From: FIDM Museum Blog

“During World War II, raw materials were in short supply. Wool was needed for military uniforms and a shortage of rubber led to the near disappearance of athletic shoes. Silk stockings vanished, as silk fiber was needed in the production of parachutes. Additionally, factories which had previously produced civilian clothing were reconfigured to produce items needed in the war effort. In order to regulate the remaining production of civilian garments, the United States government implemented the L-85 regulations in 1942. L-85 dictated the styling of garments with an eye to conserving materials and production time. Skirt length, hem width and types of trim were strictly regulated, as were the cuffs and pockets of menswear. Home-sewn clothing was exempt from these regulations, but all were encouraged to ‘make do and mend.'”

An true example of “necessity is the mother of invention” I guess.