Obsessions: Sewing for Victory + Wardrobe Revamp

I’m an incredibly obsessive person. There are big obsessive interest cycles (ex: sewing, fashion theory) and then there are minor little hot burning obsession cycles. Currently I’m in the grips of two minor obsessions: figuring out and collecting the full series of the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences books and pamphlets, and WW2 sewing trends related to rationing, mending and “remodeling” old clothing.


Is it really best fix his pants while they are on his body? Ummm, is he bent over a lawnmower? And what madness would drive someone to mow the yard in those shoes?? That poor woman is going to have to work at them for days to get the grass staining out after having to patch a man’s ass in full view of the neighbors. Nice.

It was such a different time and different mindset, both for good (yay community, yay sense of shared purpose) and bad reasons (stricter us/them dichotomies about different ethnicities, orientations, social status and horrible ways those were expressed). I’m fascinated by the way that “tightening our belts” and conserving was seen as patriotism during this era, but these days our priorities and propaganda seem more concerned with keeping those economic gears moving. We seem a much faster, more self centered, more acquisitive bunch and although I hesitate to oversimplify and judge one as inherently better than the other, I think that there’s a lot to be learned from the attitudes of the era. (And calling my pathetic rabbit ravaged failed psuedo-garden a Victory Garden is just the sort of irony of our time.)

Which is all a long winded way of saying my dumbass just hoarded an original Make Do and Mend pamphlet and is now hell bent on reworking my old wardrobe. I’ve been wanting to clean it out and reconsider my style in general. But reworking old clothing seems like killing two birds with one stone: wardrobe clean out + working on my craptastic sewing abilities. The fabric I love cut in a style I hate? Let’s not just dump it on Goodwill (especially with the questionable labor practices of theirs coming to light these days), let’s deconstruct that bitch and applique some Alexander McQueen style birdies on something. And if I fail, it’s not like I have to feel guilty for wasting the fabric.