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Make do and mend

In June 1941, there was an introduction to clothes rationing. Women were asked to go through their wardrobes and 'Make-do & Mend'

Interestingly prior to that, in July 1940, the wartime coalition government had also asked women to conserve wood by wearing flatter heeled shoes. 

We have listed a few items of interest and tips of make do and mend from WW2 below:

/media/learning/library/1946_British_clothing_ration_coupons.jpgA clothing ration coupon sheet





A typical 4 year clothes ration list from the reproduced 1941 'Sew and Save' book, Joanna Chase


What have you got in your wardrobe?

Take time to got through what you have and see how you could bring it up to date and revitalise it, and if not, never throw away, could someone else make use of it? Try donating clothes to charity, swapping with friends or at an online swap shop such as freecycle.

Make-do and Mend

Have a go and try out some of the follow make-do and mend tips below.


Worn Elbows - Turn long sleeves into short sleeves

Too Tight Blouse - open the front and put in a contrasting pattern button band

Holes - add a patterned material patch

Scruffy Collar - add a new collar cut from the shirt tail

No Stockings - Paint a mock seam up the back of your legs


Accessorise - glam up a plain top or dress with some jewellery or a scarf

Any left over unusable material, can be used to make a rag rug to go in front of the fire.


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