Practical Notes On Trying On

NERVOUS ONE,  in a descriptive letter of the worries and troubles of a ladies’ tailor, asks our advice as to the best method of preparing a Bodice for a fit on, with a few suggestions as to the mode of fitting on the garment.


If on measuring, the figure is of the normal build, have the back, sidebody, sidebody and sidepiece, seamed up and pressed open; also the two front darts, as by so doing you prevent the possibility of the workmen taking larger seams after the try on, which by no means is an uncommon occurrence. On the other hand, if your customer is of the abnormal type, have the seams basted on the outside; but in either case have the underarm seam between front parts and side gore baisted on the outside in this manner. Also have the sleeves carefully baisted in, specially noticing as to the accuracy of the pitches, with the collar basted securely on. With reference to the try on, this is a most important as well as trying ordeal, more especially to the young cutter. If you are deputed to try the garment on, do it, but without any proffered assistance. Most ladies have a decided objection to being fitted on by more than one person, for apart from the truism of that excellent maxim, “Too many cooks spoil the broth,” it certainly acts as a deterrent in giving you their confidence; so that often when a garment is sent home, it is politely returned with a note saying, it is not altogether what they intended. We mention this because we are all more or less acquainted with governors who are very desirous of impressing customers with their knowledge of the trade, or rather be it said, in many instances, with their want of knowledge. Now, under any circumstances, maintain a calm and collected demeanour. On the other hand, do not assume a haughty and indifferent attitude; but listen to your customers’ requirements in a calm and respectful manner, showing by intelligent enquiries that your sole aim is to please her, and acquit yourself with a creditable production. Overcome any semblance of nervousness, because if your client notices you are flurried or nervous, they will lose faith in you at once. Having assisted the lady to remove her outer garments, take the basted garment and assist her carefully into it, placing it well into its position. Be sure this latter part is accomplished before you attempt the pinning process, as it is here wherein half the difficulties of fitting are to be traced. Now turn to the fronts, and proceed to rapidly but gently pin the two fronts edge to edge together, holding the outer ends of the cloth together between the finger and thumb, to ensure both sides being fitted alike. Then proceed in a methodical manner to inspect the defects and wants of the garment thoroughly. Smooth your hand across the back of the shoulder, and see if the back balance from the bottom of scye to the back neck is correct, then pass on to the natural waist, seeing that it defines the figure nicely at that part; examine the run of the bottom and pleats if any. Notice the run of the sideseams and the fullness in the region of the bladebones nicely pressed back. See that the top of sideseams are snug and close, and that the run of the back scye is in harmony with the curve of the scye. Now pass to the side, and examine the indentation and fit of the waist there; notice if provision for the hips is properly secured, also the curve of the bottom – is it in harmony with the run of the back? Then to the front, and notice if the darts are seamed up high enough, also if they are pucker; test the underarm seam at bottom of scye, see if it is too tight or too easy; follow the same course with the front of scye. Observe the fit of the front shoulders, is the balance correct? and the width of the shoulder strap in harmony with the framework of figure? Notice the position of neck point, and test the height, length, and run of collar, with the same at collar seam. Next in order, pass on the sleeve, carefully inspect the front and back pitches, then the hang of the sleeve; note the amount of fullness in the sleeve head, next see if the underarm is smooth underneath; then the width at elbow and cuff, the length and run of forearm seam, also notice if the latter seam falls just inside the thumb. Having disposed of the sleeve, mark the exact hollow of the waist at the back, so that the waistband may be correctly located. Politely inquire if your customer would like to offer any suggestions or ideas either in reference to the style or fit. Unpin and take off the garment, assist her to redress, courteously show her to the door, bidding good morning.


Our Full Size Pattern LADIES’ D.B. AND S.B. VEST. Breast, 34; Waist, 24.

Now that we are in the midst of summer, the heavy and more sombre garments are quickly replaced by the lighter and more open styles of garments. These are generally accompanied by the vest, shirt, or blouse, made of light fancy material. the former, made in various styles, are still as popular as ever, and in fact are an indispensable addition to every ladies’ wardrobe. The accompanying Pattern is a well-tested Model, and may be used with every confidence. The back is cut on the crease, whilst the bottom portion is cut separately, with a hollow sewing-on edge, which is arranged to facilitate the spring over the hips. The foreparts are cut in two of the most popular styles, viz., D.B. and S.B., with stand collar. The former is arranged with the lapel cut on, although a seam can be put up breast line to form a lapel if desired. the latter plan is often resorted to for style, as well as enhancing the fit and form for stout figures. They are made up in much the same way as gents’ vests. An interlining is basted through the front of the forepart, with bones through the breast darts for shape and firmness.


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