Posts Tagged ‘children’

Lightweight fabric for sleepwear

My husband prefers sleeping naked but we have children now and he feels this choice is no longer appropriate. He would like a pant to sleep in that will be extremely lightweight and breathable as he sleeps hot. He feels that shiny silk is too feminine. I would love your advice! Thank you for your time. By: Mandi

A Stroll Through Yesteryear’s Fabric Shops Late 1880’s – 1919

Late 1880s to 1919 Part I The First Sewing Machine -Arthur’s Illustrated Home Magazine, No. 6, 1873 A correspondent sent us the following account of the first sewing-machine invented and constructed in this country. The “ingenious machanic” was, we believe Elias Howe, afterward so famous. The account, she tells us, is cut from a newspaper printed about twenty-five years ago (ed. note — c1848). It is certainly wonderful to think what a revolution has been accomplished by the aid of this machine, improved and perfected since that day. The article is headed Tailoring Machine and is an extract from the Boston correspondent of the Worcester Spy, Vol. XLL.-80: “I have been examining a new machine for sewing which has recently been invented and constructed by an ingenious mechanic of Cambridge. So far as I am informed on the subject, this is the first attempt to construct a machine of this kind, and it appears to me to be an eminently successful one. The machine is very correct and does not occupy a space of more than about six inches each way. It runs with such ease that I should suppose one might easily operate twenty or thirty of them and the work is done in a most thorough and perfect manner. Both sides of a seam look alike appearing to be beautifully stitched and the seam is closer and more uniform than when sewn by the hand. It will sew straight or curved seams with equal facility and so rapidly that it takes but two minutes to sew the whole length of the outside seam of a pair of men’s pantaloons. It sets four hundred stitches a minute. The thread is less worn by this process than by hand-sewing , and consequently, retains more of its strength. The simplicity of this machine and the accuracy, rapidity, and perfection of its operation, will place it in the same rank with the card-machine, the straw-braider, the pin-machine, and the coach-lace loom, machines which never fail to command the admiration of every intelligent beholder.” And we all know the impact of that machine on our lives! Without it we would likely not have that secret addiction known as stash building. Now go back into time — Imagine what it would be like to see the bountiful array of fabrics on display, sold only long before our time; to touch and feel them, to maybe put a name or an identity to the no-name cloths in our mystery pile, to know what…
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A Stroll Through Fabric Stores 1920-1959

Part II – A stroll through fabric stores 1920-1959 World War 1 changed the nation’s attitude toward lifestyles. The rich and fashionable, like our Madame the Society Matron in Part I, no longer needed personal seamstresses. Those whose fortunes survived the Depression intact turned exclusively to Poiret, Vionnet, Chanel and the following generations of designers for their clothing. The department store now became the domain of the blue collar and middle to upper middle classes. Persons like Madame’s maid or seamstress who a decade earlier would not have been able to afford to shop at fabric emporiums now enjoyed the luxury of purchasing inexpensive yard goods at the best of stores. Here’s the new popular fabrics they and their families would encounter over a 40-year period: Any large department or fabric store 1920-29 The decade was the beginning of the unencumbered woman whose unshackled body could at last romp freely in loose and skimpy styles. Hemlines started just above the ankles, shortened to the knee by mid-decade and returned to about lower mid-calf by the decade’s end. But woman was forever unrestricted in movement and fashion fabrics reflected this emancipation. Dress yard goods, except for wool, were mostly 24″-32″ widths with 36″ and 39″ beginning to make an appearance. Rayon wasn’t commercially available until about mid-decade. It was of poor quality, unreliable, mostly shunned and called silk fiber or artificial silk until legislation permanently labeled it rayon. There was renewed interest in ratines, particularly New Cloth’s blend of silk with cotton or wool ratine crepe to produce a lustrous linen effect in 42 shades. Galatea, a sturdy twill for sports and children’s wear, was much desired, boldly striking in prints, stripes, solids and fancy patterns in white combined with red, navy, green or brown. By mid-decade with its short shimmy dress and indoor/outdoor loungewear and underwear, clingy fabrics were the new fashion statement — striped batiste, extra-wide colorful sateen and satin-finish charmeuse for lingerie and a special charmeuse for bloomers. Cotton Lingette which looked and felt like silk was touted not only for lingerie but nightwear, linings, children’s wear, shirtings and frocks. A white check nainsnook resembling windowpane dimity was much desired for breathable sleepwear for all ages. A multi-use high-quality muslin called indigo print was favored for aprons, housedresses, shirting and children’s wear. Heavy gingham and muslin called romper cloth and kindergarten cloth were also popular for young children. [These three fabrics were probably similar to or an imitation of Indian Head]. Another heavy-duty favorite was 24″…
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Cambric – Gone with the Wind

Queen Elizabeth and cohorts nearly choked in it; Errol Flynn and his real-live counterparts brandished their swords in it; Scarlett and her friends often swooned in it as their corsets were being tightened; untold babes took their first step in it; teary-eyed damsels wiped their eyes with it; countless women sported flowers of it on their suits, dresses and hats; book collectors loved its satiny feel; many of us probably have it in our fabric stash without realizing it. It is of course cambric, once the all-purpose textile. One could go on endlessly about this remarkable fabric and its seemingly infinite variations.Tres Fine et Tres Blanche Cambric has been with us at least since the early 16th century when it was first made of linen in the northern French town of Cambrai. Savary des Bruslons described it as a sort toile de lin, tres fine and tres blanche. It was used for fichus, head trimming, shirts, cravettes, ties, nightwear and ecclesiastical garments.One day , Samuel Rowland Fisher visiting Ireland in 1768 stopped at John Christy’s store and was shown great quantities of “wondorus cambricks” made by him but not equal to those of France. He was told, alas, that several persons from “Cambray have the management of linen and cambray weaving.” At least the bearded men had some chin protection from scratchy ruffs. One wonders how easy it was to turn the neck. These cambric ruffs date from Henry IV, 1590-early 1600s. – The Mode in Costume Rare English fashion plates of the 1780s show the new light textiles muslin, cambric and lawn, calling them diaphanous compared to brocades, the other fashion favorite. By 1812 the artful Irish, by virtue of a Petitioneers Machine, were able to create their own version of cambrick, producing cotton yarns of treble fineness and of a much more soft and pleasant texture than any which had ever before been spun in Great Britain. It should be noted that some references credit Scotland with producing the first cotton cambric and not Ireland. In 1810, the Boston Palladium advertised a “Fashionable Suit of Curtains, 168 years of cambrick chintz, ditto 168 yards of light blue lining cambrick.” Ackermanns advertised from 1809 to 1812 cambricks in morine* corded, imperial stripes, seaweed printed, jubilee twill shawl and permanent morone [we know it as maroon] printed. *Morine is a variation of moreen, a British heavy fabric with horizontal filling and a moire finish, woven either in worsted or cotton. It was used for upholstery and skirts. By…
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WWII Fashions Never Out of Style

The patriotism being displayed in these current times of turmoil has been compared to that of WWII as a public demonstration of unity not shown since that time. The fervor of 9/11 brings back memories to many who lived through those war years and remember the many sacrifices as seen through the eyes and mind of both child and adult. There were shortages in almost every walk of life, causing rationing to be a vital part of the war effort. Gas, meat, sugar, coffee, butter, tinfoil, metals, iron, shoes, fabrics and paper products were just a few of the everyday products affected and enforced through strict government conservation controls. Fashion was no exception. I am indebted to Yvonne Williams of Perqs for providing me with War Production Board regulations concerning the textile, clothing and leather production standards mandated in 1942 and amended December 1943. Note that this latter date marked the second full year of America’s participation in WWII. Perhaps more interesting than the restrictions in this government document are the exclusions which help to explain how Hollywood costuming in movies always looked so glamorous or how some persons we knew were able to wear stunning new clothes that were outside the boundaries of government limitations. Those excluded were: apparel for feminine wear made in the home and not for remuneration sale of apparel for feminine wear by a person who acquired the same for her own general use sale of second-hand apparel alterations to fit a specific individual consumer apparel for feminine wear for persons over 5’7, of abnormal size or with phsyical deformities bridal gowns, burial gowns, religious robes, historical costumes for theatrical productions U.S. military uniforms Fashion never missed a beat at war factories – safety hair net headware was designed by no less than the doyenne of millinery, Lily Daché. – Common Threads, 1992 Slack suits were a welcome relief as women gladly exchanged housedresses for this relaxed assembly- line fashion. – New Encyclopedia of Modern Sewing, 1943 To attempt to list all the clothing production regulations and definitions would require too much space and produce an overly long column to read via computer screen. Suffice to say that every inch, every style, every garment part, every trim and most every fabric came under strict scrutiny for redefinition and reduction. Some generalizations will be noted here. Document L85 and other historical information can be requested from the US National Archives & Records Administration. www.nara.gov Measurements -Specific maximums in fabric usage for every garment part…
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Pillow Talk – Ladies Capture His Heart & Soul

Life seemed complete for our guest columnist – a multi-degreed education, a distinguished career and community standing, loving family, a restored 1906 turreted Queen Anne Victorian home in an idyllic countryside setting and filled with objets d’art. Then one day a lady crossed his path and life has never been the same. Read one man’s captivation with collecting parlour pillows by Jason Ross Haxton Director of the Still National Osteopathic Museum, KCOM Medical School, Kirksville MO Regardless of your antique collecting weakness (fabric, furniture, or glassware) most of us remember our earliest purchases. And most likely our earliest purchases hold a fair amount of sentimental value or horror at our naïveté. Seventeen years ago I was smitten by a dewy-eyed, dark haired beauty that stared at me from a crisp fabric background of fresh daffodils and cherry blossoms. I was able to rescue this fair damsel on a pillow from the sunny window of a run down antique shop for $25, after a good bit of haggling. This Victorian beauty was soon fluffed up and resting against the high back headboard of my wife’s heirloom oak bed. For about five years the face on this pillow stared out to me every morning and night of each day. …And life seemed pretty good! Then several years later, while on a trip to San Antonio TX, antiquing with the woman who trained me in antiques and raised me (my mom), I had a sudden uncomfortable feeling in the mists of what looks like every other antique shop… old furniture, glassware and framed pictures filled every nook and cranny leaving items juxtaposed in new and sometimes humorous relationships to each other. Across the room was a familiar face staring at me from a gold-gilded frame buried in a sea of framed prints that included dogs, yard long chicks, old buildings, and cottages on tree lined country lanes. I am not into buying prints – preferring original oil paintings. I shrugged off the image but my eyes kept drifting and locking onto this new but seemingly familiar face. It suddenly hit me that the same artist that had designed the parlor pillow that I had kept in my bedroom had also created this woman. Upon closer inspection I could see the same rich colors on the familiar waxy looking fabric. I had discovered my first framed pillow top. After a little bargaining and for $80 this new beauty was headed back to the state of Missouri with me. Looking at the image…
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WWII Fashions Never Out of Style Part 2 – All Dolled up

While sewing throughout history has always been an integral part of the domestic scene and children were encouraged to sew at a young age, home sewing was especially important during times of crisis — it was in its own right, a form of survival during a war and nevermore so than during WWII. With so many goods in short supply, making do and making over were necessities of life — see Part , WWII Fashions Never Out of Style. One of the most remembered and nostalgic sewing products to entice young fingers and imaginations during America’s WWII war years was probably the miniature fashion mannequin doll kit offered by Simplicity, McCalls, Butterick and other pattern companies. They emerged around 1940, surviving into the 50s and paving the way for future adult fashion dolls such as Barbie and those which followed her. Dolls ranged in size from 12″ to 13″ and were crudely formed of a variety of composition materials or lastex, a rubbery compound which was prone to fast deterioration. Beauty definitely was not the object here. What set these dolls and kits apart from other sewing offerings was that matching patterns could be purchased in adult size; thus mom and daughter could sit side by side and sew the same dress or crochet miniature hats, a nice diversion to keep minds off the realities of war. Kits varied. Some came boxed with doll, wooden stand base, several patterns, a booklet to make accessories and order form for other available patterns and replacement arms; other kits included fabrics and basic sewing supplies. Additional patterns for clothes were also featured in pattern books and through newspaper pattern services such as the Marianne line. While such projects might have been fun for mom or older sister, patterns were a challenge to the age group they were designed to attract. Instructions called for the same construction used in adult sewing: intricate shaping with darts and tucks, side placket openings, facings and lapels – no shortcuts allowed! That grubby, uncoordinated hands could handle such tasks would be the exception. Picture elementary children tackling the following sewing project when there were more interesting prospects — kick the can, tag, hopscotch contests and swapping baseball cards! Love for our country never changes. The sentiments of this pillow kit by Wonder- art Needlework from S.S. Kresge’s 1942 fall craft catalog is timeless. Latexture Products provided the 12-1/2″ Fashion Dol [1942]; Simplicity the patterns. Arms were removable for dressing and were replaceable for 13 cents each.Doll in…
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