Tesco has also reported a surge in the number of sewing machines and in shoe cleaning equipment as consumers look to cherish their clothes and shoes, rather than let them fall apart. Julia Dudrenec, at the Welwyn Garden City outlet of John Lewis, said: “There are many first-timers coming into the haberdashery and dress fabrics departments asking for advice on how to create their own gifts. “Some shoppers are being very creative, stitching fashion bags and skirts from old jeans, buying simple cotton bags and embellishing them with buttons, feathers and sequins with the new trend for “craft couture” really gathering momentum.” Last month peers on the Science and Technology Committee called for a return to post-war thriftiness with an attack on ‘fast fashion’. They criticised the rising popularity of High Street clothes which are so inexpensive that there is no incentive to repair them. At the Paris fashion shows this month Dame Vivienne Westwood championed clothes created from off-cuts. “There is status in wearing your favourites over and over again until they grow old or fall apart,” she wrote. “Make necklaces out of safety pins, shawls from blankets, tablecloths, curtains or towels”, the notes suggested. ‘Make Do And Mend’ first came to prominence during the Second World War, when it was the title of a pamphlet published in 1943 by the Ministry of Information. The guide gave household tips on how to save food and mend clothes on the cheap.
More: Craft – Volume 3 – Anatomy of a Sewing Machine (Page 36).