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. (www.vintagetovoguebath.co.uk)
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 www.craftpassion.com, do pop over and have a look.xxxx