70 years is a long time. What was living like when the queen took the throne? The world and how people live in it has changed at an incredible rate. For a start there was no internet, certainly no mobile phones and actual shops were the destination to buy everything. Imagine! It took more effort to acquire things so people just owned less stuff. The notion of a “disposable” lifestyle had not emerged either and so the ethos back then was very much Make Do and Mend.
Make Do and Mend was a must when clothes rationing was introduced during the Second World War. People were encouraged to do whatever they could to extend the life of their clothes. Anything from darning socks to washing nylons more carefully. This attitude went on to apply to everything and although they didn’t use the term, reduce, reuse, recycle this was the ethos of the times. https://www.victoryliving.co.uk/make-do-and-mend
Saving money is on all our minds now
As the cost of living crisis deepens today, making the effort to extend the life of something by repairing it when it breaks, is once again becoming popular. There are many places you can go to find tips on how to repair. Orsola de Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution has some great tips on how to make a repair on clothes. Not just practical ones, but ideas to turn things into something creative, unique and individual. https://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/article/how-to-repair-clothes.
It’s a lifestyle choice for us! And, if we all did our bit it would have a big impact – not just on our own wallet, but on the planet. Reducing consumption, waste and the cost of resources by Making Do and Mending, is a gift we pass forwards to the next generation. They will looking back in another 70 years!
This is a good read if you are trying to change your wardrobe habits How To Break up with Fast Fashion.
We can certainly learn a lot from our grandparents. So, dust off the sewing machine, buy more second-hand or turn something old into something new.
70 years leading the way
Even the queen rotates and recreates her outfits! According to Elizabeth Holmes’ book, “HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style,” the Queen’s outfits are recorded, and repeats are purposely spaced out. After she’s worn it a second or third time, the outfit is either reworked into a new design or reserved to only wear in private.
The Queen has lead the way for over 70 years. This weekend we hope you all celebrate in style. But don’t break the bank, it’s time together to reflect with loved ones.
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2 thoughts on “Time to get back to make do and mend?”
Today I have been tasked with setting up a Make do and Mend group in our village; your blog could not possibly have landed in my inbox on a better day.
I feel passionately about this, I darn not just my socks, but those belonging to friends as well, I put fun patches on aging but otherwise serviceable napkins, have just stripped down a pinafore dress to adjust the fit which will give me years more wear.
When looking for a dress for a Club Annual Dinner many years ago, I gave it lots of thought and chose one that I would be happy to wear to the same event again and again. It was a black tie event and the men wear the same dinner suit year in year out, so why couldn’t I do the same. It always drew compliments and I never needed to agonize over what to wear. My very favourite blue linen blouse has worn through after uncountable wearings, so I am going to repair it conspicuously with a coordinating fabric and wear it with pride. When I was first married, I bought some lovely Irish cotton twill and made my own sheets and when they wore thin, I cut them down and did sides to middle; a wonderful tried and tested method of extending the life of a practical item; all so, so satisfying. I recommend having a go.
Jayne we love you and your passion about making things last. We need more heroes like you so our kids learn that things can last a lot longer! Let’s teach them to make new things out of old! Thanks for your support.