WWII campaign poster from a UK educational site.
I've been researching how to repair the thigh-worn bare spots in my husband's corduroy pants. I'm determined that we not replace them without at least trying to patch them--I want to prove my very limited sewing skills and justify the presence of the sewing machine taking up space in our house. I also feel a sort of familial obligation: my grandmothers came of age in different times from ours: one was a survivor of the Depression and the other was a civilian worker on the British homefront during WWII. As they grew up, and then, as the mother of four children each, they would have put patches on over and over again. According to my mom, her mother's generation would also reinforce the high-wear areas of new clothes. A greater generation than ours, to be sure.
Some instructions for mending pants can be found here and here.
Here's a humorous "Make Do and Mend' instructional video from the 1940s British Ministry of Supply (warning: contains a pantsless man in a bowler hat).
And other images from the homefront: