The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 6 (October 2, 1933)
Our Women's Section — Timely Notes and Useful Hints
The March Towards Summer.
As Spring advances, we note the prevalence of green, red, deep shades of blue, beige to brown, yellows (especially primrose and mustard). Pastel shades, grey, black and white in combination, and white alone are all important. Aeroplane grey is a grey with almost a beige tint. So, as regards colour, all ages and all complexions are catered for.
Fabrics are patterned with stripes, checks (the larger and more broken the better), plaids or floral designs. Small flower patterns seem more popular than they have been for several seasons. Cotton fabrics are fascinating. I saw a charming frock in white organdie, ruffled over the shoulders, bound at the natural waistline with a twist of black and white, and flaring from the knees in a fluted skirt. In sharp contrast was the severity of a suit in coarse linen with loose threequarter length coat.
Muslin is another revival which will lend charm to the summer season. In white or colours, plain or spotted, soft or starched, it will compose many a dainty gown. Yes, we shall have to start talking about “gowns” again; there is a dignity about even the “young-girl” frocks, with their air of dainty demureness.
King Cotton will rule the social world for the ensuing months. His heralds were last season's ginghams; organdie, muslin, linen are in his train, and the new anticrease cottons will make his reign secure. Bundle an “anti-crease” frock into your week-end bag, shake it out at your destination, and slip it on without the worry of enquiring for iron and ironing blanket.
And the multitude of textures and patterns provide something suitable for every occasion, from boating to bridge or from tennis to talkies.
Although curves are once more on fashion's list, don't give up your dieting; and remain an exercise fan, for the slim silhouette is still the feminine aim. In any case, how much better we feel, how much clearer is our skin and brighter our eyes, when we pay proper attention to food and physique.
Sleeves are very important. Short sleeves are puffed or frilled; long sleeves puff or mould the arm as long as they do both in the same garment. The feminine portion of the “older generation” is having great fun with “I remembers.” “Oh! Look at those sleeves! I had a coat like that. I remember, we were going for a picnic at Maori Bank. Starching coming in again! You young people don't realise the trouble it will be. Yes, I'll admit it looks very charming.”
“Frills! My dear, I remember a blouse I had. It took hours to iron.” I wonder if, some day soon, we'll look back on the “boyish” figure, flat back and front, and laugh?
Besides short coats to wear with summer frocks, we must have capes, large or small. A business-like tennis frock, perhaps page 54 with the new square armhole, may be transformed, for more dressy occasions, by the addition of a cape, fitting at the neck but otherwise of any shape decided upon by its maker. The neckline is noticeably higher. Back closing, real or simulated, is also a feature of the new styles. Buttons run smartly down the back—for quick dressing, don't have too much of the real back closing.
Trimmings are legion, and frocks are certainly “fussy.” Of special note are frills and ruffles. Skirts and sleeves bear ruffles, large or small. Organdie neck ruffles may be bought by the yard, and remind me, somehow, of the feather boa.
If you make your own summer frocks, choose styles featuring bows. Bows are everywhere. Have a frock with a sash effect. To wear with your linen or lightweight suit choose a gay, made-up bow scarf, which doesn't become limp and shabby by dint of tying and untying, but cleverly clips on with the aid of pressclaps. Capes may be incorporated with frocks as well as being detachable. By the way, capes permit a wardrobe to seem larger than it is if your colour scheme allows them to be interchangeable. Cross-over berthas are smart and dainty.
King Cotton rules also in the ballroom as he is doing in America and Europe. Our early winter ginghams and dimities forecasted that, didn't they?
Spring coats are well-fitting, with special attention to the sleeve development, or they are of the “swagger” type. The three-quarter length coat of the sporty variety will be one of our most useful summer garments. A few days ago I saw a very smart new coat in brown and beige check, cut with a loose back and raglan sleeves. The coat was, of course, three-quarter length. With it was worn a little, round brown cap.
Hand-bags will no longer form a note of contrast, but will match frocks. White hand-bags will be very smart. Hats must have brims in order to suit the frock styles.
Cultivate Your Friends.
To the busy woman, the woman with household tasks and the care of young children, I would say “Cultivate your friends.” Give up to them time you ill can spare. Even increase, from time to time, your tasks of baking and cleaning in order that you may entertain them comfortably. It is worth it. A busy woman has no time for acquaintances, but she should, for her own sake, develop incipient friendships with congenial people. Any expenditure of time and trouble in doing this is amply repaid in terms of relaxation, laughter, development of interests, brightening of mental outlook. Friendly chat, an hour or two of “play,” can make all the difference in our attitude towards what had seemed a depressing array of household tasks. A happier method of tackling the small problems of existence presages a happier approach towards the greater problems which life presents.
And now this question of acquaintances! How often do we meet women who are passively antagonistic and yet “keep up the acquaintance,” dragging through the dreary round of teas and bridge—for social intercourse is dreary when personalities are not in sympathy. How often Mrs. Smith says to Mr. S., “I must really ask Mr. and Mrs. Brown along for a game of bridge. You remember we were at their place that night you wanted to go to the lecture on the Douglas Credit System. I know you don't like Mrs. Brown, but we must have them.” So they have them and everything goes with a sparkle—on the surface—and a few weeks later Mrs. Brown mentions to Mr. Brown that they will have to fit the Smiths in somehow next week “though Mr. Smith does annoy you, doesn't he, darling?” Is it worth it? After all, we can't expect to be entirely in sympathy with everyone we meet, so why try to perpetuate a chance encounter and introduction which we know perfectly well will lead to no real friendliness on either side? Let such casual acquaintances lapse, and cultivate our friends.
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It'S Spring-Cleaning Time.
At this season of the year the housewife's thoughts turn to the problems of springcleaning and the refurbishing of the home.
Nowadays there are so many moderately priced and charming furnishing fabrics on the market that it is possible to create fresh and pleasing changes at a small cost. There is an unlimited variety in the materials for interior furnishing, and the most fascinating colours and colour schemes. As most of the fabrics are fadeless, the housewife has a wide choice of colours and designs to make her home attractive on a moderate outlay.
Amongst the fabrics shown are exquisite curtain nets, cretonnes, chintzes, shadow tissues, linens, repps, art silk, brocades, damasks, etc. Chintzes are coming into favour again. The page 55 page 56 designs and colourings are delightful—small floral designs, bunches of roses or lilies, the cottage garden, bouquets of flowers with ribbon bows, the colour of which can be reproduced in bindings and finishings. Chintz has any manner of uses—loose covers, curtains, hangings, etc. It will also cover footstools, cover and disguise boxes as ottomans or dressing tables. All kinds of useful and charming articles can be fashioned, such as work-bags, dressing-table sets, etc.
When deciding on redecorating a room it is desirable to bring it up-to-date, but care must be taken not to make any of your furniture that is not being renovated look shabby.
Chintz is coming into favour again. The designs and colourings are delightful. With an array of small floral designs, large bunches of roses or lilies, and bouquets of flowers with ribbon bows (the colour of which can be reproduced in bindings and finishings), the cottage garden, the new geometrical designs, there is something to harmonise with any wallpaper, floor covering or furniture, so that there is no excuse for dull, dowdy rooms.
Chintz is practical and decorative and can be put to a variety of uses. Loose covers, curtains, cushion covers, bedspreads, and all kinds of fascinating and useful articles may, with a little thought and ingenuity, be made.
The bachelor girl's flat can be transformed into a place of beauty by the use of chintz for cushions, covering chairs, disguising boxes for ottomans and seats, curtains for wardrobes or dressing-tables. Oldfashioned bedsteads may be modernised by the judicious use of chintz. Make loose covers to match the curtains and bedspread and slip them over the ends of the bed.
When buying coloured fabrics for furnishing, it is necessary to get patterns and be sure of the tones and shades before having the material cut. If renewing your china get it to match your breakfast or dining-room furnishings. You can also buy the new coloured pottery bowls and vases to match or tone with your colur scheme.
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To Launder Net Curtains.
Before washing, soak them for an hour in hot soap water. They must be squeezed, not wrung, out.
After starching, shake them thoroughly and carefully to remove any starch from the holes.
A good way to dry them is to hang them while wet. Pass a rod through the hem at the bottom and pull gently downwards and outwards from time to time until they are dry.
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As measles are prevalent just now, it is well for mothers to have a working knowledge of the symptoms and treatment of the malady.
Measles are most infectious during the early stages, and are disseminated directly through the secretions of the throat, nose, etc. The incubation period is from ten to fourteen days. The patient must be isolated for not less than a fortnight after the rash appears. A longer period will be necessary if he is not quite convalescent.
Course and Symptoms. —Measles begin with a catarrhal stage. A child has what appears to be a catarrhal cold in which there is running from the eyes and nose, coughing, sneezing and hoarseness, and often some swelling of the mucus membrane of the mouth. Quite early small red spots with a bluish white centre may be discovered on the mucus membrane on the inside of the cheek. They are very small and not always seen. Preliminary rashes often appear during this stage. On the fourth day the eruptive stage usually begins.
The face has a swollen, bloated appearance, and the catarrh continues. The temperature rises and the patient becomes acutely ill. The rash begins (usually behind the ears). The face is first involved, and then the trunk and limbs The rash is dusky red, raised and blotchy. After a day or two the rash begins to fade, the temperature falls, gradually becoming normal. There is usually some branny desquamation of the skin.
Complications. —The most serious complication is broncho-pneumonia. Inflammation of the eyes may lead to serious complications and even to loss of sight, and there may be inflammation of the middle ear with purulent discharge and later on mastoid disease or meningitis. Enlargement of the glands of the neck is not uncommon. Laryngitis may also occur.
When there are any of the above complications, it is necessary to secure medical advice without delay.
Treatment. —When it is known that measles are prevalent, it is well to isolate the patient as soon as the catarrhal cold appears. If it is a cold only it will probably clear up in a day or two.
Put the patient to bed in a warm wellventilated room and out of draughts. It is most essential to keep the patient warm and also as quiet as possible. Cleanse the mouth before and after feeding, with a mouth wash of a mild disinfectant, such as salt and water, or Condy's Fluid diluted to a pale pink clour. Cleanse the eyes of all discharge, with weak boracic lotion. Use pledgets of cotton wool for the purpose, and do not put the used ones back into the lotion but into a paper bag so that they may be burnt immediately. Shade the eyes from strong light. Good eye-shades may be made from a piece of brown paper cut nine inches long and seven inches wide and doubled. Tie pieces of tape at the top ends and tie round the head. Bathe the skin daily with a little disinfectant in the water and anoint with oil to prevent itching. Disinfect carefully any articles used in the sick room, and keep cups, tumblers, spoons, etc., separate. Do not use handkerchiefs—use pieces of old soft rag which can be burnt.page 57
Diet. —Give plenty of fluids—water, barley water, fruit drinks, black currant tea, milk, etc. Only easily digested and nutritious foods must be given, such as custards, gruel, smooth milk puddings, broths, etc. Watch the bowels and give aperients when necessary.
Persons nursing measles or other infectious patients should wear overalls kept specially for the purpose, and worn only in the sick room.Scrub the hands thoroughly with a nail brush and an antiseptic soap (such as carbolic soap) before and after doing treatments and after leaving the room.
To aviod infection, keep in the fresh air and sunshine as much as possible. Avoid close contact with sufferers. Gargle with a weak solution of Condy's Fluid. Drink plenty of water. Eat nourishing food, and have suitable exercise to keep the body fit and build up resistance to withstand the invasion of germs.