The Basic Teacher
|bottom||needle||smooth - rough|
|chalk||pin||tight - loose|
Dressmaker : Yes, Mrs. Brown, I have got your skirt ready. I was hoping you would come in today. Here it is. May I see it on you ?
Mrs. Brown : I'll put it on with pleasure. [Takes the skirt.] The cloth is very thick, isn't it ? Was it unwise to have it made into a skirt ?
Dressmaker : No, it will be quite all right. If it had been a rough cloth it would have been better for a coat, but a smooth cloth like this is the very thing for a warm winter skirt.
[Mrs. Brown takes off her dress, puts on her skirt, and goes to a long looking-glass.]
Mrs. Brown [looking at herself in the glass] : I'm looking my worst today. I've had such a cold. The skirt is hanging beautifully and it's very well cut. It makes me seem thinner than I am, which is a good thing. I've been putting on fat this summer. Mr. Brown says I'll have to give up sweets.
Dressmaker : You aren't fat. It's a good thing to be well covered. Yes, the general effect is very good. How is it for comfort ? Is the band tight ?
Mrs. Brown : It seems all right at present but it might be a little tight after a meal. There isn't much room for expansion.
Dressmaker : I'll let it out a little, because the band is not very elastic. [She takes out some stitches with the scissors and put some pins in.]
Mrs. Brown [giving a little cry] : The point of that one has gone through my underclothing.
[The dressmaker quickly takes it out and puts it in differently.]
Dressmaker : Is it loose enough now ?
Mrs. Brown : Yes, that will do very well.
Dressmaker : What sort of pockets are you going to have ?
Mrs. Brown : My idea was to have two square pockets like the ones you put on the last skirt you made for me.
Dressmaker : Where will you have them ? [Pointing with her finger] Here and here ?
Mrs. Brown : Not quite so high. [The dressmaker puts her finger lower.] That's right.
[The dressmaker makes marks on the cloth with a bit of chalk.]
Dressmaker : It might be better to have the skirt a little less wide here [pointing to the lower part of the skirt].
Mrs. Brown : Let me see how it would be if it was narrower.
[The dressmaker makes a line down the side with a bit of chalk.]
Yes, you are right. but don't take away more than that, because a narrow skirt is of no use for walking in.
[The dressmaker puts pins down the white line made by the chalk.]
It is long enough ?
Dressmaker : Quite long enough. Skirts are very short now.
Mrs. Brown : That's true. I'll keep it as it is. but isn't it shorter at the back than at the front ?
[The dressmaker gives the skirt a pull at the back and goes round it on the floor with a rule.]
Dressmaker : The measure is the same all round. It only seemed shorter at the back because you hadn't got it on quite straight.
Mrs. Brown : Good. Now let me see the back.
[The dressmaker puts a small looking-glass into her hand and, with her back to the long glass, she has a look t herself in the small glass.]
Yes, I'm pleased with it. Will I be able to get out of it with all these pins in ?
Dressmaker : I'll see first if it is pinned to anything. [Has a look.] No, it is quite all right. You'll be able to get out of it without any trouble.
[Mrs. Brown takes off the skirt.]
Mrs. Brown : How are you getting on with my dress ? You hadn't much more to do to it last time I was here.
Dressmaker : It is ready for you to take away, but it might be wise for you to try it on and see if it is all right. I have taken it in at the neck and made the arm holes a little wider. [ Gives Mrs. Brown the dress.] It is a beautiful bit of silk, isn't it?
Mrs. Brown : It's the best quality. It was cheap because it was the end of the roll. [ Puts on the dress and goes back to the glass.] I see nothing wrong at all. In fact, I'll keep it on and get you to make a parcel of my other dress.
Dressmaker : One minute. The collar is loose at the back. Let me put a stitch in it.
[She takes a thread and put it through the hole of a needle. Then she takes the end of the thread between her finger and thumb, gives it a twist, and makes a knot. While she is stitching Mrs. Brown puts a question about friends for whom the dressmaker does work.]
It's hard to get this sort of collar to keep flat but it seems all right now.
Mrs. Brown : I'm hoping you'll be able to make another dress for me. Have you the time ?
Dressmaker : Yes, I haven't a great amount of work at present.
Mrs. Brown : I have here some black and white printed cotton
which I got in town yesterday. [ She takes it out of her bag.] May I have a look at one of your books ? It may give ma an idea.
Dressmaker : [Putting a book full of pictures of coats and dresses and other clothing on the table and opening it.] : Here is a copy of "The Good Dressmaker'. It is the latest number. Any of the dresses on these pages may be made of cotton or linen.
Mrs. Brown [ Pointing to different pictures.] : That's sweet, but it would only do for a young girl. Thai's not bad, but it's a town dress and not quite what I'm needing. This is more like what I have in mind. A dress with buttons down the front and a square neck with a band of white round it. but the skirt isn't wide enough.
Dressmaker : I would be able to give you a wider skirt if I made a join here [ pointing to the middle of the dress].
Mrs. Brown : That's a very good idea. I haven't any buttons but I'll get some and send them to you. Which would be better, black or white ? You are a better judge of these things than I am.
Dressmaker : White buttons would be brighter.
Mrs. Brown : Yes they would, wouldn't they ?
Dressmaker : There's no need for you to send the buttons. Let me have them when you come to put the dress on. Will you be able to come a week from today ?
Mrs. Brown [looking at her notebook ] : That's not a very good day for me. I have to go to a meeting of our Music Society. But I am free the day after. May I come then ?
Dressmaker : Yes. That will do quite well.
[There is a sound of a bell. The dressmaker has a look out of the window.]
That's Mrs. Black at the front door.
Mrs. Brown : Do you do work for her now ? You seem to be making things for all my friends. I had no idea that I was such a good advertisement. I see hat it is getting late. Mr. Brown will be waiting for me, so I'll have to go.
made into a skirt : Note that we make a substance into an object, and compare with make an object of a substance, noted earlier.
a cold : as a noun cold = 'inflammation of the nose and throat', a complaint which one is more liable to catch when one gets cold.
well cut : 'well shaped', that is, cut from the material in such a way that it fits well, is smart.
makes me seem thinner : Thin is the opposite of fat as well as of thick.
putting on fat == getting fatter. As a noun, fat == adipose tissue. To put on (that is, 'develop additional') fat is an easy metaphor.
sweets : As a noun, sweet == sweetmeat or sweet dish.
at present : A contracted form of at the present time.
well covered : To be well covered is to have one's bones thoroughly covered with flesh. Note that well is often used with this sense of 'thoroughly, to a considerable degree'.
room for : By expansion, room may mean space which is or might be occupied by something.
let it out : To let out a garment is to let some of the material which has been turned inside at the seams come out, that is, to make it looser.
scissors : Scissors has only a plural form and is used as a plural even when only one instrument is being talked about.
underclothing : The -ing form from cloth means 'putting clothes (not cloth) on (a person)'. By further development, the noun clothing comes also to mean 'clothes'. Underclothing == undergarments. The 'o' in clothing is pronounced like the 'oa' in road and the 'th' as in there.
that will do : Do is used, chiefly in the future, for 'do what is required, serve for the purpose in question'.
pointing : Pointing means 'directing a point towards something', and direction or object in this way, frequently, as here, with a finger. The thing indicated by pointing is preceded by to or at. When at is used, the thing with may be used as the object of pointing (pointing here finger at). Pointed may have either the corresponding sense or the sense of 'having a point' (as a pointed stick).
is of no use : By expansion, use may mean 'function, and in this sense it is one of the
words like interest, which is preceded by of in the sense of 'having. Of use == 'useful.
Of no use is frequently used loosely, as here, for 'impracticable, unsuitable'.
rule : In its expanded sense, a rule is a strip of wood or other substance used for making
straight lines or measuring with, as here, where the dressmaker is
clearly measuring the distance of the hem of the skirt from the floor.
all round : All has an adverbial use before adjectives, etc., in which it means 'at all points' or 'completely'.
put it on quite straight : A thing is said to be straight when it is 'level, in the proper
position'. Straight has no -ly form but may be used as an adverb without any change.
pinned to == attached to by means of a pin.
taken it in : To take in a garment, etc. is the opposite of to let it out.
arm holes : The openings left in a dress for the arms to go through and to which the sleeves are attached.
It is the best quality : By expansion, quality == degree of excellence, grade. The qualities which a thing has determine what its quality is in the expended sense. Note that quality, in this sense, is another word before which be is used in the sense of have.
stitching == 'making stitches, sewing' or "putting stitches into, getting fixed (to, etc.) with stitches."
get you to make a parcel of : Get you to == persuade you to. Get in this sense is used in a way parallel to make in the sense of 'compel', but with the important difference that the operator after get must be proceeded by to. See also "get this sort of collar to keep flat", below. Note that we may make a parcel of something or make it into a parcel.
printed cotton == cotton material with a design printed on it.
a copy : A copy of a book or periodical is one specimen of it.
the latest number : Latest is here used in the sense of 'most recent'. An issue of a periodical is called a number. The reason for this is that frequently each issue is numbered for purposes of reference.
have in mind == have in one's mind as a purpose or idea.
a band in white : By expansion, a band is any narrow strip of color, ornament, or contrasting material.
which would be better, black or white ? Note this construction.
notebook == book for making notes in
free the day after: Free may be used, as here, in the sense of 'disengaged.'
1. Fill in the blanks in these sentences about the picture with new words learned in the Step :
(a) The woman is cutting a bit of _____ off the _____.
(b) She is cutting the _____ with _____.
(c) She is gripping the cloth with her _____ and _____.
(d) The cloth has _____ on it.
(e) The part of the cloth which is not on the table has a _____ in it.
(f) The woman has a coat and _____.
(g)There are _____ on the coat but not on the skirt.
(h) She has a _____ round her hair.
2 . Answer in Basic:
(a) What keeps the two bits of cord together ?
(b) What is pointing at the knot ?
(c) What is on the arm ?
(d) What keeps the two ends of the band together?
(e) What does the knot do ?
(f) What did the stitches do ?
This is a picture of a blackboard.
(g) What is on the blackboard ?
(h)What was the line made with ?
(i) What has the brush made on the paper ?
(j) What is the finger touching ?
(k) What is through the cloth ?
(l) What is at the other side of the cloth ?
(m) What is through the hole of the needle ?
3 . Make a list of as many different article for wear as you can think of. What general heading world you give to such a list?
4 . Use each of the following in a sentence:
(a) get him to give
(b) at present
(e) of use
5 . Make changes in these sentences without altering the sense :
(a) Will you make a dress for me with this silk ?
(b) If she gets any fatter she will have to make her skirt wider.
(c) The pages were fixed together with a pin.
(d) If the drawer is not completely full, put this linen into it.
6 . Use each of the following in two sentences in two different senses :
7 . Translate into Basic : Teacher Link
8 . Answer in Basic :
(a) What sort of cloth was Mrs. Brown's skirt made of ?
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Step 30 >
(b) Why was Mrs. Brown looking her worst ?
(c) Which part of the skirt was let out and why ?
(d) What did the dressmaker do with the bit of chalk ?
(e) when did Mrs. Brown give a cry?
(f) How did the dressmaker take the stitches out of the band of the skirt ?
(g) Why did the dressmaker go round the skirt with a rule ?
(h) What did the dressmaker do before Mrs. Brown took her skirt off ?
(i) Why was the silk cheap ?
(j) What had the dressmaker done to the silk dress ?
(k) How did the dressmaker make a knot in the thread ?
(l) What sort of dress was Mrs. Brown going to have the printed cotton made into ?
(m) What did Mrs. Brown do before saying when she would be able to come again ?