Tag Archive | BARRA

Make Do and Mend Finale

Last week was the finale of the Make Do and Mend project.  The Museum and University held a special event to reunite the students and members of Birmingham Air Raids Remembrance Association BARRA.  The event was a great success – it was wonderful to see BARRA members and students talking about their work.  

We also announced the winner of the project.  Scott Gethings patriotic ‘Dig for Victory’ pinafore will be the first outfit from the project to be displayed in the new Birmingham History galleries.  When the new galleries open you will have the opportunity to see all the students work as a fashion style ‘look book’ will feature as part of the display.

Birmingham City University have a small exhibition of photographs taken by fashion photographer Joe Miles. 


Jo-Ann Curtis (Curator of History)

Make Do and Mend Project Update

Progress is being made by the Birmingham City University Fashion Design students working on Make Do and Mend project.  

Each student is designing and making an outfit which works the theme of wartime austerity and make do and mend.  Their work has largely been inspired by their visit to see the Museum’s dress collections in December and meeting with members of Birmingham Air Raid Remberance Association who shared their experiences of living in Birmingham during the Second World War. 


Yesterday we visited the students together with project photographer Andrew Jackson to document their progress to date. Their designs include a cape made from a reconstructed RAF jacket, a body-con dress made from a second hand jumper, a Dig for Victory inspired patriotic apron, and a rag rug inspired bolero.  We will visit again next week and maybe give you a sneak preview of some of the outfits.

Jo-Ann Curtis, Curator – History


Volunteering on the ‘Make Do and Mend’ project at BMAG

Hello, my name is Kim Lane and I’m a Leicester graduate who studied Museum Studies. I completed an 8 week placement at BMAG in July for my course and have been here ever since as a weekly volunteer!

During my placement I was asked to update the documentation for the 1940s costume collection in preparation for a community engagement project called ‘Make Do and Mend’. Thus, I continued this project as a volunteer and am currently helping to run the ‘Make Do and Mend’ sessions at the Museum Collections Centre.


The Birmingham City University Fashion Design students have been asked to make an outfit for the new history galleries in the style of 1940s make do and mend. This involves working with the university students, as well a group called BARRA who provide the students with a ‘real life’ account of make do and mend during wartime and after for many people.

For me the best part of volunteering at BMAG is being able to access the museums collections, and being able to provide a service for the public through the museums collection.


Make Do and Mend at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery


Last week Curators at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery began preparing for a Community Engagement project involving Birmingham City University fashion design students and members of the Birmingham Air Raid Remembrance Association.


The students will design and make an outfit inspired by war-time austerity and ‘make do and mend.’  One outfit will be selected to feature in the new HLF-funded Birmingham History Galleries’ ‘Birmingham at War’ display opening in autumn 2012.  

Updates will be posted throughout the duration of the project; our next update will be from volunteer Kim Lane to be posted shortly.



Child’s dress made from parachute silk.