Competition 2013 (Archive)

You can see all of these and more in the Picasa Web Album - Regional Day 2013.
Once there you can zoom in to see the detail.

1st Prize in Quilts and Garments Section Alyssa Robinson - Market Harborough Branch
1st Prize in Quilts and 
Garments Section
Alyssa Robinson - 
Market Harborough Branch  
1st Prize in Quilts and Garments Section Alyssa Robinson - Market Harborough Branch
2nd Prize in Quilts and Garments Section Sonia Clayton - West Bridgford Branch
2nd Prize in Quilts and Garments Section on left
Sonia Clayton - 
West Bridgford Branch

3rd Prize in 
Quilts and Garments Section
on right
Janet Dobson - 
Lincolnshire Branch
3rd Prize in Quilts and Garments Section Janet Dobson - Lincolnshire Branch
1st Prize in Objects and Accessories Section Gill Green - Rutland and Stamford Branch
1st Prize in Objects and Accessories Section

Gill Green - Rutland and Stamford Branch
1st Prize in Objects and Accessories Section Gill Green - Rutland and Stamford Branch
2nd Prize in Objects and Accessories Section Naomi Coupland - Market Harborough Branch
2nd Prize in Objects and Accessories Section on left
Naomi Coupland - Market Harborough Branch

3rd Prize in Objects and Accessories Section on right
Joan Holmes - Chesterfield Branch
3rd Prize in Objects and Accessories Section Joan Holmes - Branch?

Regional Day 2013  Members’ Competition ‘Make Do and Mend’

Part 1

Aim: to create a piece of textile art using hand and/or machine techniques which reflect ‘Make Do & Mend’.


NB The work should not have been exhibited previously.

To help get you started  :


‘Make Do & Mend’ was first coined during World War Two when basic commodities were in short supply and rationed. The population was urged to make the best use of what they already had and use ingenuity to make scarce resources last as long as possible.

With the coming of the present Recession the idea has been revived with a resurgence of interest in making rather than buying, and recycling. As a result knitting, sewing and craft groups and classes have burgeoned throughout the country and there has been a return to celebrating frugality. 

The following are suggestions to inspire you and get you thinking:

  • The website is full of ideas/inspirations. I just put in ‘Make Do & Mend’. For example there are articles on the history of the phrase, an opportunity to buy a re-issued copy of the booklet issued during WW2 and sites dedicated to the practice. A book with an introduction by Jill Norman explores the theme in more detail. John Lewis got in on the act in 2009 and published a booklet. ‘Make Do’ can be seen as separate from ‘Mend’ in this context. There is even a music group with the name! …and much more. 
  • Images of the subject on ‘Google ‘produce a wealth of inspiration eg WW2 posters.
  • Darning socks and other clothing used to be an everyday occupation with a darning mushroom being standard equipment. See Hilary Hollingworth’s website where her signature darning /weaving technique can be studied.    I noticed that ‘East’ clothing makes a virtue of darning on its unique Gudri jackets.
  • Oxfam/M&S have recently launched a scheme called ‘Shwopping’ promoted by Joanna Lumley. The aim is to encourage the recycling of redundant clothing.
  • Kantha originated from the practice by Indian women of recycling the best parts of old saris and dhotis by layering the pieces and quilting them. Kantha has become an embroidery technique.  
  • Patchwork originated in the same way being a method of using recycled fabric to create quilts.  The American Museum in Bath has many examples. 
  • Buttons, patches, borders ,embroidered motifs, ribbons, lace, Ric Rac braid etc are all used to change the look of a garment, update it, extend its life. 
  • Equipment: needles, pins, darning mushrooms, sewing machines, threads, yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks etc
  • Charity Shops provide rich pickings for those who want to make do, mend or recycle.
  • ‘Make Do & Mend’ is not confined to stitching etc but can encompass other skills eg renovating old furniture, giving something a coat of paint, a makeover, recycling fabrics for home furnishing eg felting old jumpers to make cushions etc. See Kirstie Allsopp’s ‘Homemade Home’.
  • Explore the whole idea of ‘Hand me Downs’ which used to be the bane of the younger child!
  • Rag Rescue specialises in vintage fabrics, trimmings, buttons etc
  • See p5 of ‘Contact’ 31 which mentions Topshop’s ‘Altered Vintage’.
  • Some advice on the subject from the Government booklet:

      ‘An old skirt will make one pair of knickers & a little  play- skirt for a 7 year old girl’

      ‘Cut down really worn ties to make smaller & shorter ones for your young son.’

      ‘Unpick knitted garments & knit again’

      ‘Don’t waste precious time just for the sake of making something new & different’

      ‘Pyjama legs will make children’s vests’

      ‘Plus fours will make you an excellent skirt’

      ‘Save all tapes, ribbons, pieces of elastic, hooks, eyes, press studs, buttons and trimmings from old clothes’

      • The 1938 Olympic Games held in England were called the ‘Make Do & Mend’ Games as they took place in a time of austerity.
      • The Press is keen to point out when the Royals are recycling their outfits. The Duchess of Cambridge has worn a dress that her mother was seen in previously.

      Think outside the box…try to think beyond the obvious.

          Regional Day 2013 Members’ Competition ‘Make Do & Mend’ 
          Part 2 (added Jan 29th)
            Time is rushing by as usual and it won’t be long before the first month of the year has gone, which means that Regional Day 2013 on May 18th will soon be upon us! You will already be aware that the theme for this year’s Regional Members’ Competition is ‘Make Do & Mend’ and I am hoping that members have already made a start on their entries or are at least in the planning stage.
              In Autumn 2012 I sent out to all branches an email flyer with a list of suggestions and ideas to get people thinking and hopefully inspired to enter the competition this year. A copy of this is to be found on the left hand column of this webpage and can easily be printed off for those who do not have access to a computer. I had some very encouraging responses to this and know that some branch members have held workshops on the theme.
                I should like to emphasise that ‘Make Do & Mend ‘ does not just look back to the past, when it was a slogan during the Second World War, but is also very relevant to this day and age in that the whole subject of recycling has become very topical and trendy. 

                One member who emailed me was intending to explore the making of one garment from another and suggested that her entry might include a photograph of the original piece. What a good idea. Such pieces might need to be displayed on dressmaking dummies or similar. I would ask that anyone having particular requirements as to how their work needs to be displayed contacts me in advance I am at present sourcing dummies in the hope they will be required! I am very keen that we display members’ work well.
                  Barbara Meeke has recommended two books which explore the subject of recycling in stitch :
                   ‘Creative Recycling in Embroidery’ by Val Holmes (ISBN-13: 978-1906388751). It certainly opens up the whole idea of recycling which she interprets very widely. 
                  ‘Second Skin’ by India Flint (ISBN -13:978-1741967210) an Australian who is deep into saving the planet. She explores recycling ideas such as dyeing, re-using a garment etc.
                    Entries for the competition should be handed in at Regional Day on May 18th by 10.30 am.