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Dress of violet poult de soie, the skirt trained and raised en pouf. The front breadth trimined fron; the waist with bands of velvet, and having on each side a vertical pleated frill of poult de soie. Jucket bodice trimmed with bands of velvet. Echarpe of a paler shade of violet poult de soie.
Sbirt, tunic, and bodice of grey blue serge. The skirt is trained, and trimmed at the lower edge with five graduated bands of worsted braid. Jacket bodice trin med to correspond, and baving a narrow frill of the serge arranged half-way to the waist, where it is terminated by a bow of blue grey silk. Pochets of serge, and fancy buttons on the cuffs.
SOMETHING TO DO. I PROMISED in my first letter on the subject of Some Owing to the increasing demand for infant-schools I thing to Do few a words on Wood-cutting ; but since writing that, I have met with a little book, a slight “ There is hardly a large town in England where a lady, sketch of the contents of which may prove generally useful thoroughly versed in the real system, taught by Fröbel's
disciples (not in the base imitations which too often pass to our readers than the meagre information I could offer
current for it here), might not earn a good living by keeping on one special subject. This little book is called “The
an infant-school of perhaps two grades, one for the children Year Book of Women's Work," and is published with the of gentletolks, and another for those of tradespeople.” view of giving assistance to women who are seeking em. There is a demand for lady lecturers on sanitary subployment with remuneration. Many of our readers, no
jects, and also on cooking ; and women secretaries are doubt, are anxious for something to do merely for the now frequently met with, whereas, a few years ago, such sake of doing something, filling up empty, and brightening a thing was almost unknown. colourless lives. Work brings brightness, if it is con
On the subject of wood-engraving our author says: genial work. But some of our readers may be obliged to
“Engraving on wood is well adapted for ladies, either as seek for a path in life which shall lead to independence, an agreeable and interesting occupation, or as a remuneand for these I quote the admirable words of the author rative employment. The wood blocks and few engraving
tools, being small and clean, can be carried in a work-bag in her preface :
of moderate size, and be ready at all times to take up. “A voluntary acquiescence in any ideal short of the Hand impressions can be taken, to show the progress of the highest possible to each individual is the first step towards work, or the final result. deterioration of the whole character, and I therefore beg no "To a lady who could copy diagrams, or design other woman to feel herself degraded by the discovery that she has more ornamental subjects, to superadd wood-cutting, after to earn her own living, but rather to welcome the necessity designs made on the block, would be a pleasing pursuit, as a divinely-appointed ordinance, by which she may, if she easily acquired. With a few hints from a wood-engraver, in will, mount higher in the scale of humanity, and perform her a single conversation, I found no difficulty in executing a portion of its duties still
diagram, and the tools cost about eight shillings.” "**All for love, and nothing for reward.""
In the chapter devoted to the consideration of “Home Those who are not born in the ranks of life in which Employments,” the author makes an excellent suggestion, women are worked as well as men, are, even in these to which I give place here in its details, hoping by so doing enlightened days, too apt to think that working for bread to bring it before the notice of some who may not see is a disgraceful thing. If we could count the women the little book from which I quote it, and who may be who now, in Great Britain, lead lives bare of enjoyment, both willing and able to assist in making the idea a pracstripped of grace and narrowed to a line, by living on tical and benevolent reality. insufficient incomes, we should find hundreds such. “ Could not private persons-gentlemen or ladies-rich Rather than " demean themselves” by engaging in any
enough to bear the incidental expenses of correspondence,
carriage, etc., constitute themselves a sort of medium beremunerative employment, they live without books, except
tween a few poor ladies and the Trade. Let me instance stray volumes which are lent, and with very little society,
the industry of making Fishing-flies as one which may because they are not rich enough to entertain their friends illustrate my meaning : ascertain the kind of fly most in in return, until mind and spirit become cramped and
demand in the trade, and the season at which they will be
required, the agent would supply her clients with the materials dwarfed, and the only amusement they can afford them
and directions for making them, pay her workers promptly selves-petty gossip about their neighbours' affairs-be the fair market value of their work, and retaining or not, as she comes the occupation of their lives. If such women may choose, the cost of the material, hold herself responsible
for any loss. All payments should be made immediately on were to take up some employment and throw their
receipt of the goods. The materials should always be bought energies into it, they would be better as well as happier, wholesale, and of the best description. A worse attack of and we should have fewer Mrs. Grundies. And nothing illness, or a longer interval of enforced idleness, would
give a superior claim. Thus, all working expenses being stands in the way of this freer, nobler life but a foolish
done away with, many of the disadvantages which accruc pride that will let us hope it-be old-fashioned and out to the existing organizations for the sale of ladies' work of-date in another fifty years.
would be obviated.” The review taken in the Year Book of the employ In old times, rich people tried to purchase salvation ments to which women have been admitted, proves that by building a church or an abbey. We know better nownew paths are now being opened to those of us who want adays; but we are apt to run into the other extreme, and "Something to Do.” Book-keeping was once exclusively content ourselves with yearly subscriptions handed over a man's employment; but now there are many women mechanically to some persevering collector. But bere is book-keepers. In Leeds a lady has been employed by a an opportunity for some benevolent rich person to lay the well-known firm, as overseer of the women employed in first stone of an undertaking that may grow into a very its factories; and in some of the large shops in London St. Paul's among buildings. And would not one rather where numbers of young women are engaged, the same be the originator of a project that would brighten many idea has been put in practice, to result, doubtless, in the sad lives of ailing women than even be a Sir Christopher best effects to both employer and employed.
Costly your habit as your purse can buy, Neat, but not gaudy.
persons dress much within their means, the majority act up to a very liberal rendering of the first line quoted above. Indeed, some tailors and milliners might say with truth that “Your habit, costly as the system of credit will permit,” would seem to be the acknowledged axiom on which some persons dress. However this may be, the age of elaboration in dress is revived to a certainty. Dress has become one of the arts. One of its prime ministers is Worth, who, like some other geniuses, began life without many advantages. He made his business into an art, and in so doing raised himself. And when we see the results of study in the art of dress, we sometimes can do little but admire, and forget to settle in our own minds whether it is high art, low art, or no art.
At the present moment the modes are particularly becoming to those who are tall and slight. In fact, absurd as it seems to say so, it is the fashion to be tall and slight! All the pattern dresses are made for figures that unite these qualifications. The following dress, for instance, which I saw at the mourning establishment of Messrs. Jay, 259, Regent Circus, would scarcely look so well on a short, stout woman as it did on the tall and graceful girl on whom I saw it. It was a black silk, with a tablier in silk also, but with stripes of black simulated embroidery on white, alternating with plain black stripes. This tablier was so long that if it had been allowed to fall its full length it would have been several inches on the ground. It was caught up, however, at about ten inches from the ground in two or three folds at each side, was draped with a scarf in black silk, formed of many close folds, this scarf coming diagonally across the front. The tablier was trimmed round the lower edge with black and white tape fringe, and up each side of the back, where it was perfectly straight, with white thread lace. The waist was very long, as they are to be worn so now, and the dress tied back very tightly indeed. This dress will convey a very good idea of the style likely to be in favour for the next few months, long waists, long skirts, long tabliers, long ends at the back, deep basques, and coat sleeves.
An attempt is being made in Paris to revive the now old-fashioned white bonnets. Black bonnets, however, are so much more becoming that I do not think the attempt will succeed at present. Perhaps when the hot weather comes we may see a few white bonnets, that is, if the hot weather will be so kind as to make any stay with us. The cold weather does not object to do that, but the visits of real summer weather are too much like those of angels. The present style of bonnet looks curious in the hand, but is remarkably becoming. The shape is more oval than round, and jet is still used in
trimming, though not so profusely as it has been. I saw a very pretty one for a girl at Messrs. Jay's, consisting of white chip, in shape rather like the oldfashioned gipsy hat of long ago, trimmed with black velvet and white flowers. Strings are coming in again, or rather a pretence of strings, for they are simply long ends of tulle or ribbon, which either float at the back or tie loosely in front or at the side, with the ends falling.
One of our correspondents wrote last month saying that Sylvia ought to consider middle-aged as well as young Englishwomen, and I bore this in mind in my visit, and inquired particularly about coiffures suitable for ladies who are too young to wear caps, and yet like to wear something over their hair. I was shown several very pretty models in white muslin, crêpe lisse, and ribbon and Valenciennes for both morning and evening. Those trimmed round with a soft fluting of crêpe lisse, with bow of ribbon, and puffe of crêpe lisse, are, I think, the most becoming. They are worn either with or without ends at the back.
I saw also some pretty coiffures of this kind at Messrs. Debenham and Freebody's, Wigmore Street. They are made with ribbon of all colours, with a flower sometimes peeping from under a little arch of lace. Some of the bonnets at this establishment are very pretty. Quantities of flowers are used in trimming them. As to the hats, they are enormous. Indeed, if they were not, no one would know them from bonnets. The parasols are of rather large size, with moderate handles, and are all more or less trimmed. I saw here a great variety of ties trimmed with lace, gauze ties in every colour, and coquettish little black silk aprons, prettily trimmed with silk, lace, and jet.
One of the indispensables of being well-dressed according to the well-known French rule is to be bien gantée. Cheap gloves, as a rule, are a delusion and a snare, but the Copenhagen Glove is satisfactory as well as cheap. Jannings and Son, 16, Fenchurch-street, have them in all the new shades at 25. a pair, and 2s. gd. with two buttons. Their White Cotton Stockings also deserve praise, being fine in appearance and durable, having double heels and feet.
Another novelty has made its appearance this season, and it will no doubt be a very useful one. It is a Corset and Dress Improver in one. It is patented by Williamson, of Leighton-Buzzard, under the title of the Pro Tem, but can be had of any good draper throughout the country. The Dress Improver can be taken off if wished, but the satisfactory combination of both articles saves not only trouble and time, but expense also.
The Beatrice Collapsing Dress Improver, that I mentioned last month, is patented by Messrs. Skinner, of Cox's court, Little Britain.