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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 1 (April 2, 1934.)

Home Dressmaking

Home Dressmaking.

In these days of severe economy and hard-upness, it is necessary for most of us to learn to make at least some of our clothes. With patience and particular attention to detail you can make the most charming and successful garments.

First of all it is well to have some knowledge of dressmaking and be able page 43 to use a sewing machine. A good idea is to have some lessons in dressmaking. These can usually be obtained at Technical Schools or at private classes. In the country the local dressmaker would probably be willing to give you a few lessons.

The next step is to provide yourself with needles, good pins, cotton, a pair of cutting-out scissors, and, if possible, a heavy iron and an ironing board.

Now about the patterns, most important, of course, is suitability of design. Choose your styles to bring out your best points. Follow to the letter the instructions given with the paper pattern. Amateurs frequently ignore the instructions given on the envelope and wonder why their garment does not look like the design they have chosen. Paper patterns are scientifically cut by experts and fitted on models, so you can see that the instructions are worth studying and following. When the cutting of your garment is successful, it has a good chance of fitting and looking right.

Tacking a garment together before sewing it is well worth the extra trouble involved. Then a critical survey of yourself in the tacked garment, making any alteration that may be necessary before the sewing, which must be very carefully done. Stretched or puckered seams will spoil the most carefully cut garment.

Be sure that the materials are suitable for the style of the garment. Do not commence by trying to make up a very thin or “stretchy” material.

Pressing is most important. It goes on all the time. Seams must be pressed as they occur, and must on no account be left until the garment is complete.

Buttonholes must be perfectly made or they will give your garment an amateurish and home-made look. Unless you are absolutely sure of yourself, give them to a tailor or dressmaker to do for you.