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Make Do and Mend: Keeping Family and Home Afloat on War Rations (Official Wwii Info Reproductns) [Hardcover]

Various Authors , Jill Norman
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Sep 2007 Official Wwii Info Reproductns
The rationing period during World War II is often described as a difficult time and yet also remembered nostalgically as a time of unity and great sacrifice. In fact, many of its rules and guidelines could still be applied today. Make Do and Mend focuses on clothes rationing, which was introduced in June 1940. With the nation's industrial output concentrated on the war effort, basic clothes were in short supply and high fashion was an unknown commodity. Adults were issued as little as 36 coupons a year to spend on clothes. But a man's suit could cost 22 coupons, a coat 16 and a lady's dress 11, so the need to recycle and be inventive with other materials became more and more necessary. The government issued the leaflets included in Make Do and Mend to advise on how best to avoid wasting valuable resources by recycling curtains into dresses and old sheets into underwear; in short how to 'make do and mend' rather than buying new clothes. Produced from original material held in archives the leaflets are also a nostalgic showcase of 1940s' style, which makes them the perfect gift.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Michael O'Mara (6 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843172658
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843172659
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 13.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"these nostalgic collections make a fascinating document of wartime austerity" -- The Lady, 18 September 2007

About the Author

Jill Norman is a well respected food writer and editor of various books and founded the Penguin cookery list.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My mantra for 2008 Make Do and Mend 10 July 2008
I have now edited my score up to five star having again referred to this booklet and learned how to restyle my blouses that no longer fit by using fabric from two and creating a new garment.

In the current financial climate of negative equity and rising prices, we all need to make do and mend. There really is no need to keep buying new stuff when there is a bit of life left in something older and this books will help you.

Featuring reproductions of wartime pamphlets, some of the print quality is not perfect. A little sewing experience would be a good thing, but not vital.

In the war years fabric, ready made clothes were rationed and in short supply, and so was cash! So if you had a good dress but needed a larger one, this book tells you how to insert strips of fabric to bring new life to old garments.

We can buy cheap clothes nowadays but there is great satisfaction in "make do and mend" and reducing waste and, anyway, it is fun reading this book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still so true for 2008 and beyond 9 Oct 2008
I bought the pair for my mum a year ago and they have ended up going round the whole family, young and old. Yes they have a nostalgic feel to them and it's food that nana used to make but thats what makes them so good, we are now having to live as if things are rationed, the meals that were made back then weren't full of e numbers and other nasty things (lets face it, we've all become alergic to them all anyway), they were wholesome and filling with no waste, after all I'm sure it's not only me that loves bubble and squeek on a monday with the sunday roast left overs. It has made me realize how lucky I am to have everything I want but I can survive on next to nothing.
Also the Make do and Mend is also full of cleaning tips and a definate must for anyone living in a period house and trying to keep things going, I live in a stone cottage and in a preservation area, with a house full of original things like Arga'sand stone floors I found good tips on how to care for these items without using chemical cleaners that corrode them away.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delight! 22 Sep 2007
I purchased this after seeing it on BBC Breakfast news - its just lovely.
Has such an old fashioned feel but the information is as relevant today as it was back then.
Will make a lovely Xmas gift for older relatives.
Very good value for money - its full colour!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Austerity? We've no idea! 26 Mar 2011
Excellent little book, lots of useful information on repairing clothes - in today's financial climate this is really helpful. Obviously some of the stuff is outdated but interesting nonetheless. If your mother or the Guides didn't teach you how to darn or to do basic mending, this is the book for you! It is difficult for us nowadays to understand how hard life was during the war, no new clothes for years. In our throwaway society, we just have no idea. This book, a reprint of articles written at the time gives us real insight into how people managed to keep themselves decently covered!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but repetitive 9 Sep 2009
Nice piece of social history, but many of the leaflets included in the book are reissues of the same information - for example there are several versions of exactly the same advice on darning and repairing clothes. But the book does make you realise just how much we waste today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Make Do and Mend - Wartime Rationing 8 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A brilliant little book, bought for a young person who is studying this era. She tells me it has been most useful and very interesting and has learnt a lot from it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it! 27 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is fantastic and a must have for me on two fronts: I am a dedicated history lover and love seeing all the old government information leaflets from the second world war and also, I am a learner on the sewing machine and appreciate all of the help this book will be able to give me!

It covers everything from mending to making something completely new out of something old. We may not be living in a country afflicted by a war any more but certainly some people can do with some help for cutting corners in the current economic climate.

Really lovely little book and very informative.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Useful tips even today 19 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Some of the information in this book of war leaflets is useful today in so called hard times. Read this book and see who really had hard times.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great little book
love the book, it is lovely to have a handy back to basics no nonsense approach to recycling old clothes and mending existing ones. Love the retro posters.
Published 13 months ago by CK
5.0 out of 5 stars just right for school projects on WW2
great - just like the originals not updated or ammended - perfect for primary school Good advise for eco schools too much that can be used in a recession
Published 17 months ago by jennie hewitt
5.0 out of 5 stars Make Do and Mend
A wonderful bit of history - reproductions of iconic Wartime information all together in one book. Interesting, informative and useful for today. Fascinating.
Published 20 months ago by Ginger
5.0 out of 5 stars make do and mend in the war
This book is absolutely brilliant. I can see lots of idea's that have been passed to me from my mother. A must for this day and age of recycling. Read more
Published on 16 Feb 2012 by Shirlgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Nostalgia
I am now in my eightieth year and, as someone who experienced and remembers the second world war as a child, this book clearly reminded me of the ways in which we had to live and... Read more
Published on 24 Jun 2011 by Mr. P. E. Gregory
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah! Just what I've been looking for!
My copy of Make Do and Mend arrived in the post last week.

One day I hope to read it, once I retrieve it from the friends and family who pounced on it with delight. Read more
Published on 23 Nov 2010 by LNT
5.0 out of 5 stars Make do and mend
This is a fascinating little book, it goes into detail about how basically people "made" do during the war. Read more
Published on 10 Jun 2010 by J. A. Gomm
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting!
This book was brilliant as an insight into how difficult people had it in the past but not very relevant for todays consumers. Could you imagine anyone under 30 darning socks? Read more
Published on 29 Nov 2009 by CMHAY
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