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2018 Fashion on the Ration challenge

edited 2 January 2018 at 2:58PM in Old Style MoneySaving
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  • Laura_ElsewhereLaura_Elsewhere Forumite
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    I spent half today sewing, for the first time in ages1 And without using any coupons at all - I bought a stunningly beautiful herringbone tweed skirt last century in a charity shop, despite its being Size 10 and me, er, being not a Size 10... I dismantled it, so I could put it back together with tiny seam allowances, and never did anything more...

    17 or 18 years later, I have finally interlined or underlined or flatlined or whatever it's called, all the pieces and am whip-stitching the folded edges together, basically re-making it with a bit extra in each panel by shrinking the seam allowance used.

    Very 'Fashion on the Ration', isn't it?! I have a beautiful jacket to re-make sometime too - my Dad's old Harris tweed jacket, also herringbone but totally different colours, blue-grey rather than brown-hazel, and much thicker tweed.

    But the skirt is well on its way to being wearable this autumn, hurrah! Quite a long time I've been meaning to get around to that...!
    2020 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 74.5 coupons left out of 74.5
    (66+8.5 from last year)



    2019 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 8.5 coupons left out of 66
  • PollyWollyDoodlePollyWollyDoodle Forumite
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    Well done! That sounds very thrifty and yes, very Fashion on the Ration! I'm impressed by your skills, not sure I could do that.

    I am going to a wedding this weekend, I've managed to keep it coupon-free by wearing a dress I already own and borrowing some shoes. There's a second party but Day 2 is less formal so my ubiquitous black trousers and a rather fancy shirt from a CS will do the trick.
    Life is mainly froth and bubble: two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s trouble, courage in your own.
  • Laura_ElsewhereLaura_Elsewhere Forumite
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    Clever work on borrowing the shoes - I think that's something that used to happen much much more often. When you read Mass Observation or other diaries, women in particular often mention going to a wedding or similar with Auntie Jean's hat and our Ethel's shoes and The Good Handbag which goes round every woman in the street for anything formal...

    I'm lucky I grew up sewing fairly experimentally! Lots of teenage outfits made from cutting up charity shop curtains and sheets, so I learnt not to be afraid of trying something out. Some really amusing disasters, of course! :D

    Today I'm in a CS skirt from years ago, olive-green, mid-calf, and cheap Primark scarlet vest-top layered over a dark-grey one, and a short-sleeved cardigan I knitted from really nice yarn a friend posted me with a note saying "this has sat in my cupboard for over a decade now - your turn!" and a little hat knitted from one skein of silk yarn from the same generous source! For shoes, I have black leather medium-heeled lace-up dance shoes, which I then glue rubber soles onto and I nail Blakey's non-metal segs onto the heels. I do my own cobbling mostly, nowadays. Socks, I knitted myself years and years ago, undies are M&S (bought new, of course - but brand-new-with-tags on eBay thus one-third the price they would be new in the shop! :) ).
    2020 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 74.5 coupons left out of 74.5
    (66+8.5 from last year)



    2019 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 8.5 coupons left out of 66
  • PollyWollyDoodlePollyWollyDoodle Forumite
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    Loving the sound of your outfit.
    I’ve borrowed clothes from this friend before although sadly at the moment I’m larger than she is. She has to go to quite a few ‘posh’ events whilst I very rarely dress up, and she’s usually happy to lend stuff. Nothing I dislike more than a ‘one occasion’ dress
    Life is mainly froth and bubble: two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s trouble, courage in your own.
  • PipneyJanePipneyJane Forumite
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    I spent half today sewing, for the first time in ages1 And without using any coupons at all - I bought a stunningly beautiful herringbone tweed skirt last century in a charity shop, despite its being Size 10 and me, er, being not a Size 10... I dismantled it, so I could put it back together with tiny seam allowances, and never did anything more...

    17 or 18 years later, I have finally interlined or underlined or flatlined or whatever it's called, all the pieces and am whip-stitching the folded edges together, basically re-making it with a bit extra in each panel by shrinking the seam allowance used.

    Very 'Fashion on the Ration', isn't it?! I have a beautiful jacket to re-make sometime too - my Dad's old Harris tweed jacket, also herringbone but totally different colours, blue-grey rather than brown-hazel, and much thicker tweed.

    But the skirt is well on its way to being wearable this autumn, hurrah! Quite a long time I've been meaning to get around to that...!

    Laura, I’d love to hear how you go about remaking the jacket and what you did to remake the skirt. I have virtually no real-life friends who sew (and only a handful who knit); it’s been a long time since I’ve seen anyone reconstruct a garment.

    On the Fashion-on-the-Ration front, I’ve spent another 2 coupons on some yarn. You remember the Regia sock yarn I bought from Hobbycraft when they accidentally issued their £5 birthday coupons to everyone? Well, I made a pair of socks out it and gave them to a knitter friend who now, sadly, has a type of dementia and can no longer follow a pattern. That left me with 32 grams of unused yarn, so I bought another 50g ball of it so that I could use it all up in another pair of socks. (I’ll justify it on grounds of frugality and use-it-up-ness.)

    I’m now down to 28 coupons. The much awaited French trip starts tomorrow, so I expect to have some heavy spending to report shortly once I’ve been to Un Jeur Ailleur.

    - Pip (Note to self - must get the sewing machine serviced.)
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' " o:)

    2020 Fashion on the Ration Challenge 33/66 coupons spent
  • Laura_ElsewhereLaura_Elsewhere Forumite
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    I now have a box in my yarn cupboard marked "Odds & Ends - sock" and another marked "Odds & Ends - DK", and at some point I'll have great fun using them up - but I have so much yarn... steadily using it up, but oh, it's slow!

    The tweed skirt is now on hold til November - I have five weeks work in my old hometown starting Oct 1st, so have Mon-Thurs commutes starting with a train before 6am on the Monday...! So now sewing for me during that lot...

    Although I am using fabric bought by my Dad (presumably on his coupons...) to make a lap-quilt for my Mum for an early Christmas. I crocheted Dad a cheerful red mohair lap-blanket for his 2017 Xmas, giving it to him in August because it was chilly, and she keeps trying to steal it, so she chose some wine-red and fir-green crushed-velvet in May and now I'm sandwiching them over some light wadding, and hand-quilting a simplified Mariners' Compass, to make her a light, machine-washable and very opulent lap-blanket - it works well: Dad pays, I design and make, Mum gets! She needed a new dressing-gown in 2016, and didn't like the ones in the supermarkets, so Dad and I arranged things, and now she has a kimono in Liberty silk...!

    But I'll try and describe the skirt surgery - I wish i knew more sewing people in real life, but it's lovely having virtual sewing friends, I agree!

    The skirt is in 8 panels and was a Size 10. I am a LOT bigger than a Size 10, depending on brand and fabric, anything from an 18 to 24! Mostly an 18. Ish. Just about :)

    So I dismantled it. And cut lining pieces bigger all round. Then I machined the long edges as close to the tweed edges as I possibly could, but with plenty of lining seam allowance to take the strain, then I turned and pressed it. So now I have eight panels which are neatly finished either side. I put two panels together, tweed side outwards, and sort of lean the tweed away from each other to expose the folded edge of the lining where it goes into its seam, and I stitch those together using doubled sewing thread and back-stitching every three whip-stitches. This is the strength, this is what will take the strain of me sitting down!
    Then I use a one-ply wool thread I have (it's weaving-yarn that feel off a friend's lorry on Harris, genuine Harris tweed yarn, but the perfect rich brown colour). I just use a whip stitch by hand to join the tweed sides lightly together, quite loose stitching. over the stitched lining.
    It ends up looking like a neat seam on both sides, but it's actually unstressed tweed sitting lightly-attached over firmly-stitched lining.
    Does that make sense?

    So that makes it a little bigger all round, but not enough - so then I move the waist down. the waistband is jettisoned, no way that can enlarge 8 inches! So come November, I'll work out how far down the skirt it becomes wide enough for me to wear it, and I'll basically lop the top off (or possibly fold it down inside the linings, not sure yet). It will end up shorter, but it was long calf-length anyway - it may even have been a weird maxi-skirt almost to ankle length. So it should still be below knee-length, even on my 31" legs.

    I'm having great fun! :)
    2020 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 74.5 coupons left out of 74.5
    (66+8.5 from last year)



    2019 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 8.5 coupons left out of 66
  • RicardaRacoonRicardaRacoon Forumite
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    Evening everyone


    I've spent another 6 coupons on three pair of black tights. So that leaves me with 22 and I plan on using 5 for a jumper, 8 for trousers and the remaining 9 will either be used for a dress or invested into a pair of decent shoes and/or underwear at the end of the year.
    How would you count modern knickers? Back in the day, underwear was 3 coupons, but then they went from the belly button down to mid tights, so used loads more fabric than our modern ones... 1 coupon each? Or say 3 coupons for 2 pairs?



    With the jumper I'll cheat slightly and buy the yarn to knit one myself but only count the coupons for a shop bought jumper.

    Apparently sewing for an average size used about the same amount of coupons as buying the finished garnment. But with knitting this somehow doesn't work out, I'd like to see anyone knit a jumper or cardigan out of 10 oz of yarn...

    I guestimate that with my size and the jumper I plan on making I need at leat 20oz and I'm not going to spent twice as many coupons for the yarn than for a storebought jumper...



    Laura, that is very much make-do-and-mend at it's best! Being able to sew does come in handy!


    Pip, enjoy France! And if you overspend you could always blame it on the fact that there was no ration in France... I wonder how they dealt with that, what if you travelled to a country were clothes weren't rationed and bought something there? Of course it was only a small group of people who did left the country for places more or less unaffected by fabric shortages, but still, there were some - merchant navy for example - and it would have been really tempting to buy stuff....

    when I read about your borrowed shoes a book sprang to my mind where someone literally borrows a whole outfit.... Just as Laura said, shoes from there, handbag from somewhere else...

    Why should you buy shoes for this one occassion if you can borrow them!



    I usually go through elegant occassions in a black dress that I bought about five years ago for an event. It was quite inexpensive, slightly short but I love it. Last year I decided though that I could not wear it for the christmas party at work again - 3. year in a row... - so just wore one of my everyday dresses and made an effort with my hair....


    Have a lovely evening everyone!
    Resolution for 2020 "Live better on less" - Less stuff, less waste, less silly spends but more make do and mend and more fun
    Fashion on the Ration: 0/66 coupons used
  • PollyWollyDoodlePollyWollyDoodle Forumite
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    Hi Ricarda, if you look at the bottom of the original post, there are some 'assumptions' - one pair of camiknickers = 2 pairs of bikini briefs.

    Laura that sounds amazing - a lot of work, but worth it to get a skirt you like.

    Coincidentally I've just come across this blog https://joeveryday19.blogspot.com - a beautifully clear description of how she remodelled a tweed jacket.
    Life is mainly froth and bubble: two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s trouble, courage in your own.
  • PipneyJanePipneyJane Forumite
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    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
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    Laura, thanks for the detailed description. Yes, it makes sense: you stitch the tweed pieces to the lining and then sew the lining fabric together, with just enough of the tweed in the seam allowance to hide its edge.

    RicardaRacoon, I’m sorry to tell you this but I can make a jumper with 10 oz of 4-ply yarn. I’ve done it a few times; the last time was The Jan Sweater. I’m a size 14 and very busty.

    The shopping trip to Un Jeur Ailleur was a complete bust. The branch in Calais is an outlet. It had one decent, warm, wool-blend, winter suit in a nice shade of French navy. Some absolute idiot of a fabric designer saw fit to screen print small, white stars on the fabric at an interval of 15cm. If I wore it, it’d look like I’d spilt milk or my coffee on my front.

    I did buy a hat today in the market in Port Bail. It’s fleece with knitted trim, very 1920’s. That’s another two coupons used, bring my total remaining down to 26.

    - Pip
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' " o:)

    2020 Fashion on the Ration Challenge 33/66 coupons spent
  • RicardaRacoonRicardaRacoon Forumite
    345 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Posts I've been Money Tipped!
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    After some consideration and a chat with my Mum - "Are you sure you want to knit a black jumper????" - I ordered green yarn for a jumper. I'll knit the White Horse jumper (https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/whitehorse-2) but make it slightly longer and with long sleeves. I love a little challenge when knitting and one of my favourite podcaster knitted it and said the lace wasn't too complicated. And once the lace part is done it'll be all stockinette so quite realxing and I'll be able to watch Foyles War while knitting.


    Plus I've ordered two pairs of grey trousers. Actually wanted to buy a second pair of jeans - normally I have two, but one pair was beyond repair in spring and I got through summer with only one pair - but I feel like having grey trousers again. A few years ago grey tweed trousers were my winter staple....
    I'll only keep one pair of them though, so that'll be another 8 coupons...



    Polly thanks for the hint with the underwear, I completely forgot to look at our own list and just checked the "Official" one.


    Pip, lovely jumper, of course I had to have a look at Ravelry! Well, yes, it is possible to knit one with 10oz, but I doubt it'll work for a winter jumper with long sleeves. Plus I'll wear it with jeans, so want it "un-1940ie-ishly" long. I know most women in the 40ies wore croped jumpers either with skirts or highwaisted trousers but I'd look rather square in that with my current size so will go for hip-lenght.


    By the way, speaking of 40ies fashion... I saw a girl last week at the station who was dressed very 1940ies but in a very casual way, I'm not even sure she realised she looked that way. Green high waist trousers that were quite wide, a striped top and a little yellow cardigan. Plus a headband. I hads a little fashion-crush...
    Resolution for 2020 "Live better on less" - Less stuff, less waste, less silly spends but more make do and mend and more fun
    Fashion on the Ration: 0/66 coupons used
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