Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sew and save.

I found this little gem tucked away in a book shop in Sydney. It is a reproduction of the original "Sew and Save"published in England in 1941. Written during war-time, this book promises to help its reader to:
* Transform old clothes into new with simple adjustments.
* Plan a family's wardrobe using a four year program.
* Make children's clothes from tired adult garments.

Written during a time when rations and coupons were all people lived off, this little book is a poignant reminder of what dressmaker of days gone by have lived through, an important reminder for those of us who sew clothes in the twenty-first century!

It really makes me appreciate that clothing is so readily available these days, and I am choosing dressmaking out of interest, a creative outlet, and stress management. These women had to rely on their dressmaking skills to clothes themselves and their families for the cold British winters, making do with whatever materials they could lay their hands on. It is quite honestly hard for me to put imagine myself in these women's shoes, when I live a comfortable life and have much (too much) choice in fabrics, trimmings, patterns, etc. Makes me very grateful indeed.

The book has a chapter on making undergarments, and gives detailed instructions on how to draft a pattern for and then sew together a brassier. I am seriously keen to give this a try, however, please do not expect to see photographs on here of me modelling my undergarments! hah- although I could always put it on Cindy my dressmaking mannequin, she never wears clothes.

This book truly has some timeless advice inside its pages, however, I think the page on knitted underwear really could have stayed in the 1940's... itchy!

Sam xox


  1. Interesting book. I have photo's of my sister and me, in England, in 1946-47, wearing pleated skirts that my Mother made from a womans skirt.
    We do not know now lucky we are these days, do we? Making clothes by choice not necessity.

  2. So cool! And I'm curious about how to make a bra!

  3. What a find!! I would love to make a bra, I've NEVER found one that does the job just right. So true about how spoiled for choice we are when it comes to patterns etc.

  4. Wow Patricia that is such a special memory you have. I bet it means so much more as an adult and thinking back to that time when life would have been hard for your Mum! We are lucky these days aren't we :-)

    Girls, I will let you know how the bra making goes, and if it works I will scan the instructions!!! x

  5. this book looks amazing! i am always envious of ladies who stumble upon treasures like this...maybe i need to look harder!

    thanks for visiting my blog :) glad to have you!

    keep up the pretty sewing, and i can imagine that rendering those coral colors/shapes on paper would be a ton of fun!