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With lots of hints and tips I inspire you to create a beautiful garment even if you have never sewn before.
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The middle to late 1940s fashion: Dresses and Trench Coats
A Jaycotts blog post.
It wasn't until 10:30 AM on 12 February 1947 that a relatively unheard of Christian Dior unveiled his "New Look"
Taking inspiration from flower petals he celebrated femininity with defined narrow waists and full flowing skirts. It was a defiance towards the rationing which had restricted fashion for several years.
Before this monumental event though , and even when WW2 had ended, we were still gripped by austerity and it was getting worse. We were encouraged to take two very worn dresses and coats for example and somehow make the best bits of each into one wearable garment. Shoe leather had run out and women's shoes were made with wooden soles which were very much hated. Everything was becoming more and more difficult and it seemed never ending, so the advent of a new fashion house really brought excitement to life.
If you are after a 1940s look then many of today's styles are very similar. Go for a low heel, preferably a chunky heel, a brogue or a wedge sandal and they will be fine.
One item which did prove popular was the Siren Suit, Sir Winston Churchill loved his and had one made from pin-stripe suiting (of course)
But the rest of us loved them too, they were designed to wear over normal clothes, or night clothes when the air raid siren went off. Air raid shelters were dirty, cold and smelly and these garments were very much necessary.
Today we still wear a type of this garment in the form of jumpsuits. Take a look at the pattern range available from Jaycotts Jumpsuit pattern
I have a blog post too An easy Simplicity Jumpsuit so do take a look at the tutorial. Did you see the Sewing Bee 2019 As one of the challenges was to sew a jumpsuit and they all looked fabulous.
Factories were still being run by women - it took a long while before the men came home and women were forced out of work. Supplies were still not reaching us so even after WW2 had ended we were still very much rationed - we were short of everything. Even those tiny ends of thread which we cut off and throw away were kept and treasured.
War time fashion, tutorials on inserting zips , a SewOverIt 1940's tea dress to sew and much much more!
It is as important today as it was in the 1940's to adopt a "Make do and mend" attitude, and I hope to show you that this will make you re-think your sewing habits. I know it has done for me.
The second world war started in 1939 and didn't end until 1945. During this time rationing of almost everything was in place and continued even after the war had ended until supplies started to become available again.
It was in 1941 that the government introduced rationing which greatly influenced clothing and how it was worn. Strict guidelines governed how many buttons were allowable and how many seams were acceptable and so on.
Don't think for one minute that fashion was dull though, far from it. The designs were high quality and the famous CC41 utility label was also a sign of excellent value for money and you knew it was made to last. The CC41 designs were devised by a panel of top designers including Hardy Amies and Norman Hartnell no less.
A combination of paying for your clothes with money and coupons meant that the class divide had no impact on what you wore - everyone was entitled to exactly the same.
These are the exact details of what a utility dress should consist of;-
"Examples of details of restriction orders when making Utility dress: it could have no more than two pockets, five buttons, six seams in the skirt, two inverted or box pleats or four knife pleats, and one hundred and sixty inches (four metres) of stitching. No superfluous decoration was allowed. It should be simple, practical, agreeable-looking, inexpensive and made of good material"
It should also be noted that one quarter of the population, women included ,was now in uniform of some sort and with women being ordered to maintain glamour at all times, these uniforms were also beautifully tailored. The most coveted being the Wren's uniform - worn with red lipstick and curled hair of course.
Coty produced lipstick and face powder which was not rationed, as well as producing such things as foot powder for use by the military.
It should be noted that selling these utility garments were a great source of income to the government.
This booklet was produced in the early 40s as supplies were becoming more and more scarce. The wool and cotton fabric, and dark coloured dyes were needed by the military for uniforms and for blackout curtains .
We were not receiving imports of cotton and silk because of the high cost of shipping goods from abroad - China for one, and by that I mean the cost in lives as well as in monetary terms.
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