download Make Do and Mend Facsimile by Ministry of Information (ISBN: ) from site's Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on. Make Do and Mend: Keeping Family and Home Afloat on War Rations Hardcover – 6 Sep The rationing period during World War II is often described as a difficult time and yet also remembered nostalgically as a time of unity and great sacrifice. Make Do and Mend focuses on clothes. Make Do and Mend: Keeping Family and Home Afloat on War Rations [Jill Make Do and Mend and millions of other books are available for site site.
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Editorial Reviews. Review. "A fascinating slice of social history." —Daily Telegraph. About the to 'make do and mend' rather than downloading new clothes. This e-book contains images of the original leaflets, in nostalgic forties illustration style. The 'Make Do & Mend' campaign was intended to help get the last possible ounce book were tested and approved by the Board of Trade Make Do and Mend. While dimly aware of the Make Do and Mend campaign, and someone who clothes were cut from allowance books, and if you didn't have the coupons, you.
Households could learn about unpicking the wool from old pullovers to darn socks, or how to alter the cut of a coat or dress to give it a new lease of life. Shortage of materials' For six years of war, and on into the s, the United Kingdom survived by the "waste-not, want-not" ethos, which saw frugality and recycling extend to the likes of using waste paper to make roofs for houses.
People were also asked to hand in saucepans as salvage, and park railings were torn up. The John Lewis book is housed in s-style covers Clothes and materials were in short supply too, so people had to wear the same clothes for a long time.
When the clothes wore out, people were asked to make them into something else or repair them. When Make Do And Mend was published both food and clothes were already being rationed. A reprinted version of the original pamphlet has been published by the Imperial War Museum, and is on sale to those seeking handy wartime households tips.
But two years later the government then published its famous booklet. In fact clothing rationing lasted until The Imperial War Museum has reissued the s classic Sales of yarns, wools, craft materials, buttons, and sewing machines and boxes, have all soared, the retailer says.
But according to Mr Charman of the Imperial War Museum, this harking back to the wartime during economic difficulties is nothing new. There's advice I wanted to take in the past: There are things I always forget: I usually blank out lids and their purpose, even if they're right in front of me.
Must try harder. And there's advice that, surprisingly and rather delightfully, sounds as if it's from , not It's a different world of items I wouldn't know what they were without looking them up: A blousette, is that a vest?
Make Do and Mend : Keeping Family and Home Afloat on War Rations
Magyar nightdresses? I guess they are the ones with yoke fronts. Why would towels have cuts in them from razors? Presumably you couldn't leave those razors to dry as they might rust? There appears to be no such thing as an unpicker!?! I love unpickers. They had to unpick using razors or scissors; how messy.
How much lower the price of thread and yarn must have been compared with ready-made clothes to make all this mending and knitting financially sensible, not just a principle or a hobby. Rayon sounds awful, such a fuss to look after it, makes you wonder why people bothered with it, but presumably it was fashion. To deter moths without being able to seal jumpers in plastic bags, you had to wrap them in newspaper and seal with gummed paper, and take them out once a month or so to air outdoors and iron them.
So much more work to maintain clothes than we are prepared to put in. If you had to do all this, you wouldn't want anywhere near so many items. You weren't supposed to wash blackout fabric in case it faded; instead, more ironing to kill pests. But the houseproud must surely have washed kitchen blackout, it would have stank from cooking smells in winter.
It's assumed almost anyone has a couple of dining chairs they could tie string between to make an indoor washing line. It's my perception that smaller households often don't have these now, only a sofa.
They are not the staple they used to be. I've read elsewhere that, like Mrs Beeton's manual, much of the advice in these leaflets was actually directed at younger women, those in their twenties who'd only quite recently married and hadn't developed all the skills of their counterparts ten or fifteen years older. And, as is quite commonly remarked in domestic histories, the average level of sewing skills in those days was what would now be considered quite high level professional.
Those who saw the lovely old lady who won the first series of The Great British Sewing Bee will have seen this in action.
I suppose now some might make slippers as a craft exercise - it was in that silly and facile book on Hygge I posted about a couple of weeks ago - but not with the complexity shown here, making soles of rope and other materials. Few would now reverse a shirt cuff, though I have heard of people well, people's grandparents cutting sheets in half when they were worn in the middle, and sewing them back together the other way round.
There are frequent references to one's scrap bag; it sort of seemed remarkable to me that this was something everyone had, then I realised I sort of had one, but fancier because more modern, principally cheap shirts and neutral coloured cotton jersey items I don't much like, which would be suitable for making into cloths or other things. When I started considering whether it was worth selling a shirt depending on its likely price relative to the cost of the number of handkerchiefs that could be made out of it, I realised I appeared to be learning.
Make Do and Mend
But I'm not sure anything else would have told me that it's better to patch older fabric with other older fabric, because new is more likely to pull itself away in the wash.
Most of the sewing advice leaflets feature "Mrs Sew and Sew" who looks over-cheerful and has the face of an unbranded brunette Sindy analogue sold in newsagents circa It's easy to imagine that if there had been a forties equivalent of Mumsnet, there would have been all sorts of sweary rants about how annoying she was.
All the other cartoons are much more personable and human; I don't know why they chose this one to be used so frequently. It's heartening to see it said that many women were already getting good at home repairs what would now be called DIY , but in giving instructions for those who weren't, I did wonder they didn't give better advice on how to hold a hammer close to the top; horribly, horribly easy to hammer one's fingers without that sort of control. Scares me too much that I can't not include it, even if it doesn't fit well in the review.
Earlier this year, when I finally got round to watching Wartime Farm for the first time, I had an epiphany.
Took so long, because I had thought I wouldn't be interested in it - a hangover from the time when I ignored all possible material about The War because of boredom with relatives talking about it and watching everything to do with it when I was a kid.
Turns out that it's an epiphany many have had, or maybe an idea I'd heard in the past and forgotten. But if society actually took prevention of climate change and resource depletion seriously, or, for that matter, when they kicked in, this is what life would look like. The way that many ordinary people on the centre right seem to have accepted post-credit-crunch austerity as necessary, despite being a little worse off than they were before , shows that it's simply a matter of how these things are sold to the public.
Seeing it in practice, over eight hours, made it far more vivid than a book would. I would love to have one or two people to talk to who were seriously into this idea, and we could thrash out all kinds of minutiae about how things might work and what and what not to allow which we would inevitably disagree on a little. If only there were ultra-flexible options on Civilization , to try it out as a simulator. One of the most intriguing and, it seemed, draconian, features of clothes rationing was that it even included second hand items.
There would have undoubtedly been some flouting, but you even had to make jumble sales official and take coupons at them. I concluded in the end that they did this because otherwise it would have been too easy to pass off black market new clothes as used. It doesn't say. But all this does make one think about what unpleasant level of control or intrusion is needed to maintain a system like this when conditions of shortage are not equal everywhere that goods could come from.
Household textiles - sheets, tablecloths and so on, were not rationed, however. They must have been a good supply of fabric to make clothes from. I've heard it said somewhere that the UK rationing system was essentially, or very close to, a form of communism that actually worked and had the consent of most involved. It comes across repeatedly in these leaflets that there are no exceptions, everyone must pull their weight and tighten their belts.
Goodness, how would it work with today's super-rich? They would probably leave the country, just as plenty went to America in One of the mottos that appears many times in these leaflets: Remember fair shares, don't download more than you need.
Though of course some would have had far more clothes and far better housing than others in the first place. It is taken as read that making small savings on behalf of a greater cause is important and right: Dripping hot water taps should be fixed because a drip every second can waste a hundredweight of coal a year. Do you know that one single family reducing fuel consumption by the equivalent in gas, coal or electricity by the equivalent of 5lb of coal per day during the thirty weeks of colder weather could save enough fuel to produce: It's so incredibly sad, and shows how so many humans can take the affairs of other humans extremely seriously, and are told to but not also those of the natural world.
All that was considered of the utmost gravity and importance when it was to help fight a war, yet so many see it as namby pamby or silly to do such things to conserve resources and reduce emissions.
That is ultimately a problem of political will and how environmental campaigns were managed that meant politicians didn't take them as seriously as necessary, although accidents of timing didn't help.
I think this is an interesting analysis of that, though by no means the last word. I really used to be baffled by wartime nostalgia there was so much more obvious fun to be had in the exuberant 60s and 70s, provided you steered clear of Saville and his cronies - and I still think there are downsides to the naive ways WWII imagery is invoked.
Owen Hatherley even wrote an entire small book on the implications of the Keep Calm and Carry On Design fad, The Ministry of Nostalgia , and it's been satirised more obliquely and aggressively by this street art. I'm nearly ten years late to the party, but I can really feel now how this sort of rationing0era material can bolster one in learning how to be frugal, whether that is for one's finances, for environmental reasons or both.
Even the leaflet about what to do if bombed out, the sense of background insecurity that this might happen, now has echoes with the housing crisis, in a way that wasn't quite so widespread in I've accepted that I am rather more susceptible than I'd like to be to consumerism's imagery and general suffusion of everything, and that I need to keep a certain amount of material at hand to keep me on the track I really always needed to be on, but didn't quite know how to manage - and to glamourise and romanticise it, because like it or not, that's something I absolutely need in order to be able to stick at things.
Perhaps the most useful single phase in the book, to adopt for frugality, is the functional opposite of "treat yourself" - or of "get yourself something nice" which a lot of middle-class people like me grew up hearing from relatives at Christmas, not necessarily realising that if one was a student or lower paid adult it might have to go on essentials and then, subconsciously confused, later comes the delayed splurge. I suppose it would be a dull world if absolutely everyone was this way - the rest of us need a few fabulous individuals to cheer us up, dammit, but it needn't be ruinous.
The book adds a "n't" and it's interesting how the feeling of the sentence changes with and without that, but I'm going to leave it out here as it feels more positive to me right now: Could I manage without it? View all 4 comments. Feb 03, Paige rated it really liked it Shelves: Excellent collection of original source material.
I love it.
Make Do and Mend (Hardcover)
This stuff is hard to find. I was expecting a little more analysis beyond the Intro.
Not much of a Con, but Yeah, I know my review of Eating for Victory is exactly the same. Both were ordered at the same time from the same vendor, so I received both and read both at the same time.
Feb 16, Helen Von seth carpenter rated it really liked it. I bought this book to learn how to darn moth holes in sweaters. It was a quick read that made me thankful for living when I do! Feb 27, Kim rated it it was amazing. Feb 10, Susan rated it liked it.
There are some really interesting pamphlets in this compilation - the "Preparing For Baby" pamphlet is a bit of an eye opener.
However, there is a lot of repetition throughout the collection that makes some sections a bit tedious. Jul 03, Robin rated it liked it. Nice little book.
Reproduction of a wartime guide for British people living on rations. Certainly was a different world back then! A wonderful compilation of the wartime leaflets sent out to every family to stop waste - some of the ideas can be used again in the credit crunch times!A reprinted version of the original pamphlet has been published by the Imperial War Museum, and is on sale to those seeking handy wartime households tips.
Rayon sounds awful, such a fuss to look after it, makes you wonder why people bothered with it, but presumably it was fashion.
The war was 6 years. I guess they are the ones with yoke fronts. When Make Do And Mend was published both food and clothes were already being rationed. Make Do and Mend focuses on clothes rationing, which was introduced in June Return to Book Page. It's a different world of items I wouldn't know what they were without looking them up: gas poker; bath geyser I think one of my grandmothers used to refer to this ; irons that need their temperature testing on newspaper do they mean electric without dials?
One of the most intriguing and, it seemed, draconian, features of clothes rationing was that it even included second hand items.
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