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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 4 (August 1, 1933)

Our Women's Section — Timely Notes and Useful Hints

page 49

Our Women's Section
Timely Notes and Useful Hints

About The Town.

Winter is brighter, sartorially, than it used to be. King Wool, plus the art of the dyer, supplies much of the colour, as witness the dashing scarfs or cravats with knitted or crochetted gauntlets to match on fabric gloves. Knitted capes, knitted collars and belts in multi-coloured stripes, brighten frocks. The ubiquitous jumper, unwilling to be left at home, attends the smartest gatherings as the necessary third in the coat and skirt theme. It may match a glint in the tweed, or it may not; but coats are no longer in glaring contrast to the accompanying skirt. “Tailored tweed!” How well it sounds, and how well it looks! A tweed suit is becoming an essential part of every woman's wardrobe, and for this winter it must be accompanied by a small, almost brimless hat in self material. Accessories—shoes, handbags, gloves—must match some part of your street costume.

For more dressy occasions, I have seen some very chic smoke-grey frocks trimmed with Parma violet or vermilion, or else with striped silk in grey and a contrasting colour. With these would be worn grey shoes and stockings, and hat and handbag to match the trimming. Trimmings are of the scarf variety, and some of them are threaded through a side fastening on the bodice. There are not so many buttons as earlier in the season, probably four large ones, two on the bodice and two on the skirt, or perhaps four on the bodice and three or four on the sleeves.

Raincoats appear in all shades of red, blue and green, in tweed effects, and also in light colours with contrasting, bright trimmings. Hats and umbrellas are to tone. For cold days, woollen gloves with wide, multi-coloured gauntlets to match scarves are useful accessories.

The Sale Season.

Sales are an economy only to the wise purchasers. By all means look round for bargains, but never buy anything unless you can put it to definite use within a short time. Otherwise you will find your house cluttered up with remnants which took your fancy for the moment, and your purse empty. If you have a real knack for renovating out-of-date dresses, coats and costumes made of good material can be bought very reasonably during sales, but unless you are fairly expert, don't attempt refurbishing—it is better, and cheaper, to buy a new piece of material.

If you have stools or small chairs which need recovering, now in the time to search for small pieces of tapestry. From these, useful and decorative shopping-bags may also be made. Keep your eyes open for fabrics such as shadow tissues which will be needed in the spring for loose-covers, cushions, etc.

The Joy Of A Wet Day.

We have said winter is brighter. How about wet days? Even more so! Many a woman, cheerfully donning a colourful and well-cut raincoat and unfurling a knobby umbrella en suite, smiles tolerantly at the poor male who, struggling into his overcoat with one eye on the clock and one on the weather, wonders distastefully whether he'll make a dash for it, or wait, risking missing an appointment, on the off-chance of its being only a shower. Wife or daughter has no qualms. A wet day is no longer the dull, depressing thing which the shapeless dowdy macintoshes, dingy black umbrellas, and heavy goloshes made of it in days of yore. So the “weaker sex” bravely faces the elements.

What an interesting outing it can be. Rain falling seems to muffle our little world, to let down a curtain round it. The very streets seem more familiar and companionable, cars slither past less blatantly, shops have a homelier air. Little knots of people collect under verandahs, each one measuring the distance to the next shelter and anxiously watching the splash of the rain in puddles for any sign of lightening. One braver than the rest, or in more of a hurry, suddenly makes a dart onward. The rest cast sly glances at one another. Is anyone else going? Is the rain really lessening? Probably there will be a concerted rush to the page 50 page 51 next oasis of dryness. It is surprising what a feeling of companionship is established without spoken word after several meetings under verandahs on a wet day. By the third meeting, venturers probably risk a half-smile at each other.

Yes, a wet day can be an adventure. Even the automatons behind the counters slip their masks a little. We are on a less impersonal footing because there is a minimum of shoppers. We linger over a purchase, converse a little about the weather, about the quality of the goods, and even grow confidential about the style in which the garment is to be made. The shop assistants have time to chat a little to each other as well as to customers. There is a “happy family” feeling about even the big emporiums.

On our way home we do not take a tram until we have to. It is far more interesting to watch the wet-day street procession—the sprint across the road of the portly gentleman, his expansive smile as he reaches the pavement and pauses to breathe; the flick of shapely legs as two young things dash for a tramcar; the problem of the parcel-laden shopper with the inadequate umbrella—which shall suffer, herself or purchases? Then each approaching blob of colour may reveal a friend. “Oh, it's you, Helen!” “Fancy you coming out on a day like this!” “Well, I couldn't resist it.” “Do you like wet days too? What fun!” Have you noticed that people are more themselves on wet days, and therefore more interesting? They seem to have left their shell at home and to have ventured out to see a younger world.

Then, at dinner, we wonder why the men folk giggle about the weather.

* * *

Old-Time Needlework.

A popular revival in fascinating needlework is the old-time patchwork, which has an appeal all its own. Bedspreads, cushion-covers, borders for curtains, and duchess runners are some of the delightful articles that can be made. Among the fabrics used are cotton, linen-silk and velvet. The revival of patchwork fits in well with the modern trend of simplicity in furniture.

The original method of joining the pieces was to sew them together with featherstitching. A quicker method, which is both neat and strong, is to machine the pieces together. Use left-over scraps which can form a crazy pattern, or oddments and remnants bought at sales, to carry out a colour scheme. Cut the pieces about three inches square. Join the squares into strips the length needed, and press seams flat; then join the strips together. Alternate strips of patterned and plain material are most effective in cotton or linen patchwork. The work should be lined with a plain material, and a border the same as the lining makes a decorative finish. Silk or satin articles, such as bedspreads, must be interlined with flannelette or similar material and then lined with silk.

Rooms in which patchwork is to be introduced must have plain wall papers and floor-coverings. Patchwork in conjunction with the new painted furniture and pastel tinted walls would make a charming combination. Most cotton materials are now fadeless and in wonderful colourings and patterns, and are fresh and bright after repeated launderings. This fascinating work can be utilised for delightful furnishings in bedroom, kitchen, breakfast room or alcove.

Charming dressing gowns of silk or velvet patchwork are made for grown-ups and small girls. A crazy, or the old-fashioned box pattern, can be used with wonderful effect. The garment must be interlined, then lined with silk or washing satin, the trimming being of the same material as the lining. There is no end to the useful and delightful articles that can be evolved from the patchwork.

* * *

Home Nursing.
Some Simple Methods of Home Treatment.

In all treatment of cuts and sores the chief thing to remember is asepsis, which means free from germs. With many home remedies this is often not considered. In all cases of ordinary cuts or scratches it is advisable to apply an antiseptic immediately. Dilute tincture of iodine or methylated spirit will cleanse the wound of any germs that may be introduced. In the case of a cut made with a garden tool or
(Rly. Publicity photo.) Weaving operations in the New Zealand School of Weaving, Wellington.

(Rly. Publicity photo.)
Weaving operations in the New Zealand School of Weaving, Wellington.

page 52 in a stable or similar place it is always necessary to visit a doctor, who will probably give an injection of anti-tetanic serum to guard against tetanus, or lockjaw as it is often called. If a wound is of any depth a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible, as there is a possibility of tendons or ligaments being severed, and unless they are properly connected loss of function may follow.

In every home it is a good plan to keep a first-aid box. This box should contain: (1) A screw jar or tin containing pieces of boiled rag. The tin or jar must be boiled to make it germ free. Then when the clean rags are put in, the jar must be put in the oven for half an hour or so. This makes the dressings germ-proof. (2) Roll of cotton wool. (3) Bandages. (4) An ordinary enamel basin. (5) A pair of scissors. (6) A pair of dressing forceps. Boil the basin, scissors and forceps, and do not put the hands into the sterile jar.

* * *


Chilblains are really a slight frost-bite. They develop when there is poor circulation in the parts affected. The best preventive, therefore, is to get fit before winter comes, eat nourishing food and have sufficient healthy exercise. Persons who are predisposed to chilblains should aid circulation by massage of the hands and feet. The use of methylated spirits with massage is helpful, as it hardens the skin. Any affected parts may be painted with weak tincture of iodine—it is quite a good remedy—but this should not be applied to broken chilblains.

* * *


Soup is a necessary and wholesome item of the diet during the winter months, but no matter what the season it adds variety to the menu, and can be made at little cost. Here are a few delicious and easily made soups:—

Artichoke Soup.

1 turnip or parsnip, ½ head celery, 1lb. artichokes, 1 large onion, 3 pints stock, 1 pint boiling milk, few slices of bacon or ham, 1 tablespoonful cornflour, 2 lumps sugar, 3 ozs. butter, salt and pepper (cayenne if preferred).

Put bacon and vegetables, cut in thin slices, into a stewpan with butter. Braise these for ten minutes, keeping them well stirred; wash and pare the artichokes into thin slices; add to other ingredients with one pint of the stock; when stewed down to a smooth pulp, put in remainder of stock; stir well, add seasonings, and simmer for five minutes; then strain through a strainer and simmer again for a few minutes, and add the boiling milk. Thicken with cornflour. Serve with sippets of fried bread.

N.B.—Bacon fat may be used instead of the bacon and butter.

Milk Soup.

2 onions, 1 pint milk, 1 egg, 1 cup wholemeal bread crumbs, a little grated nutmeg.

Chop onions finely. Cook in the smallest quantity of water, add salt, grated nutmeg and pint of milk. Simmer, remove from the fire and stir in the beaten egg. Do not allow soup to boil after the egg has been added. Stir for a few minutes, put in the breadcrumbs, and serve immediately.

This is an excellent soup for children.

Haricot Bean Soup.

½lb. haricot beans, 2 onions, 2–3 stalks celery, 2 ozs. bacon fat, 3 pints water, 1 pint milk, parsley, 2 lumps sugar, 1 tablespoon cornflour, salt and pepper.

Wash the beans well in cold water. Put into basin and pour over the three pints of cold water, cover and let them soak over night Next day strain off the liquid and set aside for making the soup. Melt the bacon fat in a saucepan, put in the beans and vegetables, cut into small pieces, cook for ten minutes without browning. Then add the bean liquid and stir well for a few minutes. Put on the lid and allow to simmer for about 2½ hours (or until beans are soft). When ready, rub through a sieve into a basin. Rinse out the saucepan, return the soup to it, add the cornflour, milk and seasoning, and cook for about ten minutes longer.

Serve with sippets of fried bread.

* * *

Home Notes.

Lemon juice and salt will remove rust stains from linen. Wet the stain with the juice and sprinkle with salt, then hold the cloth so that the stain is over the spout of a boiling kettle, and the stain will disappear.

Mildew stains can be removed by boiling the article in water to which a little chloride of lime has been added.

Ether is better than petrol for removing stains as it does not leave a ring on the material.

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