In this extract May Smullen talks about how her sister was an excellent dressmaker. She remembers how her sister would make bomber jackets for her brother from their father's postman uniform when he had finished with it. She also remembers her sister turning a coat she had inside out as the colour of the fabric on one side had become faded.

This story is an example of the operation of agency in the face of limited resources. May recollects how the conditions at the time meant that people often relied on their creativity and skills to find ways around problems. The story is also an important reminder of the value of craft skills such as sewing and dress making which were often associated with women.

To view more resources which relate to home life and to the strategies employed to overcome financial constraints see the collection below