I just finished reading this book I saw recommended on Instagram. It is all about handmade clothes, sewing, knitting and why making and wearing stuff we make is important. It also touches on taking care of our clothes with mending, buying quality when necessary and all the good this brings to both society and our own mental well being.
As some of you know, I have slowly been working towards trying to develop a handmade wardrobe over the past few years with learning how to sew and to wear more of my handknits. I really felt this book was speaking to me as I am learning more about the process of making a garment, a wardrobe and to express myself how I have wanted to for years but haven't.
It is definitely written as a doctoral thesis paper so there were some parts of this book that I found were getting TOO detailed, but I did find myself nodding in agreement for most of what she writes about. Here are a few excerpts I thought noteworthy.
Page 3: "Making attracts people who are somewhat frustrated by their jobs and are searching for an activity they feel to be more meaningful."
Page 146: "Go ahead, dive in, have fun, play with colour, break the "rules", and use colours that sing songs of joy to you even if only your ears can hear them."
Page 161: "Putting together a wardrobe and a home will become a life long process and something of a quest"
Page 177: "...they reflect the fact that these sew-ers are constructing, physically constructing, in the case - the person that they feel themselves to be. While everyday items may get a great deal more wear, these aspirational garments - even if never seen by others - help them to feel that their 'everyday self' is not all of who they are."
Page 187: "The intrinsic motivations of the craft process meet our needs for identity and participation and create a positive sense of well-being. This positive feeling can be heightened by integrating a greater sense of creativity into the activity. In many cases. these satisfactions extend to the wearing stage; makers enjoy wearing on-off, personalized garments they have worked hard to produce.
Page 192: "Making provides us with an alternative means of participating in fashion."
She also has a list to sum everything up starting on page 199:
"1) Make to suit the maker, the wearer and the materials
2) Spread your wings
3) Enjoy the journey
4) Seek and give validation
5) Share, reflect and act"
If you are a maker of any kind, I feel this book is worth a read. It talks much about making and its effects on society and how us, as makers have a stronger impact in the world than we may think. We also need to focus on making just for the sake of making. Creativity is important in this digital world. With that said, it is also important to connect with other makers on the internet, whether it be on blogs, through social media or communities like Ravelry. Think of how making something with your hands and mind makes you feel, how this will get passed down (either as a skill or an actual item). These things are important. I feel that what all makers do is important so never give up what you do and never stop learning.
I don't do resolutions but here are my goals for 2018
- Live more "handmade" when possible (including food)
- Knit at least a pair of socks a month - this will be helped by The Naked Sheep's #SockFlock2018. When not working on a KAL pair I will try to have at least a vanilla pair on the needles
- Wear more of my handknits (and make more handknits for myself that are wearable)
- Work towards 65% handmade wardrobe, 25% thrifted, 10% store bought (with a focus on buying quality)
- Learn more about mending, hand stitching and fixing clothing.
Thank you to all those I met, talked to, taught, learned from and supported me in 2017. I have been doing what I can when I can as I suffer from chronic pain so please be patient with me as I am also trying to be kinder to myself this year and resting when I must. I appreciate everyone who has ever tried one of my patterns, read my blog, bought my yarn and handknits, visited me at sales and taken my classes, I hope to continue to keep up this year. I have so much up in my brain that one day it will get out and I can share even more of myself.
I wanted to send out a big Thank you to those who stopped by the Etsy SK Winter Market on Dec 2nd at the U of R. This was the 3rd sale I organized at this venue and it still is my favourite. I had a good day talking to a lot of great people and meeting new vendors as well. I bought some yarn from Midknit Cravings; some to make another Aura shawl and a sock appetizer (pics below). I also got some fat quarters from So Sweet Quilts which I am planning on making some quilted mug rugs. A hand blown glass tumbler from Glassy Eyed and some beautiful notecards from Sparkling Medusa. Thanks to my chronic pain, after the sale I slept from 9 pm on Sat to 2:15 pm on Monday.
I also finished 2 pairs of socks using the Straight Up Socks pattern again. One pair was for my dad's birthday and I used good ol Kroy sock yarn. I really like knitting for him because he truly appreciates it. When I gave them to him (as he was going out the door) he cam back in, took off his boots, ripped off his socks he was wearing and put my handmade socks on. I love that.
My other pair I made in only a couple days using some new yarn from Midknit Cravings. It is one of their appetizers as I mentioned above. The colourway's I used were Bad Mood Monday and Wine Not! You get 50 g of the main colour and 20 g of a contrast colour. I was waffling between doing an afterthought heel, or maybe just tube socks but thought I would try to see how far I could get with the Straight Up Socks recipe and was left with 5g of the main colour and 6g of the contrast so I could have been ok. I just love them! Can't wait to make more.
I also sewed a brand new dress!! It is the Fen Dress from Fancy Tiger Crafts and I highly recommend it! For starters it comes in a bunch of sizes and it has POCKETS! You can also make a shirt. I love the hem line and it is SO comfortable. I will be making more of these as well. I also just bought the Metamorphic Dress by Sew Liberated so it will be my next sewing project for my handmade wardrobe. It also has pockets and it is reversible.
I whipped up another smock the other weekend using some sheer, textured fabric. I didn't add pockets this time but kept it simple. I. LOVE. THIS. PATTERN. Everything about it is perfect. I wore this dress with some jeans and a black slip dress underneath and my thrifted pink Holt Renfrew merino cowl to my work Christmas party this past weekend where I received my 10 year award (a watch). I work in a place that is very male dominated and being one of 3 women out of 63, I felt very appreciated by all the guys I work with who cheered for me. It made me feel good and since many of them know that I make things, I did get asked about my smock haha. If you are looking for a really awesome sewing project you should make one for yourself as well.