At one time we adorned ourselves with gold or silver chains, quaint pendants, and pieces of rich colouring in enamel; now better taste prevails, and reserving the gold and coloured stone for afternoon and evening wear, we appear in the early hours with clusters of tiny silken rose-buds as a brooch, some grapes or berries as a slide for lace, or a wreath of tiniest red and white buds may serve to catch lace or silk tie.
So quickly has this pretty and simple fashion caught on, that the girl who has not a wee posy of flowers pinned at her throat or on the buttonhole side of her coat is missing an opportunity for the display of that dainty taste which is one of women's chief charms.
The floral brooch gives the girl whose purse is not deep enough for a variety of costumes a chance to vary her appearance. Mower jewellery has infinite possibilities with regard to colour, and she who chooses her hat wisely or varies tastefully her tie or the colour of her blouse knows well how a vivid touch of contrasting colour will make interesting an otherwise commonplace toilette, and render it individual and uncommon.
It is just these touches which serve to make a well turned out girl. The girl's looks may be good or they may be indifferent; a well turned out figure, neat, perfect in every detail, is altogether independent of a lovely face or radiant complexion.
It is just as well that the plain girl should have some points of vantage, else she will be too handicapped in the race. As it is, she generally realises her shortcomings more quickly than the pretty girl, and sets to work to be well turned out. If she cannot be a beauty, as often as not she, nevertheless, romps in a winner in the social race.
It may seem that we have wandered far from our subject, but that is not the case; we are endeavouring to help the plain girl, who wants to perfect every detail, so that she may make up in charm what she lacks in actual beauty. To this end she should determine to make or buy herself a number of sets of floral jewellery, for different colourings will be needed for different dresses.
A tiny wreath of roses makes a delightful slide for a lace scarf or ribbon necktie
It must be remembered that these minia-lure flowers require to be made with exquisite neatness and, within certain limitations, with all the resemblance to nature possible.
Resemblance in form is important rather than likeness in colour. For instance, our rose-buds must be in the shape of rose-buds, but there the likeness may end, for gold tissue may form the petals if we will, or a twist of Wedgwood blue satin may also be allowed to form the rose-bud in this quaint and arbitrary type of flower-making.
For the wreath, which is charming when used as a slide to confine two ends of a lace or ribbon necktie, cut a round of stiff tailor's canvas the size of the top of a Coats' cotton-reel, No. 24. Hollow this out, leaving the band of canvas a quarter of an inch wide. Cover this with green silk ribbon or velvet from any scrap you have in your ribbon stores. Now make five little roses out of shaded ribbon, of the kind used for giant ribbon work. Make four buds of the same ribbon, varying the colour equally from dark to light. The buds should be stuffed with a tiny piece of cotton-wool, and be about the size of a garden pea.
When the roses and buds are ready, sew some green sarcenet ribbon on to the covered canvas in the form of a leaf. Then stitch on a bud. Next, add a tiny end of moss green mil-linery chenille, then a full blown rose, another leaf on each side, a twist of chenille, and so on, until you have covered the whole of the canvas wreath and achieved a tiny floral garland. Make all neat at the back by sewing on a piece of ribbon to hide the stitches, and the floral garland is ready to wear.
In making flower brooches, very much the same methods are used as in making the wreath. Cut out a half moon of canvas, using the top of a wineglass as guide for the size. Cover with ribbon, then sew on ribbon leaves, chenille, and gold tissue flowers. The example shown is lovely, and it is a pity the charm of the colour cannot be reproduced. A pretty gold filagree bead has been added, which looks like a glorified rosebud, and a deep fringe of the tiniest metal beads hangs pendent.
A circular brooch in gold tissue and tiny roses and leaves in the form of a wreath. This is one of the daintiest of floral brooches
The colouring of these beads ranges from gold as yellow as the gold tissue flowers to a metallic green, which has a glint in it and a little suspicion of blue, as the silvery blue of a mackerel's scales when fresh caught. A safety pin stitched at the back makes this dainty trifle into a practical brooch.
Such a brooch would look charming in a hat, placed high to secure a handsome spray of ostrich plumes; the pendent fringe would add greatly to the effect.
Another brooch is made of mauve satin roses in dark and light shades. This example differs slightly in that both flowers and leaves are made of piece satin of the soft variety. This is cut on the cross, an inch and a quarter wide strip is folded in two and wound round the finger, shaping as the stitches are set in and the raw edges drawn together at the back. A pleasing addition to this brooch is.
An original floral necklet of gold cord and roses for wearing with a lace or silk blouse. Inside the necklet is shown a crescent-shaped brooch with a fringe of tiny metal beads the knot of rose stalks which is added, and rose stems are placed here and there amongst the flowers. For this purpose the ordinary millinery tubing is used, coloured harmoniously in green. The centre of this buttonhole brooch consists of a bunch of small buds and leaves. The whole measures three inches in length, and is intended to be fastened outride the coat, like a man's buttonhole, by means of its safety-pin back.
The small round example shown is about the size of a five-shilling piece. It has a canvas foundation, which is covered with gold tissue carefully stretched across the circle like a drum-head, for the canvas is hollowed out as for a wreath, so that any tint of the dress with which it is worn can be clearly seen through the semi-transparent tissue. Thus, the result is much more subtle than if the canvas had been covered all over.
On this round a very dainty miniature ribbon is quilled. This ribbon has a faint green tinge, but is threaded with gold as well. The quilling goes all round, and outlines the half moon, which is filled with tiny roses and buds of pink and gold tinged ribbon. The result is the nearest approach to real jewels that we have seen.
The necklace of gold cord, artistically decked with roses, is for use with a lace or silk blouse. Its colouring should correspond or be in harmonious contrast with the skirt or with the hat trimming. This artistic trifle makes a pretty and original addition to a toilette, and, though so graceful and dainty, can be made out of tiny scraps of material.
Take a length of gold cord about fourteen inches long. Attach a smaller piece in the drooping festoon manner shown in the illustration. Fasten the hanging pieces firmly to the main cord with a few stitches in gold silk. Knot the ends and sew on a tiny linen button covered with gold tissue. To one side stitch one side of a press clip beneath the button, and the other side of the clip to the other knotted end of the necklace. This makes a fastener.
Now cut a four inch length of gold or silver tissue on the cross; fold and gather up the raw edge on to this round, and sew a ring of rose-red sarcenet ribbon to form the rose. Put a little wadded centre of the gold, about the size of a pea, and the rose is complete. Stitch on to the necklace in the centre and make two similar but smaller roses to place over the places on either side where the lower cord is joined to the main cord.
Variety can be obtained by using double festoons of cord, or by having no festoons, merely a continuous row of flowerets all along the cord. Such fancies are delightful to make, and form charming gifts to those of our friends who have not time or opportunity to do such work for themselves.