The dress that depends on its spotlessness for its charm must certainly not trail-in fact, for the youthful wearer ankle length is permissible and very smart.
Many wearers of tub frocks come to grief over their waist-belts. They achieve a becomingly simple frock of rose linen with a fleck here and there of white hand embroidery, and so far all is well. But they will put on an elaborate stamped leather belt, with gold fastenings of the tinsel description, or, worse still, some ornamental elastic horror with steel studs, or, deepest degradation, sequins.
Belts for Tub Frocks
How the wearer would groan if she saw some man on whose self-respect she depended assume a frock-coat and brown boots or bowler hat. Yet her crime is no less. Many a tub frock is ruined by the wrong waist-belt.
The tub frock for morning wear should never have a "dressy" belt (detestable word, yet useful for lack of a better). The belt should be of the "simple life" order. Unadorned leather is always useful and safe; if the strands are thin and plaited by some village worker, all the better. If the linen can be matched exactly the wearer is indeed lucky.
The most delicate shades are reproduced in suede, and when dark blue, greens, or old rose are chosen, the fittings, clasp, and eyelets are nice in gun-metal. When a good match is beyond the purse or the powers of the wearer to obtain, a soft dun-coloured belt is a useful possession, as it goes with many shades, and if a wisp of the same coloured shades in leather is used for the trimming of the linen hat a good effect is obtained. If this is not possible, the gloves of loose leather should match.
Those who do not care for leather belts can have one made of the linen of the dress. This should be made upon stout webbing, and have eyelets oversewn on the tab in the same way as the leather belts. If a working saddler or cobbler is near, he will punch metal eyelets for a penny each on to any stuff belt. The silver or gun-metal buckle from a worn-out belt can be sewn in easily. Old silver clasps are sometimes worn, especially on the more elaborate frocks of muslin and lawn. These latter are pleasing when finished off with a swathe of ribbon at the waist.
Beware, however, of thinking that the simple effect is easy. Care should be taken to mount the ribbon or webbing, and adjust a serviceable hook and eye, so that the effect is trim, then the seemingly simple bow can be tied, and the uninitiated are pleased to admire the good effect of a simply tied bow round the slim waist of the wearer.
The correctly made tub frock is never fussy. No flapping draperies should be allowed, merely trim lines and adornment of hand embroidered work. A wisp of ribbon at the waist or a swathe of lawn at the throat are permissible, if the pretty Peter Pan, sailor, or straight up and down collar is too severe for the wearer.
There must be no undue stiffness, no tailor's canvas and linings, which are impossible to launder. Afternoon "wash-ables" may have more elaborate lines and a few fichu folds on the bodice; but, as a rule, the cut and freshness of the tub frock gives its best style.
The corner in our pattern suggests many possibilities in collars of the sailor type, which are a very pleasing detail in the tub frock.
These collars are not necessarily white-in fact, they are more effective when made of the same ma ferial as the dress. A repetition of the corner motif will be found sufficient without the next spray, and the amount of pattern placed upon the pieces in front of the dress will depend very much on the time at the disposal of the worker.
Many people wear embroidered strips on their plain straw or linen river hats. Our pattern of grapes is eminently suited for hat embroidery, and may be transferred direct on to a soft linen hat and embroidered on it. In such case the broderie anglaise should be left alone, and satin-stitch used in preference. A white linen hat so embroidered in pale rose, blue, or green, flourishing thread to match the green, rose, or blue linen frock, would be very charming, simple, and fresh.
It is quite easy to transfer the pattern by placing carbon paper in black or blue beneath our page, and then running over the lines with a blunt stiletto or a sharp-pointed pencil. If it is wished that the page should not be defaced, it is best to first draw the pattern on to tracing cloth, and use this instead, the advantage of the plan being that the tracing cloth can be used a dozen times without tearing.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the perfection of finish of a costume such as is under consideration depends very much upon the details that seem least in evidence-that is to say, the shoes, stockings and underskirt of the wearer. It is the exception to find a Frenchwoman forget this important fact, but, alas! it is sadly common amongst our countrywomen. See to it, then, that these adjuncts, if they do not match-and in some cases it would be well that they do not-at least blend harmoniously with the frock. Let them be as immaculate and well-fitting as the dress itself, and your reward will be great-the feeling of contentment that is deserved only by the true artist to whom no detail comes amiss.