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.
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 & Nail, Croutons 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?