Love Train Vintage: "Make Do and Mend"

During World War II in the 1940s "make do and mend" was the motto. Nothing went to waste as ration coupons were hard to come by in terms of clothing. These days you'll see many restyled and DIY projects utilizing vintage clothing. Some of the clothing has been restyled regardless of whether the original item had damage or not. Still other items have been restyled due to damage that was not possible to repair. I'm more of a purist in that sense so anything I work on to restyle has to be impossible to restore to its former beauty. I don't shorten something or restyle it unless there is no way to bring it back to its original pristine state.

Some items are easier to restyle than others. Currently I'm attempting to restore a goddess gown from the 1960s made of chiffon with an acetate lining. The previous owner of the chiffon gown put her heel through the chiffon and tore a hole in the chiffon which left no alternative but to shorten the gown or throw it in the landfill. At the center empire waist are prong set rhinestones and beautiful bead work which is completely intact. So in the spirit of 'make do and mend' I decided to restyle the gown and make it shorter. The challenge is hemming the chiffon. I don't like hemming by machine, a personal peccadillo of mine, however, hand hemming the chiffon has left me dissatisfied so I have to re-think how I'm going to do this.

Just recently I finished restyling a 1960s maxi dress by the designer Karen Stark for Harvey Berin. The original dress had pulls in the fabric and there was no way for me to restore it and keep it maxi length. So I shortened the dress and added a contrasting band of black on the bottom and added a black cummerbund at the waist. I really love the way the dress has turned out and again while 'making do and mending' have saved another dress from the landfill.

So there you have it. 'Mend and make do' isn't just a saying from the 1940s. It's alive and well, right now, all over the world. What have you done to keep the earth green lately?

by Marge Leyden, Love Train Vintage /lovetrainvintage-rp

There are also some things I have that are beyond what I prefer to get involved with. I prefer not to sell items that have damage, but some things can be used for stage wear for plays, etc., so occasionally you might see something like this in my store. Rest assured a full disclosure is always provided so you know exactly what you are getting.


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