Clothes are made in equal parts of fabric, notions and the skill of the seamstress. A good, through plan must be formed of the whole process of creating the garment, before so much as taking out a single pin or even glancing at the scissors. Besides the silhouette and fabric, also decide on the less-visible details, and on any account do not leave the trimming as an after-thought.
Linings have more impact on clothes than most people realize. Skimping on linings is never a good idea. The smart woman will consider the linings of her coats and suits as a backdrop for herself – even a sensible coat can have a whimsical lining, which, when glimpsed, completely transforms the effect. Stripes, pin dots and traditional paisleys are good choices, it is wise to avoid anything outlandish if you are not certain of your choices. It is most chic and desirable to match the lining of a coat or a jacket to a blouse. Silk linings are wonderfully luxurious, but also viscose and acetate have their good points.
Self-trim is one of the most economical ways of producing an elegant garment; that is, if one has more time than money. Ribbons, laces, and all manner of garnitures should be of the highest quality or not used at all. If the highest quality can not be attained with the means available, trim fashioned from the same fabric as the garment is a stylish alternative – and certain to always produce harmonious results. The effectiveness of trims is dependent of their sparing use. They are to clothes what seasoning is to food – just enough adds zest‚ too much spoils the taste. Contrasts of colour, texture and pattern can provide interesting trim. Each of these contrasts should be used separately. The decision of where and when to use trimming must be based upon the design of the garment itself. Simple designs with very few cuts are the best background for trimming. Garments which have shirring, drapery, tucks, or pleats as part of the design do not require any additional decoration (and are thus an excellent companion to lavishly decorated hats).
Even the smallest details should receive our attention. A button-hole is not just any opening for the button. It can be bound, hidden in a seam, or a tailor’s button-hole. It can even be supplanted with a frog or an eyelet. Tailor’s button-holes are best suited for sportswear and heavy fabrics. If you can’t have them made with a proper buttonholing machine, then learn to sew them by hand as best tailors do. The effect is far superior to buttonholes made on a regular sewing-machine, which tend to flatten the fabric unpleasantly. Bound button-holes are essentially feminine, the most elegant choice for finer and costlier materials. All your finer suits, coctail-coats and evening wrappers, if buttoned, should have bound button-holes. Jeweled buttons never go into tailor’s button-holes. Button-holes in a seam are suitable for all the same uses as bound button-holes. Hand-sewn button-holes beautifully complement lingerie and dainty blouses – when done neatly, they can’t be surpassed.