Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Make Do and Mend American style!

Yesterday I spent a happy few hours sorting through my pattern drawer looking for a pattern that I know I have, because I’ve knitted a jumper from it, but can I find it??  Can I heck!  However, although frustrated at being unable to find said pattern, I did find, stashed at the bottom of the drawer, this long forgotten publication.

I remember entering a bidding war on eBay for this booklet quite a few years ago.  It wasn’t cheap, but I’ve never seen another original one (you can get a PDF version on Etsy) so I comfort myself with the thought that it must be rare and it was money well spent, right?  Well, that’s what I tell my husband anyway!! 

Produced in America during the war, the booklet tried to deal with the clothing shortages faced in to deal with the clothing shortages faced in America at that time.  It encouraged American women to “….show their patriotism and do their part in a national emergency.” quoting ”….conserve what you have for your country….”. It gave sewing tips to encourage the reader to make the most of her wardrobe by adapting what she already had to make something new.  

With the exception of the cover, which has a brilliant “Victory Needles Keep 'Em Flying" advertisement, it’s all in black and white, which is a little disappointing, but the sketches in the booklet are iconic, none the less.

The booklet is broken down into sections such as: A is for Accessories – make 5 Costumes from 1, B is for Basic Suit – Build 5 changes on 1 and C is for Conservation of Clothes for Your Country and Your Budget.  It goes on to give directions for handbag and hat making, sewing tricks and new clothes from old. 

When I buy things like this, I always wonder who the original owner was and whether they successfully completed any of the projects inside.  Although I’ll never know, it’s a brilliant publication, and I’m really pleased I re-discovered it yesterday.  However, with the sideboard stacked with old patterns, I’m not sure my husband has the some opinion!!


  1. What a lovely find!

    I have vintage knitting patterns but can't even knit so you can use me as an example to your husband 'At least I'm not as bad as.....' lol

    Maxine x

  2. What a lovely book, I too have lost a knitting pattern & can't find it anywhere.....maybe I'll find something lovely too! :( x

  3. the book is amazing! I bought "A stich in time" so soon Ill be knitting and doing crochet all day.

  4. thanks - I just bought the pdf =can't wait!