DRESSMAKING, like any other form of work, will give the best results when it is done with the best equipment. "Best" does not mean the most expensive. A three-dollar pine table of the right height and size for sewing and cutting is a better table for dressmaking than a fifty-dollar mahogany sewing-table just big enough to hold your scissors and work-basket.

THE SEWING-ROOM. Every woman who sews or who has sewing done at home should have a light, well-equipped sewing-room. It need not be large, but it should have a good light by day and the artificial light should be properly placed and shaded. The floor should be covered by a clean sheet or linen drugget some times called a crum-cloth. This covering keeps light-colored material from becoming soiled, and also enables you to leave the sewing-room in perfect order at the end of the day, for all the scraps and threads can be picked up in the cloth.

The room should be furnished with comfortable, straight chairs and a table large enough to lay out a skirt or coat for cutting and sewing. If it is a regular sewing-table you can keep your shears, pins, etc., in the drawer. The table should have a smooth, hard, even surface and should be of comfortable height, so that you can sit at it with your feet under it as you would sit at a writing-table. Never sew with your work on your lap. It makes you sit in a fatiguing position, strains your eyes and back, and stretches and crum-

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ples your work. Lay your sewing on the table, letting the table support its weight. A big chest of drawers is useful. Keep one drawer for buttons, boxes, hooks and eyes, bones, etc., another for patterns and a third for left-over pieces of materials. Keep all pieces of material as long as the garment is in use, in case you wish to mend or alter it. There should be hooks on the wall, coat and skirt hangers, and a silkoline curtain to draw over dresses, etc., that are left hanging overnight.


Dressmaking shears should be about nine or ten inches long. Never use scissors for cutting. The shears should be kept well sharpened so that they will cut a clean, even edge and not fret and chew the material. The best shears for dressmaking are known as the "bent" shears. (Fig. 174.) They are

bent in this way so as to raise the material as little as possible in cutting and so prevent the under layer from slipping in cutting two thicknesses of material. A good pair of bent shears can be had for a dollar and a quarter. Do not buy a cheap, poor pair. Good steel will last for many years. Do not use your shears for cutting threads, etc. You will need a pair of scissors and also a pair of buttonhole scissors.

WEIGHTS. When your material is laid out smoothly on the table for cutting it should

be held in place by four round iron weights weighing one or two pounds. (Fig. 174.) You can get them at the stationer's and they cost about fifteen cents apiece. Or you can use the same sort of weights you use for your kitchen scales.

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