The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 5 (August 1, 1934)
Our Women's Section — Timely Notes and Useful Hints
I Have been picking violets in a friend's garden; yesterday I was given jonquils. Now, come hail, come sleet, come snow, I care not, for the fragrance of spring is about me. Somehow, I am not pleased with my jars of berries and autumn leaves which delighted me a few weeks back. Today there is something elderly about them—a tatterdemalion ragged crew. I believe I will discard them. My violets do not care for such ancient company, and the freshness of my jonquils is affronted by their garishness.
Now that the leaves and berries are gone, my living-room shows in its true light. The general effect of faded dustiness cannot be disguised. Luckily, sales are still on, and material for loose covers for chairs and chesterfield will be cheap. While I am buying, I will look for remnants for cushion covers, and material for chair-backs for the drawing-room. My bedroom really needs new curtains and the spare room a rug. I must remember to buy linen for a buffet-runner to match the new loose covers.
Advanced Spring Styles.
Contrast is the key-note of the suit problem. The coat, long or short, contrasts in colour and even in material with the skirt. For instance, a plain brown coat of light woollen material is worn with a brown and blue plaid skirt. Accessories are brown.
The tailored suit has a slim, narrow skirt with a short jacket or a finger-tip or three-quarter length swing coat.
Remember that accessories should accentuate the colour note of the suit.
Blouses of handkerchief linen or lawn will be worn, and plain and patterned organdie will be popular.
These Wet Days.
First essentials are rain-coat and umbrella. Rain-coats are so attractive nowadays that we can be as smart on wet days as on fine. Rain hats are popular with a few, but for city wear I think a small hat or cap and an umbrella are the best solution. Gloves and scarf should match the hat or cap.
Goloshes are no longer the clumsy contraptions they used to be. They are a neat and sensible addition to the wet day outfit. If you live some distance from the train, zipped boots or leggings will be a boon.
Bed-Spreads. Some Suggestions for the Average Needlewoman.
Good bed-spreads are of great importance in adding to the attractiveness of the home. The original purpose of the bed-spread was to keep the blankets free from dust and grime. During some of the gorgeous furnishing periods of the past—for instance, the time of the great Du Barri—the bed-spread became almost too costly and elaborate for general use, and white became popular. The “White” period lasted for a long time. During our grandmother's (or perhaps great-grandmother's) time it was the custom to crochet a wonderful spread with a wide knitted lace border. Truly a tremendous piece of work which sometimes took years to accomplish. Accompanying the crochet spread would most likely be a marvellous patchwork quilt, all sewn by hand which would be quite a work of art.
During the past few years we have gone back to colours. At the present time colour schemes are so varied that coloured sheets and blankets are used with spreads of almost every hue and material.
Many different varieties of bedspreads are to be found in the shops, but we are only concerned with those that we can make ourselves, for this kind of needlework is interesting and gives lasting satisfaction. With the aid of a sewing machine and some original ideas the average needlewoman can work wonders with simple materials page 43 bought at small cost. When buying the fabric make sure that it is of the fadeless variety.
For an inexpensive and quickly made spread, cretonne or chintz is satisfactory material. Allow three widths for a double-bed and two widths for a single one. For the former, just join the three widths together and for the latter, cut one of the widths right down its centre, and the narrow widths should be sewn to the sides of the other width. By this means a join down the centre is avoided, and the work has a much better effect. A plain broad band sewn on the edges of both sides and ends, often improves the appearance of the spread. This band should he mitred at the corners and finished with a narrow hem, and it should tone with some colour in the figured material.
Heavy fadeless plain cotton materials or mercercised poplins in dainty pastel shades may be made up in the same way as the above, but the, joins would have a more finished appearance if machine hemstitched. They are quite effective, however, if left plain. If some form of embellishment is desired an embroidered or applique design would look well.
Coloured linen spreads are beautiful and almost everlasting, and have the merit of being inexpensive to make. They require to be rather carefully handled and cannot be as quickly made as those of the cotton variety. They are costly to buy, and the maker who is prepared to take the time and trouble to put her best work into them is amply repaid by the finished result. The widths may be joined by machinestitching, machine-hemstitching or hard-hemstitching. Linen is always worthy of the best work that can be put into it, so hand-hemstitching is preferable. The hems are sewn to match the joining of the widths, double hemstitching being the most satisfactory.
Different kinds of needlework may be used when working a linen spread. An applique of linens of different shades, or a large embroidered design makes a good finish to an article that will give joy and lasting satisfaction to the worker.
The old-time patchwork is a fascinating medium for the embellishment of a bedspread. The centre may be of patchwork with a border of plain material, or a plain centre with a patchwork border. The pieces for the patchwork may be cut about three inches square, and machine-sewn together. Join the squares into the length needed, and press the seams flat, then join the strips together. Patchwork should be lined with plain material.
If you are desirous of possessing something more luxurious and opulentlooking than the simple cotton or linen spreads already described, washing satin or fadeless art silk taffeta may be used. These materials are not as expensive as they look. In this type of spread, the widths should be joined in the form of shirred seams. The shirring may be done along the edge of the flounce with the machine-gatherer and then the edges stitched together. A piping could be inserted in the joins. The centre of the spread may be lined with fleece or other soft material, and the corners of the centre decorated with triangles of shirred material. The hem may be plain or finished with gold braid, and the lower corners with gold tassels. For a good finish to the bed in the day-time, a bolster or triangular cushions covered in the shirred material are often placed across the top. Only the richer colours should be used for satin spreads, and these would include deep rose, old gold, fuchsia, saxe blue and moss green. In the taffeta shot colourings may be added to the list.
The coverlets should always be made to go right up over the pillows. It is a good plan to make them a little longer than the bed and tuck the extra length under the lower edge of the pillow.
It is quite a feminine trait that on entering a strange room our eyes are invariably attracted by a bed which is daintily covered.
Home Nursing. Temperature Taking.
It is almost a necessity that every mother should possess and be able to use a clinical thermometer. This registers as a rule from 95 degrees to 110. Between the figures are black lines indicating intermediate degrees of temperatures, and between these are shorter lines dividing each degree into decimal parts, or tenths of a degree Normal temperature is 98.4, and this is marked on the thermometer by an arrow.
A clinical thermometer is self-registering; that is, the mercury stays at the height to which it ascends until forcibly shaken down. There is a knack in doing this. A thermometer is easily broken, so care should be taken that it does not knock against anything. To shake the mercury, hold the thermometer firmly between the thumb and the first and second fingers of the right hand, with the bulb pointing downwards, then flex the hand somewhat and give it a quick, sharp jerk. If necessary, repeat this several time until the top of the mercury is well below the normal mark, but not below 95.
In the cases of adults the temperature is usually taken in the mouth, the thermometer being placed under the tongue and the lips closed firmly over it. With children it may be taken under the arm or in the groin, the bulb being held close to the body. It is necessary to leave the thermometer for a longer time than when it is inserted in the mouth. Some thermometers are marked “½ minute,” others “1 minute.” If there are no markings the thermometer must be left in position at least three minutes. A mouth-temperature must not be taken within ten minutes of the time that the patient page 44 page 45 has had anything hot or cold in the mouth.
After taking the temperature the thermometer should be carefully read and a note made of it. It should then be washed in cold water, and dried. When the temperature is being taken frequently, or in infectious cases, the thermometer should be kept standing in a glass containing a weak solution of disinfectant. A small piece of cotton wool should be placed at the bottom of the glass. Stand the glass on a small plate and have a piece of cotton wool to wipe the thermometer before using it again. When the temperature has to be taken several times during the day, a record should be kept either on a chart (which can be bought at any chemist) or on a piece of paper. Make a note of the temperature and the time it was taken, and never rely on your memory.
Muffle Up—And Catch Cold.
A great factor in the maintenance of good health and resistance to germ invasion, is the proper use of clothing. If warm clothing really prevented one from catching cold, the majority of people would be immune from them.
Clothing is necessary in order to protect the body from winds and cool air conditions which might abstract the heat too quickly. Too much or too tight clothing interferes with the steady evaporation of heat. Health clothing should be loose enough to allow the air to reach the skin and carry away the vapour given off by it. When the atmosphere is warm, or when extra heat is produced by muscular exertion, sweat is poured out from the glands and evaporates on the skin, thus abstracting heat and cooling the body. Our clothing should be such that the skin remains cool and dry without the drastic measure of sweating. A warm, damp skin tends to make one sensitive to chills, and is the cause of a lot of our ills.
It will be seen, therefore, that it is necessary to wear porous and loosely woven undergarments to allow for the evaporation of moisture and free ventilation to the skin.
Watch That Throat.
Beware of the critical moment when your throat, so thick and dry, gives warning of a cold that will work down on to your chest unless you halt its progress with Baxter's Lung Preserver.
A few doses of “Baxter's” will dispel soreness, allay irritation, and reduce inflammation. “Baxter's” tonic properties give you extra resistance and recuperative ability.
Be sure you buy “Baxter's.” All chemists and stores sell 1/6, 2/6 and also the extra large family size bottle, 4/6.*
There are people who muffle themselves and their children in layers of thick, and often shrunken, woollen underwear, and who are surprised that they are for ever catching colds.
Thick woollen garments next to the skin prevent the escape of moisture, and so surrounds the body with a warm, moist atmosphere, and both the skin and clothing become damp. The warm woollen garments should be the outer ones, and they should be worn according to the weather and not the calendar.
Another factor in the maintenance of good health, is the frequent changing of underclothing. It is especially necessary in the case of children. The garments become impregnated with sweat and germs, and wearing them day after day, and perhaps during the night as well, infects the skin, causing the rashes and spots, and even boils which frequently mean so much discomfort to children, and also to the older folk.
Vests that are worn during the day should on no account be worn at night. One garment at night is all that is necessary. Loosely woven and porous garments are very easily washed and dried, and the little extra trouble is offset by improved health and vitality.
Home Notes. Attractive and Delicious Cauliflower Dishes.
There are many ways in which vegetables may be worked into the menu. They can be used not only as an accompaniment to the meat course, but in such ways as whole luncheon or tea dishes, as entrees and also salads.
The cauliflower is a vegetable that can be made into a variety of appetising dishes. Cauliflowers are plentiful just now, and different ways of serving them may be tried.
In cooking cauliflowers they should never be allowed to become pink, or the flavour would be spoilt. Cook, head up, in boiling, salted water for twenty to twenty-five minutes.
Cauliflower au Grautin. —Cooked cauliflower, 2oz. grated cheese, ½oz. breadcrumbs, ½ pint melted butter sauce, ½ teaspoon made mustard, cayenne (if liked).
Method: Separate flowerets of cauliflower and place in buttered dish. Pour over it a thick coating of melted butter sauce, to which has been added the grated cheese, made mustard and cayenne pepper. Mix the rest of the grated cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top. Dot with butter and brown in a hot oven.