Back to the 1940s on todays blog post, with an advert from Women’s Weekly, July 7th 1945 (love the photo, that phone looks so much more chic than a mobile).
Clothing was rationed via coupons in the UK from 1941, and they were finally phased out in 1949. Parents had more coupons for children, due to the fact they grew out of clothes more quickly than adults, but it must have been very hard to dress yourself and your family well. Magazines from the era are full of thrifty tips. Flicking through the issue I found this advert…
At the top it says the advert has been issued by the Board of Trade, and has patching tips from (the fictional) Mrs Sew and Sew.
There is a great American video about rationing in Britain from 1944 that the Imperial War Museum have put on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9wNJ78S2GY If you want to skip to the part of clothing coupons go to 5 minutes 48seconds, then patching and mending is mentioned at 7 minutes 44 seconds.
Another short video they have put online is called Make Do and Mend and has a lovely patchwork dressing gown modelled at 1 minute 10 seconds in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4RpJcVs1VI
When I did my quilt history research, on of the things I discovered was that generally patchwork went out of fashion in the 1950s. Several of the quilters interviewed said one reason was patchwork being associated with times of hardship and sadness. It was only with the next generation of stitchers in the late 1960s, that people could experiment with the design possibilities of patchwork, without the connotations of rationing and making do.