July 07, 2006

Baby Gertrudes

I have a wonderful old high school Home Ec textbook that I picked up from a thrift shop. It is titled Fabrics and Dress by Lucy Rathbone and Elizabeth Tarpley, copyright 1948. It is a fun read, and full of the authors' humorous opinions. One chapter is devoted entirely to children's clothing. I will probably pull bits and pieces of it for future blogs, as the information is still useful and very wise.

This chapter mentions one piece of baby clothing that I had not of heard before, a gertrude.

A gertrude is a slip dress with "no plackets, but with buttons and buttonholes on each shoulder." The benefit of such a dress is that it is easy to put on and remove without having to undress the baby completely. It typically has dainty, delicate embroidery. The neck and armscye is finished with a narrow binding, facing or narrow hem. Apparently they were made from a variety of fabrics including wool! I would imagine the more typical fabric to be batiste.

I tried googling for a picture of a gertrude and I found companies that sold patterns for them. Unfortunately, no other images. I did find another feast for the eyes - AntiqueDress.com. I wish I had a reason to buy some of these pieces. There are many absolutely gorgeous designer dresses - a great place to look for design inspiration!

If anyone knows of a picture for a baby gertrude (in the public domain), please let me know!

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