dinsdag 30 juli 2013

Sew and Save V

Together with Sew and Save there's another great book from the forties in Britain: Make Do and Mend. This collection has reproductions from instruction leaflets. On clothes, fuel, household keeping etc.
Austerity out of need made everyone a hero in reinforcements and good care in those days. Here's on laundry:

Washing hints:
Mend all tears before washing- whether they are done at home or in the laundry. If you haven't time to do a proper darn catch tears together. Laundries are working under difficulties these days and a stitch in time will be appreciated.

Never let clothes or household linens get really dirty; several light washes are less harmful than one hard one and use soft water- rain water is best.

Dry out of doors when possible - the whites in the sun and the coloureds in the shade.

And indeed, there's nothing better than laundry freshly dried outdoors......

donderdag 18 juli 2013

Sew and Save IV

And this is what Joanna Chase wrote in 1941 about bed time:

Your three great allies in clothes care are heat, steam and a good, stiff brush. Always brush your clothes when you take them off at night, as dust left on overnight works its way into the material and is responsible for that grey 'bloom' on clothes. Buy several twopenny wooden hangers, so that when you hang your clothes up they fall into their natural folds and retain their shape. Be sure to get the hangers wide enough, so that the shoulders of clothes do not sag over the ends. Never hang a garment on a hook by its neck. If you do that, you simply ask for bulging neck-lines and sagging hems.

Come to think of it; it would maybe make us sleep better after this. Away from daily business, problems and thoughts in our minds. Just hang, brush properly and then sleep well...

vrijdag 12 juli 2013

Sew and save III

From 1941:
When you are storing clothes, remember that all shoes should be wrapped in newspaper, and all dark and heavy garments folded with sheets of newspaper between them. The printers' ink is disliked by moths. Mothballs, of course, are an elementary precaution.
Summer clothes should be stored in white paper so that they do not get soiled; hats put down crown downwards into large boxes, one crown into the next. If you are storing silk lingerie, or silk stockings that are new, do not wash them, but put them into an air-tight jar and seal the top. In tis way they will keep without perishing.

If you read this; we completely lost the skill of storing! The fight against moths is still going on today, and the newspaper method is worth doing, not harmful and very easy. I also have eco-bags with herbs that they don't like which I buy in my local organic shop.

maandag 8 juli 2013

Sew and Save II

If what you buy is precious to you, you will take care. Regarding clothes, that's what we've lost a bit. So read what Joanna said in 1941:

Clothes, like everything else in the world, respond to care and kindness in your treatment of them. If you look after them, they'll not only last you much longer but will retain indefinitely the speckless appearance they have when you bought them, thus giving you a well-groomed air which is more than half-way to being a well-dressed woman. The secret of looking after clothes is to make a regular job of it, just like washing up or sweeping the drawing-room carpet. Allot a few hours one day each week to going over your wardrobe for cleaning and repairing.
A few ours each week...but that must have been meant for the wardrobe of the whole family, or?

photo taken at the archetype exhibition in MMKA 2011

vrijdag 5 juli 2013

Sew and Save

I found a most inspiring small book published in Britain in 1941: 'Sew and Save' by Joanna Chase. It's a manual to assist women getting themselves and their families through war and crisis in decent clothes. The way she describes how to handle clothes when new, how to maintain them and  how to take special care; we can learn a lot from it in these days. In 1941 clothes were on coupons and money was poor. Nobody had too many clothes; however sustainability was not an issue back then. We in our times are struggling with our consciousness regarding the circumstances in the clothing industry, poor quality of cheap clothes an an ongoing fashion merry-go-round of 2 collections each year. In those days you had clothes that were produced in your own country, of good quality and were relatively expensive to buy. So taking care was important. Reading the book made me think how useful the descriptions and ideas are for us now. So here's the first:

Every woman wants to be well dressed. At any time, but especially in war-time and now that clothes are rationed, this is a matter of planning rather than of plenty. So find five minutes to sit down with a piece of paper and pencil and plan your wardrobe carefully to fit in with the money you have to spend and the type of life you lead. Go over your existing clothes and make a list of what is still wearable, what will have to be replaced, and your next necessary and important 'buys'.
When you've done that decide on a colour scheme and stick to it, otherwise you'll find you have odd frocks that don't match your overcoat, or a sweater without a matching skirt, and not enough coupons to remedy these difficulties.