principles of fabric selection, circa 1928

From a 1928 Singer sewing guide published in Great Britain.

The keynote of children’s dress should be simplicity, and as a guide for trimming a girl’s frock, if the bodice is embroidered or trimmed with lace, let the skirt be plain, beyond perhaps a few tucks above the hem.  A pleated skirt should have a plain little bodice, with only neck and edge of sleeve bindings for trimmings.  Flower designs and printed fabrics need very little trimming and if a bias binding be used it should be of a plain coloured material to match the ground or one prominent colour in the design.

Some ideas never change. (Thanks to April for sharing this.)




  1. Jan

    Very wise words! Although, stripes, plaids, and ginghams in the correct scale make delightful bindings and piping for many florals and prints. Thank you, April and Liesl, for sharing!

  2. I love it! That is pretty much what I do, however, I do have a passion for rickrack!

  3. Sandi

    Love it – fun to read the same ideas written so long ago.

  4. Amen to that!

  5. Another amen!

  6. This was just too much fun and coincidental not to share – I love it! (I have a thing for rick rack as well, Sivje – so it is good to have some sort of guide or I might get too carried away) 🙂

  7. G

    Works for adults and children’s apparel alike, although I think the contrary trend (e.g. Farbenmix, Studio tantrum, if I may name these here, where you cannot overtrim) can look good as well…

  8. Classic advice, indeed — less is more! (Although I tend to go the other direction, to my peril…)

  9. Timeless and wise advise as well! I do try to follow these guidelines when sewing because mostly I love timeless garments for dressing my children (and yes, it can be comfy as well).
    Thank you April and Liesl for sharing such a valuable piece of information!
    (Note: I am a confessed rickrack lover as well)

  10. I love this advice and will take it to heart when I am sewing!

  11. I actually admire the sewist who takes it one step forward , and does it well! Lemon Cadet has made a Jumprope dress in the group pool, that is completely over the top but is the most beautiful creation I have seen for quite a while.

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