Write-up in RVS Magazine!

There’s a lovely write up on DFVS 2015 in the latest issue of the Royal Voluntary Service magazine. The RVS was one of our chosen beneficiary charities for the 2015 show. Take a look at the scan below. The charity ran a 1940s quiz which raised £300, and the DFVS raised an additional £1500.

We are extremely grateful for the RVS’s help with the show!


Make Do Monday – Cutting out your pattern pieces

Sew-along time Monday Makers! If you missed part one click here.


This week we are opening up the pattern and having a look inside at the different pieces that we are going to use to make the fabulous forties inspired dress above.


Before you cut any of your pieces out it would be best to 1) Decide on what size you are cutting out and 2) Choose between the two versions A and B.IMG_2373

By now you should also have chosen the fabric that you are working with. So that you have got something to lay out your pattern pieces onto once you’ve traced off or cut out the 12 pieces in paper. In the picture above you can see some examples of how to lay out your pieces on your material. To make sure you do not waste any material and make the most use of your fabric you may need to move the bits around depending on your pattern size.


If you think you might only do this dress once or you’re only going to do it in one size you can cut along the line of your patterns pieces in the size you wish to make the dress in. I like to reuse my patterns for different projects so I tend to trace the pieces off onto tracing paper. You can get this in most haberdasheries or you can use baking paper. You want to be able to transfer the correct lines and details on to each one of your pieces so you don’t end up confused when putting your dress together.


For example here I have traced off piece number 8; the skirt yoke front in a size 10, I know that I need to cut out 2 on fold and I’ve also made a mark for the notches.

Next week we are getting our sewing machines out and starting by sewing the top of the dress together, feel free to ask questions in the comments section if you get stuck!

Make Do Monday – Get Ready for a Sew-Along

Hello Monday Makers, I think it’s time for a sew-along!

I’m going to make myself one of these retro inspired dresses and I would love it if you joined me! As most vintage patterns tend to come in limited sizes I thought that Simplicity’s 1587 “Miss petite dress” would be accessible for most people. The pattern comes in sizes 6-22 and contains 12 pieces with the option of two different length sleeves and a gathered V-neck with a bow or button.1587dresspattern

This is what the pattern looks like and here are a few links to where you can find it online: Jaycotts.co.uk, habithat.co.uk and John lewis.

If we were going to stay true to the era of make do and mend, a curtain length might get chopped, but I’m on the look out for a plain Crepe back satin for my dress. Depending on your size, if you are doing sleeve A or B and the width of your fabric you will need between 2.5-3 meters of material.simplicity1587

This pattern has got that typical 40’s shape with attention to the shoulders and waist. If you are in need of some inspiration here is our post about 1940’s fashion for women. Hopefully by next Monday we’ve picked our material and decided on the sleeve length.


Before we know exactly how much material we need to get, we need to find our size. To get your measurements right you need:

  • a tape measurer
  • a pen
  • a piece of paper

To begin, write down bust, waist, hip and back(neck to waist) on a piece of paper and start off by measuring around the fullest part of your bust. Write down your measurement in inches. At the waist you measure the narrowest part and when measuring the hips you should measure as the pattern suggests, 9 inches down from the waist. Last thing, measure straight from your neck down to your waist. This will help you decide if you need to adjust the length of the bodice of the dress before cutting out your material.

Now using the measurements that you’ve written down, you can find what size will fit you best by comparing them to the “Finished garment measurements” box at the bottom of the pattern chart. Then have a look in the “Pattern size box” (pink box) to see what size you’re tracing off!  If you want to know more about Simplicity’s sizing you can visit here.

To be continued!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Simplicity or any other website mentioned.

Make Do Monday – Photos from the 2015 show


It is Monday and The Make Do Monday posts are back! I don’t know about you but I am starting to get my knitwear out of the wardrobe as the winds are getting colder. Why not head over to our recently updated photo gallery to reminisce about the summer? Click here for the 2015 photos from the Dig For Victory Show and if you are curious about what the previous years looked like, then click here.

As we were setting up inside the marquees I took some “behind the scenes” photos, lets have a look!


The bunting has been put up and here we can see the floors of the 1940s Kitchen and Parlour in the Home Front Marquee.


Putting up the walls for the kitchen.



Look at that!


The Parlour with original 1940s wallpaper next door.


In the Home Front Marquee we also had a make do and mend section where a lot of crafty poppy makers came by!


Outside the bunting game was good!


The fabulous Gibbs Motors was taking shape by Victory Square.


One of the new additions to this years show, Poppy’s Hair Salon was beautifully decorated.


With a lot of hairspray and inspiration to be found.


After a fantastic weekend of fun and learning, sadly it all has to be taken down and stored away for next year. Keep the weekend of the 11th and 12th of June 2016 open!

Workshop Wednesday – Action Stations!

It’s the last Wednesday before the show, and the lorries are lined up and ready to head down to the North Somerset Showground with the first few convoys tonight!

The old AEC fire engine has been given a dust down, wash and polish.

The Jeep has gone green at last, and the chassis has returned to be reunited with the tub.

The LP2A carrier has been converted to electronic ignition – it now starts on the button!

Show infrastructure build is still under way, with more of Ken’s marvellous signs and contraptions getting ready to go. The thing that looks like a gallows is to hold the giant ‘Please ring for attention’ bell at the ops room, supplied by Tim!

Some wine boxes have been adapted to house speakers, and Sam’s camping field now has a guard post! The RL was brought up to the yard to be loaded with canvas and sandbags, and the first lot of set has been loaded on to the Scania, now with a fresh MOT.


Stay tuned for more updates over the next few days!

Make Do Monday – Ewe knit 20

Bunting AdriafilToday is the last monday before the show, we are now counting down the days until the weekend and there are so many things to be excited about! If you have missed the previous posts about some of our line up in the home front marquee, have a look here and here for more information.

Emily and her helpers of Ewe Knit 20. are coming to the show and you will probably be able to find them in the home front marquee surrounded by yarn!

ewe_knit_business_card_v4_backFor those of you that would like to try knitting we’ve got a knitting circle in the make do and mend area in the home front marquee, why not come by and give it a go?

Star Mandala

Workshop Wednesday – Wings, Wood and Wings

So many jobs to do, so little time… Here’s a round-up of what’s been going on in the Shopland Collection workshops.

The Spitfire wing trailer/DJ booth has had new bracing added, and the wings have finally been given a coat of paint on the backs.

Show equipment and signage (Including bus stop signs for our new buggy service) – lots of painting involved.

The ‘Little Lady’ Jeep moves forward as the wings and tub have been rubbed down and put into primer.

One of the new ‘sets’ for 2015 is the Kitchen area, where Seren will be doing cooking demonstrations. The worktop for this has been given a spruce up, with some sanding and coat of Danish Oil.


What would a 1940s show without a few hundred sandbags be? We’ve been filling plenty of them up, luckily we have an almost unlimited supply of sawdust thanks to our headquarters being in a sawmill!

Another new feature for 2015 is the photo booth – Dave is kindly lending us his restored Anderson Shelter for this – we did a test assembly on the driveway.

Lastly, Mark’s Bedford CF pick up truck has been given a new coat of paint, just in time to be pressed into service for the show!