Friday, April 9, 2010

Official American Red Cross Pattern No. 102 - Child's Nightgown (French and Belgian)

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.


librarygirl said...

Oddly, I recall a line from L.M. Montgomery's "Rilla of Ingleside"
(set in WW1) 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.

The Pattern Junkie said...

Very interesting about the "French and Belgian" designation -- I wonder if there was a nightgown design that was considered typically "American"?