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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 3 (June 1, 1934.)

Our Women's Section — Timely Notes and Useful Hints. — Winter is Here

page 42

Our Women's Section
Timely Notes and Useful Hints.
Winter is Here.

A Chilly wind flaps our skirts about our legs as snuggling our chins into furs, we scud across the wet roadway. Valiant umbrellas bob and jerk in the southerly gusts; men pull their hats over their eyes and turn up their collars; newspaper boys stamp their feet and whistle dolefully between, customers; art union ticket sellers press further back into their corners and tuck rugs about their knees. Overhead, rain clouds, propelled by the fitful wind, move uneasily, ever and anon dashing down bucketsful of sleet.

Now is the time to search wardrobes and delve in boxes for discarded coats, frocks and “knitteds,” which will help people less fortunate than ourselves to face the winter. The charitable organisations are crying out for discarded woollen garments. It would be a crime to leave such hanging while men, women and children here in our town, are shivering.

I myself know of a case where the gift of small winceyette bloomers made out of scraps from pyjamas, brought a smile to the face of the sick mother of a family of little girls. For an hour or two's work and practically no expenditure the giver ensured that those small girls would go adequately clad to school all through the winter.

Ugh! Burr! And other seasonable exclamations. The season of sneezes, harriers, wet boots drying by fires, golf, throat lozenges, dripping umbrellas in porches, cough cures and cabarets is upon us. We knuckle under, most of us, and spend a winter punctuated by growls and grizzles at the type of weather sent to us across the Tasman.

But the few, the lucky few, unembarrassed by responsibilities, financial or otherwise, are busy packing their trunks for a winter abroad, or their suitcases for holidays at our own winter resorts. The travel agencies are noticing a slight lifting in the depression, as are the retailers of travel requisites. Beauty salons find it hard to accommodate all their customers on the day or two preceding the departure of the “Home” boat. Many of our leaders of fashion are thus departing. Indeed, to sit in the lounge of a popular tearoom while the crowd drifts in and out, is to imagine that they have already gone—for such weather as this does not encourage the wearing of our smartest toilettes. Coats of warm cloth or fur, small perky pull-on felts or toques, skin gloves, fleecy lined perhaps, sturdy waterproof shoes—these are the wear.

In the house nothing is cosier than a warm skirt of tweed or afghalaine with a cosy pull-over or cardigan. For foot comfort, change into a pair of felt, patent leather or velvet slippers with heels and cosy fleecy insoles.

In order to get the best in the way of health and enjoyment out of the winter, dress warmly but not stuffily, and take every opportunity of being out of doors. Don't let rain deter you, for rain-coats do their job, and wet shoes and stockings are soon changed. Plenty of exercise, and the courage to face the chilly blasts, take most of the terror out of the worst days of winter. Also, it is the very best method of keeping colds at bay.

If you have been sitting round in the house and suddenly discover that you are feeling thoroughly chilled, do something about it immediately. Have a hot drink and go for a brisk walk. If the hour is late, a bath, hot enough to take away the shivery feeling entirely, and bed, with a hotwater bottle, is the best recipe.

Seasonable Wear.

The fabrics showing in the shops for street wear are mostly in dark shades— page 43 browns, blues, greens and berry shades. Afternoon and evening gowns are catered for with the richest materials fashion has presented since the Edwardian era. “Wind swept” satins and velvets are lustrous, while matebasse fabrics give an air of richness.

Winter coats and coating materials were dealt with in an earlier number. Frocks for street wear are slim fitting with high necks and wide shoulders enhanced by epaulettes, bands or tubes of material. A touch of fur, perhaps a fur-edged capelet, adds distinction to an out-door frock. Suits in Harris and Donegal tweeds are articles of smartness and utility. Corduroy velvet in green or brown makes a charming two-piece suit. Sports blouses in striped Bamberg silk or in the new striped woollen materials will be much worn.

Hats are modelled chiefly from felts or velvet. The “skipper” hat, with its jaunty peak in front, suits the young and attractive Miss. Plain or angora felts and velours have small brims, dipping enchantingly over the right eyebrow, and shallow crowns higher at the back than in front. Corded ribbon bands in the same colour are the usual finish, though a contrasting colour may be introduced for instance, grey with blue, red with grey, white with brown. Felts in beretta styles are smart. There is also the new “halo” or off-the-face hat, which looks charming on the right person. Velvets are used for more dressy styles, usually some variety of toque.

Velvet is immensely popular this winter for formal and semi-formal occasions. Fabrics range from velveteens through silk velvets to the loveliest ring and “wind-swept” velvets. Many of the most alluring frocks have long sleeves. In velvet gowns especially the cut is the thing. Velvet itself is so rich that no trimming save, perhaps, a brilliant clip or a touch of fur, is necessary.

Most evening frocks are moulded on long, sweeping lines, which show off to advantage the sheen of the fabric. Tulle and lace are still popular. A frock in red tulle over taffetas had bands of taffetas ruching slipping off the shoulders; from the knees the skirt foamed out and was given stability by more ruching. Heavy white satin had shoulder-straps of brilliants, and brilliants also on the front of the corsage and in a bandeau round the head. These “Alice” bands, which remind us of “Wonderland,” have taken the fashion world by storm. In ribbon, flowers or brilliants, they are equally popular, and can be found to match any toilette. A rich gown in black chiffon velvet had full sleeves patterned in gold brilliants. A tunic frock in Burgundy velvet had flat velvet-and satin flowers round the bottom of the tunic.

Bridge coats are more voluminous than they were, due mainly to the extra material put into the sleeves. Fur is an ever popular finish. The cape style, with long ends tying round the waist, looks well on a tall person. Evening wraps and coats this season are smarter if they contrast with the frock.

Coloured velvet shoes are infringing on the monopoly held for the last year or two by satin. Stockings in a beautiful new mesh are available for evenings.


Quilting is one of the popular survivals of the old-time needlework. It may be worked by hand, or stitched with the machine. For small pieces of work such as cushion covers, pram covers, and sachets, sewing by hand produces the best results. The quilting of a large piece of work, a bedspread or lining of a dressing gown, may be done with the machine—unless one has plenty of time to do the work by hand.

The best materials to use are soft silks or satins. Taffeta is inclined to split, and springy artificial silk is not satisfactory, as it is hard to manipulate. Linings may be of various materials. If not to be seen, thin muslin may be used, as it is easy to work on. For small articles use a lining of paler or contrasting shade. The best padding to use is fleece or flannelette, but wadding tacked to the lining very evenly is good for small articles as it is soft and of light weight.

Quilting is usually done diagonally across the work. If you are making a square article, such as a cushion, draw a straight line on the lining from corner to corner with a sharp pencil. Then draw lines at equal distances parallel with the line already drawn. To make diamond-shaped patterns draw lines in opposite directions.

Before beginning the quilting, the three layers—silk, padding and lining—should be tacked securely all round, then a few rows of tacking threads across the work to keep them all in place.

To do the quilting use a pure silk thread to sew with, as it is strong and the work must be pulled tightly so that the lines will be clearly defined. Work from the lining side, following the tacked lines with running stitches. Turn the work frequently to see that the stitches are going through to the right side. A few parallel lines to form a border will make a nice finish for your work.

Health Notes. Hygiene of the Mouth.

Well kept teeth and cleanliness of the mouth and throat are essential for good health, and an aid to beauty. No pains should be spared to keep the teeth in perfect condition. Most of the infecious page 44 page 45 diseases, including the common cold and influenza, commence their attack in the mouth and nose, and many other diseases are directly traceable to bad teeth and infected gums.

The important safeguard for good health is to keep the mouth and throat in as thoroughly healthy and hygienically clean condition as possible. There are many good dentifrices and antiseptic mouth washes that may be used.

Teeth should be thoroughly brushed at least twice daily—first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. The night cleansing is the more important, as it is necessary to remove any food that lodges on and between the teeth. Food that is left in the crannies of the teeth ferments and becomes a breeding place for bacteria.

To clean the teeth use a moderately hard toothbrush and a good antiseptic paste. Do not brush across the teeth, but up and down. Use the downward movement for the upper teeth, and the upward movement for the lower ones, so that the bristles will act as a kind of toothpick to remove food that clings to the teeth. It also helps matters to use dental floss to remove food that collects in the spaces and crannies between the teeth that the brush cannot reach. This is where decay usually commences.

Daily massage of the gums is also necessary, especially if the gums show a tendency to sensitiveness or bleeding. To massage, apply a little of the tooth paste to the forefinger and rub gently both inside and outside of the roof of the mouth, making all the movements towards the teeth. As the gums become less sensitive brisker movements may be used. This massage stimulates and increases the flow of blood to the teeth.

Use a mouth wash after meals. Magnesia makes a useful mouth wash, as it counteracts any acidity. So use it occasionally; chewing is another important factor that is necessary for dental health. The teeth and jaws should be given plenty of work to do. They will be stronger and healthier the more they are used. The diet should always include plenty of fruit and vegetables that require much chewing. Hard toast should always be preferred to soft bread. The thorough mastication of hard food releases salivary juices and aids digestion.

The importance of thorough mouth hygiene should be impressed on children at an early age, and parents and guardians should see that it is thoroughly carried out, even by the very young. Much can be done to ensure a healthy mouth by attention to the dietary of children. Do not give them too much pappy food. A sufficiency of lime in the diet is essential, and children should be taught to chew hard foods, crusts and toast, to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, and to drink a ration of milk daily.

Toothbrush Hygiene.

A toothbrush must be kept thoroughly clean, or it will do more harm than good. A toothbrush may become laden with germs and introduce various infections into the mouth. A toothbrush that has been used during an infectious illness should be burnt. Toothbrushes used by different people should not come in contact with each other, as by this means one mouth may become infected by another.

Keep the toothbrush in a dry, airy place. Sterilise by boiling in water once a week. Wash thoroughly after use: Discard the toothbrush as soon as it becomes soft.

Home Notes. Sandwiches.

Here are a few combinations for pastes and fillings for sandwiches.

Anchovy Paste. —One pound beef, 6ozs. butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground mace, 3 tablespoons anchovy sauce. Mince thoroughly; boil three hours; cover and paste down.

Celery and Nut.—Quarter pound walnuts; chop finely with white stalks of celery, mix with thick cream, add little salt and cayenne, and one teaspoon lemon juice. A little grated cheese may be added if liked. Beat all to a paste, and spread between slices of white and brown bread.

Sardine Paste.—Make a paste of 1/4 cup minced sardines, freed from skin and bones, and one tablespoon of minced bacon; add a little anchovy sauce for flavouring.