Tuesday, 1 July 2014


There seems to be a common goal for many who dabble in making things by hand, and it is to achieve the illustrious status whereby their items  “Don’t look homemade.”

I’ve said this before myself, and I don’t disagree.

I guess what we mean when we say this, is that we want our makings to look more professional - not haphazard and slapped together at home, without all the requisite skills and materials.


But while I don’t want my makings to look homemade in that sense of the word, I  actually do want them to look HANDmade. There’s probably not really much of a distinction, but to mean some thing ‘handmade’ or ‘hand crafted’ denotes care, time and effort and one-on-one attention. Not to mention uniqueness! I love receiving drawings and handmade gifts from my kids, because I know they were thinking about ME when they made them.

And the longer I spend time perfecting my own making skills, the more I notice the shortcomings of (some) store bought items. (Particularly some cheap chain store clothing.) I remember one time I was slightly miffed at a slightly crooked line of stitching I’d sewn, only to look down and notice a much worse job on the cheap store bought top I was wearing at the time. … Actually, with this quality of finish;  I think I’d rather people think mine were handmade, with more time and care spent getting the finishing touches just right.

I think it was Nin who first introduced me to the idea of slow fashion and I’ve been thinking about it a bit more recently thanks to this news story.


So, what does this rant all mean?

It means that I want to keep sewing for my family as much as I can. I’m hoping to plan ahead and knock out pretty complete Summer wardrobes for my growing kids.  No, it probably doesn’t mean that I’ll never buy anything again from a chain store – that’s just not budget-realistic for us. Although, in saying that I don’t think I’ve bought any store bought clothes for myself so far this year (apart from op shop scores of course.)

And it also means that I want to support other local makers too. Given the choice I’d prefer to give my kids a bit of Needle & NailCroutons and Hello Fallow just to name a few. These fabulous handmade items are so much better than all the plastic fantastic and mass produced items out there in my opinion!

Edit: Oh yeah, and I’d like the concept of “handmade” to become synonymous with the concepts of quality and class, care and skill.

OK. Rant over.


Here’s to more handmade in my life!

How about you?



Anonymous said...

I felt like I had really made it when something didn't look handmade and someone who didn't know that I sewed said to me, where did you get your top?, when it was one that I made, so when I say that I don't want my things to look handmade I guess that is what I mean.
Last year I set myself the challenge of no new bought clothes for my kids, (2 boys under 6) for one year. It was easy, I made, op shopped and acquired from friends and family. Now I don't want to buy them chain store stuff. It fills my heart with joy to see them wearing the things I created. I have such a large fabric stash I have got the next few years covered without spending much at all.
And I totally agree with you about the quality of store bought items.

thingsforboys said...

I'm on a similar train of thought this year. I'm sewing from my stash and apart from a FQ and some Birch organic knit I haven't bought any new fabric. And, my stash doesn't really look like it's gone down much. I definitely don't pay attention to how badly my store bought clothes are made. Like the above commenter said, I want people to be pleasantly surprised when they find out I made something, but I'm not striving for couture.

Jenya @ While she was sleeping said...

I really like your definition of Hand made. I like it when things look hand made in a sense that they fit great, that the maker used good quality fabrics and took time to finish the garment well. I mostly sew for my daughter, and I love it that her wardrobe is unique, everything she has was made with love for her. I really enjoy the fact that she was an active participant in its creation (choosing fabrics, prints, embellishment, details). Here is to more handmade ;)

Nat @sewoutnumbered said...

Yep - guilty of the old "handmade" comment and was picked up on it by one of my readers. I agree, I like things to look professional and hope that with me sewing so much more this year that my skills are doing that goal justice. Also been sewing up lots of tees for my little boy and haven't bought a cheapo one this year (and hopefully not again for a long time)

Leonie said...

Hand-crafted. I think there are so many handmade items that diminishes people's idea of what we consider it to be. Love, care, strength and well-crafted. Go you - love your work and I hope you get to keep your goal as much as possible!