IT’S NO FASHION news to hear about tunics, heaven knows. But it’s news to see a different one. And I have seen the queen tunic. It’s the most exquisite thing for evening, and made in a trice. Over a straight and fairly tight black satin or velvet skirt, picture it of white velvet or velveteen with the neck shirred around the throatline and just picked out with a little
band of silver The only other trimming is a tied silver sash or cord. The sleeves are billowy and banded at the wrist.
The winter will never be too long for velvet or bows. The best thing I’ve seen in evening wraps, for instance, is a plain black velvet with the fur collar of white lapin fastened across the breast in a big bow. Of course, velvet gauntlets and a velvet bag go with it.
Next in line, I place a dress in green charmeuse, with throatline neck and long tight sleeves, and an aluminum fabric sash—that looks like tinfoil—tied high right in front in a big flat bow.
By the time you read this, the advance "private view” of holiday dresses I saw the other day may be an old story, but it’s one that can bear retelling. You will certainly have seen the lace neckwear they call “portrait collars,” after the old masters, Van Dyck, Rembrandt and so on. But I still dare prophesy that the starched lace Elizabethan collar that stands up like a Spanish comb around the back of the neck won’t be a back number. Like almost everything else, it’s best on dark velvets—wine, nightblue, black.
IF YOU WANT to spring something original and amusing and at the same time very reasonable, to make for a Christmas gift or bazaar idea, I recommend these “Katoushka” tea cozies or pincushions. New York is chuckling over a new exhibition of : peasant novelties, of which I consider these the pick. The faces and hands of the dolls are made of stockinette, stuffed and tinted. Perhaps you won’t be able to get the modelling of tip-tilted noses and high cheek-bones of the originals, but you can certainly make a success of the expressions of surprise, selfsatisfaction and demureness that make them so fetching. The waists are made of a folded piece of cloth like a shawl, the skirts of any bright patterned odd-and-end of gingham or chintz, the head-kerchief and apron in contrasting plain color. Features put on with colored floss are in order. A wisp of hair just shows under the head-kerchief or may. be braided out in stiff plaits, and is made of yellow, brown or black darning cotton or frayed-out roping.
In the case of the "cozy” doll, the petticoat beneath the skirt is the actual cozy, stuffed with cotton or lamb’s wool. The pin-cushion doll makes the cushion proper out of the skirt.
Another quickly and easily made item is the hooked seat cover for hard-bottomed chairs. They are the brightest things I’ve seen in color touches for the house, too. Even the kitchen chair, painted and be-
decked with one of them, takes on a knowing colonial air. They’re tied on with tapes. They are simply tiny hooked rugs, but are ideal for using up odd lengths of material because their size is so diminutive. By the same token, they can be sold at moderate bazaar prices.
TF THERE’S any* thing that ought to be fresh and perky it’s a bathroom curtain. One good way to that end is to make them out of a matched pair of the smaller size bath towels. They can be laundered with the others at the end of the week and re-
placed with a new color or stripe. The top border is folded over and stitched, and the rod inserted in the fold-over.
The new shower curtains are very pretty, albeit more ambitious. Still they’re not expensive either. Waterproof without being rubberized, they come in stencil designs of flowers or conventional motifs, all-over patterns or batik effects on a satin finish material chemically treated to resist moisture. They have their own waterproof tie-backs, too—rubberized ribbon with rubber flowers like the ones they have on bathing caps. They ought to be on sale at the larger department stores by the time this meets your eye.
Humane Lobster Soup
I HAD A wonderful dish of lobster soup the other day in a vegetarian restaurant. As not so much as a sardine had crossed its threshold in history, I was moved to enquire into the mystery. It seems that one can of pea soup, plus one can of tomato soup, diluted with a like quantity of evaporated and whole milk mixed, does the trick. The finishing touch is a slice of lemon and a teaspoonful of nonalcoholic sherry to each plate. This quantity serves four in plates, six in cups.
No Idle Hands
TT’S BECOMING the custom down here L to brighten the comer where you are with womanly handiwork. I’ve seen tatting done on the buses, finger-weaving at tea, and, believe it or not, Irish crochet on the subway. Indication of trend? People are not wearing their gloves if they can help it. Fingernails are to the fore and more or less on display. It's a fact, I have never seen so many obviously manicured hands. Still, it’s good to note that the violent ruby and mother-of-pearl nails are out. A good rich salmon seems to be a happy medium. Whether it's good taste or just good judgment getting the upper hand, I don’t know. Anyway, people are beginning to realize that when fingers with too brilliant nails acquire the slightest natural soil, they look grubbier than absolutely untended digits.
Cruets Are Coming Back
THERE ARE the most fascinating little vinegar and oil cruets coming into use just now, and I have an idea they’ll
be appearing in gift shops and displays at holiday time. Some of the combinations are glass violins and banjos; tiny twin carafes, one in colored glass, one in white; a bear and a beaver, and so on. A double one has two giraffes with long necks entwined, one a blonde, one a brunette !
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