Leather and metal were on the list of products for Military use only. Materials for clothing and accessories had to utilize sturdier fabrics, such as tweeds, canvas and natural materials such as straw and gimp. Wood and plastic replaced metal giving rise to 'Make Do and Mend'.
Ever resilent, women of the 1940's who not only 'Made Do and Mended', reinvented their Pioneer Ancestors Spirit of 'It's Handmade, Honey'. Home dressmakers, knitters, crocheters and other needle crafters took to their sewing machines and needles and Women's Magazines for patterns and inspiration.
From my Collection of Vintage Pattern Magazines comes the Jack Frost Instruction Booklet of Crocheted Handbags. This company also produced pattern booklets for knitting with patterns just for men's sweaters, or just for women's sweaters, and just for children's sweaters. The Handbag booklet cost 20 cents in 1940 and included 20 pages of stylish, glamourous models and patterns for handbags made from materials available to the Handcrafter in 1944. I added it to my collection in 2004 for $2.75. As collectors items on ebay, they range from $3.99 to $25.00 in todays market.
As Collectables, these Booklets are sought after as much for the Fashion Trends in clothing, hats and bags as for the patterns. Even more collectable are the Glamour Photographs of the models showing hairstyles, makeup trends and stylish clothing and accessories.
I'm thinking it is time to bring back the 1940's Easter Fashion Parade and
Crochet 'Straw Bag No. 4807'.
Instead of Jack Frost Straw which came in 2 oz. tubes in 1940,
I'm going to use a Cotton Yarn and a larger crochet hook.
[click on pattern to enlarge]
1944 Handmade Handbags written in support of the
1940 US Census Community Project