makeovers from men's suits

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Another priceless find from the box of vintage stuff from Anne's mom's house...

This intriguing leaflet was distributed by the US Department of Agriculture in 1943 when there was a "Bureau of Home Economics" within the department. This bureau was charged with doing research into food & nutrition, textiles & clothing, and economics with a focus on helping homemakers run a better household. The 1940's were an especially thrifty time when plenty of reusing and recycling was going on and was actually encouraged by the US government, as apparent in this leaflet, as a means to conserve raw materials needed for the war effort. The introduction  of the leaflet reads:
 "Uniforms of the military service are fast taking the place of civilian suits, This means that much good wool may lie idle- stored away in moth balls- or be wasted. If folks at home cannot use these discarded suits as they are, it is patriotic to rework them into clothes that will be worn."
Included in the pamphlet are directions for determining what to make from a particular suit and how to prep the suit for its transformation.
"Early in your planning, consider the size of the suit and the size of the person for whom you want to rework it. Naturally there is more to work with if the suit is large-sized, is double-breasted and has two pairs of pants."

Apparently, if the man is generously proportioned, you can get a whole jumper out just of his pants!

"Study fashion books for a pattern as nearly as possible like the garment you wish to make. Changes can always be made in the pattern, but try to make them fit in with the style of the garment. That's one secret of making old clothes into new successfully. Be resourceful."

"Save all buttons, tapes,and lining materials to use again" 
This leaflet shows an attitude that is refreshingly counter to the that of our recent Bush administration which encouraged folks to continue shopping in the face of economic disaster. Since that thinking didn't help us, maybe we need to adopt the Roosevelt administration's stance and strive to be less wasteful!

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