Friday, 3 January 2014

Feeling very sorry for myself!

Hello my lovely Folks, how are you - those of you in the UK I do hope you are safe and well.  We are being battered here with rain and gale-force wind in the Northwest and it is very chilly to boot.  However, we are not near the coast so we are very lucky not to get the full blast of the bad weather.  Do take care Everyone if you are out and about as it is awful in most places in the UK today. 

I am feeling a little sorry for myself today as I think I have tonsillitis, an illness which tormented me in my childhood and which seems to have come back with a vengeance late yesterday.  They sent me home from work today as I am finding it so difficult to speak (good news here for Everyone) and swallow.  At present I just want to crawl into bed with a water bottle and sleep. 

However I wanted to pop into day as I had promised to show you all what I had bought yesterday in Shrewsbury.  It is something I have been searching for over the years and I am so happy to get on in such good condition.  I cannot believe my luck.  I am sure most of you will understand what the CC41label on clothing means.
Driven by the World War 2  economy and rationing, the new female silhouette produced a slim shape created by an economy of cut, nipped in waist and narrow skirts. Vogue described the look in 1942 as “sharp cold and even bold”. Jackets were single breasted, short, often unlined to save on material, and without cuffs or patch pockets to comply with the “no fabric on fabric” guidance. Even the number of buttons were restricted to three or less. Skirts had a no nonsense look often with a front and back pleat to again minimise the amount of fabric required.

 Due to the lack of materials and new fabrics to make fashion garments, magazines promoted the recycling of garments or reworking of other fabric items to create clothing. Noted examples are a pillow case made into summer shorts or wedding dresses from parachute fabric or bleached blackout material.

Although these were austere years the public demanded that any clothing that was produced had to be not only fit for purpose, but made to last for several seasons.  The British Government wanted to ensure a fair distribution of what limited new clothing that was being produced and so it introduced the CC41 label in 1941. The label was designed by Reginald Shipp and looks like two round cheeses with a small wedge taken out of each. The two Cs standing for Clothing Control. It was the clothing version of rationing that had been introduced for food and could only be purchased with coupons and additional money.

There was an initial annual allowance of 66 coupons which reduced to 36 coupons per person in 1945. A short jacket or wool dress would cost seven coupons. Clothing which was worthy of the CC41 label had to be both well made and conform to the government strict guidelines which even regulated the length of skirt and the total yardage of material allowed for a garment.

In Britain, the Board of Trade worked with a number of leading designers to produce the kind of fashions that fitted the framework of the CC41 label. The group included famous designers such as Norman Hartnell, Edward Molyneux, Bianca Mosca and Hardy Amies who  famously once said “The urge to make love is perhaps the biggest incentive to dress well”.

This group of designers designed a range of 34 Utility designs all bearing the CC 41 label. The collection contained four basic items ; a coat, suit, afternoon dress and suit dress for the office. These items were sold in stores such as Marks and Spencer and although required a substantial number of precious coupons were still cheaper than any clothing which did not bear the CC41 label. The Government continued issuing ration books until 1949 and the ultimate demise of rationing did not take place until 1952. (

I have seen some examples of CC41 clothes in vintage fairs but either the condition has been poor or I couldn't afford what was being asked for them.  In the lovely Maggie's shop in Shrewsbury yesterday I happened to mention to her that I was looking out for a decent CC41 apron  in good condition and low and behold, off the rail comes a lovely apron.

It is in wonderful condition and hardly looks as if it has been worn (similar to mine here at home!) but I loved it straight away and had to have it.  It was a little more than I was going to pay but the condition was so good I did feel that it was a fair price.  Have a look and see what you think of it Lovelies.

 I am so delighted with it Lovelies, my poor husband thinks I have something loose upstairs and couldn't really muster much passion for the apron but then it takes all sorts doesn't it.  I hope you have a wonderful day/evening Everyone and you keep safe and happy.  I think I am going to crawl into bed now - had high hopes of doing more crochet but possibly tomorrow. 
Big hugs to all my lovely Folks out there, Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
PS I found a really good website last night which you might want to check out as it has loads of different patterns from all sorts of crafts, I am sure a lot of you will already know it. I thought it was fab, it is called, do pop over and have a look.xxxx


  1. Have just checked out It is certainly one I shall go back to.
    Love the Pinny. Our chaps just don't understand these things ;0)
    Hope you feel better tomorrow. I used to be a martyr to Tonsillitis but, fortunately, it had left me alone for quite some time now.
    Big hugs x

  2. Sorry to hear you're poorly, Dorothy! Amazing how vibrant the colours on the apron are, after all these years, wow! Get well soon, xxx

  3. Sorry that you have the ickies Dorothy. Go to bed and stay there until you are better -- or the sofa of course! I understand about your apron, we all have different passions and people in our lives who don't get those passions, but we have others who do, so you can share with us out here! I had no idea about the CC41, so it was very interesting to read about it - thank you!

    Hope that you get to feeling better soon - get some meds from the docs if it doesn't clear up soon! xx

  4. Take care of those tonsils Dorothy! I hope you feel better!

  5. Dear Dorothy,
    This was an absolutely fascinating post and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the CC41 labels, which I have heard mentioned before. My Mum and Dad both grew up in England during the war and talked of rationing, so I found this very interesting. I LOVE love love your apron. I have two vintage aprons that I think are from the 50's, but I'm not sure. My Mum always wore an apron so I bought them because they reminded me of her and now I find myself wearing one every time I cook! Thank you for such a great post, even though you are feeling under the weather. I do hope you can rest and feel better quickly. Take care,

  6. I am terribly sorry to hear you are unwell. May God bless you and heal you. May I suggest a drink with 1-2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider vinegar (with the mother in it) in a tall glass of water three times a day to help fight the infection?

    Your apron is terrific. I thank you for sharing some WWII history from the UK perspective.

    Laura of Harvest Lane

  7. Thanks for this really interesting posting. I had never heard of CC41, thought I knew clothes were rationed. I'll be looking for that label in vintage shops now. I don't think my hubby will get too excited by it either. Sorry about the tonsils. I suffered from this badly as a child and even into my forties. I was told I would grow out of it. I did, but it took about 45 years!

  8. Sorry to hear you were under the weather, throats are a menace at this time of year.. I love your apron, its colourful and I especially like the bit that goes round your neck, usually this is a boring bit for an apron, left by the wayside, but your apron incorporates and uses it.
    Get well soon, lots of soothing drinks and ice cream.


  9. Happy New Year to you and your family Dorothy!...I hope 2014 brings you good health, happiness and lots of creativity too..x
    Such an interesting post...I've loved reading it and have enjoyed visiting you so much through 2013...Thank you too for visiting me and your kind comments which are always so appreciated..
    Hoping you're feeling much better soon...keep warm and safe,
    Susan x

  10. Dorothy, thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog tonight. I do hope you're feeling better now, love Tina xxx

  11. Sorry to hear that you are poorly Dorothy. Look after yourself lovely. Your post was really interesting and I learnt such a lot! I love your pinny and wonder what story it would tell. Jille xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  12. For starters get well soon.I liked your story very very much.I love so much the 40s and the fashion of that time so it was lovely to read your post. I look at 80s Burda magazines these days and there is so much fabric on the clothes.Nothing is fitted.Enjoy your new(old)apron.

  13. Such an interesting post.....I love the pinny! I'm so sorry you are feeling poorly and hope you will soon be well again. Take care, Dorothy, get lots of rest and keep cosy!
    Helen xx

  14. Sorry to hear you've not been feeling well Dorothy, hope you feel better soon. Your apron is so lovely! Men don't really get it a lot of the time do they?! I know my other half certainly doesn't! A really interesting post which I thoroughly enjoyed, thank you for sharing.
    Marianne xx

  15. Gosh Dorothy, I have really enjoyed reading about the wartime clothing rules etc., I knew about rationing of course but not about CC41 - and I love your new apron, the fabric seems to bring a memory to me but I haven't quite sorted it yet . . . . . oh, and don't worry about the menfolk, sometimes they're on a different planet, haha!!!
    I'm so sorry you've been having trouble with the tonsils again and understand that problem and commiserate completely! Surely you'll need to have antibiotics to clear it, apart from natural remedies which I'm all for - sometimes we need to do a balancing act, don't you think?
    Sending you much love and warm hugs, get well soon, Joy xoxo