Children grow. That is a fact of life. Mothers would plan for the growth of their children when they made their clothing. Drawstrings were added to necklines; extra wide side seams were used, which could be let out as the child grew. Additional length was added, in the form of growth tucks or extremely wide hems. Many period photographs show children dressed in clothing too big or too small for them. It was also a fact of life that clothing was handed down from child to child. This was true for both boys and girls. Children have not changed in the past 200 years! They are still, and always have been, tough on clothing. Clothing was constructed to withstand this wear and tear. Seams were finished and reinforced to prevent fraying under the harsh laundry conditions. Fabrics were chosen that had a tight weave and could be easily laundered. Most garments were made of fabrics with small designs either geometric, abstracts or florals, often in darker colors to help hide stains and wear. Aprons and pinafores were worn over dresses to protect them from day to day dirt.
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