The Nora dress has been in my dreams for something like 20 years, ever since my Granny told me stories of living through the second World War, shortages and rationing, and how that impacted her sewing. These were my favourite chats with her. I could have listened for hours about how she coped and made do in such trying times. Of all the stories she told me the one that rolled around in my brain constantly was about how when she could no longer buy them, she made herself bra’s from two handkerchiefs folded into triangles, with darts sewn in the middle of each, crossed over at the front and with a ribbon or rope threaded through the folds to tie at the back. The ingenuity of that solution impressed me so much that I wanted to try it myself.