Booklet 'Women's effort in war time'


The title of this booklet translates as ‘women’s effort in wartime’, published by the European Fashion Journal. It contains instructions for making quick and easy wartime clothing and equipment such as caps, bandages and uniforms. These were contributions every household could make for the benefit of those fighting. 32 Reichsadler (imperial eagles), the heraldic symbol of the German Empire, decorate the cover.

Germans sent gift parcels to the front, known as liebesgabe, meaning a gift of love. These presents, sent by relatives and also to troops at large, were considered crucial for armed forces, which were often poorly equipped.

War brought an end to trade between enemy countries Thus Germany wasn’t able to buy clothes from Britain any more. Sewing and knitting became a national duty. Women were encouraged to use spare material, blankets or old clothes to make shirts for the wounded or woollen helmet covers. They were also encouraged to think of poor families, to simply sew a miniature for a boy, perhaps their own son, ‘as an ideal Christmas gift’.


Women’s work effort in wartime
Contains instructions, accompanied by pictures, on how to make useful articles for war outfits, wounded troops and simple clothing for women and children, that can be produced easily and cheaply in every home for our own use or for emergency relief overseas.

What can be made with specific amounts of fabric?

With 1/2 metre of fabric
at a width of 80 cm: 1 baby’s top
or 1 nappy
or 1 child’s vest

at a width of 110 cm
1 young child’s jacket
or 1 slip without vest

at a width of 130 cm
1 child’s hat
or 2 boy’s caps
or 1 pair of boy’s trousers without top
or 1 child’s jacket

With 1 metre of fabric
at a width of 80 cm
1 pair of boy’s trousers with top
or 1 pair of girl’s trousers
1 slip
or 1 girl’s top
or 1 child’s bed jacket
or 1 adult’s slip

at a width of 110 cm
1 teenage girl’s blouse
or 1 young child’s tunic
or 1 child’s skirt
or 1 jacket for a 5 year-old girl

at a width of 130 m
1 teenage girl’s skirt
or 1 girl’s jacket
or 1 pair of trousers with waistcoat
or 1 adult’s blouse

With 1 ¼ to 2 metres of fabric
at a width of 80 cm
1 pair of pyjama bottoms
or 1 older girl’s slip
or 1 girl’s pinafore
or 1 adult’s work overall
or 1 pair of lady’s trousers
or 1 formal skirt
or 1 bed jacket
or 1 kimono blouse
or 1 boy’s tunic
or 1 pair of leisure trousers
or 1 house jacket

at a width of 100 cm
1 boy’s tunic
or 1 older girl’s skirt
or 1 adult’s blouse

at a width of 130 cm
1 boy’s jacket
or 1 boy’s coat
or 2 pairs of boy’s trousers
or 1 girl’s coat
or 1 teenager’s jacket
or 1 adult’s bolero hat
2 protective vests for soldiers

with 3 metres of fabric
at a width of 80 cm
1 girl’s night dress
or 1 adult’s reform pinafore
or 1 adult’s slip
or 1 princess slip
underpants for soldiers

at a width of 110 cm
1 older girl’s dress
or 1 simple teenage girl’s dress
or 1 adult’s skirt
or 1 adult’s slip

at a width of 130 cm
1 lady’s coat
or 1 simple dress
or 1 suit with short jacket
or 1 girl’s dress and 1 pair of boy’s trousers

with 4 metres of fabric
at a width of 80 cm
1 adult’s house coat

at a width of 100 cm
1 adult’s dress
or 1 teenager’s suit

at a width of 130 cm
1 suit with long jacket
or 1 teenage girl’s dress with jacket

Knitted clothing for soldiers
a) Two particularly popular articles of clothing with knitting instructions.. **)
Head cover *)
Material: 100 g wool. It is best to use 6-ply wool for this. Begin at the bottom edge and cast on 20 stitches for this. Knit with 248 garter stitches and cast off loosely. Now gain one of the longitudinal edges and there will be 124 stitches on the needle. Then knit in garter stitch, knitting 9x2 together, then 22x2 stockinette stitch and the third and fourth stitch together and finally 9x2 together again in succession. Then there will be 24 stitches on the needle. Knit these 15 rows working upwards k2, p2. Then knit another 16 rows garter stitch working upwards. Cast off the first 15 stitches garter stitch loosely, knit to the end of the needle and then cast off another 15 stitches. You then have a middle section of 54 stitches. Knit these 36 rows working upwards. Then knit as when knitting the heel of a stocking, i.e. 36 stitches, cast the thread onto the needle and slip the 37 stitches, turn around, knit 19 stitches, cast the thread onto the needle and slip the 20 stitches, turn around and continue knitting and casting off until 12 stitches of the 18 stitches that were outside of the slipped stitches are left. There will now be 30 stitches in the middle. Now take the last of these and the first of the 12 stitches and knit both together, turn around and cast the knitted-together stitch onto the right needle and drop again in the same way. There will then be 30 stitches on the needle. Cast these off loosely. Then cast the entire outer edge onto a needle and knit k2, p2 18 rows working upwards. Finally cast off loosely and sew the front middle section of the cap together with loose stitches.

Wristlet a. b. Material: 70-100 g wool
a. Cast on 50 stitches and knit 112 stitches back and forth, as 56 seams. Then cast off and sew these and the top edge together with loose, but firm stitches. Then cast one of the transverse edges onto 4 needles and there will be 14 stitches on each. Now knit 25 rounds k2, p2.
b. For the soldiers, illustration b) is preferred. Knit the wristlet exactly as in description a. Then, instead of casting off, knit 20 times, not in a circular fashion but back and forth so that a slit remains between two needles. Then knit 10 rounds again in a circular fashion and cast loosely off. The opening created is meant for the thumb to slip through.

The articles marked with a * are knitted using field-grey wool and for the marines dark-blue wool.
**) All wools must be boiled before knitting, as this makes them much lighter.

B. Other practical knitted articles (knitting instructions can be found in our special edition "Knitted clothing for use in the army". Price: 50 Pfg.)
Each guide can be purchased for the price of 15 Pf.

* Ear muffs
50 g material. They are very quick to make. Use thin yarn and thin needles.

* Scarf
125 g material. Wool. This scarf can also be made from flannel or *1. For this purpose a piece of flannel 110 cm long by 25 cm wide is cut to size and crocheted around the border.

* Gloves
75 g material. Wool. Use 4-ply wool and thin knitting needles.

* Socks
Knitting socks is common practice. For soldiers it is suggested that the leggings and footlets be knitted and bound off separately. The leggings are knitted 30 cm long and are stirruped at the bottom edge. The footlet has a border, k2, p2, 5cm in height, beneath the heel. The leggings are worn over the footlets. The soldiers are allocated three pairs of footlets for every one pair of leggings.

Knee warmers.
130 g material. Wool. It is recommended to knit another 8-10 stitches for the upper part of the knee warmers and to indicate this with 2-3 white rounds.

Bed socks.
These become slippers if a thick felt sole is sewn on by the shoe repairer.

100 g material. This practical truss can also have cross-back straps to prevent it from sliding down.

* Cardigan
1.5-2 Pfd material, medium strength wool. This cardigan is knitted following pattern no. 1615. Price: 50 Pf. For *1 vests see page 10.

The articles marked with a * are knitted using field-grey wool and for the marines dark-blue wool.

Full title:
Booklet 'Frauenfleiß in Kriegszeiten' [Women's effort in war time] from Verlag der Europäischen Modenzeitung [European Fashion Journal], 1914
Booklet / Illustration
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

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