I’m in a forties frame of mind, as I am making a dress for the Sewing For Victory challenge and have been pinning lots of inspiration. So I’ll be scanning a few of my original forties knitting patterns, but I also have some leaflets to share.

First up is Deft Darns. This was an amazing eBay find. I was looking at knitting patterns and clicked to see all of a sellers items. It wasn’t very we’ll described, but I recognised the Mrs Sew-and-Sew name. I don’t think the seller realised how old it was, so I got it for £1.50 and it is in perfect condition. Click the picture for my scan, which is a downloadable pdf.

Deft Darns

If you want to see all the leaflets in this series, there is a book called Make Do and Mend, with a foreword by Jill Norman, from Micheal O’Mara books. In the writing of this blog I discover that the example pages on the publishers website are exactly the leaflet I just scanned. Here is a link to theirs. I haven’t finished reading it yet, but am finding it fascinating.

Incidentally this isn’t the same as this other book called Make Do and Mend, published by the Imperial War Museum, which is a reprint of an entire  manual originally from the Ministry of Information in 1942.

It has chapters on making clothes last longer, washing and ironing hints, renovating clothes (refashioning or upcycling in 21st century terms), unpicking and reknitting and a chapter on mending. It is surprisingly dinky at 15cm high, but I enjoyed reading it and it was inexpensive at £4.99.

The IWM in London is closed at the moment, but a lot of their collection is online, including lots of photos like this one.


Originally a museum of the Great War (aka WW1), the museum has expanded it’s scope and has collections on conflicts involving British, Commonwealth and former British Empire countries (hence the name Imperial) in the twentieth and twenty first centuries.

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