Do It Yourself

Polish women had been sewing their own clothing since long before the war, but limited access to resources drove them to expand their creativity and come up with new solutions. Wood, cork and hemp fiber could be used to make shoes, while wood and felt could be made into jewelry.

A wedding dress could be produced out of… parachute material. However, most brides simply wore the most elegant item they had in their wardrobe, even if it wasn’t white or particularly matrimonial.

There was very little access to resources, so if someone got their hands on a military uniform, it could be made into a woman’s jacket, while a tablecloth could be sewn into a rain slicker. Other materials that were used to make clothing included weeds and nettles, or paper. Used clothing got a second life, while the yarn was pulled out of old sweaters to be weaved into new ones. 

Checkered fabrics were made monochrome by pulling out threads of a single hue. Outdated items of clothing were sliced up, patched up, and reworked. Women’s magazines at the time provided their readers with endless hacks to help create ‘something out of nothing’.