It is now less than 5 weeks to go until we open the gates to the number one1940s family festival in the South West. As always our aim is to bring history alive and the generations together for a weekend of learning, remembrance and fun!Our volunteers have been working tirelessly on some exciting new additions to the show as well as spreading the word about our fantastic event! Want to help? Tell all your friends and neighbours about the Dig for Victory Show!
The tickets for theSaturday night Victory Dance are selling fast so don’t forget to buy one whilst you still can! We can’t wait to welcome Bristol Community Big Band who are headlining on the night conducted by the fantastic Jonny Bruce with the gorgeous vocals of Lucy Moon. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes as their joy for swing is bound to keep you on the dance floor all night!
Here is a video from last years dance!
If you have never been to the show and would like to know more, keep reading!For our young visitors we have a fantastic Children’s trail which takes the entire family around all the different areas of the show. Try knitting in the Home Front Marquee, repotting by the allotment and are your hands steady enough to diffuse an unexploded bomb? We’ve got lots of delicious food stalls booked for this years show with the fabulous team from Heartfelt Vintage running our vintage tea room in the Victory Marquee.
Are you a fan of classic cars? There will be many shiny examples to see! Although we are a 1940s show we accept a wide range of vehicles! You can also find military vehicles, steam engines, tractors and all sorts around the place!When you feel like taking a break you can sit down and listen to one of hour history talks or demos, why not relax to some live music in the Victory Marquee or bring a picnic blanket and enjoy the view!
Re-enactors help to set the scene. Walking around the show you may feel like you have traveled back in time or that you might be at a film set!There will be lots of indoor and outdoor stalls selling everything from pies, books, antiques, handmade bags and dresses so don’t forget to bring some spending money! We do recommend bringing cash as the closest cash-machine is in Nailsea.We’ve got performers and live music playing all throughout the day with our Dj UXB keeping you on your toes in between! All this and more will be waiting for you in June. Please watch our highlights video from 2016 to get even more of a feel for the show!
At the beginning of October I started working on a scarf and was curious if anyone else had some knitting projects in progress. I’ve had a couple of ladies share their wonderful work, scroll down for inspiration!Lindsay is knitting on this beautiful piece, amazing work and lovely colours!Diana has been very busy knitting squares and making a scarf. She also knitted the cardigan above for her WVS dress and now she’s knitting doll’s sleeping bags for her two granddaughters for Christmas!Thank you so much for sharing your knitting projects! I am still working on my scarf but hope to have it off the needles by the end of the week!
Something that I can never get enough of on a Monday is inspiration! This week I’m going to search through my fabric bundles to see if I can find some material to try one out of these gorgeous sewing patterns from Sew La Di Da!
Here we have Blitz: a lovely 1940’s inspired dress with a really pretty collar and a short sleeve. The pattern comes in sizes 6-18, with instructions for fabric requirements and clear step by step guides.
The second pattern is Margo: an elegant playsuit which can easily be altered to fit a 50’s, 60’s or 70’s style! I love the pocket detail and this patterns versatility. Margo also comes in sizes 6-18 and can be made with a sweet heart neckline or a little collar.
The little booklet inside features a lay out plan and clear images as a step by step guide for how to put your project together. The Blitz dress looks like a really good beginners project! Sew La Di Da also have a lot of other fabulous vintage and retro inspired sewing patterns on the website. They come in a neat card envelope with inspiring photos of what you will make, perfect for getting rid of that Monday blues!
Now I need help choosing, which one to I try first? Have you got a Sew La Di Da pattern favourite?
Disclaimer: these patterns were sent to us to review, Thank you Caroline!
December 7th, 1941 is remembered as the day the Japanese military launched a surprise attack on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor.
This was the inciting incident for the USA declaring war on Japan. Germany, Japan’s ally, then declared war on the USA.
Photograph of Battleship Row taken from a Japanese plane at the beginning of the attack. The explosion in the center is a torpedo strike on the USS West Virginia. Two attacking Japanese planes can be seen: one over the USS Neosho and one over the Naval Yard. (Source: Wikipedia)
Last week I went to an event in Bristol called “Love the future of fashion”. I learned that in the UK we throw away 1.5 million tonnes of clothing every year. Some because the clothes aren’t made from good quality in the first place but also because we buy a lot more clothes than we need today. This made me think of the rationing in Britain during the Second World War, I know we’ve mentioned the Make do and Mend ethos before, so today I thought we could learn a bit more about clothes rationing.
Clothes rationing was announced in June 1941 as the British government needed to reduce production and consumption of civilian clothes to make sure materials could be put to good use and release workers and factory space for war production. To most people these news came as a bit of a surprise but as with food rationing, one of the other reasons for introducing civilian clothes rationing was to ensure a more equal sharing of clothing and improve the opportunity of finding clothes in the shops for everyone.
The rationing scheme worked by allocating each type of clothing item a “points” value which depended on how much material and labour went into making it. Eleven coupons were needed for a dress, two needed for a pair of stockings, and eight coupons required for a man’s shirt or a pair of trousers. When you bought something new you had to hand over your coupons as well as money. Adults were given 66 points to last one year but this became less over time and in 1945 only 24 coupons were issued over 8 months.
Children were allocated an extra 10 coupons as they often grew out of their clothes quicker but these needed to cover school uniforms as well and some women found it difficult to clothe their families. The Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) set up clothing exchanges to meet the needs of this problem! Families could take the clothes that their children had outgrown and got points that they could spend on new clothes at the exchange. Everything was useful to someone so very little was thrown away!
Throughout the war, special provisions were made for some people, including manual workers, civilian uniform wearers, diplomats and theatrical performers. New mothers got 50 coupons extra to provide for their babies. Some people found innovative ways to get around the rationing, using black out material and upholstery fabrics to make clothes out of. Parachute silk was highly priced to make new underwear or even wedding dresses out of! Vogue led a campaign to inspire women to adapt the clothes that they already had using bits of old clothes and trims.
Clothes rationing ended in March 1949 and I think there is a lot to learn about reusing things from this time in history that we can apply today. If you would like to know more about women’s fashion in the 1940s we’ve made a post about it here.
It is Monday again and it’s time to thread up your sewing machines, today we will start to assemble our dresses!
For this sew-along we are using the 1587 Simplicity pattern. Clickhere to catch up!
I’ve chosen to work with this crepe backed satin in a royal blue colour as I think it will look nice all year round. I’ve also got some thread and an invisible zipper in blue. When making this kind of dress in the 1940s, poppers or buttons could have been used instead, although zips were also around. You can follow the sewing directions in the pattern, here we are going through all of the stages, just in a slightly different order.
Start by making a loop out of your fabric which is going to sit in the back of the neck. You will also need a small button for the closing but lets save this detail for a later stage.
Zig/zag, overlock or turn over twice when making finishing the neckline of the bodice front yokes.
Make the pleats on the bodice yokes front and baste stitch across them to keep them in place.
Now take the back yoke piece and stitch on the loop where you marked the notches on the back bodice piece. Pin and stitch the on the back facing, apply fusible interfacing if you want to. Make sure it’s on the wrong side of the back facing.
Slash between the stitching line so that you’ve got a deep V in the centre back.
Make notches around the neckline if needed and under-stitch on top of the facing on the inside, pressing the seam allowance towards the facing.
Turn the facing to the inside and pull the loop out. Press with an iron.
We are now going to match the bodice yoke front pieces to the shoulder seams of the bodice back piece, matching up the notches and sewing together the pieces.
Now turn the facing of the front pieces inside and press it down to the same width as the back facing.
Pin and stitch together the two centre front pieces of the bodice and press seam flat.
Prepare the lower bodice piece by gathering between the notches using a long machine stitch, leave the threads long so that you can pull and gather the fabric.
Now fold the knot and turn it inside out leaving ends open, pin it into place in the centre of the lower bodice yoke and baste in place.
Pin your upper and lower bodice yoke pieces together, matching notches and centres. Gather the fabric to fit in places where needed and stitch together. Make sure you don’t catch the free side of the knot.
Press the seam upwards and from the outside turn the knot into the inside of the bodice, pin it in place and stitch it in the groove of yoke seam to catch the knot inside
Trim off all of your loose threads and give your seams a press to make sure that they lie nice and flat. It’s looking alright so far don’t you think?
Next week we are putting the skirt together, attaching it to the bodice and sewing our zips into place. Have nice week!
Today 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!
For 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?