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2018 Fashion on the Ration challenge

edited 2 January 2018 at 1:58PM in Old Style MoneySaving
216 replies 26.9K views
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  • RicardaRacoonRicardaRacoon Forumite
    345 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Posts I've been Money Tipped!
    ✭✭
    Evening everyone

    I have spent my first 5 coupons on a red blouse. It fits like a dream, but will need a little bit of needle treatment tonight... I will iron some iron on lining into to front where the button of my trousers are to prevent holes and I will have to cut off the ribbon along the neckline. I don't want to tie the ribbon - besides it doesn't do anything, it isn't needed to close a too deep neckline or so - and letting it hang down means that it dangles into everything...
    Oh and before I even tried it on I turned it inside out and had a look at the seams :-)

    Thank you about the information about how many clothes an average person might have had. It was fewer than I had expected... I actually wanted to ask my Granny on Sunday how many dresses she likely had during her childhood - she was born in 1932 - but as her family was fairly poor I guessed it would have been below average and didn't asked. We did however ended up talking about the war in general and about food rationing. She said the main thing she remembers is that they were always short of bread - which was rationed during the whole lenght of the war here in Switzerland - and eventually her mother started cutting the bread up in the morning and handing each child his/her share and they were in charge of that. Grannys guilty pleasure was bread with sugar sprinkled on top and her bread hardly ever lasted longer than lunchtime... I can almost see her sitting at the tea table, face red with anger, throwing a fit because her more responsible siblings still had bread to go with their stew or soup while hers was gone already... (her siblings called her "the red sun" for her frequent tantrums which resulted in her face glowing red with anger...)
    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
  • monnagranmonnagran Forumite
    4.7K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    I won't join in your challenge because the state of my wardrobe needs a fairly discreet veil thrown over it. However, having been born before the war I may be able to help with what it was really like.

    Like csarina my grandmother was trained as a tailoress in Edwardian times. Heaven forfend that anyone should refer to her as a dressmaker! All clothes were home made. She trained my mother and aunt well so there were three of them in the production line.
    Once a garment was worn out/damaged/ grown out of or hopelessly out of fashion, it was immediately turned into something else. Dresses became blouses and/or skirts, outer coats became suits, men's trousers became jackets. I remember the lovely coat and matching skirt I had, made out of Dads cricketing flannels while he was away fighting fof king and country. His reaction to that when he returned was not recorded.
    The only things I had bought in an actual shop were liberty bodices and Lyle stocking Oh, and shoes of course. Vests were knitted in Halcyon and socks were knitted in cream cotton. They were beautiful, intricately patterned and much admired. I hated them. I wanted grey (winter) or white (summer) shop bought socks like everyone else.
    Probably I had more clothes than most children because of the efforts of the women in my family. Matching dresses and knickers and wondrously smocked frocks were the norm for me. The adults presumably had to spend their coupons on fabric and wool although most of their pre-war clothes were cunningly re-modelled to bring them up to date and given a re-incarnation.
    Usually children had three sets of clothes. One for Sundays, known in our house as Sundaygotomeeting clothes. They were eventually downgraded to school clothes for children and work clothes for adults and finally consigned to play clothes for children and gardening clothes for adults. After that came pinafores and aprons.

    Absolutely nothing was wasted.

    After the war, when rationing was even more draconian, ex-army blankets were in great demand, not only to be used as blankets, but to be turned inti coats and dressing gowns.
    Of course, coupons also had to be used for bedding, towels, curtains and all household fabrics. Creativity and ingenuity abounded and the thrift that we are all trying to practise on these forums was simply the way of life for everyone. Some of us have never grown out of it.
    I believe that friends are quiet angels
    Who lift us to our feet when our wings
    Have trouble remembering how to fly.
  • Jonesy88Jonesy88 Forumite
    959 posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
    Clocking in with my first "spend" of 9 coupons.

    I've bought a jumpsuit for my holidays, which is closest in use and production to a dress - 7

    Gloves as a gift for my mum - 2

    41 coupons left.
    :rudolf: DF by Xmas 2018: #83 £8,250/£15,000 55% :rudolf:
    SPC 7: #135 :staradmin | MFW 9.72% | Groceries: £6.49/£80 | Exercise 0/20 | NSDs 0/15
  • PipneyJanePipneyJane Forumite
    2.3K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
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    You took the rant right out of my mouth! I even asked a member of staff about it in February and sh said brightly that she's actually the one in charge of the wool department. I said, "well, you know most of it is not wool, it's yarn?" and she said, "oh, we've got almost twice the range of wools we had" and I said, "no, you have twice the range of acrylic and cotton yarn, but about a fifth of the wool yarn that you had" and she said, "no, all of these shelves now are wool!" and I gave up...

    She suggested buying online for collection from the store; I said the problem was that then I couldn't be sure of colours or texture and sh said, oh lots of customers just order what they might like, open it when they collect it and then you can return it free for a full refund if you don't like it...

    In what universe does that make any kind of sense???

    I now find yarns I like, and then go and search in Ravelry's yarn-stash-search to find someone selling it :) That way I can have lovely yarns for less than full price!


    I have had some feedback from Hobbycraft. You know how Hobbycraft’s receipts come with a “complete this survey and have a chance to win £100” offer on the bottom? Well, I filled in the online survey. In it, I complained about the lack of real wool, the ignorance of the staff about yarn, etc

    On Thursday, I received a call from our local store’s duty manager. I had to explain that my complaint wasn’t aimed specifically at her store but at the whole chain. She was most apologetic but explained that the ranges they stock are determined by corporate and that, when they did stock better yarns, they didn’t make sufficient money to justify them. (She’s Italian and doesn’t understand why, when they stocked real wool, it didn’t sell. Italian knitters don’t buy acrylic.)

    I did suggest that they should have shade cards of the good stuff on display with an “order at the counter” sign attached.

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

    2020 Fashion on the Ration Challenge 47/66 coupons spent. 19 remain.
  • PipneyJanePipneyJane Forumite
    2.3K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks everyone for the feedback about real women’s wardrobes. Before the war, the middle classes had better wardrobes than the poor but many middle class women made their own clothes. That is evident from the “ladies magazines” of the day.
    monnagran wrote: »
    After the war, when rationing was even more draconian, ex-army blankets were in great demand, not only to be used as blankets, but to be turned inti coats and dressing gowns.
    Of course, coupons also had to be used for bedding, towels, curtains and all household fabrics. Creativity and ingenuity abounded and the thrift that we are all trying to practise on these forums was simply the way of life for everyone. Some of us have never grown out of it.

    My mum was in the WAAAF in Australia during the war. Clothing was rationed there, too, so she resorted to making a dressing gown out of a blanket.

    Mum’s dressmaking skills were amazing, She’d been trained as a dressmaker before the war, but never worked as one. When we came along in the 1960’s, she made all our clothes, including smocked dresses. We’d have fit right into a 1930’s/1940’s playground.

    Monnagran, you’re welcome regardless of how big your wardrobe is. What is Halcyon, please?

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

    2020 Fashion on the Ration Challenge 47/66 coupons spent. 19 remain.
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • monnagranmonnagran Forumite
    4.7K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    Pip, Halcyon was a very soft wool and cotton mix (at least I think that was what it was made of). I only had experience of the pale pink sort but I suppose they may have produced other colours. I never knew it used for anything other than vests.
    I believe that friends are quiet angels
    Who lift us to our feet when our wings
    Have trouble remembering how to fly.
  • Laura_ElsewhereLaura_Elsewhere Forumite
    1K posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
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    I've been working on my Mending pile, not to mention my Must Get Round To Re-Doing That pile!

    Result: one pair of Accidental Trousers* now back in wear, and one lovely flowery skirt in heavy cotton, suitable for three seasons' wear, back in wear.

    *because it was meant to be a very full divided skirt with a deep box-pleat concealing the trouseriness, but I forgot the extra inches needed for the box-pleat when I was cutting it out and got a fair way through construction before I realised I'd made trousers with an 84" hem on each leg...! they actually look rather nice, anyway, and are so full most people think it's a skirt anyway :)

    No coupons spent!

    Although on Thursday I am going to a fabric shop, so... er... :)
    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
  • PipneyJanePipneyJane Forumite
    2.3K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
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    monnagran wrote: »
    Pip, Halcyon was a very soft wool and cotton mix (at least I think that was what it was made of). I only had experience of the pale pink sort but I suppose they may have produced other colours. I never knew it used for anything other than vests.

    Monnagran, I don’t think I ever thanked you for explaining what Halcyon was. Thank you.

    To everyone else, how did your April go? I haven’t spent a thing since the Hobbycraft incident, mentioned above, so still have my remaining 30 coupons intact. Just as well, really, since there’s at least one thing on the horizon that could blow the budget to smithereens: a very dear friend is getting married and has asked me to be Best Woman. The wedding is in August and we have to meet up soon to discuss colours, etc, for the wedding party. I don’t think I’ll be able to get away with my “Wedding frock” (a drape-y number in fake chiffon, that I’ve worn to a number of weddings over the years). Frankly, the dress worries me more than the speech I’ll have to give. That’s at least 7 coupons I need to set aside.

    I have a small amount of mending to do. A tab on the pocket of one of my suit jackets, caught on my watch last week. < sigh >. Fortunately, I can fix it with a couple of canny stitches..

    The other thing that needs mending is my vaguely-trench-coat-styled summer coat, which lost a button from the middle pair on the front as well as the backing button. I don’t have a clue where the spares are so will do a bit of clever rearranging - moving one down from next to the neckline - and then filling that in with a button that is similar. It is 18 years old and I have been looking to replace it since last autumn. I want a classic trench coat that has a warm, detachable lining. This one has the lining but is microfibre, not heavy cotton, so never held a crisp shape. I think it is looking a bit tatty but we’ll see how it does after a dry clean. If I find what I want, then I need 14 coupons for the replacement and I don’t really have that wriggle room.

    I am a numpty for spending so many coupons on yarn, when I have half a house full. We’re heading to Normandy at the end of September and I’m bound to spot another great suit in Un Jeur Ailleur. Normally, I’d spend 25-30 coupons (11 for the jacket, 7 for the skirt, 6 for the trousers and 5 for a jumper). Clothes bought abroad didn’t count during the war, so I could pretend they don’t count, but that isn’t in the spirit of the challenge.

    ARRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

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

    2020 Fashion on the Ration Challenge 47/66 coupons spent. 19 remain.
  • PollyWollyDoodlePollyWollyDoodle Forumite
    1.5K posts
    1,000 Posts Fifth Anniversary Name Dropper
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    Hmm, I think you should be allowed some leeway for overseas purchases!

    I spent no coupons in April. Made a blouse, but the fabric was something I already had and which was a gift, so no coupons needed. Not planning on spending any this month, I have enough t-shirts to keep me going this summer.
    Life is mainly froth and bubble: two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s trouble, courage in your own.
  • Laura_ElsewhereLaura_Elsewhere Forumite
    1K posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
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    Oooh but there were HUGE taxes on bringing in clothing bought abroad...! I mean massive taxes - stories of people abandoning the clothes at the dockside because they couldn't afford to pay the import duty on clothes bought in America...

    So maybe there should be some 'penalty' for bringing in clothes from abroad! :)
    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
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