Sensible Sundays the Slim Young Girl

Ahhh….the dreaded body types!!  Or maybe it is just me that dreads the shape and size classifications?  Somehow I doubt it!

So, we start this week with the “slim young girl”.  I think I had a small window from age 5 1/2 to 7 where I could have been classified as a slim young girl.  Those were my pre-tonsillectomy years.


Ms. Conover classifies young as sixteen to early twenties.  And I am pretty sure that does not mean forty acting like twenty as we seem to want to do so much these days.

If you are a slim young girl then simplicity is your biggest asset…..

This doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge your fancy for frivolous things.  It is every girl’s privilege to have endless pretty organdie, net and lace collar and cuff sets.  Now that you are going to sew, you know, you can make them for a small cost.


Ms. Conover recommends taffeta as an appropriate fabric choice for the fancy frocks of the slim young girl.  Other fabrics are equally appropriate but she cautions, “You don’t want your dress to look as if you borrowed it from mother or Aunt Mabel.”  She also includes a list of several things that the slim young girl avoid, but pretty much sums it up in one point.

Don’t overdo the styles.  After all, clothes are just a frame for one’s personality.  You want people to remember you; not that your skirt was short or long or tight or full.

Wise advice to not just the young, but to all of us who sometimes forget, and try to out do ourselves with fashion rather than letting our inner light shine.

I am writing these articles from my own personal collection of Ms. Conover’s dressmaking series, but this series is available to any of you that would like to read the complete work (or part of, not all 12 lessons are available).  This series was originally published in 1921 and is now in the public domain.  If you would like to study this more in depth you can read directly from the source yourself without my commentary :-)   My version was released in 1922 so it may be slightly different from what you find here, but it should be very similar.  You can download the entire first lesson in either Adobe or PDF format.  You can also download the 1922 version here, but I am not entirely sure if it includes all 12 lessons or not.

If you are curious about my “art” work, I did it myself using an app called Paper 53.  As you can see I am still in the early stages of learning how to use it, but it sure was fun!  You are welcome to use my pictures for your own purposes, I would just appreciate acknowledgement.


5 thoughts on “Sensible Sundays the Slim Young Girl

  1. Hi! Thanks for visiting me! Love your illustrations!
    I struggle with the whole style / body type thing – cannot work out what I am. Conover’s Dressmaking seems like a great resource – I’m going to read it 😀

    • Glad you are enjoying. I was doing great with the working out for several years, but this past year has been rough 😦 So it goes sometimes. It is nice to read that these things always have been and always will be a struggle, sometimes we think it is only us.

  2. There were two editions of Conovers Dressmaking lessons. One has cream covers with a black silhouette. The other has greenish covers with text only. The AntiquePatternLibrary has only the second set all lessons, and Lesson 1 from the first set.
    The OpenLibrary has only Lesson 12 from the first set (which has been offered by many reprint-on-demand books as a complete set, so don’t be fooled – ask before you buy any, if any). We (APL) are still on the lookout for a complete first set, but the last one spotted (december 2012) sold for close to USD500, which was beyond our budget. The first four books of the first and second set match more or less. The later books are markedly different, and the second set is unfortunately clearly the inferior one.
    Best wishes,

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