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April 1894

Hints on Home Dressmaking

Hints on Home Dressmaking was a monthly advice column featured in ladies magazine. People wrote Ms. Mallon questions and she responded in this column. Many times the answers were about accessories to dress, including gloves, millinery, and trims. The following are her responses:

Wear a hat and street gown to a musicale, but have both as dressy as possible.

Mrs. S.S.D.-
Both small boys and girls will wear the loose blouse called the Fauntleroy waist, which is made of white and colored cotton goods.

Ocean Traveler-
Wear light-weight wool underwear and a mixed cheviot gown during a May trip. A heavy wrap and soft traveling hat are also necessary.

Sister Kate-
Twin sisters usually take pleasure in dressing exactly alike, and in a small place it cannot prove conspicuous where you have lived all your life.

Laura C.-
Trim your dotted Swiss with light-weight point de V‚nise lace, the dimity with nainsook embroidery and the challie with velvet ribbon and heavy guipure lace.

Miss W.V.-
A black batiste having white figures and trimmed with white lace for a yoke and shoulder ruffles, and worn with a black silk belt, will answer for a light mourning summer gown.

Helen P.-
Reddish blondes should avoid orange and pink; the deep copper reds are becoming if your color is not very high. White and black lace will tone down the bright dresses you already possess.

Black, white, navy and green grounds will be worn in the figured Japanese silks. (2) An inexpensive evening costume can be made of the new silk and cotton crˆpe trimmed with lace and ribbon.

Summer Bride-
Have a dust cloak of waterproof black Japanese silk made long and full, with a full collarette of the same fabric, which will shed both the water and dust and is not warm for summer use.

Mrs. Belle J.-
Read answer to "Laura C." and vary the lace by using white, cream and the deep yellowish tint called "butter yellow." (2) Satin, moir‚ or velvet ribbon or piece silk for the other trimming.

Yokes, bertha ruffles, round waists, large, wide, but not high sleeves, gored fronts and full backs to skirts for all cotton dresses. (2) The latest lace insertion has fancy edges and is laid over the goods, not inserted as of yore.

Rilla E.-
The printed dotted Swisses are newer than the plain white. (2) Gingham dresses can be trimmed with lace or embroidery. (3) Organdy is sometimes made up over silk, but personally I think such a style unsuitable and expensive for a cotton frock.

Miss Josephine-
Have a tamise, clairette or challie, all wool or silk warp, for a light-weight black house dress for all the year. (2) Make with yoke and sleeve caps or epaulette ruffles of white guipure lace, using a becoming color of satin under the yoke and repeating it for a crush belt. Black gowns are very fashionable with colored or white garnitures.

Put lace on silk, cotton and nice woolen goods, using the heavy guipure or point de V‚nise designs in white, cream, or butter yellow. (2) Flowers, moir‚ ribbons, buckles and lace for millinery. (3) Four-button su‚de or glac‚ dressed kid gloves. (4) Veils should match the hat; of course those of black or white maybe worn with all colors.

Bride No. 2-
Mohair effects are new and appropriate for traveling gowns in mixtures, not plain colors. (2) Certainly have one black woolen gown in your outfit. (3) A cape is more convenient to wear with the large dress sleeves than a jacket. (4) Wear Oxford ties in the street during the summer and have separate ones for the house for both neatness and comfort. (5) Wear brown and gray hose with your house dresses of these colors, and black in the street.

Yes, have a pink chiffon waist trimmed with bands of jet, white or black lace. (2) With a sallow complexion I could not advise dark blue without a warmer color, as a changeable gold, red or bright brown and blue silk, or a vest of golden tan ladies' cloth. In asking for the design of a gown always give the occasion for which it is intended. Your blue can have a skirt three and one-half yards wide trimmed with three rows of black mohair braid set three to five inches apart. Gigot sleeves having the wrists trimmed with the same number of rows, a round waist having a belt of wider braid, short, wide revers and epaulettes, each edged with braid. Soft vest and crush collar of the changeable silk.

A poor or sleazy quality of skirt canvas will not fill the purpose for which it is intended to keep the bottom of the skirt somewhat extended. IN New York an excellent quality sells for twenty cents a yard, while a finer and lighter quality costs twenty-five cents. (2) All woolen goods do not require sponging, but glossy cloths do. If at all convenient to a dyer let him do all sponging by steam, thereby retaining the gloss. When done at home they are ironed over a very wet muslin cloth until it is made dry. A manufacturer of ladies' cloths tells me that if such goods are hung out on a foggy or damp evening, no rain falling though, for several hours, that they will never spot afterward from water, and this will still retain their gloss, but I have never tried this plan.

The real Italian Leghorn straw may be cleaned with a nailbrush and Castile soapsuds. Rusty black hats may be renovated with the liquid dressing or polish sold for ladies' shoes. White or yellow hats may be bleached by washing them in clear water and placing them in a box with burning sulphur, the fumes of which uniting with the water form the sulphurous acid which bleaches. Brown, blue or gray straws may be freshened by painting them with colorless varnish. Velvet that is crushed and shabby-looking may be restored by holding the wrong side over a pan of boiling water; the pile gradually rises, and a second person should brush the pile up the wrong way with a whisk broom. Another plan is to cover an iron which is very hot with a wet cloth, and holding the wrong side of the velvet or plush firmly against it, brush the nap at the same time with a soft whisk.

Bibliographical Information:

Hooper, Emma M. "Hints on Home Dressmaking",
The Ladies' Home Journal, Vol. XI, No. 5, April 1894, p. 38.




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