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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 7 (October 1, 1936)

Our Women's Section — Timely Notes and Useful Hints

page 57

Our Women's Section
Timely Notes and Useful Hints.

Which Blouse for What?

Mary and I were absorbed in blouses. Not that either of us wanted one, but the shop window was interesting. Small as it was, the variety of blouses shown, both in style and material, was amazing. Here were varied effects in locknit, plain and striped, in sports style or fussily feminine; the colourful Hungarian peasant blouses worked on white or pastel-tinted voile; organdie blouses and waistcoats, sprigged or dotted; beautiful examples of hand embroidery on silk and satin.

One model had a draped and clipped neckline; another a round knife-pleated collar which aped simplicity; a third was lent interest by a panel of pleats down the front. A tailored blouse in striped silk had its yoke and pocket tabs with stripes horizontal. In contrasting style were blouses featuring a Juliet frill or a wide softly-gathered ruff.

* * *

Mary and I, sorry that we did not need blouses, finished our gazing and walked on. A woman ahead swung shapely shoulders; her tailored suit was trim.

“What sort of blouse?” said Mary.

“Frilly,” I hazarded.

“Wrong,” said Mary. “Hurry, and we'll look.”

A little brisk walking and we had passed our lady; were, in fact, half turned from a shop window as she passed us. And her blouse was tailored, definitely tailored.

“How could you tell, from the back?” I asked Mary.

“My dear Watson, the clue was there. Did you see her hat? A Breton sailor, shiny straw, but rather severe. She wouldn't contrast that hat with a fussy blouse.”

“Mm! Maybe. You win this time.”

* * *

But I wasn't satisfied. The next tailored figure we chased had a small black hat wisped with veiling. The crown seemed to go high in front and there was a peep of flower decoration.

“Frilly?” said Mary.

“Frilly!” said I.

It was, and we shook hands on it.

“But I'm still not satisfied. 1 want another plain hat.”

It wasn't until a good deal later, after afternoon tea and odd shopping, that we came up behind a woman in a navyblue tailleur and a shiny navy straw hat with a neat double roll brim.

“Tailored again, of course,” said Mary.

“I'm not so sure,” said I.

After our little chase and pause ahead of her, I was the one to sinile. Organdie the blouse was, with a frilly plastron effect in front. Mary had to admit it looked well, smarter even than the tailored blouse of the first woman we had seen.

The foregoing is related merely to stress the ubiquity of the blouse—the effect of contrast may be obtained by style as well as by material and colour.

* * *

Contrast, again, was the style notes of a pinafore frock I saw the other day. The woollen frock attested the continuance of chill winds, but the soft shining satin of the blouse was a bow to spring.

Striped frocks iti cotton and silk, usually in shirtwaist syle, arc trimmed by their own stripes. Even short sleeves have their stripes in two directions.

Jackets and skirts contrast with each other, one plaid and the other plain. Patch pockets break the line of a straighter swagger. Jackets top formal evening gowns. Wide sleeves, beaded, embroidered or appliqued, contrast with the slim lines of hostess frocks. Hanging sleeves with contrasting lining are gaiiiing in popularity.

Lovely Lingerie.

During September the big stores have been making a special feature of lingerie, imported and “made in our own workrooms.”

A night-gown of shell-pink satin has a yoke, with captlets, of oyster lace; another, with an appliqued lace edging at the V neckline, has a six-inch band of lace at the hem. A charming robe has neck and armholes banded with a fold of bias georgette (an easy style, this, to copy). A flower-sprigged crepe de chine has a frilled hem and rows of frilling for the cape shoulders. Another gown is softly shirred at neck and waist. A backless nightgown has a cape fastening with a self-fabric flower under the chin.

Pyjamas, tòo, are more feminine this season. Silks and satins arc the usual fabrics, lace and frilling the daintiest trimmings. Tops are neat, interest centering in the neck finish, a cape sleeve, a pocket or a sash belt. Trouser legs are fairly wide, and many boast a lace or frilled finish.

Slips, vest and panties match nightgowns for daintiness. Bias cut is usual, these days, for slim-fitting undies.

Dressing-gowns are interesting in many styles and in lengths from midcalf to ankle. Of the négligée type I noticed one model in tea-rose satin with écru lace trimming. Another in oyster satin had a full pouched blouse top and voluminous s'eeves gauged into the wrist. The skirt was slimfitting.

Charming, but for more everyday wear, are tailored examples in satin with lining of a contrasting colour or page 58 of flower-sprigged crepe de chine with satin lining. The reversible type of dressing-gown allows for two colour schemes, and as dressing gowns have to be lined anyway, why not have them made to wear with lining side out on occasions? For the summer holiday most of us are planning, what more useful—and decorative—than a dressing gown in printed linen—anti-crease of course?

Distant Fields are Greener.

I like these old sayings. In the impatience of youth one can condemn them as a clutter of clichés, but with increase in experience one modifies one's attitude, accepts them first with tolerance, and later greets them with a warm feeling as expressions of (he homely wisdom of past generations, almost a handclasp from those who have lived, weighing life and testing it against their changing philosophy, even as we are doing.

“Distant fields are greener.” Of course they are. The cracks, the patches of dull earth, the yellowishbrown of dying plants are unseen in the general emerald effect. The larger vision is the truer one. The more we can comprehend, the better can we judge.

Unfortunately, we are so placed in our own lives that it is difficult to obtain that comprehensive view. We are so surrounded by the cracks, the bare patches, that often we do not realize the verdure of our state. Instead of enjoying the healthy growths we are absorbed in the barren places.

The farmer who wishes to improve his pastures uses the scientific knowledge of the pasture specialist and the “bug” hunter. The experts have studied at close range the faulty growths, and delved for tire insects which batten on grass roots, but although the scientists have their attention fixed on a few inches of pasture, they arc aiming at the improvement of the pastoral industry of the world.

Even if we do fix our attention on the unsatisfactory places in our lives, it should be only to find out why they are barren. Our main interest is the encouragement of the healthy growths, the live interests which can eliminate the bare spots.

The students of the social sciences may be compared with the pasture experts in that their aim is to improve the living conditions of their fellow humans. We employ doctors and psychologists in the endeavour to keep our individual bodies and minds healthy, and the administrators, with their staffs of experts in various fields, to provide a suitable environment for those minds and bodies.

Whenever one reads the phrase “distant fields” one is jolted afresh into realizing the adequacy of one's own life. There is enough verdure in it to make the bare patches negligible; enough, with cultivation, to overgrow almost all the unsatisfactory bits. It all depends on what sort of a cultivator one is, on how much energy and enthusiasm one. brings to the task

Health Notes.

From the start, let us be optimistic and imagine that we are going to have a really fine summer! This brings before us all sorts of delightful expectations with hope for realisation, so let us all be prepared to answer the “call of the open” when that call comes.

With the hours of sunshine lengthening, and the rays of the sun strengthening, one of the pleasures to which we look forward is


In an earlier, issue of this journal we drew your attention to the dangers in over-exposure to the sun's rays. At the beginning, let the exposure be limited to ten minutes each for the front and for the back of the body, taking care to keep the head and back of the neck protected. Gradually extend this time allowance, and in due course you will acquire that coveted sun-tan of the “he-man” without incurring risk or discomfort.

Another joy to which we look forward is the


Don't go in too soon after a meal—allow at least one hour's interval—and don't stay in too long at the first. Don't take risks. Even although you are a strong swimmer, don't strike out to sea as though you intend to cross the straits—you can get just as wet and have just as good a swim within a safe margin from the shore. Remember, that if you get into difficulties, some other life or lives may be lost in attempting to save yours. If you are not a good swimmer, go out in depth to your chest and then swim parallel with the shore.

Don't force vour timid child into the water. Let it play at the water's edge as it wishes, and before long you will find it taking to the water, like the proverbial duck.

If river-bathing, beware of undercurrents in pools, and always be sure that there are no “snags” before you take a dive. Don't overdo the diving, as there is risk of it lighting up ear trouble. And now, just a word about the shower-bath. Don't rush under this, all in a sweat, the moment you have finished your game, for if you do, you will just resume sweating after you dry yourself as the skin glands will still be active. Instead, put on your cardigan or other wrap, until you cool down a little, then make for the shower, and you will be surprised how much more comfortable you will be after. Be careful not to overdo your page 59 games at the start—get gradually into form, thus avoiding muscle strain and stateness.

You will also be looking forward to Picnicing:

In arranging the food for this outing, avoid tinned foods where possible and don't fill your hamper with rich things.

If motoring to your picnic ground, remember not only the rules, but also the courtesies of motoring. Most cars of to-day are good, but don't try to demonstrate to the public that yours is the best. Do all you can to prevent accidents and show full consideration not only for your fellow-motorist, but also for the pedestrian.

On arrival at yotir picnic spot, park your car carefully and if necessary, protect your tyres from the sun.

Above all, be careful where you light your fire, and sec that it is black-out before leaving. Don't hack the trees and shrubs or tear up ferns—your car looks better when not adorned by the products of acts of vandalism. Be sure to close all gates through which you pass, and if negotiating fences be carèful not to damage them. On leaving for home, see to it that all litter is cleared away and above all, do not leave tinr. or broken bottles lying about.

In this country we enjoy the privilege of access so kindly granted by most of the farmers, and it behoves us to show our appreciation of their kindness.

Should you be camping, carefully attend to all sanitary requirements, and remember, someone else may want to occupy the same position when you vacate it. Burn all discarded food substances, and thus lessen the number of breeding grounds for the dangerous fly.

Don't trust any water other than spring water. Boil all river water, as with so much farm drainage, there is always the possibility of it containing disease-producing germs.

Mrs. Beeton's Everyday Cookery.”

The following excerpts taken from “Mrs. Beeton's Everyday Cookery” are as applicable to-day as they were when the publication came forth as “a boon and a blessing” to all interested in the everyday science of cooking:

“The two most common faults with amateur cooks are not giving sufficient time and attention to the details of preparation, and ignorance of the varying action of heat. It is admitted that the making of soups and sauces is a test of a good cook. Now, both soups and sauces (with a few exceptions, which prove the rule) require very careful preliminary preparation and close attention during cooking. The time devoted to planning, cleaning, chopping, paring, as the case may be, is not lost. The actual process of cooking is immensely facilitated, and success half assured, if everything has been properly prepared beforehand.”

“All things likely to be wanted should be in readiness: sugars of different sorts, currants washed, picked, and perfectly dry …”

“Much waste is always prevented by keeping every article in the best place suited to it.”

Here are a few recipes, slightly modified, taken from this estimable book of 752 pages:

Maids of Honour.

Puff paste, 4oz. castor sugar, 2oz. ground almonds, ½oz. flour, 2 yokes eggs, 2 tablespoons cream, essence to flavour. Mix almonds with the sugar and add the yokes of eggs one at a time; mix in flour, cream and essence. Line pattypans with puff pastry, fill them with mixture and bake in moderate oven.

Time. —To bake, about 15 minutes. Average cost 8d., exclusive of the paste. Sufficient for 8 or 9 tartlets.