The Social Experiment

This blog is about understanding and exploring what my Grandmothers experienced by living on the home front during World War II. I am going to be living, as best as I can, to the US rationing standards of 1945. This is a social experiment, not only to connect to my families past, but to explore new way to live environmentally and socially responsible. I hope to show, that by living as our grandparents did, we can reduce the amount of waste that our society throws out and live healthier and more simple lives.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dusting off the Sewing machine

OK... the rationing is going so well... that most of my clothes do not fit well anymore.  (I have lost around 20 pounds or so..)  Yesterday as I was running... We must stay fit and healthy... My running pants would not stay up!

So I have a predicament.  I am only aloud one outfit of new clothes.  Do I want to waist that outfit on work out clothes (I also am in need of new running shoes but I am NOT wasting my one pare of new shoes on athletic shoes...!!!)?  My answer is NO!

So this week I have dusted off my sewing machine.  I am going to see if I can take in a lot of my clothes.  See if I can change my dress pants to a size smaller.  I am also desperate for a new work suit... So I am on the look out for an old used men's wool suit. 

I have a pamphlet on how to cut out a women's suit out of a larger men's suit.  It was published by the University of Minnesota in 1943.  It is a way to reuse fabric, and I have decided now is the time to try it.

I am looking forwards to a Hanger Dance in mid May and I want a new outfit to I have decided to make my own.

I will keep you updated as I keep working on it...  Learning how to make New out of Used.


  1. Hi, I am following this great project for a while now with fascination. I have been considering doing somethin similar for quite a while now (originally only with clothes like Susannah did in her Fashion on the Ration project: But the more I get involved in WWII history the more I want to try this on my own. And losing some pounds wouldn't hurt either ;-).

    I have a questions about your rules: I look at the lists you posted and am a bit confused. I only find points for canned and frozen products, was there no rationing of fresh vegetables and fruit? What about flour, milk, potatoes, rice ...
    I would like to learn a little more about your rules, if you're willing to share.
    Good luck with your sewing endeavours! I have a blouse patterns from the 40ies with a cutting layout for using a Men's shirt. If you're intrested I can scan the instructions and post it on my blog.

    1. Thanks for following! As to the rules... The research that I did - I discovered that the food that was rationed was processed food (so canned and frozen foods). The other foods may not have been as readily available depending on where it came from. So fresh fruits and vegetables were available when in season and people (in the city and on the farm) were encouraged to can as much as they could. I read stories on where community canning kitchens were set up in the cities - so people could work together to can foods.

      I am doing my part by growing foods indoors - and trying to put away foods - I have almost finished the last of my pumpkin that I put away.

      I would love a blouse pattern! Yes scan it. Thanks so much! - Whipstich vintage