Hundred-Year-Old Christmas Gift Suggestion: Nightgowns and Robes

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, December 7, 1911: Really there’s nothing to write about except that which isn’t worth writing about.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much today, I’ll share some more pictures from the December 1911 issue of Ladies Home Journal. It’s apparently been a tradition for many years to give sleep wear as a Christmas gift.

There's even misletoe in the woman's hand!

There were two articles in the magazine that showed pictures of nightgowns and robes that readers could buy patterns to make. One article was called,  “What Should I Make My Friends?” and the other was titled, “The Christmas Negligee—Suitable for the Young Girl as Well as the Matron”

In every woman’s wardrobe there is a place for useful negligees, and surely no more adaptable gift could be found for the comfort-loving woman . . .

Aprons a Hundred Years Ago

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, December 1, 1911:

The dying year around us a glory sheds

December with her pleasures breaks upon the scene,

Around our hearts a happy gladness lies

Christmas is coming with her laurels of green.

Didn’t have school today. Had a notion to go a visiting, but then didn’t, as I had some particular work, which I wanted done. Well, as Thanksgiving is over, I am looking forward to Christmas, hoping some pleasant surprises awaits me. Vice versa of Jan. 31.

Source of Photos: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1911)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

I wonder if Grandma was planning to make any gifts for family or friends. If she wanted to make aprons, she could have ordered patterns from Ladies Home Journal.

According to a December, 1911 article called the “The Pretty Christmas Apron:”

Odds and ends of the piece-bag and remnants from the bargain counter may be utilized to make these pretty aprons.

100-Year-Old Crocheted Caps

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, November 26, 1911: Went to Sunday School this morning. Carrie and I went for a walk this afternoon, which was the around about way to Watsontown and back. We went up to McEwensville this evening to attend the Thanks offering.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

It sounds like Grandma and her friend Carrie did a lot of walking a hundred years ago today. I wonder if they wore crocheted caps. The November, 1911 issue of Ladies Home Journal had lots of great cap pictures.

1911 Green Dress

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, November 13, 1911: A veritable winter day. Gee whiz! But it is cold. I wore my heavy green dress to school, which was oh so comfortable. Rachel was down this evening and Rufus served us with pop corn.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

I found this drawing of a green school dress in the September 1911 issue of Ladies Home Journal. I wonder if Grandma’s heavy green dress was similar to it.

A hundred years ago Ladies Home Journal  readers could order patterns so that they could make the clothes featured in the magazine:

Patterns for the designs shown on this page can be supplied at fifteen cents for each number, post-free. The amount of material required for the various sizes is printed on the pattern envelopes. Order from your nearest dealer in patterns: or by mail giving number of pattern, bust measure, and age, and including the price to the Pattern Department, The Ladies’ Home Journal, Philadelphia.

Note where readers were directed to send their pattern order. It’s hard to believe that a hundred years ago just putting Philadelphia down as the address would get a letter to the right place.

Rachel and Rufus

In this post Grandma refers to her sister Ruth as Rufus. Rachel was their friend Rachel Oakes. She was the primary teacher at McEwensville.

1911 Women’s Coats

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, November 11, 1911: Mater and I went to Milton this morning on a shopping tour. As soon as we got there we went into several cars in which they had many curious things from California on exhibition. A shark was one of these, only he happened to be dead. An ostrich mounted, a live alligator and some monkeys. We each got a souvenir. Mine is some kind of pampas grass. After seeing all this we commenced shopping or mother’s rather since she was getting things for me. I got a chocolate colored coat trimmed with contrasting material, a brown hat with a blue and green feather, simply cute, a skirt for school and kid gloves. Have I not cause to be thankful?

Source: Ladies Home Journal (Sept. 1911)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

It sounds like train cars had been converted into a traveling museum and animal farm.

I bet that Grandma looked awesome in her new coat, skirt, and gloves.  The September and October, 1911 issues of Ladies Home Journal showed the latest coat styles.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (Sept. 1911)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (Oct. 1911)

1911 Dresses

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, July 16, 1911: Went to Sunday school this afternoon. I was the only one in our class. I initiated my new dress for the first time. Wouldn’t it be nice to have as many dresses as you wanted, and wear them whenever you pleased.

Photo in June, 1911 issue of Ladies Home Journal

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma’s mother finished the new dress earlier in the week. Grandma probably wished that she had some dresses that looked similar to the ones in Ladies Home Journal.

Photo in the July, 1911 issue of Ladies Home Journal

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