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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 15, Issue 2 (May 1, 1940.)

Our Women's Section — Uniform by Day …… Contrast at Evening

page 57

Our Women's Section
Uniform by Day …… Contrast at Evening

Of A Bygone Age are the two gowns sketched. The standing figure wears a heavy taffeta, shadow-patterned in brocade effect. The bodice is shirred to the centre front. Taffeta pleats emphasise the heart-shaped neckline. Velvet straps tie on the shoulders. Notice the set in girdle to emphasise the slim waist. A slip with a similar mid-section is worn under this gown.

Filmy net etherealises the seated figure. The “little girl” gathered bodice has self-ruching at the deep round neckline. Notice the slim, high waist-line, and the width of the skirt with its deep flounce. Tiny velvet ribbon bows nestle in the flounce, in the neck ruching, and under the full puff of the sleeves. There is a larger matching bow in the hair.

Day and Night.

The exigencies of war-time economy and war-time work have caused a swift change in day-time wear among the smart women of Britain and France. Before war jerked us into reality, fashion was glancing dreamily backward, and drifting into another romantic era. Now, an almost masculine plainness has ousted the fulness and the fripperies. Women dress the part as they face up to war-time tasks. Clothes consciousness is apparent only in the cut of a garment, and in unobtrusive accessory touches.

But at evening the dream returns in a flow of colour, of billowing silks and laces. Extravagances of yardage as well as of style make up for the severe restrictions of the day.

The corset, laced and boned, is a necessary foundation for the newest gowns, but those of us who prefer a wasp-waist in appearance, rather than in reality, simulate the effect by means of padded hips and a cleverlycut mid-section both in gnwn and slip.

Such shirrings and drapings as bodices show, must tax the ingenuity of a multitude of designers. What variety!—and what flattery! No ornament is needed, but often the lily is gilded by bunched flowers, an ornamental pin, a series of bows or buttons.

Then the waist, the dainty waist, achieved in an Empire gown with or without a draped girdle, or by a long, tight basque (corsets required here) or by a shaped mid-section.

From this slim waist the gown is moulded over the hips and then spreads in fulness, maybe by means of a circular flare, maybe by multitudinous gathers. Newest mode of all is the slim-skirted front and the extravagant back fulness, lengthened perchance by a brief train. Such back fulness may be caught up into the veriest bustle, accented by a ribbon bow sewn under, or the bustle effect may be achieved by ribbon alone.

What of sleeves? Newest, particularly for formal wear, are long, fitted sleeves. Daintiest are the very short, very full, puffed sleeves.

Materials? Use heavy silk for back fulness, lace or net for the picture gown.

A hang-over from day fashions is the “half-and-half,” showing contrast colours or contrast materials. Of chief importance is the evening blouse and skirt. The skirt is usually dark and flared, of slinky material such as crepe romaine, though some are gay and billowing. The soft, or “lingerie” page 58 blouse is a newcomer for evenings. In sheer chiffon, lace or ninon, it has very full long sleeves held in by a slim wrist-band. The neck is high. Shirring may form a yoke and sleeve-bands. Chiffon or ninon may have lace or embroidery insets to form a yoke. Small buttons down the front closing are a fashion feature. Very new is the belt of grosgrain ribbon. An American fashion house suggests the following colour combinations—navy skirt with moonstone (soft greyish-blue) blouse; black with aquamarine; earth-brown with cameo-pink.

The half-and-half effect may be seen in the bolero of an evening suit where the blouse and bolero revers are in colour contrast with the skirt and bolero.

The moral of all this is, “Be romantic by candlelight, or even under the glare of the electrics. Cut your day-frock skimpier, and use extra yardage at night.”

Autumn Floral Decoration.

If you want to save the glowing colours of autumn to brighten grey winter days, take thought now. Gather sprays of autumn leaves when they are just turning colour and preserve them, either by lacquering (a messy and painstaking business, easiest done when the spray is stuck firmly in a narrow bottle neck) or by placing flat between layers of newspaper under the spare room carpet for a period.

Nasturtlums and chrysanthemums are a boon in early winter. Let them gleam in a sunny corner or against dark wood. Remember to place chrysanthemums in opaque jars, as the ugly stems show through glass. When chrysanthemums begin to brown, tear off the outer petals, and float the heads in a bowl.

Try the use of wire when you wish to produce an effective bowl of flowers. Nasturtiums will twine up a curve of wire in natural and artistic fashion. Brambles can be made to arch over a flat bowl wherein berries and leaves are colourfully arranged.

Be imaginative with flowers. To gain new ideas, study the flower pieces of artists. You may not be able to buy the painting, but you can achieve something like it with spoils from the garden and countryside.

The Cat Lives to a Ripe Old Age.

“Oh, I wouldn't mention it in front of old Mrs. Sharples,” said Mabel. “She's so curious, I don't feel like gratifying her.”

“But what harm would it do?” I asked.

“None, I suppose. But you know how it is with these people who like to know everything that's going on. One likes to keep something from them.”

“But she's not ill-natured, Mabel. It's just that she hasn't anybody of her own to take an interest in.”

“Oh, I know. But I was always taught that curiosity killed the cat. It's more ladylike to keep oneself to oneself.”

It's just as well that Mrs. Sharples is not “ladylike,” as Mabel calls it, or she would have a very lonely old age. She loves people, and is still vividly alive to their joys and sorrows. Her friends are her “family” and that is why men and women, boys and girls crowd about her. They know that Mrs. Sharples is always eager to hear of their joys and to share their laughter, and equally ready to help in times of difficulty.

From the cradle to the grave, curiosity, the desire to know, is the prime impulse to development. To be curious, and to use the knowledge gained in helping her friends is Mrs. Sharples' life. She is a fully developed personality. If she were confined to a prim gentility, “keeping herself to herself,” her life would be arid, empty. As it is, she is a happy person, rich in human relationships. As she herself says, her cup is full to overflowing.

Health Notes.
Winter Ailments.

Now is the time to build up our lines of defence against the invading army of cold germs. We can fall an easy prey to this enemy if we do not put up a good fight.

The lines of defence are through the skin, the circulation of the blood, the breathing system and diet.

The Skin: The skin is one of the chief excretory organs of the body. It is essential that the pores of the skin be kept clear, so that it can perform its work of helping to eliminate poisons from the system. A good way of cultivating a quick reaction is to subject the skin to showers of alternately hot and cold water. After every hot bath have a cold shower or sponge down.

Always choose a good pure soap for all washing purposes, as inferior makes are apt to clog.

Circulation: Circulation of the blood is an important line of defence. Take as much exercise as you can in order to help the blood keep moving throughout the body. Give special attention to wrists, ankles and any other parts where you feel the blood is not circulating as fully as it might.

Breathing: Deep breathing has a tonic effect on the whole system. It keeps the air passages free from germs, provides more oxygen for the energy of our bodies, and is another way of getting rid of impurities.

Diet: Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and not too much starch. Drink as much water as you can, as this is beneficial.

If, however, there are gaps in our lines of defence, and we become the victims of illness through our carelessness, it would be wise to stay in bed for a day or so and “sweat it out.”

Egg and Tomato Pie.

Slice the hard-boiled eggs and tomatoes, put between rounds of pastry in a greased sandwich tin and bake. Serve hot or cold.

* * *

Swedish Meat Rolls.

Four ozs. minced steak, half cupful of breadcrumbs, one egg, pepper and salt to taste, one tablespoon grated raw onion.

Make the mixture into walnutsized balls. Place in casserole on top of vegetables and let simmer until dish is done.

* * *

Baked Apples and Brown Sugar.

Baked apples, stuffed with a little brown sugar, butter, and a pinch of cinnamon, will prove a delicious sweet in winter time.

page 59

Vegetable Casserole.

Cut two carrots into strips. Slice two leeks, using just a little of the green. Slice one cooking onion. Slice one heart of celery. Fry these lightly for ten minutes in a pan containing a tablespoon of butter. Put a little boiling water in a casserole and turn in the vegetables. Let simmer for two hours.

* * *

Bitter Marmalade.

Three medium size grapefruit, two lemons.

Put fruit in a preserving pan with four pints of water. Simmer for two hours, or until the fruit it quite soft. Leave water in pan. Halve the fruit and remove pips. Shred fruit very fine with saw-edge knife. Return it to pan and bring to boil. Add six lbs. of sugar. Boil for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Test in saucer as usual.

* * *

Stuffed Vegetable Marrow.

One small marrow, 3 tablespoons minced cooked meat or poultry, 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, grated lemon rind, 1 egg, beaten, seasoning, 1/2 pint thick brown gravy.

Skin marrow and keep it whole. Cut out a wedge-shaped piece lengthwise and remove the seeds and soft pulp. Mix the minced meat, breadcrumbs, parsley and lemon rind with beaten egg. Put the mixture in the marrow and replace the cut-out piece. Dredge the marrow with flour. Place on a greased baking tin, bake in a moderate oven for 45–60 minutes, or until tender, basting frequently. Serve with gravy or tomato sauce.

* * *

Stuffed Onions.

Six onions, 2 tablespoons chcpped ham, 3 tablespoons cooked peas, 1/2 oz. butter, a little mint, seasoning.

Parboil the onions, strain and scoop out the centres. Toss the cooked peas in butter. Add the chopped ham, season well and fill the cases. Place in a greased casserole with about 1/2-inch of water or stock. Cover and bake until tender, basting frequently. Serve with gravy or sauce.

* * *

Pickled Nasturtium Seeds.

Gather young nasturtium seeds on a dry day, place in bottles. Boil together: vinegar, 1 pint; salt, 1 oz.; peppercorns, 6, and pour over the nasturtium seeds. Cork well. Ready for use in 3 months.

* * *

Spiced Vinegar for Onions.

1 quart vinegar; 1/2 teaspoon mace; 20 peppercorns; 1 allspice; 1 oz. sliced ginger; boil for half an hour. Bottle and cork.

Salmon Croquettes.

1/4 lb. flaked tin salmon; 1/2 oz. butter; 1/2 oz. flour; 1/2 gill milk; salt and pepper; 1 egg; breadcrumbs; deep fat for frying; parsley for garnishing.

Make a thick white sauce with the butter, flour and milk. Then take the sauce off the heat and stir in the finely-flaked salmon. Season this with pepper and salt, and if liked add a few drops of Worcester sauce or a few chopped capers. Mix the ingredients well together, then spread the mixture on a plate and leave it to get firm.

Divide the salmon mixture into equal portions and shape it into smooth fat rolls on a lightly-floured board. Brush them with beaten egg, coat them with breadcrumbs, and fry them in hot deep fat until they are golden.

Drain the croquettes on a paperlined tin, and serve them on a hot dish, garnishing them with sprigs of parsley.

* * *

Crumb Custard.

1 pint milk; 3 ozs. breadcrumbs; 1 oz. sugar; 1 or 2 eggs; jam; 1 oz. butter.

Butter a pie-dish and cover with jam. Mix the sugar and breadcrumbs and pour the hot milk over. Cool and add the well-beaten egg. Pour into the pie-dish, dot with butter and bake slowly till firm.

Note: When baking a custard, place the pie-dish in a dish of water. This prevents the custard curdling.

Celery Salad.

One head of celery, 1/4lb. cheese, two hard-boiled eggs, two tomatoes, salad dressing.

Prepare the celery. Cut the cheese and celery into dice. Arrange in a salad bowl. Coat with dressing, and garnish with sliced tomatoes and eggs.

* * *

Beetroot and Celery Salad.

Cut cooked beetroot into cubes, and chop raw celery finely. Mix with dressing and pile roughly in serving dish. May be decorated with parsley or a few small lettuce leaves.

* * *

Celery in White Sauce.

Wash, scrape and cut celery stalks in 1 inch pieces; cook 20 minutes or until soft in boiling water; drain and to two cups of celery add 1 cup white sauce. This is a most satisfactory way of using the outer stalks of celery.

* * *

Scalloped Potatoes.

Slice thinly required number of goodsized potatoes. Place in baking dish in layers, covering each layer with a sprinkling of flour, a few pieces of butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Fill the dish with milk, grate a little cheese on top and bake slowly for 1 hour in moderate oven.

* * *


Two cups flour; 1/2 teaspoon salt; cup milk; 3 teaspoons baking powder.

Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Add milk, mix thoroughly, drop into stew and cook for 15 minutes.

page 60