Many needlewomen particularly enjoy making clothes for babies and children. The size of the clothes is attractive and many of the garments give scope for decorative hand work. There are, however, a number of other factors to be considered in the choice and construction of little clothes, if they are to be useful as well as pretty garments.
Warmth is the first consideration, because the tendency to cut down the number of garments worn makes it all the more necessary that clothes, especially underclothes, will keep in the body heat and keep out the cold.
Wool, silk, and mixtures of these with other fibers, make the warmest fabrics, but brushed rayon’s and synthetics are warm, comfortable and inexpensive.
It should be remembered too, that weave effects the warmth of fabrics, to that a loosely woven material such as cellular cotton is warmer than winceyette. Lightweight materials are an advantage for childrens wear, and are essential for babies. Heavy clothing restricts movement and can be tiring for a small child. The softness and lightness of the acrylics Courtelle and Orion make them a good choice for baby wear.
One of the obvious considerations in the choice of material will be whether it will stand frequent washing. Synthetics and man-made are widely used because of their easy washing, quick drying and non-iron qualities Health depends a great deal on cleanliness, so that children clothes must be washed constantly and regularly.
It would be foolish to choose rayon to make a romper suit, for instance, when it is known that cotton or nylon will wear better. On the other hand, material cannot be expected to last fit is incorrectly washed, so it is important to learn the best way to launder fabrics used by a needle- woman.
Another quality necessary for children clothing, and closely allied to its wash ability, is its strength in wear. As a rule, a good washing fabric, such as cotton, is a strong fabric as well, as the two qualities often go together. From a mother’s point of view, it is most important that her children clothing will wear well, so that they will last until the child grows out of them, and perhaps later be of use to a smaller brother or sister.
Colors for children are subject to fashion but an advantage of light colors is that they show when they should be washed. This point should be remembered when children are put into dark-colored dungarees and shifts. When patterned materials are chosen, designs should be small, so that they are in proportion to small figures.
Dazzling colors and patterns should be avoided because of the strain on the childrens eyesight.
Success in dressmaking depends initially on fabric. Knowledge and experience play their part in helping to make the right choice, both for the style of the clothing and the skill of the home dressmaker. Much help is given in modern stores which display suitable paper patterns with their fabrics and drape them to simulate styles, Dress shows in the same departments are stimulating and helpful showing how the fabrics look when made up.