There has been a fair bit of press in the old interwebs lately for the various "make do and mend" publications that came out during WWII. This is probably the result of a number of different circumstances ranging from the dismal economic climate that far too many folks around the world are dealing with, to the resurgence in the popularity of the 1940's. From television programs such as Foyle's War and Wartime Farm (two of our favourites out here on the homestead) to Sewalongs like the one Rochelle is hosting at Lucky Lucille (as an aside...I adore Lucille! She's so sweet!) and Forties wardrobe creation challenges like the one Sarah at 1940's Vintage Wardrobe Challenge has started, Forties inspiration is everywhere and it doesn't seem to be slowing down.
A number of years ago, I was lucky enough to come upon one of the original "make do and mend" booklets from that era. "Make and Mend For Victory" was a book produced in 1942 by The Spool Cotton Company. It included instructions on how to mend and patch items to extend their life (totally unheard of in today's throw-away society,) how to reclaim wool from sweaters (I've done it...that was a whole lot of work...,) how to take a man's suit and use the fabric to make a new woman's suit, and how to add variety to a simple dress with a number of different collars, hats and accessories.
Today, in the spirit of Thrifty Thursday, I though I would scan the photos and instructions for the collars. Just right click on the photo, save it to your computer and print off a copy. If you decide to make one, two or all of these options, please send me a photo of the finished product - I'd love to see them!
I thought I would end with the Consumer's Victory Pledge from the first page of the booklet. Imagine living in a time when taking a pledge like this was not an option. When, if you were a farmer in the UK, your farm could be taken away from you by the government (the War Ags) if you were not producing enough milk and vegetables to contribute to the war effort and when your only hope for a new dress was to eke out as much fabric from feedsacks as you could.
It's my sincere hope that we never have to relive the hardships that our grandparents and great-grandparents did (my Mum was born in England in 1942 and her Mum, my Nanny, was a pediatric nurse in Northern England during the war...a difficult job to be sure,) but the fashions of the day were gorgeous and the make-do-and-mend mentality was admirable. If I haven't missed the deadline I may just start planning my entry for Rochelle's Sew-Along!