Thursday, December 22, 2016

How To Make Children's Clothes the Modern Singer Way --in 1931

"Modern sewing methods and a modern Singer sewing machine are essentials that combine to make sewing at home recreational and economically valuable."

I found this booklet, How to Make Children's Clothes the Modern Singer Way, at the Royal Oak Flea Market. It was first printed in 1927 by the Singer Sewing Machine Company as Singer Sewing Library booklet No. 3; my copy was printed in 1931.

The 64-page booklet does not include patterns; it offers advice and illustrations of details of sewing garments for children of all ages, from baby layettes to 'dress frocks' for older girls.

"This book is designed to make sewing for children easy, to make the work interesting, and to encourage those who sew for children to appreciate the importance of correct and becoming attire, thus helping in a silent way to build a foundation of good taste and a sense of fitness to the child that will later prove an asset, economically and socially." from the forward by Mary Brooks Picken
The Modern Singer Sewing Machine in 1927-1931
"Authorities disagree on the quantity of garments necessary for a baby's layette, but all agree that beautiful cleanness is absolutely necessary.
"It is best to buy a 10-yard piece of fine nainsook and use this for dresses and slips, and buy a bold or bolts of diaper cloth, if diapers are to be cut and hemmed at home."

Rompers for boys and girls differed little.

The play overalls are suitable for boys or girls. Note that figure 45 has an apron.
Bloomer frocks, short dresses with matching bloomer panties, and Pantie Frocks for girls 8 to 12 years of age, are very familiar to us from movies and print ads of this time.
Combination Suits were meant to be worn under dresses. The seamstress is warned to allow enough fullness and length in the crotch and that the neck be low enough to not show above the slip or dress, and that the arm hole is large enough to not crowd the dress arm. 
The Middie and Bloomer outfit was perfect for gym suits.

Examples of dress frocks for older girls:
Pajamas, lounge wear and beach wear costumes had full pants.

Junior girls should not feel awkward; she can be "just as attractive at fourteen as she was at six or will be at twenty. She can be attractive for the age of fourteen."
Girls should be "encouraged" to "reason and observe and know what is best for herself." She should choose outfits appropriate to her age, temperament and type. "Under no circumstances should the clothes of an older person be shortened for a younger one;" instead the material can be dyed, recut, and remade.

Fabrics should be neutral, never delicate, and becoming, with an even weave and smooth surface. Flannel, serge, gingham, flat crepe, are better than cheviot, dotted Swiss, or satin.

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