Nothing has a bigger "awwwww" factor than a baby's layette. Add a little French touch, and "awwwww" becomes "oh la la!" It also means a lot of fun for this new Nana!
For several years, I've collected French layette booklets from the '30s, '40s and '50s , and the one pictured at left is one of my favorites. It is filled with ideas for everything from knitted dainties to the classic styles in the center spread below. The soft tones of shell pink and powder blue make you want one of each.
I had the pleasure of learning to "knit in French" when I lived in Paris. French women love to knit, and there are shops with everything knitters and other needle workers need in most every neighborhood. (These merceries stock hose and stockings, too. No clue what the connection is!) I especially like the little knitted romper style, like the one below left, that the French call a barboteuse. I can see one knitted in cotton for our little Zoë.
I am particularly enchanted by this booklet. For years, the French knitting magazine, Mon Tricot, published an annual layette edition. The cover always featured a head of cabbage, no doubt a reference to where babies come from!
Many French women over the decades have saved pristine copies of their layette booklets. I'm grateful that a few of them have found their way to eBay!
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