Last year, I began to explore vintage shopping. Since then, my interest in vintage has grown and I’ve become fascinated by the 1940s, especially the wartime years. I love the ‘make do and mend’ ethos, the music and (of course!) the clothes. On the whole, it has been a positive experience because it has made me care again about how I look. However, I’ve found it hard work and this week I have been wondering if it’s worth the effort. My natural state is total scruff so looking presentable is a constant battle, never mind trying to look co-ordinated and well groomed.

Building a wardrobe of vintage or vintage inspired clothes is challenging. I’m larger than most British women were in the 1940s, so buying original clothing from that period is difficult. Some reproduction clothing brands are very good (I have two excellent dresses from Collectif) but some brands are way out of my price range and when I’ve ordered from cheaper brands I’ve been disappointed by the poor quality. You can find 40s style clothing in high street stores if you look hard enough, but you need to have some knowledge about period fashion to choose the right garments. Unfortunately I don’t sew fast enough to make a wardrobe full of clothes myself any time soon!

I was feeling rather despondent, when I saw a blog post by Rhinestones & Telephones about a 40s sewalong being hosted by Rochelle from Lucky Lucille. Sew for Victory runs from 4 February to 31 March and participants are invited to sew a garment from either a vintage 1940s pattern, or a reproduction 1940s pattern or a modern pattern to create a 1940s inspired item. During the sewalong, Rochelle will be posting on fashion inspiration and suggestions for resources. There’s a Flickr group for participants to share photos and chat. At the end of the sewalong, there will be a project parade on Lucky Lucille.

I know I don’t have a good record with sewalongs (remember the apronalong?) but I’m determined to produce a finished garment for this one, even if it’s something really simple. I’m looking forward to learning more about fashion from the 1940s, being inspired by what other participants are making and (hopefully) making some new online friends. Does anyone fancy joining me?