Pull the gathering stitches on the edge of the sleeve up
until the sleeve is approximately the same length as the
RIGHT sides together pin the cuff to the sleeve edge.
Check to make sure that the continuous lap placket is
properly pinned and that you have left a 5/8" SA on
either end of the cuff.
Adjust the gathers so the fullness is distributed evenly.
Using the free arm of the machine, stitch the cuff and
sleeve together at 5/8" SA.
Press this seam towards the cuff and grade the gathered
edge away to 1/4". Press the lengthwise edge of the
cuff to the inside at 5/8".
Fold the cuff in half, RIGHT sides together and stitch
the short seams in place. Trim the corners diagonally,
and using the point turner turn the cuff right side out.
Pin the folded edge of the cuff over the previous
stitching line, on the WRONG side of the sleeve,
completely covering all stitching lines.
Begin at one corner and slip stitch the cuff into place.
Remove pins and press. If the cuff is bulky, use the
HOOKS AND LOOPS
Hooks and Loops are used wherever a garment overlaps.
Hooks and eyes are used when the garment edges just meet.
This exercise is to be done on the Size 8 dress.
1. Use a double strand of thread, either button or
silamide, in a color that matches as closely as possible
to the garment. Knot the thread.
2. The hook will be sewn to the placket extension. The
hook is placed with the head of the hook pointing towards
the edge of the garment and about 1/8" inside the
garment edge. The hook should not be visible from the
right side of the garment.
3. Sew the hook on by taking several small stitches
through each loop of the hook. Do no sew across the
loops, as it is not as strong. Stitches should go through
the placket extension only.
4. When the loops of the hook are securely attached, pass
the needle under a single layer of fabric, bringing the
needle up next to the head of the hook. Take several
small stitches over the head of the hook, catching only
the lower part of the head. This is done to prevent the
fabric from pulling away and revealing the hook while the
garment is being worn. Tie off with a tailor's knot.
5. To mark placement of the loop, use a piece of TAILOR'S
WAX. Rub the wax over the hook and realign the placket.
Press down firmly on the hook, and the wax will transfer
a small mark to the placket underlay.
6. Place the loop over the marks by taking several small
stitches through the placket extension and the loops. Tie
off with a tailor's knot.
1. Use a double strand of button or siladmide thread
in a color that matches the garment as closely as
possible. Knot the thread.
2. Attach the MALE half of the snap to the placket
extension at the waistline seam of the garment. Sew the
snap on by taking several small stitches through each of
the holes in the snap. Do not sew across two holes, as it
is not as strong. Stitching should go through the placket
extension only and not be visible on the right side of
the garment. Tie off with a tailor's knot.
3. Mark the placement for the FEMALE half of the snap
with Tailor's Wax. Center the FEMALE half of the snap
over the mark produced and attach this half of the snap
to the placket underlay.
4. Check to see that the snap functions properly after it
is attached, it is possible to attach snaps backwards so
they will not close properly.
Buttonholes can be made by hand but they are time
consuming and not very durable. Machine made buttonholes
can be done automatically on most modern machines. Older
domestic and industrial machines need a special
attachment to produce buttonholes.
This exercise will be done on the cuff prepared
1. Select the type and size of the button to be used.
2. On the top side of the cuff use tailor's chalk and
place a mark 3/8" in from the edge.
3. Measure the length of the button and add this
measurment to the measurement of the thickness of the
button. This determines the length of the buttonhole. For
example, a 1/2" button with a 1/8" thickness
requires a buttonhole that is 5/8" long.
4. Beginning at the 3/8" mark, chalk a line the
length of the buttonhole. Then place a cross mark at the
end of the necessary length.
5. Check the manual for the particular machine and set
the stitch width and length to the proper position.
6. Begin sewing at the cross mark nearest the edge of the
garment. Sew down the left hand side of the button hole
to the cross mark. Stop the machine at the cross mark
with the needle in its up position.
7. Reset the machine as necessary and bar tack across the
bottom of the buttonhole. Sew only two or three times at
this point. (Fig. 2)
8. Reset the machine as necessary and sew up the right
hand side of the buttonhole and bar tack. You should now
be back to the point here you began to sew.
9. Resew the entire buttonhole, sewing exactly over the
first layer of stitching. This insures that the
buttonhole will not ravel or stretch.
10. Clip your thread and press the buttonhole flat. Open
the buttonhole with your scissors, begin with a small cut
in the center of the buttonhole and cut to the edge of
the bar tack. Never use a seam ripper to cut open
buttonholes, since it can easily slip and ruin the
garment. Repress the buttonhole.
Buttons come in two formats, those with visible holes
(2 or 4) and those with a manufactured shank. Except for
very lightweight items, ALL BUTTONS MUST HAVE A SHANK.
This allows for enough room between the garment and the
button that the garment hangs properly when buttoned.
A shank button has a leather, thread or metal loop
attached to the back of the button. These buttons may be
sewn on with a double strand of button thread center over
1. This sewing exercise will be done on the sleeve and
cuff previously prepared and will demonstrate how to sew
on a button with visible holes providing a thread shank.
2. Close the placket on the cuff so that it aligns
properly. Using tailor's chalk mark the center of the
buttonhole. Make your mark in the form of a small cross.
3. Using a single strand of matching button hole thread,
attach the button centered over the mark. Knot the thread
and take a small stitch on the RIGHT side of the garment.
Pass the needle through to the WRONG side of the garment.
4. Place a kitchen match or large bobby pin between the
button and the garment. The button will be sewn over
this, thus providing the basis for a thread shank.
5. Bring the needle up through the fabric and through the
holes in the button, ALWAYS holding the match stick in
place. You may sew horizontally, vertically or diagonally
through the holes in the button. Pass the needle through
fabric and button until the holes in the button are
almost completely filled with thread.
6. When the button seems secure remove the match and
bring the needle up underneath the button as close as
possible to the thread shank. Wrap the thread around the
thread shank several times, this gives the shank
7. Pass the needle back to the WRONG side of the garment
and tie off with a tailor's knot.
This exercise will be done on the pleated skirt and
waistband prepared previously.
Obtain a zipper from your instructor.
Center the zipper stop at the bottom of the opening in
the skirt about 3/8" into the seam. Pin the left
side of the zipper tape to the skirt, turning the
5/8" SA on the skirt under as you work. If you have
problems keeping the SA on the skirt even, press it down
BEFORE you begin pinning.
Using a zipper foot on your machine, sew with a regular
stitch length down the length of the zipper. Place your
line of stitching as close as possible to the teeth
without sewing over the teeth. NOTE: If your stitching
crosses the teeth, the zipper will not close.
Close the zipper. Pin the right side of the zipper tape
to the skirt, once again folding under the SA as you
work. The seam should overlap the previous stitching just
slightly. When the zipper is properly pinned in placed
you should not be able to see any of the zipper teeth or
Diagonal baste the right hand side of the zipper in
place. Remove the pins and steam.
Begin stitching at the bottom left hand corner of the
zipper where the first row of stitching stopped. Line the
stitching lines up exactly. Sew across the bottom of the
zipper, pivot and sew up the right hand side of the
NOTE: When you begin sewing up the right hand side of the
zipper, you cannot see the zipper teeth, it is important
to be accurate, so sew slowly and try to feel the zipper
teeth with you fingers.
Remove diagonal basting and check to see if the zipper
meshes and unmeshes properly. Steam lightly.
This sewing exercise will demonstrate how EASE is
handled and will be done on the Size 8 bodice and sleeve
NOTE: For further information on EASE check the CONTROL
OF FULLNESS section of this book.
1. Place gathering stitches across the sleeve cap using
the three-thread method. Begin your stitches at the
single notch in the front of the sleeve and end them at
the double notch in the back of the sleeve.
2. Pull up the gathering threads only slightly. Remember
in EASE only a very little fullness is present.
3. Place the right sides of the sleeve and bodice
together. Pin the single notch on the sleeve to the
single notch in the bodice, pin the double notch in the
sleeve to the double notch in the bodice. If you match
these notches up correctly you will have the sleeve in
the correct armseye.
4. Pin the single center notch to the shoulder seam of
the bodice and the underarm seams of the bodice and
sleeve should be pinned together.
NOTE: It is possible to set the right sleeve into the
left armseye and vice versa. If this is done the sleeve
will not hang properly. ALWAYS MATCH SINGLE NOTCHES WITH
SINGLE NOTCHES AND DOUBLE NOTCHES WITH DOUBLE NOTCHES.
5. Adjust the gathering threads so that the sleeve cap
fits into the arms-eye. Place the gathers so they are
evenly spaced between the single front notch and double
back notch. Proper easing produces a smooth seam on the
RIGHT side of the garment. Pin the sleeve in place.
6. Using the free arm of the machine, sew the seam
together. Remember to place the sleeve seam with the ease
facing you. Remove the pins and check to see that the
ease is even and the seam is flat on the RIGHT side of
7. Using either the tailors ham or press mitt press the
seam towards the sleeve, being careful to not press
wrinkles into the cap. Don't try to rush the pressing of
this seam, it takes careful concentration to press the