World War I
I don't know why the "French and Belgian" designation was thought to be necessary.
Garments designed for the Red Cross to use in relief work are generally very simply designed. At a time when most button holes were still hand worked, the single button in the middle of the placket illustrates a need to get as many of these garments made, bundled, and delivered as quickly as humanly possible.
The New York Times for Sunday, September 9, 1917 devoted a full page to reporting on the donations that various groups had made to support war victims. Groups listed included:
- American Poets' Ambulances in Italy
- Armenian and Syrian Relief
- Belgian Relief fund for the "Sou du Moutile"[Maimed Soldier]
- Serbian Relief Committee
- French Tuberculosis War Victims Fund
- War Babies Cradle
- American Girls Aid
- American Huguenot Committee
- National Allied Relief Committee
- NewYork Committee of the Fatherless Children of France
- American Jewish Relief
- Le Bien Etre du Blesse
- French Heroes Fund
- Cardinal Mercier Fund
- Belgian Relief Fund
- American Committee for Training in Suitable Trades [for] the Maimed Soldiers of France
- New York Branch of the Woman's Section of the Navy League
- American Students Fund of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts
- Guaranty Club [Employees of Guaranty Trust Company of New York]
- Polish Victims Relief Fund
- Secours National Fund for the Relief of Women and Children of France
- Serbian Hospitals Fund
- University Grants Committee of the Polish Victims Relief Fund
- Federal Council of Allied War Charities
- Stage Women's War Relief
Here's a wonderful description of the Stage Women's War Relief. I would imagine that many of these women worked in the theaters' costume shops and were able to turn out quantities of well-made garments without turning a hair.
Oddly, I recall a line from L.M. Montgomery's "Rilla of Ingleside"
(set in WW1) ...at least I think it was was that book... where Rilla is sewing a nightgown for a Belgian baby or child. If I can find the page I'll add another comment. Lots of mentions of sewing for the Red Cross in that book.
Very interesting about the "French and Belgian" designation -- I wonder if there was a nightgown design that was considered typically "American"?
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