Retro reading

Retro reads

I saw the book on the left ‘Make Do And Mend‘ at the library this afternoon and practically squealed. Under the library barcode it says ‘reproductions of official second World War instruction leaflets’. It is all sorts of retro amazingness! You think you’re crafty? The things people had to do in WW2, especially in Britain, leave you for DUST. They had to darn everything. Not just knees and elbows but the seat of their pants. They took their sleeves off their knitted jerseys and swapped them over to the other side so they wore out evenly. When their sheets wore out they choooooopped them right down the middle and put the middle bits on the outside and sewed them back together. Could you imagine sleeping with a bloody great seam in the middle of the bed? As for clothing coupons…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. Turn your curtains into clothes and your sheets into underwear…for over 5 years they did that stuff!! I for one could learn a thing or two from that sort of thriftiness and craftiness. There is also a companion book called Eating for Victory. Now that I could do well at…

The second book  gives me nightmares. I found it in the free trolley at the landfill recycling shop. It offers such gems as “do not use lead nipple guards”! Plus there is a smattering of photos of new mothers with the most enormous noses and such unfortunate looks that it’s a wonder they ever got knocked up! I tried to get rid of it but I just love it too much. I mean lead nipple guards!


Filed under book review, nostalgia

10 responses to “Retro reading

  1. Wow…both those books sound like treasures! I would love to take a look at those.

  2. Wow , great books . The people of Great Britain really did sacrifice during WW2. I watched a TV series on PBS filmed in England where a family lived as if it was living through WW2. As time progressed they were put under more and more restrictions , rationing of every kind, gardening, extra work for the war effort , it was quite stressful. My children were fascinated and couldn’t wait until the next episode aired . You may be able to find it at your local library–pi-1402950.html

  3. I managed to get the first original Make do and Mend on Ebay and I have yet to have a good read…in these economic times there may be something to learn from it all.

  4. my3boysandi

    the ‘Make Do And Mend‘ book sounds very interesting
    last term My Home Schooler and I went to the faraday centre to look at the 3os and 40s and life was just like that

    you will find that SO much has changed in parenting in the other book

    good finds
    have a good weekend

  5. Surely if you wave the original contract you signed on the flat under your landlord’s nose they would have to back down on the 1 year thing?

  6. How lovely! I want to read both of those books!!! 🙂 Btw… I’m stopping by from Flickr! I’m enjoying your blog! xoxo

  7. they both look fabulous to me. i love reading old books – lead nipple guards – ha ha ha. actually it’s not really funny cause they probably did use them at some stage and lets face it, we are getting genetically whackier all the time!
    makes you wonder what we are doing that will make people in the future laugh……hmmmm?
    enjoy your weekend

  8. Oooh, any chance of some more pics from Make Do and Mend? I’d love to read it.

    I saw that series “The 40’s House” too…loved it!

  9. I’m English and have a copy of The Book of Good Housekeeping, printed in the middle of the war. There are brilliant patterns for turning silk parachute fabric into knickers!! Oh and so much more.
    The book was intended to help women and keep them cheerfully looking forward to peacetime. You’d love the photos of the newest American kitchens – our dream of the future – and recipes for every kind of cheap dish to ones for ‘pineapple ‘ jam made from turnips or making your own furniture polish.
    It’s one of my favourite books. My Mum had so many stories to tell about rationing and make-do-and-mend.
    I musn’t go on… !

  10. How fun…I love all the old retro lifestyle stuff! I’d love to have a look at them both!

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